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Not only is it a legal requirement for drivers in Ontario to obtain car insurance on their vehicle, but there are also minimal coverage types and requirements drivers must have, including third-party liability, statutory accident benefit, DC-PD, and uninsured automobile insurance. These requirements are baked into the standard auto insurance policy coverages offered by provincial providers. Drivers can choose to purchase additional coverage, or optional coverages, to provide themselves with more robust protection coverage to support their auto insurance needs.
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.
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.
Some of the most common questions Ontario drivers ask us about car insurance
Ontario once had the most expensive car insurance premium in Canada, but that title now goes to B.C, with residents paying an average of $1,832 annually. Still Ontario car insurance is expensive with residents paying an average of $1,505 annually, the second highest in the country.
One of the main culprits for the high rates Ontario drivers pay is because the province is known as the capital of auto insurance fraud in Canada. 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.
As fraud increases costs for all Ontario drivers, your best defense is to regularly shop around and compare rates to ensure you're still getting the best deal on your auto insurance.
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 GTA can expect to pay more than those in the country. Base on RATESDOTCA's Insuramap data, Kingston, Napanee, Port Hope, Cobourg and Brockville have the cheapest car insurance rate compare to other cities in GTA. However, your postal code is not the only factor to influence your insurance rates and you can find out what else impacts your rate.
Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) assesses the safety features of hundreds of vehicles. They release a list of top safety picks, which insurers look to when evaluating car insurance rates. Generally, safer cars have cheaper premiums.
Based on internal data, the following cars are the cheapest to insure in Ontario:
1. Kia Sorento
2. Mazda CX-5
3. Hyundai Tucson
4. Hyundai Kona
5. Toyota Corolla
6. Kia Forte
7. Honda CR-V
8. Honda Civic
9. Hyundai Elantra
10. Toyota RAV4
As expected, they are all IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award winners. Remember though, driving one of these models does not guarantee cheap insurance. To get the best rates, practice defensive driving and maintain a clean driving record.
For more information on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and our case study methodology, check out our recent article on the cheapest cars to insure in Ontario.
Auto insurance premiums for the exact same coverage can vary substantially between insurance companies for a variety of reasons, including factors like the insurer's claims experience and how they rate you as a driver.
While there's no one auto insurance company that offers everyone the best rates, 2020 has seen a change in many companies to help their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the biggest auto insurance companies have offered financial support from flexibility payments, premium reductions or even one-time payments covering a certain percentage of a monthly premium. This support is mainly for policyholders who are driving less due to the lockdown restrictions. Here is a list of insurance companies that are offering assistance.
The average annual car insurance premium in Ontario is approximately $1,651, according to Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRAO) as of March 2021.
However, the average premium can vary greatly depending on your personal driving record and insurance history, the vehicle you drive, where you live, and a number of other factors. Drivers who live in urban areas tend to pay more than drivers who live in rural areas, for example.
Since car insurance in Ontario varies significantly, 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.
Yes, car insurance is mandatory in order to legally drive in Ontario. Vehicles must have insurance or else drivers risk serious fines starting at $5,000 upon a first conviction. Drivers must purchase coverage from a private insurance company. The same is true for drivers in Alberta, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
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.
For more information on this, please review our guide on The Truth About No-Fault Insurance.
Collision and comprehensive coverages 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.
Accident forgiveness is a type of car insurance coverage that allows drivers to have one at-fault accident (their first) without seeing an increase in their car insurance premiums. Typically, if a driver is found to be at-fault in a major accident it’s guaranteed they’ll see their premiums increase since they are now considered higher-risk. However, some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness as a way to acknowledge that sometimes good drivers make mistakes.
You are not automatically covered for accident forgiveness, and there are limitations to this type of coverage:
In Ontario, insurers cannot increase your premiums for minor at-fault accidents where the following occurred. nobody was hurt there was less than $2,000 in damages to each vehicle, there was no insurance payout and any damages were paid for by the at fault driver. this is limited to one occurrence every three years. Thus, accident forgiveness coverage is meant more for first-time accidents that cause more significant damage.
Be sure you fully understand your accident forgiveness coverage and limitations, as you wouldn’t want any surprises in the event of an accident.
When determining your auto insurance rate, insurance companies look at a number of variables, including:
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), typically premiums will 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.
Ontario auto insurance companies cannot increase, or decrease, their rates on a whim though. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), formerly the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), is a regulatory agency of the Ministry of Finance and must approve changes to auto insurance rates. 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.
If you are involved in an accident resulting in injury or damage, you must report it to your insurance representative to file an auto insurance claim within seven days, 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 that 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 fault is determined, payouts will be processed. If you are found to be 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 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.
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.
Ontario auto insurance policies are standardized and comprised of four mandatory types of car insurance coverage. All four of these types of car insurance coverage are included in a basic car insurance policy.
When comparing quotes, keep in mind that unless you’ve indicated additional coverage, all quotes provided are for standard auto insurance coverage. You always have the option to increase your coverage amounts and purchase additional car insurance coverage as well. When adding things to your policy, it is likely your quote will change to reflect this coverage.
Provides coverage in the event someone is injured or killed in an accident, or their property is damaged, resulting in a lawsuit. Liability insurance covers the costs of settling these claims up to your coverage amount.
Mandatory minimum coverage amount: $200,000 minimum, but higher amounts often recommended.
Provides coverage for a number of benefits in the event you are injured in an automobile accident, regardless of who is at fault. These benefits cover medical expenses such as physiotherapy and other expenses not covered by OHIP. All maximum payouts are subject to eligibility as outlined in your car insurance policy. You can purchase additional coverage for most of these Statutory Accident Benefits.
Covers damage to your vehicle or loss of use of your vehicle and its contents in the event another person is at fault. There are additional caveats to this type of coverage. The accident must have happened in Ontario and involved at least one other insured vehicle.
If you are seeking additional coverage for your vehicle, you’ll want to purchase collision insurance.
No defined mandatory amount. This type of coverage is for your vehicle so long as it meets eligibility.
Provides coverage in the event you are injured or killed by an uninsured driver or as the result of a hit-and-run. Can also cover damage to your vehicle if caused by an identified uninsured driver. See Statutory Accident Benefits coverage above.
In addition to increasing coverage amounts for third-party liability insurance and statutory accident benefits, there are also a number of different types of optional insurance coverages you can add to protect your vehicle, the most common being collision and comprehensive car insurance coverage.
Please note that these optional coverages may have their own deductibles.
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), 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.
FSRA can also order insurers to apply to adjust their rates, such as in the event of auto reform. According to FSRA, proposed rate changes must be just and reasonable; not excessive; and "not going to impair a company's financial solvency."
This table featuring FSRA'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 https://www.fsrao.ca/.
|Quarter||Overall Rate Change %||Biggest Rate Decrease %||Biggest Rate Increase %|
In response to COVID-19, Ontario auto insurers reported that consumers have been eligible for close to $1 billion in relief.
The consumer relief has been made available for 90% of all car insurance consumers across Ontario and there’s been an increase of over 1.5 million consumers since April.
Some ways insurers are offering consumer relief:
Of course, the relief varies from insurer to insurer, so if you want to find out what kind of relief you can get, contact your insurer.
The following data is taken from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the General Insurance Statistical Agency (GISA) and the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA) provincial comparison report.
|Year||Average Ontario car insurance premium|
Compare car insurance quotes and start saving today. Ontario drivers can save millions of dollars on their auto insurance rates. Get a quote that is 26% less than the average market rate.*
*Shoppers in Ontario who obtained a quote on InsuranceHotline.com from October to December 2021 saved an average of 21% per year. The average savings percentage represents the difference between shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of the second and third lowest quoted premiums generated by InsuranceHotline.com.