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Pay less for car insurance in Nova Scotia 

To legally drive a car in Nova Scotia, you need auto insurance. The good news is there's no law that requires you to overpay for your coverage. More often than not, people purchase their first policy and then renew every year without much thought. It's definitely convenient, but that convenience could be costing you hundreds of dollars that you could be saving. 

Nova Scotia drivers pay some of the lowest rates in Canada with the exception of Quebec drivers, thanks to the government's 2003 car insurance reforms which helped lower rates by 27%. The reforms also gave drivers a broader range of auto insurance providers to choose from in the province. The typical rate is less than a thousand dollars, at $957 for a 35-year old driver. 

Here’s how Nova Scotia stacks up to other provinces: 

1. Ontario - $1441 per year 

2. Prince Edward Island - $1137 per year 

3. Alberta - $1088 per year 

4. New Brunswick -$1020 per year 

5. Nova Scotia - $957 per year 

6. Quebec - $590 per year 

Even though Nova Scotia drivers pay less than most for auto insurance, your premiums could be even lower. All you have to do is shop around for a better rate. In fact, Nova Scotia's Finance and Treasury Board encourages it, "Shop around to different insurance companies to find the best service and policy for you." 

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Car insurance in Nova Scotia is mandatory

Just like elsewhere in Canada, having auto insurance in Nova Scotia is required to drive on any public roadway. According to the Nova Scotia Finance and Treasury Board your policy at minimum must have coverage for:

  • Third-party liability (Section A)

In the Consumers' Auto Insurance Guide created by the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance for Nova Scotia drivers, these mandatory coverages include:

  • Third party liability: Covers you if you injure someone or damage someone else's property with your auto and they sue you. You must have at least $500,000 of liability coverage. Most Nova Scotians carry at least $1,000,000.
  • Accident benefits: Includes coverage for medical and rehabilitation expenses, funeral costs, and loss of income for you and other passengers.

  • Uninsured and unidentified automobile insurance: This provides coverage if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or unidentified automobile.


Optional auto insurance coverage is available

In addition to the compulsory coverage (third-party liability, accident benefits, and uninsured/unidentified automobile), there is optional coverage that you can include in your policy. Two of the best known are collision (or upset) coverage and comprehensive coverage.


How are insurance rates determined in Nova Scotia?

Insurance companies in Nova Scotia look at a number of factors to determine car insurance rates. Among the most common are: 

If you are a good driver: Your driving record and experience are an important determinant of your auto insurance premium. According to quote data on Kanetix.ca, drivers in Nova Scotia have a higher proportion of drivers with tickets and accidents than drivers in other provinces with 84% stating they have a ticket and 87% stating they have an accident on their record.

What car you drive: The value, make and model of your vehicle along with your vehicle’s safety and theft record also come into play. Here are the most popular cars owned by Nova Scotia drivers according to Kanetix.ca data.

  1. Honda Civic 
  2. Hyundai Elantra 
  3. Toyota Corolla 
  4. Mazda 3 
  5. Hyundai Accent

If you’re in the market for a new car, it’s worth comparing rates before you buy to see how your new wheels will affect your premiums.

How much you drive: While higher commute times can affect how much you pay for car insurance, the good news for Nova Scotia drivers is that commute distances are on the lower end of the spectrum. The less time you spend on the road, the less risk is involved. On average, commute times are under 10km in the province for a one-way commute.


Coverages, deductibles and discounts

As with any province, the level of coverage you choose and the amount of your deductible also factor into your auto insurance premium. Only choose the amount of coverage you need or you could be paying more than you need to. Take advantage of discounts – ask your insurance company about discounts such as multi-line, winter tire and group rates available to you.

In Nova Scotia, the industry is regulated by The Office of the Superintendent of Insurance who are responsible for enforcing the Insurance Act.

The Nova Scotia Insurance Review Board (NSIRB) also regulates auto insurance, monitoring rates across the province and looking out for the public. While car insurance rates are set by individual insurance providers, they must apply to the Board for approval for any rate changes or changes to the classification of risks. 

Since 2003, insurance companies in Nova Scotia cannot use age, gender, marital status and accidents where you were not at fault in determining in rates.


While each province sets their own rules about licensing including requirements and fees. In Nova Scotia, you must be 16 before getting your driver’s license. There is a graduated licensing program in the province which requires new drivers to have a learner’s permit (class 7 license) for 6 months or more. Once you pass your road test, you will be able to move to a class 5 license. A vision test is also a requirement for anyone looking to get a license in the province. 

According to quote data on Kanetix.ca:

  • 10% of drivers lease their vehicle
  • 96% of drivers have winter tires 
  • The average age of our customers in Nova Scotia is 33 
  • 39% are part of a roadside assistance program
  • 32% bundle their auto and home insurance with one insurance provider

Shopping for auto insurance in Nova Scotia

Don’t spend more time than you need to getting quotes from multiple insurance providers in Nova Scotia. At Kanetix.ca, we do the heavy lifting for you. We help you compare your rate against the market in one simple step. Plus, we’ll connect you to the provider offering you the lowest quote. We cover more of the market in Nova Scotia than any other comparison site, so you’ll be confident that you’ve found the best deal.