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How Much Do Ontarians Pay for Car Insurance?

Ontario drivers pay, by far, higher auto insurance rates than drivers in other provinces. In fact, an Ontario driver pays approximately two times more for his/her car insurance than a driver in Nova Scotia.

There are many reasons as to why the costs are so high, and what can be done to reduce car insurance rates.

The most common reasons are the high-levels of insurance fraud in the province, the hybrid car insurance apporach (as opposed to the tort approach), and the intense traffic in many locations such as Toronto and GTA, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, etc.

Comparing car insurance quotes in Ontario and finding the best rate is a priority for drivers in this province. That‘s how rates across Canadian provinces look like with Ontario being in lead.

AB BC MB NB NFL NS ON PEI QC SK
$1,476 $1,113 $1,027 $1,123 $749 $906 $1,878 $649 $863 $1,049

How do Car Insurance Rates Looks Across Various Locations in Ontario?

An overview below shows the ballpark of insurance rates for different locations in Ontario based on insights shared via the insurance aggegator platform, Kanetix. The most expensive locations are Brampton, parts of Scarborough (Toronto), Vaughan, Richmond Hill, parts of Mississauga.

Location From ($ per year) To ($ per year) Level of car insurance rates
Barrie $1,200 $1,500 Low
Brampton $2,100 $2,700 Very High
Hamilton $1,500 $2,100 Medium
Kingston $900 $1,200 Very Low
London $1,500 $1,800 Low
Mississauga $1,500 $2,400 High
Oshava $1,500 $1,800 Low
Ottawa $900 $1,200 Very Low
Richmond Hill $1,500 $2,400 High
Sarnia  $900 $1,200  Very Low
Toronto  $1,500 $2,400  High
Thunder Bay  $900 $1,200  Very Low

You might consider this data if you are thinking about moving. For example, moving to Brampton will automatically mean a significant spike in your insruance rates.

What Shoud I Know about Auto Insurance in Ontario?

There are many things you should know about car insurance in Ontario. We‘ve broken it down for you in the table below.

You, as a driver, suffered a neck injury and require extensive medical rehab to get back in shape.​

Your car has serious frontal damage, including damage to the engine and the entire powertrain system.​

Coverage that pays for various risks other than collision (also called perils) such as theft, fire, hail, flooding, tornado, etc.​

Normally, the entire cost of your vehicle will be covered, including car upgrades. Specified perils coverage covers costs resulting from theft, fire, etc. All perils coverage covers costs both from collision protection and comprehensive coverage.​

Insurance Brief description Limits Is it mandatory? Example

Liability (also called 3rd Party Liability)

Liability covers any damages you inflict on another party’s property or health.

In Ontario, this can also be connected with legal costs and settlements if the other party decides to sue.

By law, every car insurance policy in Ontario has $200,000 in liability coverage. It sounds like a lot, but you actually need more to cover serious accidents and your liability.

We recommend $2,000,000 to cover possible legal costs and serious damages.

YES You had an at-fault collision with another vehicle and the driver of that vehicle has been seriously injured or disabled.

In this case you can be sued for all associated costs, including the lost income of the disabled person.

Accident benefits Coverage that pays for medical treatment (medical rehab and attendant care benefits), caregiver benefits, income replacement benefits, some housekeeping expenses (for catastrophic injuries only) and, if necessary, death and final expenses.

This can include both a driver and passengers.

By Law

  • Medical rehab, non-catastrophic injuries): $65,000 and $1,000,000 for catastrophic;
  • Caregiver benefits (for catastrophic injuries only): max  $250/week for the first dependent and an extra $50/week for each additional dependant;
  • Income benefits: 70% of your gross income with max of $400/week;
  • Housekeeping (only for catastrophic injuries): $100/week;
  • Death and final expenses: $25,000 payable for your spouse, $10,000 for each dependent and $6,000 for funeral expenses.

Recommended

  • Medical, all injuries – at least up to $1,000,000 for all injuries;
  • Caregiver benefits – can be extended to all types of injuries, both catastrophic and non-catastrophic
  • Income benefits: can be increased up to $600 - $1,000 per week;
  • Housekeeping – can be extended to include all types of injuries, both catastrophic and non-catastrophic;
  • Death and final expenses: can be increased up to $50,000 payable for your spouse, $20,000 for each dependent and $8,000 for funeral expenses.
YES You, as a driver, suffered a neck injury and require extensive medical rehab to get back in shape.

Furthermore you are not able to work during the next few months, and you lose your income.

 

Physical damage or collision

Coverage that pays for car damages in a case of an accident involving a collision with another vehicle or an object.

This is an optional coverage that you might not buy (e.g. if your vehicle old and is not worth repairing.

Normally the entire cost of your vehicle will be covered, including upgrades.

The policy typically covers costs to repair your car or total loss costs, if you damaged the vehicle in a way that cannot be repaired.

UP TO YOU Your car has serious frontal damage, including damage to the engine and the entire powertrain system.

In this case it would be more expensive to repair the car than to pay the cost of a comparable car (your vehicle will be written off).

Comprehensive coverage 

Coverage that pays for various risks other than collision (also called perils) such as theft, fire, hail, flooding, tornado, etc. Normally, the entire cost of your vehicle will be covered, including car upgrades. Specified perils coverage covers costs resulting from theft, fire, etc. All perils coverage covers costs both from collision protection and comprehensive coverage. UP TO YOU Your truck was damaged by an unexpected hailstorm.

There are other components of vehicle insurance in Ontario that you need to consider, such as uninsured automobile/hit-and-run coverage, the option of getting a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired, first-accident-forgivenss, dependent care benefits, indexation benefits and more.

How Does Insurance Work In Ontario?

Overall, the way insurance works is different across various Canadian provinces. The approach varies from an entirely no-fault system (Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) to an at-fault approach, also called tort (Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador). Mixed approaches, also called hybrid ones, exist as well in Ontario, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Approach No-Fault Hybrid or Mixed At-Fault / Tort
Provinces, examples QC, SK, MB ON, NS PEI AB, BC, NFL
How does it work?
  • The insurance company of each involved party pays even if one party is at-fault
  • None of the parties can sue other party
  • Can vary across different provinces
  • In Ontario, the insurance company of each party pays even if one party is at-fault
  • In some provinces, one party can sue the other party
  • The insurance of the driver who is at-fault pays
  • One party can sue the other party

Which Companies can Operate in Ontario?

Most privately owned companies operate in Ontario, unlike in several Western provinces (see below) where crown corporations have the monopoly for basic car insurance, meaning that only additional benefits can be offered by private insurers in these provinces.

Approach Crown Corporations Private Companies
Provinces, examples BC, MB, SK All other provinces including Ontario
Which companies operate in these provinces
  • Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)
  • Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)
  • Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI)
  • Nearly one hundred private insurance companies
  • Examples of the largest companies: Aviva, Intact, RSA, TD Insurance, Economical Insurance, and many others

Auto Insurance and Winter Tires in Ontario

Winter tires are not mandatory in Ontario, but are highly recommended due to driving conditons in winter months. Even in Toronto, it is advisable to put on winter tires. Outside of Toronto, especially further north, winter tires are a must if you want to drive safely in the winter. Learn more about this on the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website.

Car insurers recognize the importance of winter tires and sometimes reward drivers that have them with lower insurance rates. Typically, they claim to offer up to 5 per cent as a winter tire discount. If you pay $2,500 a year in insurance costs, this means annual savings of $125. On average, winter tires have an expectancy of five to seven years. This means savings over this time add up to $750 (for six years). That can cover the whole cost of your winter tires.

What Aspects Impact Your Insurance Rates in Ontario?

There are many things that determine your car insurance premiums in Ontario. Here are the major factors:

  • Other insurance aspects: frequency of payments, staying loyal to one company, etc.
  • Your driver profile: age, gender, driving experience, type of driving license, insurance history, etc
  • Your vehicle: car make, age, model, additional features, safety issues such as winter tires, security features such as an anti-theft device
  • Your location: province, postal code, location where car is stored (e.g. private garage)
  • Your memberships: university alumni, employees of some companies, members of particular organizations such as CPA (Charted Public Accountants)
  • Insurance policy and coverage: type of coverage included, deductibles, additional features such as accident forgiveness.

Interested in getting a cheap Ontario car insurance quote? We can help you as we are able to compare rates from more insurance companies in Ontario than most other websites. On our site, more than 20 insurers are compared when offering you a car insurance quote.