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Car owners in Ontario are required by law to have car insurance.
Car insurance helps ensure that you and your vehicle are financially protected in the event of vehicle damage or personal injury.
Ontario operates under a no-fault insurance system, which means drivers always go through their own insurance company, no matter who is at fault in an accident.
In Ontario, auto insurance is regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), formerly known as the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), an agency of the Ministry of Finance. FSRA oversees all insurance regulations in Ontario and has the power to approve or decline car insurance rate change requests. Car insurance providers can apply to increase or decrease their rates every quarter, and usually request rate increases due to changes in a particular coverage. For example, if a particular insurer experiences an increase in payouts resulting from car accidents, they might apply to have their rates increased to help offset their costs.
Ontario auto insurance is a privatized industry, meaning you purchase your policy from a private company. FSRA's approved quarterly changes shows how rates can fluctuate, making it extremely important to compare quotes and find the lowest rate.
Last year, Ontario drivers who used RATESDOTCA paid, on average, 30% less than the average market rate.
An auto insurance claim should be filed as soon as possible following the incident that resulted in damage or injury. Failing to report the incident within a week can lead to the claim being denied.
When filing an auto insurance claim in Ontario, include as many of the following as possible:
Once your claim is filed, you will be contacted by a claims adjustor to discuss your case and determine the eligibility and amount of compensation. In the event an at-fault driver is uninsured, your claim will be processed through the Uninsured Automobile portion of your policy.
Being at fault means you have been deemed responsible for damage or injury by your insurance company. A driving event, such as a collision, can have more than one at-fault motorist.
If you are found to be 50% or more at fault for a claim, the event will go into your driving record. Having an at-fault accident on your record may cause your premiums to increase, though some insurance providers offer accident forgiveness, which permits one accident before premiums are raised.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Ontario drivers paid an average of $1,655 annually for car insurance, or $138 per month in 2020. Ontario drivers paid the highest auto insurance premium in Canada. Based on FSRA, the average Ontario car insurance premium was $1,651 annually or $137.6 per month as of March 2021. Our RATESDOTCA Auto Insuramap data from December 2021 shows the average Ontario car insurance premium is $1,555 annually or $129.6 per month.
Though the average cost of car insurance in Ontario is high, it varies among individual drivers. Numerous factors contribute to the cost of an auto insurance policy. In Ontario, the most influential of these factors are:
More goes into determining the premiums you pay than what's listed above. This list merely calls out some of the most influential factors used by Ontario car insurance providers.
|Insurance type||Mandatory coverage||Optional/Additional coverage|
|Third-Party Liability||$200,000 minimum. Provides coverage in the event of a lawsuit resulting from an accident where you are at fault.||Coverage can be increased to $500,000, $1 million, or $2 million, with up to $2 million limit.|
|Direct Compensation-Property Damage (DC-PD)||Covers damage to your car, or loss of use of your vehicle, if someone else is at fault. Must involve another insured vehicle.||For additional vehicle coverage including for when you are at-fault, consider collision coverage.|
|Uninsured Automobile Insurance||Provides up to $200,000 in coverage if you are injured or killed by an uninsured driver, or if your vehicle is damaged as a result of a hit-and-run by an unidentified, uninsured motorist.||Family Protection Coverage is an optional coverage that includes additional coverage of up to $1 million in the case of a hit-and-run by an uninsured motorist.|
|Statutory Accident Benefits||
Provides coverage if you are injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Covers medical expenses that aren’t covered by OHIP.
Income Replacement Benefits: Basic weekly income replacement of 70% of your gross income up to $400/wk.
Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care Benefits: Up to $65,000 for serious injuries, and $1 million for catastrophic injuries.
Caregiver Benefits: Up to $250 per week for the first dependent, and $50 per week for each dependent after that.
Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Expenses: Maximum payout $100 per week.
Death and Funeral Benefits: Up to $25,000 is provided to your spouse, $10,000 for each dependent, and up to $6,000 in funeral costs in the event you are killed in an automobile accident.
|Coverage limits can be increased.|
|Collision Coverage (Also Upset Coverage)||Optional||Covers the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle following a collision with another vehicle, an object, or property.|
|Comprehensive Coverage||Optional||Covers damages caused by named perils identified under the Specified Perils coverage, as well as losses from other perils like falling or flying objects, theft, fire, hail, windstorms, missiles, and vandalism.|
|Specified Perils Coverage||Optional||Covers damages caused by named perils such as theft, attempted theft, explosions, natural disasters like fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, rising water, earthquakes, and also other perils specified in your policy. Specified perils do not cover damages due to vandalism, breakage of glass, etc.|
|All-Perils Coverage||Optional||Combines collision/upset and comprehensive coverage. Also provides additional protection if a household member or an employee steals your vehicle.|
|OPCF 20: Coverage for Transportation Replacement||Optional||Covers the cost of your transportation replacement and rental car insurance if you were to get into a car accident or if your vehicle is stolen.|
|OPCF 27: Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile(s)||Optional||Covers if you damage a borrowed or rental vehicle. The coverage limit is usually around $25,000 to $50,000.|
|OPCF 39: Accident Waiver/Forgiveness||Optional||Protect your premium from rising when you have your first at-fault accident.|
|OPCF 43: Waiver of Depreciation||Optional||Protects you by removing your insurer's right to deduct depreciation from the value of your vehicle when settling a claim. This coverage is for new vehicles with fewer than 5,000 kilometres.|
|OPCF 44R: Family Protection Coverage||Optional||Protects you if you or a family member is injured, regardless of whether you or your family members are in the car when the accident occurs|
Although all insurance companies use the same information to determine your quote, they evaluate your risk differently. This means they all offer different prices for broadly the same coverage. As a result, provincial regulators, like FSRA recommend to shop around and get multiple quotes before you purchase a policy. It is the easiest way to ensure you get the best rate available.
Ontario Car insurance rates change up to four times per year. By shopping around, you can check to see if your current insurance provider is still the one that offers you the best rates. If not, it might be time to switch to a company that offers a better price.
According to data from RATESDOTCA Insuramap, Cornwall, Elizabethtown, Amherstview, Gananoque, Martintown, Iroquois, Brockville, and Kingston are tied for the cheapest auto insurance in Ontario, they all have the average auto insurance premium of $1,132 per year.
Generally speaking, smaller, more rural locations tend to have lower car insurance rates than big cities with high traffic density. For example, cities like Toronto and Brampton have some of the highest insurance rates in the province, while smaller cities, like Belleville, are relatively cheap.
According to proprietary data from RATESDOTCA Insuramap, the cities with the most expensive car insurance in Ontario are all part of the GTA. Vaughan has the most expensive car insurance rates on average of $2,179 per year, followed by Ajax $2,104 per year, Richmond Hill $2,025 per year , Brampton $1,976 per year, Mississauga $1,971 per year , and Pickering $1,959 per year.
The make and model of the vehicle you drive has a big impact on your rates. There are two major things insurance companies consider when it comes to your car: the vehicle’s safety rating, and the likelihood of it being stolen.
We took a look at some of the best-selling cars in Canada and compared quotes for an average 35-year-old driver without any convictions or tickets in ten cities across Ontario, including Ottawa and Toronto. We averaged the rates and found the cheapest vehicles to insure are the Dodge RAM 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado, while the most expensive vehicle to insure is the popular Honda Civic.
RAM pickup trucks and the Chevrolet Silverado are among the safest vehicles on the road, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which helps keep their rates low. The Honda Civic is one of the most stolen vehicles in Canada, which is part of the reason it is more expensive to insure.
Statutory Accident Benefits provides coverage if you are injured in an automobile accident, regardless of who is at fault. This helps cover the costs of medical expenses including physiotherapy and rehabilitation costs that aren’t covered by OHIP. This coverage is mandatory in Ontario and included in a standard auto insurance policy.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of what statutory accident benefits cover:
There is additional protection that is available for you to purchase on top of the minimum Statutory Accident Benefits included in a basic policy. This includes:
Insurers in Ontario must go through to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) if they want to increase (or decrease) rates. FSRA releases a list of these insurance companies and the approved rate changes shortly after approval is granted.
Ontario drivers have dealt with years of consecutive price increases for car insurance. However, prices have fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are driving less and insurance companies have issued pandemic rebates — this all translates into lower premiums.
However, once traffic starts to climb to pre-pandemic levels, an increase in premiums could follow. Actually, we bet on that happening.
Here's why: the issues that insurers said were forcing them to raise prices have not been resolved.
Before the pandemic, the Financial Services Regulation Authority of Ontario (FSRA) noted that the cost to repair cars had gone up. Supply chain shortages and worsening inflation is pushing up repair costs even higher.
Plus, distracted driving due to cell phone use has increased the number of accidents on Ontario’s roads. In fact, FSRA reports that accident benefits and third-party liability claims account for more than half of all auto insurance claims.
Maintaining a safe and conviction-free driving record is without a doubt the best way to keep your premiums down, but there are plenty of other ways to save as well.
The above insurance company rankings are based on the number of users who have completed car insurance quotes and asked to be connected with the insurance agent or broker offering the rate. These users were given only the rates but not the name of car insurance company.
By taking away the names of the insurance companies, users were more focus on the amount of coverage and picking their cheapest rates.
|Rank||City||2021 premium||2020 premium||YoY change|
|25||SAULT STE. MARIE||$1,398||$1,430||-2.20%|
|32||ST GEORGE BRANT||$1,368||$1,192||14.80%|
Generally, car insurance gets cheaper the further away get from dense urban centres. That’s because there are fewer incidences of theft, fraud, and collisions in rural areas. In fact, more than 80% of car insurance fraud takes place in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), according to the Ontario Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force.
In Vaughan, drivers pay about $2,179, and in Toronto, drivers pay roughly $1,953. That means drivers in these cities pay $624 and $398 more than the provincial average, respectively.
No surprise then that the Ontario towns and cities with the lowest auto insurance premiums are outside of the GTA.
Find the average estimated car insurance rate for your postal code using the RATESDOTCA Auto Insuramap.
See how Ontario's average car insurance rate compares to the average auto insurance rates in other provinces.
|Province or territory||Average premium 2020||
Year-over-year change (2020/2019)
|Difference vs. Ontario|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$1,251||1.76%||- $404|
|Nova Scotia||$1,066||7.04%||- $589|
|Prince Edward Island||$885||2.26%||- $770|
At $1,655 per year or $138 per month, Ontario has the most expensive car insurance premiums in Canada.
Ontario has officially overtaken British Columbia, which claimed the top spot for years.
Today, the average annual premium in B.C. is $1,582, and Alberta places third with $1,514.
Ontario's immediate neighbour to the east, Quebec, has the lowest average insurance premium in the entire country at $857 a year.
Read on to learn why rates in Ontario are higher than anywhere else in Canada.
A convergence of factors is responsible for Ontario's high auto insurance prices.
For one, Ontario is the country's most populous province, with most people residing in large, urban areas. More people living close to each other equal more claims, which leads to higher car insurance premiums for everyone.
Ontario's mandatory auto insurance also has rich benefits. Ontarians are required to purchase more insurance than drivers in other provinces. A standard auto insurance policy in Ontario includes:
Auto insurance fraud is exceptionally high in Ontario. It's estimated to cost drivers $236 a year, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
In Ontario, drivers can also sue for damages from a car accident. Depending on your car insurance, your provider may cover all (or a portion) of your legal fees, which can cost insurance companies millions. To cover their costs, insurers need to increase auto insurance rates.
Quebec's auto insurance delivery system is unique to Canada as it follows a half-public, half-private model.
The province covers accident benefit claims – the costliest aspect of insurance – and drivers are not allowed to sue for damages.
Insurance companies only provide coverage for physical damage you may cause to others. The minimum amount of liability insurance you need to carry in Quebec is $50,000 compared to $200,000 in Ontario. This shaves off hundreds of dollars from auto insurance premiums.
For many years, B.C. car insurance prices were incredibly high.
The province previously had a tort-based, public auto insurance system. That meant you could only buy basic auto insurance from one provider — the provincial government — and people had wide latitude to sue for damages.
Another not insignificant factor is that Metro Vancouver has the highest number of luxury vehicles per capita in North America. These vehicles command huge auto insurance premiums since they're expensive to repair and usually require additional car insurance, pushing the cost of claims up.
Combined, these factors led to unsustainably high premiums.
Then, in 2019, the province introduced several changes to target the cost of premiums (while still preserving the public delivery system):
In April 2019, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) implemented several new measures to lessen car insurance costs, including capping pain and suffering awards for minor injuries at $5,500 and launching a new online tribunal service to deal with injury claim disputes valued at $50,000 or less.
The following year, B.C. residents paid $73 less per year for insurance than Ontarians, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
In May 2021, the province made another significant change by switching from a tort system to a no-fault one, which puts even more restrictions on people's ability to sue. This could drive rates down even further.
Finding cheap car insurance in Alberta has also been challenging for a long time.
In 2017, then-premier Rachel Notley introduced a rule that prevented the Auto Insurance Rate Board from approving rate increases of more than 5%.
Insurance experts complained that rates were artificially low and many car insurance companies wound down their businesses in the province.
In 2019, the next government removed the cap, which drove rates up again.
Despite these issues, car insurance premiums were still cheaper in Alberta than in Ontario in 2020: $141 per year less.
However, the Alberta government assembled a committee to review auto insurance regulations to tame rising prices for good.
One adopted recommendation called to include direct compensation for property damage (DCPD) in all standard insurance policies.
With DCPD, drivers deal with their own insurers to cover repair costs if they are not at fault in collisions instead of suing the at-fault person's insurance provider.
This reduces legal expenses for auto insurance companies and helps claimants get the benefits they need sooner.
The changes are expected to eventually deliver relief to drivers through lower auto insurance rates.
The insurance markets in each province are all under the same pressures, threatening to trigger rate increases in 2022 and beyond:
That's why it’s essential to monitor your car insurance rates and shop around for a better deal.
British Columbia (ICBC only)- ICBC Annual Report.
Manitoba - MPI Annual Report, private insurers
Saskatchewan- IBC calculation with data from SGI, SAF, and private insurers. SK premiums are a proxy per policy for all vehicles
This table outlines quarterly average rate increases over the last three years, as reported by FSRA 2022:
|Quarter and Year||Total Average Market Impact|
The average Ontario car insurance rates have fallen since late 2020 and consistently throughout 2021. This is because collisions have decreased, drivers have decreased their coverage, and insurance companies have issued base rate reduction, pandemic discounts and rebates. We even see the biggest rate decrease of -0.27% happened in Q1 2022.
Back in the day, comparing quotes was a time-consuming chore that involved calling individual companies, and reciting your information over and over again. Thankfully things have changed since then.
Technology has made comparing insurance companies much easier. RATESDOTCA runs the information you provide against a database of quotes provided by insurance providers. This allows you to easily compare quotes side-by-side, from more than 50 car insurance companies in Ontario.
Our service is free and Ontario drivers who use RATESDOTCA save an average of $772.*
*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.