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|Savings: $1,096 (29%)|
|Savings: $923 (35%)|
There are three things you need to know about Ontario car insurance:
1) Ontario law requires that all drivers have auto insurance.
It is a legal requirement for drivers in Ontario to obtain car insurance on their vehicle, but there are also minimal coverage types and conditions drivers must have, including third-party liability, statutory accident benefit, DC-PD, and uninsured automobile insurance. These requirements are baked into provincial providers' standard auto insurance policy coverages. Drivers can purchase additional coverage or optional coverages to provide more robust protection coverage to support their auto insurance needs.
2) Auto insurance in Ontario operates under a no-fault system.
Despite the name, no-fault insurance system does not mean that no one is at fault. Instead, drivers are required to go through their own insurance company when making a claim regardless of who is at fault in an accident.
3) Ontario car insurance also operates under a private insurance model.
Ontario drivers must purchase insurance policies directly from private insurance companies who compete for business like any other private business. You can purchase insurance from insurance brokers, insurance agents and direct writers, aka directly from the insurance providers. Shop the market and compare car insurance quotes today.
Auto insurance is mandatory in Ontario, but that doesn’t mean all vehicles and drivers are eligible for standard market car insurance. Some drivers may have to be covered under a high-risk insurance company. Here’s what you need to be eligible for standard market personal car insurance in Ontario.
Valid driver’s licence
Vehicle type & usage
Good legal standing
|Insurance type||Mandatory coverage||Optional/ Additional Coverage|
|Third-Party Liability||$200,000 minimum. Provides coverage in the event of a lawsuit resulting from an accident where you are at fault.||Coverage can be increased to $500,000, $1 million, or $2 million, with up to $2 million limit.|
|Direct Compensation-Property Damage (DC-PD)||Covers damage to your car, or loss of use of your vehicle, if someone else is at fault. Must involve another insured vehicle.||For additional vehicle coverage, including for when you are at-fault, consider collision coverage.|
|Uninsured Automobile Insurance||Provides up to $200,000 in coverage if you are injured or killed by an uninsured driver, or if your vehicle is damaged as a result of a hit-and-run by an unidentified, uninsured motorist.||Family Protection Coverage is an optional coverage that includes additional coverage of up to $1 million in the case of a hit-and-run by an uninsured motorist.|
|Statutory Accident Benefits||Provides coverage if you are injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Covers medical expenses that aren’t covered by OHIP.||Coverage limits can be increased.|
|Collision Coverage (Also Upset Coverage)||Optional||Covers the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle following a collision with another vehicle, an object, or property.|
|Comprehensive coverage||Optional||Covers damages caused by named perils identified under the Specified Perils coverage, as well as losses from other perils like falling or flying objects, theft, fire, hail, windstorms, missiles, and vandalism.|
|Specified Perils Coverage||Optional||Covers damages caused by named perils such as theft, attempted theft, explosions, natural disasters like fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, rising water, earthquakes, and other perils specified in your policy. Specified perils do not cover damages due to vandalism, breakage of glass, etc.|
|All-Perils Coverage||Optional||Combines collision/upset and comprehensive coverage. Also, provides additional protection if a household member or an employee steals your vehicle.|
|OPCF 20: Coverage for Transportation Replacement||Optional||Covers the cost of your transportation replacement and rental car insurance if you were to get into a car accident or if your vehicle is stolen.|
|OPCF 27: Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile(s)||Optional||Covers if you damage a borrowed or rental vehicle. The coverage limit is usually around $25,000 to $50,000.|
|OPCF 39: Accident Waiver/Forgiveness||Optional||Protect your premium from rising when you have your first at-fault accident.|
|OPCF 16: Suspension of coverage||Optional||This allows you to suspend your insurance coverage for 30 days or more during periods when you aren't using the car.|
|OPCF 43: Waiver of depreciation||Optional||Ensures your insurance company won't factor in depreciation when settling a claim; you will receive the amount you initially paid for the car.|
|OPCF 44R: Family protection coverage||Optional||Ensures your costs are covered if you and your family are involved in an accident with a driver with less liability insurance than you. This endorsement will cover the remainder.|
|OPCF 13C: Limited glass||Optional||For a lower premium, you can limit or exclude any coverage for glass damage that might've been in your policy.|
|OPCF 40: Fire and theft deductible||Optional||Adds a deductible (an amount you must pay before your insurance company chips in funds) for a theft or fire damage claim.|
The latest data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says that annual car insurance premiums in Ontario were about $1,655 for Ontarians, or $138 a month.
In late December 2021, Ontario car insurance premium is $1,555, or about $130 monthly, a 3.8% decrease from the previous year, based on RATESDOTCA data.
Ontario's car insurance regulator, the Financial Services Authority of Ontario, says the average premium was $1,659 annually or $138 monthly, as of June 2022
The emerging trendline fits with what we know is occurring in the broader Ontario insurance market. Rates fell in the first two years of the COVID pandemic but are now rising due to inflationary pressures and car usage returning to pre-pandemic levels.
However, the premium you end up being charged will likely differ from the average; whether it's higher or lower depends on your driving record and insurance history, the vehicle you drive, and where you live, among other factors. Drivers in urban areas tend to pay more than drivers in rural areas, for example.
Since car insurance prices in Ontario vary significantly, applying for quotes is the best way to determine how much car insurance will cost for you.
Ontario once again has the most expensive car insurance premium in Canada.
Drivers in Canada's most populous province pay an average of $1,655 annually in Ontario, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which surveils national trends in auto insurance prices.
In 2018, B.C. held the title, with residents paying an average of $1,832 annually.
Recent auto insurance reforms in the country have improved affordability: premiums fell by 14% to $1,582 per year.
The province with the second highest premium is now Alberta, where residents pay about $1,514 per year (an increase of 15% from 2018, when the average was $1,316).
According to the IBC’s figures, auto insurance rates in Ontario are almost 60% higher than Atlantic Canada's and over 90% higher than Quebec's.
There are several explanations for why Ontario's rates are the highest, and we'll explore the leading ones in the module below.
As for your best defence against rising car insurance prices? Regularly shopping around and comparing rates will ensure you're still getting the best deal on your auto insurance.
One of the driving factors is that there are simply more cars in Ontario.
There were close to 13 million vehicles registered in Ontario in 2019, compared to five million in Alberta and four million in B.C.
It’s simple math: the more cars on the road, the more claims insurers must settle.
And since insurance is a form of pooled risk, other people’s driving behaviour will impact your insurance premium.
Another contributor is Ontario’s auto insurance system. Ontario has a limited no-fault system, which means that drivers can access rich benefits from their insurance provider while also retaining the right to sue for damages in addition to their claims settlement.
In Ontario, drivers will get their liability and medical expenses covered by their own insurance company. Their own insurer will also directly compensate them to get repairs or to replace a car that was damaged by an accident the policyholder was not at fault for.
In pure no-fault systems, drivers get these benefits but do not have the right to sue for additional damages.
In Ontario, you can sue for pain and suffering and economic losses.
Lawsuits raise the cost of claims, which then force the insurers to raise auto insurance rates
Another culprit is fraud. Ontario is known as the capital of auto insurance fraud in Canada and 80% of fraud in the province occurs in the Greater Toronto Area. The prevalence of insurance fraud drives up claims costs and increases premiums for all drivers. Insurance fraud includes everything from exaggerating the extent of damages, faking collisions, to overbilling on services performed in the event of a claim. It comes from a wide cross-section of contributors, which makes it a complex issue for the province to deal with.
Climate change is also influencing Ontario car insurance rates. Though Ontario doesn’t severe weather as frequently as Atlantic and Western Canada, two summer storms in 2021 resulted in a combined $205 million in damage. Severe weather also increases the number of claims, which in turn affects everyone’s premiums.
The town or city you live in impacts your insurance rates, with smaller, rural municipalities posing less insurance risk than urban centres. For this reason, drivers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can expect to pay more than those in the country.
GTA drivers paid 70% more than those in rural Ontario, according to Ontario's car insurance regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).
As of June 2022, rural drivers paid $1,282 for car insurance, while GTA residents paid $2,214 per year.
RATESDOTCA data also uphold this trend: the cheapest cities for car insurance were Amherstview, Brockville, Iroquois, Martintown, Elizabethtown, Cornwall, Kingston, and Gananoque. Car insurance costs $1,132 per year in these cities as of late 2021, according to data obtained from RATESDOTCA's digital marketplace.
However, your city isn't the only thing that impacts your rate (even if it is a major one). Your driving and insurance histories, as well as the car you choose, contribute to the premiums you're offered and are all things you can control.
Your car insurance rate will be cheaper the further you live from an urban centre, where incidences of theft, fraud, and collision are higher. This is illustrated by RATESDOTCA’s Auto Insuramap, which displays premiums from forward sortation areas (FSAs) throughout Ontario. FSAs are geographical units denoted by the first three letters of your postal code.
As of late 2021, Ontario's highest car insurance premiums were all found in cities in the GTA. Vaughan took the top spot, with premiums costing $2,179 per year.
By comparison, the places with the cheapest premiums — $1,132 per year — were in eastern Ontario: Amherstview, Brockville, Iroquois, Martintown, Elizabethtown, Cornwall, Kingston, and Gananoque.
The premiums from Insuramap are estimates based on a 35-year-old male who drives a 2018 Honda Civic four-door with a clean driving record.
Find the average estimated car insurance rate for your postal code using the RATESDOTCA Auto Insuramap.
|Rank||City||2021 premium||2020 premium||YoY change|
|25||SAULT STE. MARIE||$1,398||$1,430||-2.20%|
|32||ST GEORGE BRANT||$1,368||$1,192||14.80%|
How much you pay for insurance depends a lot on your age. Drivers in their teens and early twenties, males especially, pay the highest car insurance premiums. Prices will begin to decrease by your mid-twenties, and the price gap between men and women usually resolves by age 30. Your rates take another dip in your fifties.
Base models tend to fetch lower insurance premiums than cars with luxury trim. This is because basic cars are cheaper to repair and replace. When shopping for a new car, remember to factor in insurance costs when deciding between make and models.
The place you call home affects your rates, down to your postal code. Insurance companies group drivers by geographic location and examine claims activity within those boundaries. Your neighbours affect your rate. More claims equal higher rates, while fewer claims equal lower rates.
Any conviction under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act will affect your premiums. Think speeding, driving under the influence, and driving without a license. In Ontario, convictions stay on your insurance record for six years, so protect your driving record.
Your insurance history is important. Traffic convictions have a large impact on your insurance history. Failure to pay your premiums on time — or not at all — will also destroy your credibility with your insurer and lead to a massive increase in your premium. It can also result in the cancellation of your policy, which will make finding cheap insurance with another provider nearly impossible.
Another thing that can trigger cancellation driving for a rideshare app without informing your insurer. All rideshare apps offer commercial insurance to drivers, but you're still obligated to let the provider of your personal policy know about your intention to start a new side hustle.
Certain forms of auto insurance coverage are mandatory in Ontario — liability, accident, uninsured driver, and property damage — but you can choose to enhance your policy with a range of products. Adding them will raise your premium. Optional auto insurance in Ontario includes several products that reimburse you for physical damage to your car by circumstances that are not covered in a standard policy. Another form of optional insurance includes endorsements, which are special contracts that amend a standard policy. For example, some endorsements will protect your premium from rising after your first at-fault accident, and there are ones that ensure depreciation won't be deducted from a claims settlement.
A deductible is an amount you agree to pay before your insurance company chips in. Insurers will lower your premium if you increase a deductible since you’re demonstrating that you're willing to shoulder a greater portion of the cost.
Insurance companies will reward you for giving them more business by bundling your home and auto policies.
In Ontario, insurance companies are allowed to consider your gender and marital status when calculating your premium. Men are viewed as riskier to insure, and their premiums tend to be higher than women's. Nonbinary drivers are offered female rates. Married drivers are perceived as being at lower risk to insure, which might benefit their premium.
Insurance companies have to ensure they have enough in their coffers to meet their obligations to policyholders in the present and future. That’s why insurance companies are among the most fiscally conservative businesses in the financial marketplace. If insurers see that claim settlements are outpacing revenue from premiums (the relationship is tracked using a metric known as the ‘combined ratio’), they will their customers' increase rates.
Driver: Female, 28 and Male, 29
From: Ajax, Ontario
Driving: 2012 Toyota Corolla
Driver: Female, 47
From: Toronto, Ontario
Driving: 2007 Jeep Patriot
Driver: Female, 29
From: Guelph, Ontario
Driving: 2010 Nissan Versa
Driver: Male, 27
From: Whitby, Ontario
Driving: 2011 BMW 328i
Driver: Female, 42
From: Newmarket, Ontario
Driving: 2014 Toyota RAV4
Driver: Male, 24
From: London, Ontario
Driving: 2016 Mazda 3i Sport
If you are involved in an accident resulting in injury or damage, you must report it to a police collision reporting centre within 24 hours and within seven days to your insurance company to file an auto insurance claim, no matter who is at fault. Failure to do so could result in your insurance company not honouring your claim. As a best practice, you should report your accident as soon as possible, though final cut-off times may vary by provider.
Once you report the accident to your insurance company and file a claim, an insurance claims adjuster will be assigned to your case to determine fault. In the insurance world, someone is always partially or fully at fault. This is so insurance companies can determine who pays what damages and that the at-fault driver's premiums are reflected accordingly. Insurance companies base this decision on the Fault Determination Rules, a legal insurance act governed by the Province of Ontario.
Once the fault is determined, payouts will be processed. If you are at fault, your rates may increase upon renewal. If you disagree with the outcome of an insurance investigation, you can contact the claims manager or the insurance company ombudsperson to help you resolve the issue. The name of the insurance company ombudsperson is usually listed on the company website as well as with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). This is the governing body that oversees auto insurance in Ontario.
The following data is taken from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the General Insurance Statistical Agency (GISA), the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), and the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA) provincial comparison report.
|Year||Average Ontario car insurance premium|
|2022 (as of Oct)||$1,674|
Each quarter, insurers can apply to have their rates increased or decreased. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) oversees insurance in the province and approves or denies these requests. Ontario car insurance rates change frequently, and claims activity is usually the catalyst. Premiums will typically follow when claim costs go up (or down). There are other factors, too, like introducing new discounts (like Ontario’s winter tire discount) or when benefit coverages or options change, to name just a few examples.
FSRA can also order auto insurance companies in Ontario to apply to adjust their rates, such as in the event of auto reform. FSRA states that proposed rate changes must be just, reasonable, not excessive, and "not going to impair a company's financial solvency." Changes in rates are posted within days of approval, and while sometimes only a small number of insurers change their rate, other times many do.
The table below, featuring FSRA's approved quarterly changes*, shows how often rates change and highlights why comparing car insurance rates is imperative for saving money on your Ontario auto insurance.
|Quarter||Overall rate change %**||Largest decrease %||Largest increase %|
Source: Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
Ontario car insurance rates are on the rebound after seven consecutive quarters of little to no change. The rates were static during 2020 and 2021, as pandemic conditions significantly altered our collective driving habits. There were fewer collisions, drivers decreased their coverage, and insurance companies issued base rate reductions, pandemic discounts and rebates.
The reversal started in the spring of 2022, and it may only be the beginning. Due to how Ontario’s auto insurance system works, insurance prices are still catching up with record inflation. Providers file a request to change rates and wait for regulatory approval. Then, there's usually a lag between when a new rate is approved and when they start applying it to customers. Because of this, insurance rates are considered a 'lagging' economic indicator, a term used to describe metrics that confirm a pattern.
If your car insurance policy is renewing soon and you're concerned about rising prices, shopping around and comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies is recommended by Ontario’s regulator of car insurance prices, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), as well as the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), the federal government's consumer watchdog.
* Overall market impact is based on the renewal effective date
** 2022 and 2023 overall market impact is calculated using 2021 market share.
Ontario drivers have a lot of car insurance providers to choose from.
More than 100 insurance brands operate in the province, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. To give you a sense of the scale of Ontario's market, the IBC says the total number of operational property and casualty insurance companies was 192 in 2021. That means approximately 50% of all property and casualty companies in Canada operate in Ontario.
However, most car insurance brands you recognize are owned by parent companies ("insurer groups").
When looking at market share (a business metric that measures a company's sales to the total sales within a particular industry), 84% of car insurance sales can be traced to 13 parent companies. The top 10 make up 79% of all sales.
For a while now, mergers and acquisitions have been a popular way for large insurance companies to grow even larger. Industry experts foresee the trend continuing for many more years.
That may sound off alarm bells for Canadians, who are all too familiar with the impact consolidation has on phone and Internet prices.
So, do Ontarians merely have the illusion of choice when it comes to insurance providers? No.
Insurance brands owned by larger companies often have their own underwriting standards. Translated, this means they cater to different clientele.
For instance, Intact Insurance is a mainstream car insurance provider, but it purchased Jevco, one of Ontario's leading non-standard insurance providers.
Still, given how Ontario's car insurance market is composed, it's still a good idea to shop around for car insurance to find savings.
See below to learn which group owns which insurance brand.
In 2021, Intact Insurance had a market share of 17.5% in Ontario. The following brands fall under the Intact umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed after their name.
In 2021, Desjardins had a market share of 15.7% in Ontario. The following brands fall under the Desjardins umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
In 2021, TD Insurance's share of the Ontario auto insurance market was 10.4%. The following brands fall under the TD umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
In 2021, Aviva's market share in Ontario was 8.6%. The following brands fall under the Aviva umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
In 2021, Allstate had a market share of 8.6% in Ontario. The following brands fall under the Allstate umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
In 2021, The Co-operators had a market share of 7.8% in Ontario. The following brands fall under The Co-operators umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
In 2021, Definity Group controlled 7.8% of the Ontario auto insurance market. The following brands fall under the Definity Group umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
In 2021, CAA controlled 4.4% of the Ontario auto insurance market. The following brands fall under the CAA umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
In 2021, Travelers controlled 3% of the Ontario auto insurance market. The following brands fall under the Travelers umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
In 2021, Wawanesa controlled 3% of the Ontario auto insurance market. The following brands fall under the Wawanesa umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
In 2021, RSA Canada controlled 2.3% of the Ontario auto insurance market. The following brands fall under the RSA Canada umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
In 2021, Gore Mutual controlled 1.6% of the Ontario auto insurance market. It does not own any other brands.
In 2021, Northbridge Insurance controlled 1.5% of the Ontario auto insurance market. The following brands fall under the Northbridge umbrella. Individual market share data for 2021 is listed beside the insurer's name.
While we talk a lot about how responsible driving habits will bring down your car insurance premiums, it's also worth mentioning that the type of car you get has an impact.
Insurance companies collect masses of statistics about a car's ability to withstand a collision and protect passengers and how vulnerable it might be to theft. The results influence your premium: the safer and less attractive to thieves, the cheaper the premium.
Every vehicle category has a make and model that stands out in affordability compared to others in the same class. A recent survey by RATESDOTCA breaks down the most affordable cars by body type, popularity, and retail price.
These are popular car models in Canada in 2022 that are also cheap to insure. In order from most to least affordable, we have:
GMC Sierra 1500 (2WD)
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (2WD)
Ford F-150 XL (2WD)
Ram Pickup 1500 (2WD)
Hyundai Kona Essential
Honda CR-V LX
Nissan Rogue S
Toyota RAV4 LE
Toyota Corolla L
Honda Civic LX
Ontario is a no-fault insurance province, and while this might sound like it means no one will be found at fault in the event of a collision, it means something altogether different.
What no-fault actually means is if you are injured in an accident, or your vehicle is damaged, then you deal with your own insurance company when making a claim. By going through your own insurer, you get the financial help you need right away—whether it's for injuries you sustained or for fixing your damaged vehicle—instead of waiting for your insurer and the other drivers' insurers to decide who was to blame for the incident before paying out benefits.
For more information, please review our guide on The Truth About No-Fault Insurance.
By law, you must carry proof of auto insurance with you when you’re driving, even if you’re not the owner of the car.
Proof of insurance must be stored in the car at all times. If you’re lending someone your car, you must make sure they know the location of the certificate or transfer a digital copy to them.
The fines for not being able to show insurance when stopped by police ranges from $50 to $500 plus surcharges.
A charge of failing to surrender insurance is a separate offence from not having insurance in the first place, or falsifying insurance (the penalty for those ranges from $5,000 to $50,000, plus having your licence suspended and car impounded).
The following forms of proof are acceptable, according to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA):
*Shoppers in Ontario who obtained a quote on InsuranceHotline.com from October to December 2021 saved an average of $744 per year. The average savings represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of the second and third lowest quoted premiums generated by InsuranceHotline.com.