It’s a truism in most places in Canada that new, young drivers must pay through the nose for their inexperience when it comes to car insurance. That’s not an absolute, however, since some public insurance plans don’t factor age into the auto insurance premium equation, and there are even murmurs in the private insurance sector about doing away with perceived age discrimination.
The insurance industry, on the other hand, generally supports the actuarial analysis that shows young drivers as a group are more likely to not only have accidents but that these will also be more expensive to resolve. Their argument is that the statistical averages counter individual tendencies. That thinking costs every driver in one way or another, as insurance companies factor many statistical tendencies into auto policy pricing.
How does a new driver get affordable car insurance?
Looking solely at provinces that permit insurers to charge new drivers more for insurance, there are a few ways to partially counter the high rates, but no way to completely eliminate them.
The first step is usually the completion of an accredited driver training program. For example, in Ontario, the Ministry of Transportation certifies driver training schools and requires certain minimum standards for the driver training curriculum. New drivers receive a certificate upon successful completion and most insurance companies recognize this with a discount off the base rates that driver pays for insurance.
The effects of inexperience weigh more heavily on the cost of car insurance when the new driver is the primary driver for insurance purposes. Since many young drivers live at home, a traditional way to start their car insurance experience is as an occasional driver on a parent’s policy. This can be managed strategically, particularly if one family vehicle costs less to insure. Adding a new driver to that car’s policy results in a lighter premium burden.
Any route that lowers the cost of an auto insurance policy also applies to a young driver. Reducing or removing coverage, increasing deductibles and minimizing the amount a car is on the road may all be used to control the price of insurance for a vehicle.
When do insurance prices drop for a new driver?
Often, you’ll hear that young drivers pay more for car insurance until they reach the age of 25. While insurance prices may seem to follow this pattern, it has less to do with the magic number of 25 and more to do with the experience that a young driver accumulates between receiving their license and that age.
Every year of driving experience works to lower car insurance prices. Young motorists will see rates fall even at the first insurance renewal, one year into their driving careers. This won’t be substantial. It also assumes that the new driver maintains a clean driving record and claims-free insurance history. Either of these adds to the car insurance premium amount.
Only with time and trouble-free driving can a new driver lower insurance rates to their most affordable levels. For most this will be when they are in their mid-20s.