Some of the most common questions Ontario drivers ask us about car insurance
There is no doubt about it; Ontario car insurance is expensive. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), auto insurance rates in Ontario are 45 per cent higher than in Alberta, and about twice as high as the Maritime provinces. One of the main culprits often blamed for the high rates Ontario drivers pay is the prevalence of insurance fraud that 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.
Ontario is the capital of auto insurance fraud in Canada. The provincial government has long vowed to change this, but so far efforts have not reached the 15 per cent reduction in auto insurance rates promised in previous elections. In December 2017, the province announced plans to make car insurance more affordable by introducing the Fair Auto Insurance plan, which includes reforms to address insurance fraud in Ontario. This includes the launch of the Serious Fraud Office to investigate fraud further.
As fraud drives up costs for all drivers, your best defence is to regularly shop around and compare rates to ensure you're still getting the best deal on your auto insurance.
There’s no one insurance company that offers everyone the best rates. Auto insurance premiums for the exact same coverage can vary substantially from one insurance company to another for a variety of reasons. It all depends on things like the insurer’s claims experience and how they rate you as a driver. To find the company that offers you the best rate and coverage, you’ll have to shop around and compare quotes.
The cost of car insurance in Ontario varies significantly, and the best way to determine how much car insurance will cost you is to compare rates. Every driver’s situation is unique, and by comparing quotes customized specifically to you, you'll see not only the range of quotes available to you, but also how much you can save on your car insurance!
Most of what you’ll need to get a quote, you’ll know off the top of your head. For example, the make, model and year of the vehicle you drive. Additional information you’ll be asked about includes:
If you don’t know exact dates or details, your best estimate will do initially. But remember, the rates are only as accurate as the details you provide, so if any information changes, your rate may change too.
No matter where you are in Canada, if you plan to drive you must have auto insurance. But, while this law is consistent coast-to-coast, how you get the coverage you need is not.
The Quebec auto insurance model is a bit different; some components of a Quebec driver’s coverage are rolled into their driver’s licence and vehicle registration fees, while other components must be purchased from a private insurer.
In British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, coverage must be purchased through a government-run agency.
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 really 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.
In Ontario, drivers must be 16-years-old to obtain a driver's licence. The province operates under a graduated system that has three levels of classification. The first is a G1 licence. This is a written test that drivers must pass. A driver with a G1 class license can operate a vehicle only when driving with a fully-licensed G driver in the passenger seat. A G1 is essentially a learner's permit. Typically people with a G1 license practice driving with someone else's vehicle and would typically be covered under that person's auto insurance policy. To learn more about G1 licence requirements and restrictions click here.
After one year, drivers can take a driving test to obtain their G2 licence. This licence allows drivers to operate a vehicle without accompaniment from a fully-licensed driver. However, there are conditions and restrictions to this licence as well. Depending on the situation, a G2 driver may be added as an occasional driver to an existing policy, or may have their own policy if they own a vehicle. To learn more about what's involved in a G2 licence in Ontario, click here.
Finally, drivers can take further testing to become a fully-licensed G class driver. The graduated licensing process takes about 20 months in total to complete. Whether you have a G2 or a G licence, if you have your own vehicle you must have an auto insurance policy as it is illegal to operate a vehicle in Ontario without valid car insurance. Hot tip: Drivers who take an accredited drivers training program may be eligible for significant savings on their auto insurance. Check the Ministry of Transportation to find out which programs qualify and start saving today!
The standard auto insurance policy in Ontario is comprised of four mandatory components. There are also several optional coverages that you can add to enhance your auto insurance coverage.
Collision and comprehensive are the two most common optional coverages drivers choose to add to their auto insurance policies. Both types cover costs associated with fixing your vehicle if damaged. Collision covers damages resulting from an accident, while comprehensive coverage covers damages caused by vandalism, theft, hail and similar named perils.
Every Ontario auto insurance policy includes the following various types of mandatory car insurance coverages:
There are a lot of factors that go into what you pay for your car insurance coverage like:
Auto insurance rates often change, and it usually boils down to the insurance company’s claims costs. When claims costs go up (or down), typically premiums will follow. There are other factors too, like the introduction of new discounts (e.g. winter tire discount) or when benefit coverages or options change, to name just a few recent examples.
Ontario auto insurance companies cannot increase, or decrease, their rates on a whim. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), a regulatory agency of the Ministry of Finance, must approve changes to auto insurance rates. Every three months, FSCO releases the rate changes they’ve approved, and while sometimes only a handful of insurers change their rate, other times many do.
“Consumers are urged to shop around for auto insurance,” says FSCO every quarter in its report. “Ontario has a very competitive marketplace.”
Any time Ontario auto insurance rates change is an opportunity to save money on your premiums. Rates do not uniformly increase, or decrease, across the board. That’s why it’s important to compare rates regularly. Don’t wait until it’s time to renew to see if you could be saving money. Compare rates, at minimum on renewal, but also when your marital status changes, you move, or buy a new car.
When it comes to auto insurance, especially auto insurance in Ontario, many people question whether or not there’s really a way to save money on it. There is! While there are many ways to save, none are more effective than shopping around. How can we be so sure? Well, on average, InsuranceHotline.com shoppers save $450* after comparing car insurance quotes with us. And, all it takes is a few minutes to compare quotes from our network of over 30 insurance providers.
We know you'd rather spend your time with your family than calling around to get quotes, so our service does it for you—and fast! See for yourself by comparing rates today.
|Intact Insurance Company||$1983|
|Dominion of Canada||$1986|
|Range of quotes $298|
|Dominion of Canada||$1496|
|Range of quotes $168|
|Western Assurance Company||$589|
|Range of quotes $85|
|Pembridge Insurance Company||$3042|
|Range of quotes $1403|
Each quarter, insurers can apply to have their rates increased or decreased. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), which oversees insurance regulation in the province, 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.
FSCO can also order insurers to apply to adjust their rates, such as in the event of auto reform. According to FSCO, proposed rate changes must be just and reasonable; not excessive; and "not going to impair a company's financial solvency."
This table featuring FSCO's approved quarterly changes shows how often rates change and highlights why regularly comparing car insurance rates is so imperative to saving money on your Ontario auto insurance. These rates can be found at fsco.gov.on.ca.
As a driver, you can't control these particular changes, but you can control maintaining a clean driving record. Next to comparing rates, this is the best way to keep your auto insurance rates down. However, note that your rates can also increase or decrease if you move, change your commuting time, get a new vehicle, add another driver to your policy, and so on.
There are numerous variables at play, but comparing rates is hands down the easiest way to get cheaper Ontario car insurance.
On average, shoppers save $450 after comparing car insurance quotes with us.
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Ontario paved the way for ride-share insurance in Canada by becoming one of the first provinces to introduce insurance products specifically for Uber drivers, and now for Lyft and other ride-sharing platforms. Several insurance companies now offer this type of coverage as ride-sharing increases in popularity, especially in dense urban areas such as Toronto.
These policies are unique because ride-share drivers are in a unique position. You use your personal vehicle for business purposes, blurring the lines between commercial and personal auto insurance coverage. Ride-share insurance was created to fill that gap. To learn more about insurance for Uber drivers and similar ride-sharing programs, visit our ride-share insurance page here.
Average savings unlocked by Ontario drivers in 2017: $145
Average premium paid by Ontario drivers in 2017: $1,952
Most popular vehicle for married couples in Ontario: 2017 Toyota Corolla
Most popular vehicle for single people in Ontario: 2017 Honda Civic
Percentage of Ontario drivers that have not had an accident in the past 10 years: 88%
Compare car insurance quotes today; it’s the best way to lower your car insurance rate and find a policy that fits your needs best.
* For consumers who saved on IH, the average savings from Jan 2017 to Dec 2017 was $450. The average savings amount represents the difference between the consumers' recorded current premium and the lowest premium generated by InsuranceHotline.com.