Any auto insurance rate that increases in Nova Scotia requires approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB).
NSUARB ensures all Nova Scotia drivers’ auto insurance rates are fair and reasonable. Even though drivers in Nova Scotia pay some of the lowest car insurance rates in Canada, it still makes sense to compare car insurance quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
How Nova Scotia auto insurance rates works
Informed consumers help to keep rates competitive and as a citizen of Nova Scotia, the government encourages you to compare, consult, and select your coverage by getting auto insurance quotes from multiple providers. Competition often leads to both better rates and service from auto insurers.
Reforms in car insurance have led to Nova Scotia’s “First Chance Discount”, offering new drivers’ credit for three years of driving experience and increasing to six if the new driver successfully completed a driver education course. This action alone led to significant reductions in car insurance premiums.
What mandatory coverage do I need to have in Nova Scotia?
To legally drive a vehicle in Nova Scotia, there are four mandatory coverages that your auto insurance policy must include:
Protects against damage to others and their property caused by you while driving. It’s mandatory across Canada. Minimum coverage for third-party liability insurance is $200,000. In Quebec, it’s $50,000.
OPTION: You can increase your third-party liability insurance to $500,000, $1 million, or $2 million. Most drivers choose $1 million as a default.
Statutory accident benefits coverage
This insurance provides protection for bodily injury and:
Covers you if you are injured in an accident regardless of who is at fault
Covers the medical staff involved in the accident: medical care, rehabilitation and auxiliary care services
Covers income replacement.
Medical payments : Up to $50,000/person; four-year time limit
Direct Compensation-Property Damage (DC-PD)
This car insurance covers you for:
Damage to your vehicle
Contents in your vehicle
There are a few conditions:
You must not be responsible for the accident
It must have taken place in Nova Scotia
Another vehicle must be involved
The other vehicle must be insured by a licensed insurer
Your insurance provider pays to repair your car
Uninsured automobile insurance
This insurance applies if you or someone in your vehicle is either injured or killed by an uninsured driver, or by a hit-and-run driver.
What are the optional auto insurance coverage in Nova Scotia?
Collision & Upset
This type of car insurance may cover damage caused to your vehicle by impact with another car, roadside object or any damage sustained in a roll-over.
Comprehensive car insurance in Nova Scotia
This insurance protects you for anything that is not collision or upset, as the name suggests, therefore for anything that is vandalism, glass breakage, theft, fire. If you park your vehicle on the street and when you come back, one of the windows has been broken, you will be able to use this insurance if you have subscribed to it. It is possible to make car insurance estimates to see how much you want to be insured up to.
Specified Perils Auto Insurance in Nova Scotia
It covers you for risks that you have specified in the contract. For example, you can mention glass breakage but not include vandalism, theft but not include fire.
All-risk car insurance in Nova Scotia
This insurance is a combination of all other insurances: collision, payout and collision free. The deductible is the same for all damages. You will thus be protected for all incidents beyond your control (vandalism, theft, fire) but also for incidents resulting from a road accident, collision with an object, or the overturning of your vehicle.
What do I need to get a car insurance quote?
Whether you’re renewing your existing auto insurance or shopping around for a better policy, here is what you’ll need to get started:
Vehicle information (make, model, year)
Current insurance company + policy number
Previous tickets/driving infractions within the last 10 years
Previously filed claims within the last 10 years
Previous license suspensions and insurance lapses within the last 10 years.
How to get cheaper auto insurance
1. How much coverage do you need?
Depending on the age of your car, where you live and what your driving habits are like, you may not need a fully-loaded policy. Reviewing your policy annually, how much your car would go for if it had to be written off (collision coverage), etc. and cutting the excess could lower your annual premium.
Of course, find the right balance with what you’re comfortable doing. If you feel better having the coverage “just in case”, then your peace-of-mind may not be worth saving a few extra bucks every month. Just like with a higher deductible, this is all based on your comfort level.
2. What about usage-based insurance?
Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) or telematics is a “pay-as-you-drive” insurance plan that is based on the kind of driving you actually do versus what the insurance company thinks you do.
Thanks to modern technology, UBI can track your distance travelled but also captures how safely (or dangerously) you drive. Drivers with UBI policies can save up to 30% off their yearly premiums. The downsides are the lack of privacy, lack of accuracy in some instances, and penalty fees for the driver if the technology detects reckless driving.
3. Good credit
Your credit history is a fundamental part of your finances, and insurers look at an applicant’s credit score to determine how liable they might be. A low credit score and poor history can affect the rate that you’re quoted, so it’s important to make sure that your credit report is up-to-date and clear of any mistakes.
Before inquiring about car insurance, make sure your credit report is in good shape.
4. Drive safe
Most Canadians don’t know that adding features that improve your road safety, like snow tires or an upgraded alarm system, can reduce your premium! The rules vary province-to-province.
If you regularly change your tires every winter, keep your receipt and tire information when you call your provider. Let your provider know about your winter tire change routine. They may offer a slightly smaller discount for using them.
5. A clean record
Things like traffic tickets, demerit points, and multiple accidents on your driving record can negatively affect how an insurer calculates your coverage. Multiple driving violations could spike your rates, which could mean that you’ll be spending more compared to someone with a clean driving record. How you drive has a huge say on how much your car insurance will be, so not only is it important to keep this in mind when you’re shopping for quotes, but it also means that you must comply with the law if you want to prevent a raise in price.
6. Your car’s safety rating
Vehicles that have excellent crash test ratings, have low-theft scores, are not sporty or attract lots of attention generally get cheaper rates. Sure, it may be fun to drive a hot red sports car, but is it worth the premium? You decide.
7. Bundle policies together
Do you have renters, homeowner, boat, RV, motorcycle insurance? Do you have multiple people in your home that also need car insurance? Some providers offer steep discounts for bundling your insurance services, ranging from 5%-25% per policy.
8. Consider a higher deductible
If you’re comfortable with a greater out-of-pocket cost to you in the event of an accident, then you can consider a higher deductible, say $500, or $1000 as examples. Some companies could let you go higher than that.
9. Shop around
Insurance is not a one-and-done purchase. If you live in Ontario, you probably pay some of the highest premiums in the country.
But if you’re in a high-competition province, shop around for the best rate. Online reviews will help you learn a lot about which providers offer the greatest value.