Where you live in Canada affects what you pay for car insurance. Of course, this is true from province to province since auto insurance is regulated at the provincial level. Four provinces – British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, and Saskatchewan — even have their own versions of public insurance. Within each province and even within each city and town, insurers have a risk factor applied to geographical locations, and this is conveniently sorted by postal code.
Why Does Location Affect Insurance?
Each insurance company has their own method of determining what to charge for insurance. Provincial regulations have an effect, as does the coverage you choose, the make, model and year of your car, your age and driving record. Another factor is your neighbourhood. A quiet place with little crime and few accidents will nudge premiums down, while you can expect to pay more if you’re in a busy urban neighbourhood with lots of car theft and dangerous intersections.
Calculating the Effects of Postal Codes
A car insurance calculator is a perfect tool to sort through the effects of location on car insurance premiums. The calculator on this page is one of the best, comparing over 30 insurance companies to compare your cheapest alternatives. You’ll notice that data entry starts with a postal code. Enter your information to generate quotes and then substitute another postal code, your work address for example, and re-calculate. The differences you see in price are based on the insurer’s perception of each neighbourhood.
Using Postal Code Information
You can take these results and feel confident which company provides the most affordable coverage for your postal code. While it’s not likely you will move just to save a few hundred dollars on car insurance. However, if you are planning a move, this might be something to check, narrowing down prospective areas. Students or other young people who tend to move more often and with tighter budgets may find the savings essential to make ends meet.
Insurance company actuarial processes reflect differences, as each company tries to stay more competitive than others in the industry. That’s why you will see different rates and different rate changes between insurers. So even if you’re not moving, you’re now armed with information on the cheapest rates in your neighbourhood.
Keep in mind that quotes through the car insurance calculator are estimates based on standard insurance packages. Your actual premiums may be higher or lower based on changes you make to the standard package.