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Despite what some people say, Ontario car insurance can be simple.
Car insurance helps ensure that you, your vehicle, and your passengers are protected financially and from liability in the event something happens involving your vehicle, such as a collision. Car owners in Ontario are required by law to have car insurance.
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.
Ontario auto insurance is a privatized industry, meaning you purchase your policy from a private company. When providing a quote, insurance companies will consider your driving record, personal information, vehicle details, and plenty more before giving you a price. This makes the market competitive, which is why Ontario drivers are encouraged to compare quotes from multiple providers.
Last year, Ontario drivers who used RATESDOTCA paid 30% less than the average market rate. Compare rates from over 50 of Canada’s best insurance providers side by side. All you have to do is choose the best one.
These four mandatory components are included in a standard Ontario auto insurance policy:
Ontario drivers can purchase extra (optional) insurance, including collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, specified perils coverage, and all-perils coverage.
|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.||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.|
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 recommend getting 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.
On average, rural areas are less busy and have fewer motor accidents, which means drivers in these regions pay less than city dwellers. In Ontario, drivers in Toronto and Brampton face some of the highest insurance rates, while drivers outside of the GTA typically pay less.
However, the number of claims in your neighbourhood, the number of vehicle thefts, and the incidences of insurance fraud in your local area also come into play. This is why premiums not only vary by city, but by postal code as well.
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.
Here are some of the key factors that influence your Ontario auto insurance premium:
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:
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Ontario drivers pay an average of $1,505 annually for car insurance, or $125 each month. While the province no longer holds the title of most expensive auto insurance in the country (that award now goes to British Columbia), Ontario drivers still face rates higher than the majority of Canadians. See a cost comparison chart of provinces here.
Insurers in Ontario cannot increase their rates whenever they please. They must apply to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) on a quarterly basis if they want to increase (or decrease) their rates. FSRA releases a list of these insurance companies and the approved rate changes on a quarterly basis.
Ontario has seen consistent insurance rate increases over the years. FSRA notes that insurance companies have reported an increase in claims costs for vehicle repairs, which may contribute to the hikes. Distracted driving due to cell phone use is another ongoing problem. It has increased the number of accidents on Ontario’s roads, thus increasing the number of claims insurers have to pay out. FSRA reports that Accident Benefits and Third-Party Liability coverages 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.
See how Ontario's car insurance rates compare to other Canadian provinces.
|Province or Territory||Average Premium 2018||
Average Premium 2019
|Difference against Ontario Premium 2018||Difference against Ontario Premium 2019||Difference against Ontario Premium Increase/Decrease|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$1,132||$1,168||$313||$337||7.12%|
|Prince Edward Island||$796||$816||$649||$689||5.81%|
Average insurance premium numbers are according to data released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada in July 2018 and August 2019.
Ontario is the second most expensive province when it comes to car insurance premiums. If you live in Ontario, your average auto insurance premium will be over $1,500 a year. Auto insurance premiums are affected by whether the provincial insurance programmes are sponsored by a government agency or promoted by a private entity. Generally, insurance premiums subjected to market forces gravitate toward the lower end of the price range.
But it is important to note that the private-is-cheaper phenomenon doesn't take shape in every case. Car insurance rates in Ontario, a province which offers you a choice of several non-public insurers, is placed directly behind B.C.'s rates as the second-most expensive in the country. One of the cheapest provinces for car insurance includes Quebec, with an average of $661 in car insurance premiums for 2018 and $717 in 2019.
Car insurance premiums in Ontario are elevated due to the increase of fatalities resulting from collisions, which numbered 343 in 2017, a marked increase from the 307 traffic-related deaths in 2016, according to Ontario Provincial Police. Collision claims between 2008 and 2018 increased more than 30% within a 10-year time frame.
Most importantly, vehicle insurance is mandatory in Ontario, but unlike BC you have the option to shop around for the best rates. Always look for the best car insurance rates in the market to find the best deal.
This table outlines quarterly average rate increases over the last three years, as reported by FSRA:
|Quarter and Year||Approved Average Rate Change (%)|
In Ontario, during every quarter car insurers can apply to have their insurance premiums increased or decreased. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), formerly known as the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), oversees all insurance regulations in the province and has the power to approve or decline these requests.
Usually insurers request rate increases due to changes in a particular coverage. For example, if a particular insurer experiences an increased prevalence in payouts resulting from car accidents, they might apply to have their rates increased to help offset their costs.
This table featuring FSRA's approved quarterly changes shows how rates can fluctuate, making it extremely important to compare the best car insurance rates in Ontario.
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 last year, Ontario drivers who used RATESDOTCA paid 30% less than the average market rate.*
*Based on the difference between the average lowest auto insurance premium and overall average auto insurance premium from our site in 2019.