One of the factors affecting your premium is your vehicle’s year, make and model. Some vehicles withstand collisions better than others. Vehicle characteristics (such as engine size), passenger protection features (such as air bags) and repair costs affect your premiums.
Cars, light trucks and vans
We use the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) system, developed by the Vehicle Information Centre (VIC), to group cars, light trucks and vans. The VIC collects Canada-wide information about vehicles involved in accidents and the cost of claims from these accidents. Cars and vans with similar claim costs and claim risks go into the same rating groups. In all, there are 41 rating groups for cars and light trucks—the higher the rating group, the higher the premium.
CLEAR also gives more favourable ratings to vehicles with factory-installed anti-theft devices that meet the Canadian Theft Deterrent Standard. To meet federal law, any vehicle manufactured after September 1, 2007 must have an approved electronic immobilizer to be sold in or imported into Canada. Also, any vehicle built after September 1, 2007 without an immobilizer must have an aftermarket immobilizer installed. If you own any 2008 or newer model vehicle, we discount your premium automatically.
Under the CLEAR rating system, a lower value (or older) car may be rated similarly to a higher-value (or newer) car. Here’s why: the lower value car may have fewer safety features and loss-prevention features. Therefore, it may have a poorer claim record than a car that’s worth more.
CLEAR matches your rate with your vehicle’s risk – which changes over time. Vehicles that are less safe and more expensive to fix, cost more to insure. On the other hand, vehicles that are safer and cheaper to fix cost less to insure.
To ensure your premium is correct, we need to identify your vehicle accurately. We do so using the Vehicle Information Number (VIN) for your vehicle, sometimes called the serial number.
We rank the risk of motorcycles based on engine size and declared value. Motorcycles are also categorized by type. The categories are: Sport, Touring, Sport Touring, Motorscooter and Other. Premiums for sport bikes are higher than other categories because they have a higher claims risk.
As with coverage for other vehicles, motorcycle coverage is year round. However, unlike premiums for cars and trucks, motorcycle premiums are priced over the typical season from May 1 to September 30. That means you don’t need to pay your premiums until May 1, and you only pay during the riding season, even though your coverage stays in force all year (unless it expires).
You must meet special requirements to register and insure in the “Moped” category.
A Moped must:
- have wheels with a diameter of 250 mm (10 inches) or larger
- have a maximum speed of 50 kph or less
- have an engine displacement of 50 cc or less
- not carry passengers over the age of six
- not carry passengers under age six without a proper infant seat
Mopeds can have two tandem wheels or three wheels. It can be driven by pedals, a motor, or both. A motorscooter can also be a moped if it meets the special requirements for the moped category. To ensure your motorscooter is insured properly, ask your Autopac agent.
Motor homes, heavy trucks and buses
We set rates for motor homes based on their declared value. Declaring the value of your motor home just means we set the premium based on how much you tell us your motor home is worth. For heavy trucks, we use the model, year and gross vehicle weight. For buses the rate depends on the declared value and the number of seats.
In all cases, declared values include provincial sales tax and GST.
This category includes utility, house, cabin or tent trailers used for pleasure, business, u-drive or farm purposes. You must declare the value of your trailer when you register it. A trailer vehicle type includes a body style for cabin or house trailers, which includes (but is not limited to) travel trailers and fifth wheels. Trailers fall into two value categories: (1) trailers with a declared value of $2,500 or less, and (2) trailers with a declared value of $2,501 to $50,000.
To be eligible for Autopac coverage, a trailer must be mobile and capable of being towed out by the owner within 24 hours without significant modification or cost. Trailers that have been converted into a seasonal or permanent residence or structure are not eligible for Autopac coverge. Conversions can include wheels that are permanently removed, permanent utility connections or permanent add-on decking, skirting or blocking. However, if these modifications are temporary and the trailer is not permanently mounted on a foundation, you may still be eligible for Autopac coverage.
A farm trailer doesn’t need licence plates when it’s transporting farm produce and is being towed by a farm tractor. However, it requires plates when a licenced car or truck is towing it. Optional coverage is available for trailers with a value of more than $50,000.
The Drivers and Vehicles Act does not allow the registration of trailers that exceed 2.6 m (102 inches) in width, 12.5 m (41 feet) in length, or 4.15 m (13 feet, 6 inches) in height.
Like basic Autopac premiums for off-road vehicles, the premium and registration fee for a trailer valued at $2,500 or less is a flat annual amount—no refunds are available if you cancel part way through the year. So, we recommend that you renew a trailer policy when you renew your other Autopac so that it’s registered and insured when you need it next.
Remember, the premium stays the same no matter when you renew, and there are no refunds if you cancel.