Average auto insurance rates in Barrie are over 20% higher than the average for other cities in Ontario, a recent report from LowestRates.ca revealed. But why is this the case?
In an interview with BarrieToday, Justin Thouin, founder and chief executive officer of LowestRates.ca, said proximity to Highway 400 is one of the biggest reasons for the elevated premiums.
“A lot of people from Barrie travel Highway 400 to Toronto for work and that plays a big part in increased insurance fees,” he said. “Being a 400-series highway with higher speeds, what is taken into consideration is that should a crash occur it is likely to be more damaging than a slow-speed crash.”
However, Thouin said drivers can save on fees by simply informing their insurance providers how often they travel on the highway.
He also said it could help if drivers can explain to their insurers how COVID-19 has impacted their daily commute.
“If your driving habits have changed because of the pandemic, that is something your insurance company will look at as well,” he said. “If you drove five days a week to Toronto and now you are working from home, they need to know that and you could save money.”
Thouin also reminded drivers that the best way to avoid high insurance rates is to drive safely.
“Keep a clean driving record, it doesn’t get any simpler than that,” he said. “Barrie people, right in the middle of the snowbelt, should get winter tires and alert their insurance company they did.”