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|Savings: $2,312 (54%)|
|Savings: $1,075 (37%)|
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 trendline that emerges 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 on the rise again due to car usage returning to pre-pandemic levels and, most of all, inflationary pressures.
However, the premium you end up being charged will likely differ from the average; higher or lower depends on your driving record and insurance history, the vehicle you drive, where you live, and several other factors. Drivers who live in urban areas tend to pay more than drivers who live in rural areas, for example.
Since car insurance price in Ontario varies significantly, comparing rates is the best way to determine how much car insurance will cost you. Every driver's situation is unique, and by comparing quotes customized specifically to you, you'll see the range of quotes available to you and how much you can save on your car insurance.
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 a lot of 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.
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 does impact your insurance rates, with smaller, rural municipalities considered less of an insurance risk than urban centres. For this reason, drivers living 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 upholds this trend: the cheapest cities for car insurance were Amherstview, Brockville, Iroquois, Martintown, Elizabethtown, Cornwall, Kingston, and Gananoque. Car insurance cost $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 personal driving and insurance histories, as well as the car you choose, contribute to the premiums you're offered and are all things you can exert control over.
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 begin to decrease by the mid-twenties, and the price gap between men and women levels out by age 30. Your rates take another dip in your fifties.
Base model cars tend to fetch lower insurance premiums than ones 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 ones.
Any convictions 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 — if 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 kicks in with the benefit detailed in your policy. 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 their policyholders in the present and in the future. That’s why insurance companies are one of the most fiscally conservative entities in the financial marketplace. If insurers observe that they’re paying out more claims than what they’re taking in from payments (tracked using a metric known as the ‘combined ratio’), they will need to increase premiums for their customers.
Saving on car insurance is easier than you think. These 10 tips help ensure you’re getting the cheapest Ontario car insurance rate:
Rates often change. In Ontario, changes to car insurance rates are approved every three months. Depending on the quarter, just a few insurers might increase or decrease their rates. Sometimes dozens do!
Most car insurance policies default to a $500 deductible, which is the amount you pay in the event of a claim. Increase yours to $1,000 and you're looking at saving five to 10 percent on your car insurance.
Paying your premiums all at once instead of once a month can avoid those pesky administrative fees that typically accompany monthly payments.
Bundle your home insurance and car insurance policies together (multi-line discount) under one insurance provider to save five to 15 percent.
More cars under the same policy equals more savings on each policy. If you have more than one set of wheels, save up to 10 to 20 percent by insuring them on the same policy.
In Ontario, if you have (and install) winter tires, you will qualify for a discount of up to five percent.
Double check your coverages every year. If you no longer need certain protection, removing it from your policy is one way to reduce costs.
Install a telematics device in your vehicle to save money with good driving habits. Ask your insurer for more information.
In Ontario, union members and university alumni are often eligible for insurance discounts. Ask your provider about group discounts they offer and see what you may qualify for.
Are you a young or new driver, or are you adding one to your policy? Encourage them to enroll in an accredited driver's training school. The money you'll save on insurance typically offsets the cost of the training within in the first year.
Each quarter, insurers can apply to have their rates increased or decreased. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), formerly known as the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), oversees insurance regulation in the province and approves or denies these requests. Most of the time, insurers request rate increases due to changes in a particular coverage. For example, an insurer experiencing an increased prevalence in payouts resulting from car accidents might apply to have rates increased to help offset the costs of increased claims.
FSRA can also order auto insurance companies in Ontario to apply to adjust their rates, such as in the event of auto reform. According to FSRA, 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.
This table featuring FSRA's approved quarterly changes shows how often rates change and highlights why regularly comparing car insurance rates is imperative to saving money on your Ontario auto insurance. These rates can be found at https://www.fsrao.ca/.
|Quarter||Overall Rate Change %||Biggest Rate Decrease %||Biggest Rate Increase %|
Ontario car insurance rates often change, and it usually boils down to the insurance company’s claims costs. When claims costs go up (or down), premiums will typically follow. There are other factors too, like the introduction of new discounts (e.g. Ontario’s winter tire discount) or when benefit coverages or options change, to name just a few examples.
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 June)||$1659.00|
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 a 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 there costing $2,179 per year.
By comparison, the places with the cheapest premiums of all — $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%|
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.
*Based on the difference between the average lowest auto insurance premium and overall average auto insurance premium from our site in 2019.