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Written by Alexandra Bosanac

What is a car insurance quote?

A car insurance quote estimates your premium for a car insurance policy. Insurance companies calculate the quote using the information you provide, such as your age, car you drive, driving history, and postal code. Every insurer uses a unique formula to calculate your car insurance quote, so even if you provide the same information to different insurance companies, no two quotes will look the same.

After applying for a policy, an insurance company's next step is to figure out how much risk you pose to them — what is the likelihood of you getting into a car accident, and how expensive will the damage be?

Insurance companies use roughly the same methodology to assess risk. Here are the main things that influence your rate:

  • Your age
  • Your forward sortation area (the first three letters of your postal code)
  • How long you've had your licence
  • The type of car you're looking to insure
  • Your insurance history

In addition to the criteria above, car insurance companies in Ontario can also use the following factors to calculate your rate:

  • Your gender
  • Your licence level

Depending on your answers, insurers will place you in a specific rating group (people with similar profiles). Your rating group determines how much you pay for coverage.

Insurance companies have an ideal customer they want to attract. Most insurers reserve their lowest rates for experienced drivers over 50.

On the other hand, some companies are willing to assume more risk, so they offer inexperienced drivers coverage at competitive rates. You can't tell which insurer will provide you with the lowest rate based on their advertisements. It's better to compare rates from multiple insurance companies.

Use our car insurance calculator to calculate and compare your auto insurance quotes from 50+ Canadian car insurance companies all at once to find your best quote.

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Factors that affect your car insurance quotes

Insurance companies consider many factors when calculating your insurance rate.

  • Vehicle type: The type of vehicle you drive impacts the premiums you pay. Some cars are associated with additional risks, including their likelihood of being stolen, how much they cost to repair, and their safety rating and features. There is also some perceived behavioural risk associated with different vehicles. Insurers are more willing to offer low rates to drivers with "sensible" cars. As a result, when shopping for insurance, you might notice your dad's 10-year-old minivan suddenly seems more appealing.
  • Commute distance: How much you drive will also affect your premiums, which is why insurers always ask for your anticipated vehicle usage. The less you drive, the cheaper your car insurance premium is. The more you drive, the higher your chance of being involved in a car accident, and the more you will have to pay for insurance.
  • Driving history: Individuals with clean driving histories can expect to pay lower premiums than those with tickets and accidents on their record. The number of years you have had a licence also matters.
  • Demographics: Where you live makes a difference. Areas with higher occurrences of theft and collisions result in higher premiums. Your age can also come into play. Drivers aged 25 or older will generally pay less to insure a vehicle. Statistics show that younger, less experienced drivers are more likely to be involved in traffic collisions.
  • Coverage type: The larger the scope of the coverage and the higher the coverage limits you choose, the more you will pay for insurance. The deductible, which is the amount you must pay out of pocket following a claim, also influences your insurance premium. The insurer will offer a cheaper rate if you are willing to take on more risk with a higher deductible.
  • Discounts: Most insurance companies will provide discounts if you meet specific criteria. For example, if you have winter tires or more than one vehicle, you may be eligible for discounts. When you get quotes with RATESDOTCA, we ask the same questions as the insurers to ensure you are getting the lowest possible price.
  • Age and gender: Teens and twenty-somethings pay the most for car insurance. Within that demographic, males can expect to pay significantly more than females. By age 35 and beyond, the differences between men and women mostly even out. That said, men should expect to pay a little more for their coverage. Insurance companies are allowed to set their own rates for non-binary drivers but only if it's in line with what has been approved by provincial regulators. Insurance providers often charge the low end of the average male or female rate.
  • Marital status: In most of Canada, insurance companies are allowed to ask about your marital status to set your auto insurance premium. The exceptions are Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and B.C. One explanation why insurance companies care about your relationship status is that spouses will likely take turns driving the vehicle, which changes the risk profile of insuring that vehicle. Luckily for single drivers, just because a company can ask about marital status doesn't mean they will. Insurance providers all have slightly different formulas for evaluating risk and setting premiums. That's why it's crucial to compare rates from multiple companies to find the lowest price.
  • FSA: This stands for Forward Sortation Area, which is represented by the first three characters of your postal code. Insurance providers look at these geographic markers to help set your rate since location affects the probability of future claims. Insurers look at the following characteristics in an FSA to calculate risk: the number of vehicle thefts in the area, the amount the insurer has paid out to policyholders, and incidences of insurance fraud. Generally, drivers in commuter cities pay higher insurance rates than drivers in rural areas.
  • Driving experience: The longer you've held a licence and car insurance, the cheaper your insurance will be. The inverse is also true: If you don't have a lot of experience driving, insurance companies view you as riskier to insure. For example, if you get your driver's licence in your thirties, your rates may be comparable to drivers in their twenties.
  • Claims history: An insurance claim is a request by a policyholder to the insurance provider for compensation for a covered loss. Insurers look at your history of claims and use it as an indicator of what to expect from you in the future. Suppose you have a history of making at-fault claims. In that case, your insurance company will view you as someone who is high-risk to insure. It will charge you non-standard (i.e., above average) rates for coverage. It's important to note that this holds even if your insurer validates a claim and provides compensation. If you are at fault for the incident, your insurance rate will go up at renewal. (You can protect your record by purchasing an accident forgiveness endorsement.)

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Recent car insurance quotes in Canada

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Who provides car insurance quotes?

There are more ways than ever to get car insurance in Canada. Here's an overview of the four primary providers of car insurance quotes in today's marketplace.

  • Insurance brokers. Brokers sell insurance, but they're not tied to an insurance company. Brokers are self-employed professionals who can show you quotes from multiple companies; it's the old-school way to shop the market. One pro of using a broker is that they still work in person. A downside to doing things the old-school way is that brokers charge fees for their services, which could diminish any savings you may find by working with them. They earn commission from insurance companies; however, the law prevents brokers from recommending one insurance company over another if it's not in your best interest.
  • Insurance agents. An agent is an employee of an insurance company. They can only show you the products from the company that employs them. The upside is that agents always have the most up-to-date information on the company's latest products and discounts. Agents also work on commission, but unlike brokers who must work with insurance companies to complete a policy purchase, insurance agents have the power to complete the sale on their own.
  • Direct writers. A direct writer is a type of insurance company. They only sell in-house insurance products. The experience of buying insurance from a direct writer is more hands-off. Direct writers exist as online entities that are supported by call centres. Since they have less staff and no brick-and-mortar locations open to the public, insurance from a direct writer is often cheaper. Like an insurance agent, a direct writer is limited to selling products from one provider. This means they're restricted from helping you shop the whole market.
  • Insurance comparison site. A insurance comparison website is a term that can refer to a site like RATESDOTCA, also known as an insurance aggregator site. Comparison sites act as a one-stop-shop for insurance seekers. They gather rates from different sources — brokerages, insurance companies, direct writers — and organize them in one place, displaying the lowest rates first. The service is free to consumers, while insurance providers pay aggregation sites after getting a new client.

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Why should I compare car insurance quotes from different insurance companies?

Why do I want to compare car insurance quotes from different insurance companies?

Which car insurance company is right for you? It's impossible to know for sure if you don't shop the market.

Insurance companies charge different rates for the same coverage. That means there are savings to be found. Last year, drivers who shopped for car insurance quotes on RATESDOTCA saved an average of $772 on their annual premium.*

RATESDOTCA makes insurance transparent, simple, and fun. By comparing quotes, you can easily see which company offers you the best insurance rate based on your unique driving history and insurance needs.

Find out why people trust us to find the cheapest car insurance quotes in Canada and compare rates today. Ready? Let's get started.

Types of car insurance quotes

Private vs. public car insurance quotes

Ontario, Alberta, the Maritimes, and the territories have private insurance markets, meaning you can get quotes from multiple insurance companies. Ontario's car insurance market is the largest in Canada, with the most insurance companies competing for business.

British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have public insurance systems, meaning that Crown corporations provide driver coverage.

Quebec has a hybrid system. The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec, a Crown corporation, provides partial accident benefits. Third-party liability coverage, which is mandatory, can only be bought through a private insurance company. Quebec drivers can only buy optional car insurance coverages from private insurance companies.

Regardless of whether your province has a private, public, or hybrid system, drivers in Canada end up with insurance policies that mostly resemble each other. The process of obtaining a quote differs based on which regime exists in your province. The insurance-buying process in public car insurance systems happens when you register your vehicle. Whatever the province charges you is the final price — you can't shop around.

In the private system, vehicle registration takes place separately from the insurance-buying process. You can buy insurance directly from an insurance company or shop around using a rate comparison site and see which provider offers the lowest rate.

Personal vs. commercial vs. ride-sharing car insurance quotes

There are different types of quotes you can get depending on how you use your car. We'll explore each one.

Personal car insurance quote

Car insurance for personal use goes by different terms in the insurance industry. You might hear an agent or broker refer to it as insurance for a "private personal vehicle" (PPV) or as a "personal line." Most people need this type of car insurance. A personal-use vehicle is for commuting to and from work, running errands, and pleasure (road trips, for instance). Rate comparison sites mainly cater to people seeking insurance for their own cars.

Commercial car insurance quote

If you own a business that requires the daily use of a company-owned vehicle, you need commercial car insurance. A personal car insurance policy won't provide coverage if you're involved in an accident with the company car. Rate comparison sites often don't offer quotes for such policies. Still, they can refer you to a broker who specializes in commercial insurance. The broker can then show you quotes from various commercial car insurance companies.

Ride-sharing car insurance quote

This insurance product is a complicated one. Think of ride-sharing insurance as more akin to an endorsement (an optional coverage that you layer on top of your standard policy). Because of that, you can't purchase it from an insurance company other than the one that provides your base policy. This makes it challenging to shop the market for the lowest ride-sharing quote. However, some ride-sharing platforms have taken the initiative to extend insurance coverage to drivers, making getting insurance less hassle.

Suppose you're driving for a platform that does not offer insurance through the app. The insurance company that provides your personal policy might agree to extend some coverage while driving for the app. Still, you must notify your insurance company before you become a driver for the ride-sharing platform.

Even if you drive for an app that provides insurance, you still need to notify your car insurance company before becoming a rideshare driver. Your insurance company could cancel your coverage otherwise.

Standard and non-standard car insurance quotes

A standard quote can refer to a standard auto insurance policy or a customer deemed to be at average risk to insure.

There are three tiers of clients in the insurance world: preferred, standard, and non-standard.

Preferred clients will receive a preferred auto insurance policy. They have a long insurance history and have had no accidents or only one or two minor ones.

A non-standard policy is insurance lingo for a policy created for a person considered risky to insure.

All three types of customers will have access to the same kinds of coverage. However, the amount the insurance company will charge each tier will vary.

Standard clients will get an average rate, while preferred clients will access the company's lowest rates. Non-standard clients will pay the most for identical coverage and have to pay higher deductibles.

Insurance companies will label you as high-risk if the following incidents are on your driving and insurance records:

  • A licence suspension or revocation
  • Numerous traffic violations or speeding tickets
  • Driving under the influence

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Types of car insurance coverage in Canada

Mandatory coverages

Every Canadian province and territory requires drivers to have car insurance. The types and amounts of coverage needed vary by location.

Mandatory car insurance requirements typically include the following coverages:

Third-party liability: This coverage protects against losses incurred from third-party claims when you're at fault for causing an accident. This includes damage to someone else's property, bodily injury or death. Your auto insurance quote will always include third-party auto insurance coverage since it's mandatory across all provinces and territories in Canada.

Direct compensation-property damage (DCPD): This coverage means the insurer compensates you directly when your vehicle is damaged in an accident for which you are not at fault. It covers the damage to your car, its contents and the loss of use of your vehicle. Property damage coverage is mandatory in most provinces.

Uninsured automobile protection: This coverage protects you if you get in an accident with someone who does not have valid insurance coverage. It can also protect you if you're the victim of a hit-and-run.

Accident benefits: This coverage protects you from injury in a collision, whether you are the driver, a passenger, pedestrian or cyclist. There are four primary accident benefits: income replacement, medical, death/funeral, and miscellaneous.

Optional car insurance coverages

These types of coverage are usually optional and can be added to a car insurance policy if you want extra protection. Note that in some provinces or territories, these coverages may be mandatory.

Collision coverage: This coverage protects your vehicle against damage from a collision with an object (like another car). With this coverage, your provider will pay to repair or replace your vehicle, up to its actual cash value, regardless of who is at fault. Collision insurance is not mandatory, except in Manitoba.

Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive insurance covers non-collision damage to your vehicle, such as theft, hail, vandalism, etc. Comprehensive insurance is only mandatory in Manitoba.

Specified perils coverage: This coverage protects against damages caused by named perils, such as theft, attempted theft, explosions and natural disasters like fire or lightning. Only perils specified by the policy are covered.

All-perils coverage: This coverage is a combination of both collision and comprehensive insurance. All-perils coverage protects your vehicle from all causes of loss except those directly mentioned as exclusions in your policy. It also provides additional protection if your car is stolen or damaged by another driver.

Endorsements

Insurance endorsements are another optional coverage type, often referred to as "riders."

These coverages are purchased in addition to your base policy and change the terms of the contract. Endorsements can be used to add, delete, alter, or exclude coverage and adding them will increase the cost of your insurance.

Endorsements can be added at any point, meaning you don't have to wait for your policy's renewal period to adjust your coverage.

Here are the most common endorsements available to drivers in Ontario and Alberta.

Ontario endorsements

  • OPCF 20: Coverage for Transportation Replacement: Provides replacement transportation and rental car insurance if you get into a car accident or if your car is stolen.
  • OPCF 27: Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile(s): Provides comprehensive collision coverage for vehicles you rent or borrow. Your third-party liability and accident benefits will also be extended to your temporary vehicle. Coverage is active while driving in Canada and the U.S. If you have this endorsement, you don't need to purchase insurance from a car rental service.
  • OPCF 39: Accident Waiver/Forgiveness: Your claims and driving histories greatly impact how much you pay on car insurance. If you get into an accident, your premium will likely rise upon renewal. Adding this endorsement will ensure that your premiums will not increase in the event of your first at-fault accident and your first claim.
  • OPCF 43: Waiver of Depreciation: This endorsement prevents your insurance company from factoring in depreciation from the value of your car when settling for damage or loss. You'll be able to replace your car with one of the same make and value.
  • OPCF 44R: Family Protection Coverage: This endorsement provides extra compensation if you are involved in an accident with a driver who doesn't have adequate insurance coverage to cover the full cost of your medical expenses. This endorsement will bridge the gap so that you receive the outstanding funds.

Alberta endorsements

Alberta has two categories of endorsements: Standard Endorsement Forms (SEF) and non-standard endorsements.

Non-standard endorsements have conditional approval from the Superintendent of Insurance and are offered by insurance companies that look to address unique coverage needs. SEFs have been approved for use by the Superintendent of Insurance and are commonly available in Alberta. The most popular endorsements in Alberta are listed below.

  • Comprehensive Cover Limited Glass (SEF 13D): Instead of increasing your coverage, this endorsement can either limit or exclude coverage for glass damage caused by rocks, chips, and other "debris." By adding this to your policy, your premiums are reduced.
  • Loss of Use (SEF 20): Provides daily reimbursement for taxis or rental cars if your vehicle is damaged and unusable. Daily amounts are capped.
  • Legal Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobiles (SEF 27): Provides car insurance for rented or borrowed cars. Extends any physical damage coverage you carry on your car insurance policy to any rented or borrowed vehicles. Your deductibles on your primary insurance policy are also extended. If you're driving anywhere in Canada or the U.S, this endorsement covers you.
  • Accident Rating Waiver (SEF 39): This prevents your premium from increasing at renewal if you have an at-fault accident during your insurance term.
  • Limited Waiver of Depreciation (SEF 43R): This endorsement prevents your insurance company from factoring in depreciation when you file a claim to be reimbursed for the repair or replacement of your car. You'll be able to get a replacement car for the same value as your old car without factoring in your old car's decline in value over time. This endorsement is usually available only for newer cars.
  • Family Protection (SEF 44): Protects you and your family members if you're involved in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver. Without this coverage, you may not have your claim fully paid, given the high cost of medical rehabilitation for multiple injured people. This endorsement ensures that your claims are covered, even if the uninsured party cannot pay.

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Car insurance in Canada: a national picture

Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia operate within a public car insurance model. Car insurance in these provinces is available through the government. In other provinces, including Alberta and Ontario, drivers must purchase insurance from private insurance companies. Quebec is the only province that uses a mix of both.

In each province and territory, a minimum amount of auto insurance is required by law. This typically includes third-party liability insurance, which covers medical expenses and property damage caused by the insured (aka, you). There’s also some level of accidents benefits or property damage coverage that is also mandatory.

Average rates vary across the country. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Ontario has the highest average auto insurance rate in Canada, averaging $1,655 per year. British Columbia and Alberta are in second and third place, averaging $1,582 and $1,514 respectively. Drivers in Quebec pay the least in Canada, with an average premium of just $857.

Below are the required car insurance coverages in each province as well as the optional products drivers can buy to enhance their policy.

The average Ontario car insurance cost is $1,655*

Mandatory coverages

  • Third-party liability: This benefit covers you from claims from a third party when you have an at-fault accident. It covers you if you cause damage to someone else's property, bodily injury or death. In Ontario, you must carry at least $200,000 in third-party liability.
  • Direct compensation property damage (DCPD) - Covers damage to your vehicle if the other person was responsible for the accident. Your car insurance company compensates you.
  • Accident benefits: Up to $3,500 is available for minor injuries. Up to $65,000 per person per year (up to five years) is available for non-minor injuries. Up to $1 million is available for catastrophic injury.
  • Funeral expense benefits: Up to $6,000 is available to cover funeral expenses (more if you buy indexation coverage, which ensures your benefit grows with inflation).
  • Income replacement benefits: You could receive 70% of your gross wages to a maximum of $400 per week and a minimum of $185 per week for 104 weeks (possibly longer). Also included are benefits for dependent non-earners.
  • Death benefits: If you die within 180 days of an accident (or if you're left disabled for three years before your passing), your beneficiaries will receive compensation from your insurance company.
  • Uninsured automobile protection: This mandatory coverage provides up to $200,000 in compensation for damage to property and injuries. You can top it up to $1 million by purchasing the family protection coverage endorsement (OPCF44).

Optional coverages

  • Collision coverage: Pays for damage caused by collision with another vehicle or object or if your car rolls over. You must pay a deductible for this coverage.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Coverage against fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, windshield damage and other types of damage that are unrelated to a collision. You must pay a deductible for this coverage.
  • All perils: This coverage combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.
  • Specified perils: Similar to comprehensive coverage but covers fewer perils. It costs less than comprehensive insurance.

Endorsements

  • OPCF 20: Coverage for Transportation Replacement - Covers the cost of a rental car, rideshares, or public transportation if you get into a car accident or your vehicle is stolen.
  • OPCF 27: Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobiles - For when you damage a borrowed or rental vehicle. The coverage limit is around $25,000 to $50,000.
  • OPCF 39: Accident Waiver/Forgiveness - Prevents your premium from rising after your first at-fault accident.
  • OPCF 43: Waiver of Depreciation - Your insurer won't be allowed to subtract depreciation from your claim. Only for new vehicles with fewer than 5,000 kilometres.
  • OPCF 44R: Family Protection Coverage - Provides additional compensation if another party's third-party liability benefit isn't enough to cover the damage.

*IBC with data from GISA exhibits AUTO1010-TER-2020

Mandatory coverages

  • Third-party liability: Minimum of $200,000 per accident; your insurance will cap payment for property damage at $10,000 for a claim that involves bodily injury and property damage.
  • Direct compensation property damage (DCPD): Covers the cost of replacing your vehicle and pays for replacement transportation costs. You have to be found not at fault for causing the accident.
  • Accident benefits: Up to $50,000 per person
  • Funeral expense benefits: $6,150
  • Disability income replacement benefits: 80% of gross weekly wages to a maximum of $600 per week. Available for a maximum of 104 weeks. You aren't compensated during the first seven days of disability.
  • Non-earner benefit: The non-earner benefit (an unemployed person 18 years or older) is $200 per week up to 104 weeks.
  • Death benefits: If the head of household dies, each dependent survivor gets $10,000, plus 20%, plus $15,000 for the first survivor and $4,000 for each remaining survivor; $15,000 is available for the spouse/partner of the head of household; If a dependent relative dies, the maximum award is $3,000; The benefit for grief counselling is $500 per family.
  • Right to sue for pain and suffering: Yes. If the injury is deemed "minor" under provincial legislation, the maximum award will be $5,365
  • Right to sue for economic loss in excess of no-fault benefits: Yes.

Optional coverages

  • Collision: Cover repair and replacement costs when you're at fault
  • Comprehensive: Covers non-collision damage (hitting an animal, windshield damage, fire, falling tree limbs, weather, theft, vandalism)
  • Specified perils - Similar to comprehensive coverage but covers fewer perils, it costs less than comprehensive insurance.
  • All perils: Coverage that combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.

Endorsements

  • Comprehensive Cover Limited Glass (SEF 13D): This limits a vehicle's glass coverage for a reduced premium.
  • Loss of Use (SEF 20): This add-on covers temporary transportation costs if your car is damaged and unusable due to an event covered by your insurance policy. You can use the money for taxis and public transportation up to a daily dollar limit.
  • Legal Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobiles (SEF 27): Extends your physical damage insurance to a rental vehicle.
  • Accident Rating Waiver (SEF 39): This endorsement protects your premium from rising after you cause an accident. It only applies to scenarios that your insurance company has agreed to cover.
  • Limited Waiver of Depreciation (SEF 43R): If your car is a write-off due to an insurable loss, this endorsement prevents the insurance company from factoring in depreciation when calculating your compensation.
  • Family Protection (SEF 44): This is excess coverage for when the insured and their immediate family are involved in an accident with an underinsured driver. It comes into effect when the at-fault driver's insurance policy limits are not high enough to cover the total cost of a claim.

British Columbia

Mandatory coverages

  • Third-Party Liability: $200,000 of coverage is offered to you in situations where the law allows the other driver to sue. However, Enhanced Care removes the need to sue in B.C.
  • Enhanced Accident Benefits: This benefit covers you, your passengers, and household members for medical costs and wage loss (up to 90% of net income, maximum of $105,500 gross annual income). No cap on what you could receive.
  • Basic Vehicle Damage: A basic insurance policy includes $200,000 of coverage. You're only compensated if you're not at fault for the collision.
  • Underinsured Motorist Protection (UMP): Up to $1 million per insured person. Protects if you make a liability claim against a person who doesn't have enough or has no insurance.
  • Inverse Liability: Covers 100% of vehicle repair costs, less if you were partly at fault (e.g., if you are 25% responsible, you would receive 75% of the cost of repairing your car).

Optional coverages

  • Collision: Covers repair and replacement costs when you're at fault
  • Comprehensive: Covers non-collision damage (hitting an animal, windshield damage, fire, falling tree limbs, weather, theft, vandalism).
  • Specified perils: It is similar to comprehensive coverage but covers fewer perils. It costs less than comprehensive insurance.

Endorsements

  • Hit and Run: Covers repair and replacement costs caused by a hit and run driver up to $200,000 (already included with collision coverage)
  • Off-Highway Third Party Liability: Provides $200,000 in liability coverage if you are at fault for causing injury or property damage while operating a "non-standard vehicle" (like an ATV, golf cart, tractor, etc.).
  • Loss of Use: Covers expenses to rent a vehicle, use taxis, and take public transit while your vehicle's fixed.
  • Special Risk Own Damage Policy: Recommended for cars worth more than $150,000. Coverage includes collision, comprehensive, and specified perils.
  • Income Top-up: Provides additional income replacement to top up what's already available through Enhanced Care, open to BC residents who make $105,000 gross.
  • Extended Third Party Liability: Covers costs above the Basic Autoplan limit. You can increase coverage to a limit of $5-million.
  • Rental Vehicle Coverage: Extends the coverages included in your basic policy to rental cars (third-party Liability, enhanced accident benefits, underinsured motorist protection, collision, comprehensive and loss of use).
  • New Vehicle Replacement Plus (NVR+): Covers the cost of repairing your car with unlimited new parts from the manufacturer. If the vehicle cannot be repaired, you choose to have it replaced or receive a cash payout.
  • Limited Depreciation Endorsement: For people who don't qualify for New Vehicle Replacement Plus. It covers if your vehicle is a write-off. You can opt for a new vehicle of the same model year or a payout.
  • Unlisted Driver Protection (UDP): Flexibility to be able to lend your car occasionally to a driver not listed on your policy.

Mandatory coverages

Public

  • Accident benefits: No time or amount limit; includes rehabilitation. Covers lost income (90% of net wages up to $83,000), impairment benefits (up to $258,947), death benefits, funeral expenses ($5,534).
  • Uninsured automobile: This benefit provides compensation if an uninsured driver causes damage to your property and they are at fault.

Private

  • Civil liability coverage: Minimum of $50,000 (limited to property damage claims within Quebec; outside of Quebec, it extends to both personal injury and property damage)
  • Direct compensation property damage: This covers damage to your vehicle caused by another person found to be wholly or partly at fault for the accident. Your insurance company will compensate you even though someone else caused the damage.

Optional coverages

  • Collision: Helps to pay to repair your car if you're at fault for causing an accident with another vehicle or object. Single-vehicle rollovers are also covered.
  • Comprehensive: Covers against fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, windshield damage, and other damage unrelated to a collision.
  • All perils: Coverage that combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.
  • Specified perils: Similar to comprehensive coverage but covers fewer perils. Therefore, it costs less than comprehensive insurance.

Endorsements

  • QPF No 2: Insurance for drivers who do not own a vehicle. Provides compensation if you damage property, or injure or kill another person in a rented car. It also covers physical damage to the rental.
  • Increased Civil Liability Coverage: This increases your liability coverage above the minimum benefit.
  • Replacement Cost Coverage: This coverage is ideal for newer cars. Suppose your vehicle is stolen or damaged beyond repair. In that case, you'll get a replacement car that matches the purchase price of your vehicle and not its depreciated value.

Saskatchewan

Mandatory Coverages

Physical damage coverage

  • Third-party liability coverage: $200,000 liability coverage for any one accident. Covers insured vehicle owner with coverage for damages caused by the insured vehicle

Personal injury benefits

  • No-fault option: Your insurance will cover you regardless of fault, providing comprehensive coverage but limiting your right to sue.
  • Tort option: Registered drivers in Saskatchewan can change their coverage to Tort coverage, which is less comprehensive but allows you to sue for additional damages. It's subject to a $5,000 deductible.
  • Uninsured automobile coverage: Provides coverage if you're injured or killed by an unidentified or uninsured driver.

Optional coverages

  • Additional personal injury benefits: Increases accident benefits.
  • Loss of use coverage: Your insurance company will provide a replacement vehicle or reimburse you for reasonable transportation costs while your car is being fixed, but only if it's in the shop due to an insured peril.
  • Replacement or repair cost coverage: Your vehicle will be repaired or replaced if deemed a total loss after being involved in an insurable accident.
  • Road hazard glass coverage: You agree to waive your car's glass insurance for a reduced premium.
  • Increase liability coverage: Increases liability coverage beyond the $200,000 minimum amount.
  • Comprehensive: Covers against fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, windshield damage, and other damage unrelated to a collision.
  • Collision: Helps to pay to repair your car if you're at fault for causing an accident with another vehicle or object. Single-vehicle rollovers are also covered.
  • All perils: Coverage that combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.

Manitoba

Mandatory coverages

  • Personal Injury Protection Plan: All Manitobans have this coverage, regardless if they own a car; it covers losses stemming from injury or death due to a car accident, with few limits or restrictions.
  • Basic All-Perils: Up to $70,000 is offered for damage from collision, "upset" (your vehicle tips or rolls over), and other perils (vandalism, theft, hail, fire, etc.)
  • Basic Third-Party Liability: $500,000 in coverage. Protects you against damage or injury claims others make against you. Protects you within Manitoba, as well as in the rest of Canada and the U.S.
  • Loss of Use Coverage:
    • Stolen Vehicles: It covers the costs of using other transportation if your car is stolen. Daily allowance of $34 daily up to $1,020, including taxes.
    • Damage: Compensation for alternative transportation if your vehicle has been damaged in a collision and you are found to not be at fault. You must choose the least expensive option.

Optional coverages

  • Increased Third-Party Liability: You can increase your protection to $1 million, $2 million, $5 million, $7 million, or $10 million.
  • Rental Vehicle Insurance: You are covered for up to $10 million if you cause damage to someone else while driving a rental car. Includes a daily stipend for replacement transportation anywhere in Canada and the US.
  • Excess Value Coverage: The maximum insured value for a passenger vehicle, truck, or truck tractor is $70,000. This endorsement increases your coverage to a higher limit.
  • Lay-Up Coverage: Protects a car in storage and reduces your base premium since the vehicle is not in use.
  • Extension Loss of Use: This endorsement covers the cost of temporary alternative transportation if your car is damaged or stolen, regardless of fault.
  • New Vehicle Protection: Protects the total purchase price of your vehicle, including against inflation.
  • Leased Vehicle Protection: Protects your down payment or trade-in allowance if your vehicle is written off but only for cars that are less than two years old.
  • Excess Value Coverage: Extra compensation if a high-value car is damaged by an insurable peril.
  • Extra Income Protection: This endorsement increases the coverage offered to all Manitobans through the Personal Injury Protection Plan (PIPP). It protects against losses that are caused due to a disabling injury.
  • Collector Vehicles: Offers Basic Autopac coverage and basic all-perils insurance to cars that are over 25 years old, driven infrequently, in good repair, and are worth more than $5,000.
  • Motorcycle Extension: Offers increased third-party Liability, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage.
  • Passenger Vehicle for Hire: Mandatory if you want to drive for a rideshare company (Uber or Lyft, for example). Provides essential coverage and the ability to purchase more optional insurance.
  • Off-Road Vehicle Extension: Provides increased third-party liability benefits, collision and comprehensive insurance, accident benefits, and coverage for damaged riding gear.

Nova Scotia

Mandatory Coverages

  • Third-Party Liability (Public Liability and Property Damage): $500,000 minimum benefit.
  • Uninsured Automobile: Provides coverage if you're injured or killed by an unidentified or uninsured driver.
  • Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD): Covers damage to your vehicle if you are wholly or partly not at fault for the accident. Paid by your car insurance company.
  • Accident Benefits: Coverage for income replacement, medical or funerary expenses, benefits for non-earners, and more. $50,000 in medical benefits per person and $2,500 in funeral benefits.

Optional coverages

  • Comprehensive: Covers against fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, windshield damage, and other damage unrelated to a collision.
  • Collision: Helps to pay to repair your car if you're at fault for causing an accident with another vehicle or object. Single-vehicle rollovers are also covered.
  • All Perils: Coverage that combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.

Endorsements

  • Family Protection Endorsement: Excess coverage that protects the insured and their immediate family when an underinsured driver causes an accident that leads to severe injuries. It comes into effect when the at-fault driver's insurance policy limits are not high enough to cover the total cost of a claim.
  • Loss of Use: Your insurance company will provide a replacement vehicle or reimburse you for reasonable transportation costs while your car is being repaired for damage caused by an insured peril.
  • Waiver of Depreciation: Coverage that provides replacement value if a new car is stolen or written off due to an insurable peril.
  • Rental Vehicle: Provides collision coverage for rental cars.
  • Rideshare Endorsement (SPF 9): Provides coverage once a driver has logged into a ridesharing app, has accepted a fair, and once the trip has ended.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Mandatory Coverages

  • Third-Party Liability: The minimum benefit is $200,000. It provides coverage for accidents you're found to be liable for. It will pay for damage to another person or vehicle.
  • Direct Compensation for Property Damage: Coverage for damage to your vehicle if another person was wholly or partially at fault for the accident. Your insurance company will compensate you.
  • Uninsured Automobile: Provides coverage if you're injured or killed by an unidentified or uninsured driver.

Optional coverages

  • Collision Coverage: Helps to pay to repair your car if you're at fault for causing an accident with another vehicle or object. Single-vehicle rollovers are also covered.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Compensation for physical damage to your car not caused by a collision. For example, fire, theft, vandalism, and falling objects.
  • All Perils Coverage: Coverage that combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.

Endorsements

  • Loss of Use: Your insurance company will provide a replacement vehicle or reimburse you for reasonable transportation costs while your car is repaired due to damage from an insured peril.
  • Rental Vehicle: Provides collision coverage for rental cars.
  • Depreciation Waiver: Coverage that provides replacement value if a new car is stolen or written off due to an insurable peril.
  • Roadside Assistance: Pays for towing, replacement battery, tire change, gas deliveries, winching, and unlocking car doors.
  • Accident Benefits: Coverage for medical care and rehabilitation is not included in basic insurance. Instead, you apply for coverage after you've been involved in an accident, according to changes in 2019 to the Automobile Insurance Act.
  • Accident Forgiveness: Guarantees that your first at-fault accident will not increase your premium.

New Brunswick

Mandatory Coverages

  • Third-Party Liability: $200,000 minimum benefit. Coverage for accidents where you're found to be liable. Your benefit will pay for damage done to another person or vehicle.
  • Direct Compensation Property Damage: Coverage for damage to your vehicle if another person was wholly or partly at fault for the accident.
  • Accident Benefits: Coverage for income replacement, medical or funerary expenses, benefits for non-earners, and more. $50,000 in medical benefits per person and $2,500 in funeral benefits.
  • Uninsured Automobile and Unidentified Automobile: Provides coverage if you're injured or killed by an unidentified or uninsured driver.

Optional Coverages

  • Collision or Upset: Helps to pay to repair your car if you're at fault for causing an accident with another vehicle or object. Single-vehicle rollovers are also covered.
  • Comprehensive: Compensation for physical damage to your car not caused by a collision. For example, fire, theft, vandalism, and falling objects.
  • All Perils: Coverage that combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.
  • Specified Perils: Similar to comprehensive coverage but only covers the perils you specifically request protection from. Specified perils cost less than comprehensive insurance.

Endorsements

  • SEF 44 Family Protection Insurance: Excess coverage protects the insured and their immediate family when an underinsured driver causes an accident leading to severe injuries. It comes into effect when the at-fault driver's insurance policy limits are not high enough to cover the total cost of a claim.
  • GAP Insurance: This is coverage for cars that are being leased or financed. Suppose the vehicle is declared a total loss. In that case, this coverage will pay the difference between what the person owes and that vehicle's actual cash value.
  • Loss of Use: Your insurance company will provide a replacement vehicle or reimburse you for reasonable transportation costs while your car is repaired due to damage from an insured peril.
  • Rental Vehicle: Provides collision coverage for rental cars.
  • Depreciation Waiver: Coverage that provides replacement value if a new car is stolen or written off due to an insurable peril.
  • Roadside Assistance: Pays for towing, replacement battery, tire change, gas deliveries, winching, and unlocking car doors.

Prince Edward Island

Mandatory Coverages

  • Third-Party Liability: The minimum amount of insurance you must purchase is $200,000. It provides coverage for accidents where you're deemed at fault. It will compensate the other party for property damage and bodily injury.
  • Direct Compensation Property Damage: This covers damage to your vehicle caused by another person who was found to be wholly or partly at fault for the accident. Your insurance company will compensate you, even though someone else caused the damage.
  • Accident Benefits: Coverage for income replacement, medical or funerary expenses, benefits for non-earners, and more. $50,000 in medical benefits per person and $2,500 in funeral benefits.
  • Uninsured Automobile and Unidentified Automobile: Provides coverage if you're injured or killed by an unidentified or uninsured driver.

Optional Coverages

  • Specified Perils: Similar to comprehensive coverage but covers fewer perils. It costs less than comprehensive insurance.
  • Comprehensive: Compensation for physical damage to your car not caused by a collision. For example, fire, theft, vandalism, and falling objects.
  • Collision or Upset: Helps to pay to repair your car if you're at fault for causing an accident with another vehicle or object. Single-vehicle rollovers are also covered.
  • All Perils: Coverage that combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.

Endorsements

  • Accident Forgiveness: Guarantees that your first at-fault accident will not increase your premium.
  • Rental Car: Provides collision coverage for rental cars.
  • Limited Waiver of Depreciation: Coverage that provides replacement value if a new car is stolen or written off due to an insurable peril.
  • SEF 44 Family Protection Insurance: Excess coverage protects the insured and their immediate family when an underinsured driver causes an accident leading to severe injuries. It comes into effect when the at-fault driver's insurance policy limits are not high enough to cover the total cost of a claim.

Yukon

Mandatory Coverages

  • Third-Party Liability: The minimum amount of insurance you must purchase is $200,000. It provides coverage for accidents where you're deemed to be at fault. It will compensate the other party for property damage and bodily injury.
  • Direct Compensation Property Damage: Not offered in the Yukon.
  • Accident Benefits: $10,000/person for medical expenses, $2,000 for funerary expenses. Coverage for income replacement, medical or funerary expenses, benefits for non-earners, and more.
  • Uninsured Motorist: Provides coverage if you're injured or killed by an unidentified or uninsured driver.

Optional coverages

  • Specified Perils Coverage: It is similar to comprehensive coverage but covers fewer perils, so it costs less than comprehensive insurance.
  • Collision Coverage: Helps to pay to repair your car if you're at fault for causing an accident with another vehicle or object. Single-vehicle rollovers are also covered.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Compensation for physical damage to your car not caused by a collision. For example, fire, theft, vandalism, and falling objects.
  • All Perils Coverage: Coverage that combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.

Endorsements

  • Loss of Use: Your insurance company will provide a replacement vehicle or reimburse you for reasonable transportation costs while your car is repaired due to damage from an insured peril.
  • Legal Liability for Physical Damage to a Non-Owned Automobile: Provides collision coverage for rental cars.
  • Limited Waiver of Depreciation: Coverage that provides replacement value if a new car is stolen or written off due to an insurable peril.

Northwest Territories

Mandatory Coverages

  • Third-Party Liability: The minimum amount of insurance you must purchase is $200,000. It provides coverage for accidents where you're deemed to be at fault. It will compensate the other party for property damage and bodily injury.
  • Accident Benefits: Up to $25,000/person, $1,000 for funeral expenses. Coverage for income replacement, benefits for non-earners, and more.
  • Uninsured Auto Insurance: Provides coverage if you're injured or killed by an unidentified or uninsured driver.

Optional coverages

  • All Perils: Coverage that combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.
  • Collision or Upset Coverage: Helps to pay to repair your car if you're at fault for causing an accident with another vehicle or object. Single-vehicle rollovers are also covered.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Compensation for physical damage to your car not caused by a collision. For example, fire, theft, vandalism, and falling objects.
  • Specified Perils Coverage: It is similar to comprehensive coverage but covers fewer perils, so it costs less than comprehensive insurance.

Nunavut

Mandatory Coverages

  • Third-Party Liability: $200,000 is available per accident. It is coverage for accidents where you're found to be liable. Your benefit will pay for damage caused to another person or vehicle.
  • Accident Benefits: Up to $25,000/person, $1,000 for funeral expenses. Coverage for income replacement, benefits for non-earners, and more.
  • Uninsured Auto Insurance: Provides coverage if you're injured or killed by an unidentified or uninsured driver.

Optional coverages

  • All Perils: Coverage that combines collision and comprehensive insurance. With this option, you pay only one deductible.
  • Collision or Upset Coverage: Helps to pay to repair your car if you're at fault for causing an accident with another vehicle or object. Single-vehicle rollovers are also covered.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Compensation for physical damage to your car not caused by a collision. For example, fire, theft, vandalism, and falling objects.
  • Specified Perils Coverage: It is similar to comprehensive coverage but covers fewer perils, so it costs less than comprehensive insurance.
More

Where in Canada is car insurance the cheapest and the most expensive?

At $857 per year, Quebec currently has the cheapest car insurance premiums in Canada, while Ontarians pay the most at $1,655 per year on car insurance, according to the latest data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Why is insurance more affordable in Quebec? In short, drivers only pay to insure their car. Accident benefits are paid for by the government.

Mandatory insurance includes $50,000 in third-party liability, which only applies to car accidents outside Quebec, and direct compensation property damage.

Medical care delivered by private health care providers — dental care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and therapy — is reimbursed by Quebec's public automobile insurance plan. The plan is funded by driver's licence and vehicle registration payments, not premiums.

Injured Quebec drivers also can't sue for any damages.

On the other hand, Ontario drivers have access to rich benefits packages.

In Ontario, drivers must hold at least $200,000 in third-party liability, and their insurance companies reimburse them for medical expenses not covered by the province. They also have the right to sue for damages and economic losses.

Insurance experts say fraud drives up the cost of coverage for everyone and is more prevalent in Ontario than in other provinces due to the substantial payouts.

The considerably different market conditions in Ontario mean drivers there end up paying more.

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Average car insurance premium by province 2022

Province or Territory Average Annual Premiums
Alberta $1,514
British Columbia $1,582
Manitoba $1,200
New Brunswick $1,014
Newfoundland & Labrador $1,251
Northwest Territories $978*
Nova Scotia $1,066
Nunavut $1,033**
Ontario $1,655
Prince Edward Island $885
Quebec $857
Saskatchewan $1,274
Yukon Territories $889**

Sources:

Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador – IBC with data from GISA exhibits auto1005-2020-ON, AB, and ATL; British Columbia (ICBC only)- ICBC Annual Report; Manitoba - MPI Annual Report, private insurers; Québec - Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec; Saskatchewan- IBC calculation with data from SGI, SAF, and private insurers; SK premiums are a proxy per policy for all vehicles.

* Annual average of year 2017

**IBC with data from GISA exhibits AUTO1010-TER-2020

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How to get the cheapest auto insurance quote

There are a lot of tactics you can use to lower your car insurance premiums, but some make more of a difference than others. Here are the most impactful moves you can make to lower your rate.

Buy a cheaper car

The vehicle you choose has an outsized impact on how much you pay for insurance. It's perhaps even as consequential as driver behaviour, potentially more. Choose a vehicle that's less likely to be stolen. The Insurance Bureau of Canada publishes a list annually of the most frequently stolen cars. While thieves often target luxury car brands like Lexus, middle-of-the-road brands like Toyota and Ford make up a significant portion of thefts.

Also, remember that a fully-optioned car will cost more to repair or replace and, therefore, to insure. A vehicle with a basic trim, on the other hand, will have lower potential claims costs and will be less expensive to insure.

Lastly, avoid financing a car. Loan providers and lessors make you purchase comprehensive insurance coverage for the vehicle. It ensures the lender doesn't lose their investment if you default on your loan.

Keep a clean driving and insurance record

This tip doesn't result in immediate savings, but it's up there with buying a cheaper car to keep your premiums low.

Don't rack up traffic tickets, avoid making insurance claims, and always pay your premium on time. Suppose you can maintain a spotless continuous insurance history over the years. In that case, insurance companies will eventually offer you their preferred (lowest) rates.

To protect your reputation as a great driver, consider purchasing an endorsement that covers you from a rate increase on your first at-fault accident. A reputation for good driving behaviour takes time and effort to establish. Still, it will significantly impact your insurance rates in the long run.

Take a pass on optional coverages

Your car loses value over time. At some point, your car will depreciate to the point where it would be cheaper to replace rather than continue paying for collision and comprehensive insurance. Vehicles five years old or more typically don't need collision or comprehensive insurance.

Increase your deductible

The deductible is how much you agree to pay out of pocket for damages before your insurance company pays out your benefit. If you offer to shoulder more of the expense, your insurance company will lower your premium.

Try usage-based insurance

If you drive 12,000 kilometres a year or less, consider getting a usage-based insurance policy. When you apply for a car insurance policy, insurance companies ask you to predict the number of kilometres you expect to log over the coming year. This leads some people to inflate the number to stay on the safe side. A usage-based policy offers more flexibility than a traditional policy. After you use up your base number of kilometres, you pay for every extra 1,000 kilometres you drive. Essentially, you can err on the side of being a low-mileage driver, reap a cheaper premium, and pay the difference on the off chance you do go over your allotment of kilometres.

Sign up for telematics

Telematics refers to insurance technology that monitors your driving habits. Insurance companies give you a compact sensor you install in your car and pair with an app.

Together, the devices can monitor your speed, how hard you brake, and the distance travelled. If the device reflects cautious driving habits, you'll receive a discount at renewal — up to 20% in some cases. Some insurance companies offer an initial discount for enrolling in the program.

Telematics programs are available in Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Alberta. One word of caution: insurance companies can use the information to raise your rates in Ontario.

Compare rates

Be sure to compare rates. Car insurance companies in provinces with private insurance markets don't charge the same for coverage. The price of your car insurance depends on the insurer you choose. In 2021, RATESDOTCA drivers saved an average of $772 and $736 annually in Ontario and Alberta, respectively. Both the Auto Insurance Rate Board of Alberta and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario recommend shopping around as a strategy to find a lower rate.

However, be wary of switching insurance companies midway through your term, as this will likely result in a premium increase. Waiting until your renewal period is recommended to avoid cancellation penalties.

Other tactics worth trying:

  • Pay for your annual coverage upfront.
  • Reduce your dependency on your car: the more kilometres you log, the more you'll pay for insurance, so try to incorporate other modes of transportation into your lifestyle, like walking, biking and public transit.
  • Take a ministry-approved driver training program. Check with your insurance provider about courses that could earn you a discount on your coverage.
  • Apply for as many discounts as you can. Examples of typical insurance discounts include:
    • Winter tire discount
    • Alumni and employer discounts
    • Savings for students who maintain a certain GPA
    • Bundling discount (insure multiple cars with the same provider or combine home and auto)

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Frequently asked questions about car insurance

Is it legal to drive without insurance?

No. All registered vehicles in Canada must have insurance, as required by law. If you own and drive a vehicle in Ontario, you are required to take out a basic car insurance policy that includes all mandatory coverages. Drivers in Ontario who do not carry valid auto insurance can be fined anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. You also risk having your license suspended and your vehicle impounded, not to mention facing sky-high insurance rates in the future.

Is RATESDOTCA car insurance service available throughout Canada?

RATESDOTCA is currently available to drivers in Ontario and Alberta.

Are the rates you show accurate?

What you see is what you get. The auto insurance quotes you receive are accurate, based on the details you provide. A representative from the insurance company will confirm your information before issuing a policy. As long as your details stay the same, so will your rate.

What’s a deductible, and how does it work?

A deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay in the event of a claim before your insurance coverage kicks in. A driver with a $500 deductible and $2,000 in damage resulting from an accident will pay $500 out of pocket while the insurance company covers the remaining $1,500. Think of a deductible as your share of the repair cost.

Your deductible will also determine your policy premium. The higher the deductible you are willing to pay, the lower your insurance rate will be.

Which insurance companies will I get quotes from?

RATESDOTCA partners with over 50 top insurance companies in Canada, more than any other comparison site. Our partners include Intact, Aviva, Wawanesa, Jevco and Echelon, to name a few. See our full list of insurance partners here.

How much does it cost to use RATESDOTCA?

RATESDOTCA is 100% free, and we are committed to saving you time and money.

What's the catch?

There's no catch and no hidden costs or strings attached. We make our money from our partners, not from you.

Is it cheaper to shop direct?

No. Your quotes come straight from the auto insurance companies. They are the same rates you would get if you called them directly.

The last word

RATESDOTCA makes buying car insurance easy. We compare more insurance providers than anyone else, so you can be confident that you are getting the best deal.

*Shoppers in Ontario who obtained a quote on RATESDOTCA and transacted via our contact centre from July to December 2021 saved an average amount of $772. The average savings amount represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of the second and third lowest quoted premiums generated by RATESDOTCA.

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