Cheapest Car Insurance in Nova Scotia: 2024 rates

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Alexandre Desoutter updated on 18 April 2024

Getting good car insurance in Nova Scotia is crucial with over 600,000 drivers and nearly a million pedestrians.

But how do you choose the right auto insurance that covers both the mandatory provincial coverage and your unique needs?

In this guide, we tell you all you need to know about Nova Scotia car insurance: mandatory coverage, costs, the best companies, and tips to find cheap Nova Scotia car insurance plans and the best deals and discounts.

Car Insurance Nova Scotia: Key Takeaways

  1. Average Nova Scotia Car Insurance is around $891 per year.
  2. Rates are some of the cheapest in Canada.
  3. Mandatory coverage: Liability, Accident Benefits, Uninsured auto insurance, and DCPD.
  4. Premiums are based on driving record, vehicle model, etc.
  5. Compare quotes, negotiate renewals, and utilize discounts to get the cheapest plans.

How does car insurance work in Nova Scotia?

Auto insurance in Nova Scotia is offered by private companies and is regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.

Car insurance in Nova Scotia is mandatory. As a driver, you need one of the following:

  • A valid auto insurance policy
  • A certificate from the Treasurer, the Minister of Finance, proving that you have deposited the minimum coverage, $500,000, with the treasurer for each motor vehicle registered.

Expert advice

Accidents can get very expensive! Most financial experts recommend that you secure more coverage than the provincial minimum.

Nova Scotia car insurance works under a no-fault insurance system, which means that any claims are dealt with through your insurer only, never someone else’s.

Car insurance works differently from one province to another. You can use our free tool below to compare free car insurance quotes based on your province like Ontario, or Quebec. You can also check out the best deals and discounts based on your profile.

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Mandatory coverage

Nova Scotia mandates that drivers in the province have four classes of coverage:

  • Liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured auto insurance
  • Direct Compensation for Property Damage

Below is how each type of mandatory coverage works in Nova Scotia.

Insurance typeWhat it covers
Third-party liability
Third-party liability covers damage or injury you cause to others and their property while driving.
Accident benefits
This covers medical expenses for drivers, passengers and pedestrians, regardless of fault. It also pays for income replacement and potential funeral costs.
Uninsured or unidentified auto insurance
This insurance protects you if you're involved in an accident with a driver who is uninsured or cannot be identified.
Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD)
DCPD means that, if you are in an accident that is not your fault, your insurer is responsible for paying for the damage to your car.
Nova Scotia mandatory car insurance coverage - Source: Office of the Superintendent of Insurance

The minimum coverages for Nova Scotia auto insurance are:

  • Liability Coverage: $500,000 per accident
  • Medical Payments: $50,000 per person
  • Funeral Benefits: $2,500 per person

Optional coverage

Beyond the mandatory coverage, Nova Scotia car insurance companies also offer optional coverage. Mandatory coverage serves largely to protect against damages to others while optional coverages focus on protecting your vehicle and finances. After all, for many people, their vehicle is their most valuable asset after their home.

Here are the most common optional coverages for car insurance in Nova Scotia:

Insurance typeWhat it covers
This covers your car when you hit another car or object.
Comprehensive car insurance coverage protects against any losses from anything that is not a collision, like vandalism, glass breakage, theft or bad weather.
Specified perils
This option covers any financial losses from risks that you specifically name in your policy. For example, you can include fire or theft and not glass breakage or vandalism.
All perils
This option offers the ultimate protection by combining collision and comprehensive coverage.
Nova Scotia optional car insurance coverage

Standard Endorsement Forms (SEFs)

SEFs are add-ons you can annex to your existing insurance policy that may make sense depending on your financial situation, risk profile and the value of your vehicle. Here are a few common SEFs used in Nova Scotia to save money:

  • SEF 13C - glass breakage is not covered.
  • SEF 19 - car coverage is based on actual cash value as opposed to its replacement cost.
  • SEF 40 - a deductible is charged in the case of fire or theft.

Good to know

All these options can be confusing. Your broker or agent will be able to help you pick the coverage adapted to your situation to make sure you get the lowest insurance rates.

How much is car insurance in Nova Scotia?

The average car insurance cost in Nova Scotia is one of the lowest in Canada at $891. The reason behind the cheap car insurance rates is the 2003 reforms.

The 2003 reforms in Nova Scotia were significant changes made to the car insurance system to address rapidly increasing insurance premiums. These reforms included the introduction of a cap on minor injury compensation for pain and suffering, aimed at reducing the cost of claims and, consequently, the premiums for consumers.

The cap was initially set at $2,500 and has been adjusted periodically to account for inflation. Since then, driving history has been the biggest factor in calculating premiums as per Nova Scotia car insurance laws.

How are car insurance Nova Scotia premiums calculated?

The most commonly used elements that are used to calculate your premiums are:

  • Your driving record and experience
  • The value and model of your vehicle
  • Your vehicle's safety and theft history
  • How often and how far you drive
  • Your level of coverage and deductibles

Car insurance companies in Nova Scotia cannot use these factors to determine your rates:

  • Your age
  • The age of the vehicle
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Previously denied coverage or lapses in coverage of fewer than two years (if unrelated to a license suspension)
  • Accidents in which you were not at fault

Since Nova Scotia directly rewards safer drivers with lower premiums, the province has fewer accident claims than the rest of Canada.

Expert advice

To secure cheap car insurance in Nova Scotia, always make sure to compare car insurance quotes online and always negotiate before the automatic policy renewal each year.

Car insurance rates are very personalized so it's important to get individual quotes. You can use our free comparator tool below to explore free quotes and compare car insurance coverage based on your province like Ontario, Quebec, etc.

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What is the Cheapest car insurance in Nova Scotia?

Car insurance in Nova Scotia can be as cheap as about $650 to $700. Here is an example of car insurance in Halifax, Nova Scotia for a 2015 Honda Civic:

Includes:Third-party liability
$1,000,000 limit
Collision Coverage
$1,500 deductible
Comprehensive Coverage
$1,500 deductible
All Perils
$1,500 deductible
$61.17/ month
($734.00/ year)
$67.67/ month
($812.00/ year)
$82.42/ month
($989.00/ year)
$88.92/ month
($1,067.00/ year)
Nova Scotia car insurance quotes

You can use our comparator to compare car insurance from the best companies in Canada based on your province and learn about the best deals and discounts.

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How to get cheap car insurance in Nova Scotia?

Here are the feasible ways to get the cheapest car insurance in Nova Scotia policies that suit your budget.

  • Tip 1: Ask for discounts. You can be eligible for a lower rate just for being a university alumnus or working for a specific company.
  • Tip 2: Raise your deductible. While $500 is less of a burden than $1,000, it is not always the case. By increasing your deductible, you can come out ahead because the savings will make up the difference after just a couple of years.
  • Tip 3: Park off the street. Parking in a garage is less risky, which the insurer always prefers. It’ll save you money on your premium.
  • Tip 4: Get a car alarm. Installing security features helps lower your premiums.
  • Tip 5: Keep a good driving record. Previous claims and accidents will push up your rates, especially if you’re getting a new policy.
  • Tip 6: Install a telematics app. Driving with your insurance company's mobile app can save you as much as 30% in Nova Scotia. It records how you drive and adapts your insurance rate to your specific driving style.
  • Tip 7: Pay in full. If you can afford it, paying annually instead of monthly will usually get you a discount.
  • Tip 8: Bundle home and auto insurance in Nova Scotia. Add a home insurance policy or multiple vehicles under the same household to save.
  • Tip 9: Get those winter tires. You’ll save at least 5% with most insurers simply by adding winter tires to your car. Plus, it’ll keep you safer too.
  • Tip 10: Only get what you need. Adapting your policy to your insurance needs will help you save big bucks. For example, in Nova Scotia, car insurance policies usually cover income replacement in case you are injured in an accident and unable to work. That’s great to have, but many drivers already have this coverage through their workplace benefits, so excluding it from your car insurance will save you money.

Always remember to check and compare several insurance providers to get the cheapest car insurance for your needs.

How to get cheap car insurance quotes in Nova Scotia?

If you are looking for cheap car insurance in Nova Scotia, shopping around and exploring different companies, coverages and specific options will yield the best results.

Drivers in Nova Scotia can get car insurance through a broker, an agent or directly from an insurer. Although agents will know the products of one company inside and out, their offers will always be limited to the insurance company where they work. Alternatively, car insurance brokers can be an option as they work independently. However, brokers usually have few partners and limited options.

To purchase car insurance, you will need this information handy:

  • Your vehicle’s make and model
  • The VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • Your Social Insurance Number
  • Your driver’s license
  • Any previous insurance

You should decide whether you want collision or comprehensive coverage in addition to mandatory insurance. Plus, many endorsements can enhance your car insurance policy. If your car is new, it might be worth getting a waiver of depreciation, which reimburses you for the purchase value of your vehicle if it is declared a total loss in the first 2 years you have it.

The best way to get the best car insurance rates in Nova Scotia is with an online comparison tool. It allows you to visualize and compare each company’s rate in real-time and decide without any pressure, from the comfort of your home. Try our free tool below to check out how to compare car insurance quotes online.

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What is the best car insurance in Nova Scotia?

The best car insurance depends on your coverage needs and budget. However, here are some of the best car insurance companies that typically offer diverse coverage options, great customer service, and good deals to suit every customer's needs.

TD Car Insurance Nova Scotia

  • TD provides an easy-to-use website where customers can obtain free online quotes.
  • Customers have the option to customize their premiums based on their driving habits.
  • A discount of 5% is offered to those who quote and purchase their car insurance online.
  • You can save up to 15% when bundling car and home insurance.
  • Discounts are also available for drivers of hybrid vehicles and for those with multiple vehicles insured.

Economical Car Insurance

  • Economical Car Insurance is designed for drivers who face challenges in securing coverage.
  • It offers strong legal protection and round-the-clock emergency roadside assistance.
  • The coverage is customizable to meet the specific requirements of each customer.
  • Customers can save up to 15% by bundling their auto and home insurance policies.

RBC Car Insurance Nova Scotia

  • RBC Car Insurance allows customers to quickly obtain quotes either online or over the phone.
  • It features a Satellite Program that manages towing and repairs efficiently.
  • Policyholders can manage their policies online.
  • A discount of up to 10% is available for those who bundle their car and home insurance.
  • Additional services include expertise in towing, and tires, as well as assistance with fuel, battery jumps, and locksmith services.

CAA Car Insurance Nova Scotia

  • CAA Car Insurance offered through Munn Insurance, provides up to 20% off for CAA members.
  • It ensures a local, fast, and efficient 24/7 claims service.
  • Loyalty discounts are available for long-term members.
  • It includes a new vehicle 30-month depreciation waiver to enhance financial protection for newer cars.

How long does it take to get car insurance in Nova Scotia?

Getting car insurance in Nova Scotia is fast and extremely easy. Several companies let you compare and buy car insurance quotes online. You can use our free HelloSafe tool to get policies from some of Canada's biggest companies in Ontario and Quebec.

Calling or visiting an insurer or broker is also quick. You'd walk out of a meeting with them with proof of insurance in your pocket, that same day.

Expert advice

Make sure you have your driver's license, vehicle identification number and payment information on hand to speed up the process.

How to cancel car insurance in Nova Scotia?

The process to cancel a car insurance policy is simple, but when you do it matters most. Insurance contracts are annual agreements, and cancelling the contract before it's due for renewal usually means you’ll have to pay a fee.

Exactly how much the fee is will vary from company to company and policy to policy, but if the deal with the new insurer is good enough, it might be worth paying the fine and switching before the annual renewal period. Usually, the best time to switch insurance providers is right before the annual renewal.

Watch out!

You can’t drive a car without insurance. Always make sure the vehicle is insured for the entire period that it is registered to you. If you’re switching to a new insurer, figure out the new insurance before you cancel the old one.

Who can drive my car under my insurance in Nova Scotia?

Anyone with a driver’s license can drive your car as long as you give them your permission. Car insurance covers the car, not the person. So if you want to lend your car to a family or friend, you can do so with peace of mind. However, if that driver gets into an accident with your car, your driving record and insurance rates are affected.

Good to know

If someone drives your car regularly, you should add them to your policy as a secondary driver. This might even get them discounted rates if they get a new car insurance policy at a later period.

FAQs on Nova Scotia Car Insurance

How much is car insurance in Nova Scotia for a new driver?

Car insurance in Nova Scotia for a new driver typically costs between $1,200 and $2,500 per year. A new driver might pay about $1,800 annually for basic coverage. Premiums for new drivers are typically higher due to a lack of driving history and more likelihood of accidents and claims.

However, to reduce premiums, new drivers can consider taking a certified driver’s education course, choosing a car with a good safety record, and increasing their deductible.

Do you need insurance to register a car in Nova Scotia?

Yes, in Nova Scotia, you must have proof of car insurance to register a vehicle. Specifically, you need to show that you have a minimum of third-party liability coverage, which protects you in case you are responsible for causing injury or damage to another person or their property. This is a legal requirement and ensures that all drivers have financial protection in place while on the road.


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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.