The salty ocean air may mean that your car is more threatened by rust than collision, but sadly, rust coverage is not offered by private insurance companies working under the Nova Scotia car insurance system. As with all provinces and territories in Canada, you must have car insurance to legally drive the roads in Nova Scotia, and its motorists enjoy some of the most affordable premiums in the country. Here’s a look at the unique features of the provincial system.
Mandatory Car Insurance Coverage
There are three mandatory components to car insurance coverage in Nova Scotia, a little more extensive than some other provinces. Third-party liability insurance is the standard for minimum coverage across the country, and in Nova Scotia, $500,000 is the minimum dollar amount for third-party liability, though most motorists in the province opt for $1 million in coverage. Third-party liability covers you against legal action if you injure someone else or cause damage to property while in your car.
Accident benefits pay for medical treatment and rehabilitation, loss of income and funeral expenses for you and passengers in your car at the time of an accident. This coverage is also mandatory in Nova Scotia, as is uninsured and unidentified automobile insurance, in place in case you experience a hit-and-run collision or an incident with an uninsured vehicle.
Additional Car Insurance Coverage
Typical of most car insurance, Nova Scotia’s system has optional coverage available for collisions. Some people with older cars may choose to deal with the results of collisions themselves, by fixing or replacing the vehicle without involving their insurer. In this case, they can bypass adding collision insurance coverage to their vehicle. Another way to save money on car insurance premiums that’s allowable under the Nova Scotia system is to choose a high deductible. The deductible is the amount you pay for collision repairs before the insurance company kicks in money. Choosing a $1,500 deductible over a $500 deductible will lower your car insurance premiums. However, you’ll be on the hook for an additional $1,000 in case of an accident.
The same holds true for comprehensive insurance, which covers non-collision damage or loss to your car, such as vandalism, theft or fire. In some cases, theft and fire loss may not be subject to deductible amounts.
You can purchase additional accident benefit coverage beyond the mandatory minimum. However, many motorists already have coverage through work or disability plans, and this coverage would be accessed first, before the additional coverage.
Cost of Car Insurance in Nova Scotia
A comprehensive study of car insurance across Canada was conducted by the Fraser Institute in 2011. The average annual cost for car insurance in Nova Scotia was $736, almost $550 less than Ontario’s average, at that time. While premiums have risen since then, comparative levels have remained about the same.