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Ontario operates under a private auto insurance model, which makes the insurance industry—and insurance rates—competitive. Although all insurance companies use the same information to determine your quote, they calculate rates differently. This is why official regulators recommend getting at least three online quotes from different providers before you purchase. Comparing insurance quotes from different providers is the easiest way to save.
Car owners in Ontario are required by law to have car insurance. Car insurance helps to ensure that you, your vehicle, and your passengers are protected financially and from liability, in the event, something unexpected happens, such as a collision.
Ontario’s standard auto insurance policy includes four mandatory types of coverage to meet the minimum provincial regulations: third-party liability, direct compensation-property damage (DC-PD), uninsured automobile insurance and accident benefits. Additional insurance add-ons can be purchased to increase your coverage.
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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.
Ontario drivers pay an average of $1,505 annually for car insurance, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). While the province no longer holds the title of most expensive car insurance in the country (that crown now goes to British Columbia), Ontario drivers still face rates higher than the majority of Canadians.
Here is a comparison chart of annual premiums by province, in 2018 and 2019:
|Province or Territory||Average Premium 2018||Average Premium 2019||Average provincial premium increase|
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Average insurance premium numbers are according to data released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada press releases in July 2018 and August 2019 respectively.
** Previous year's average
Insurers in Ontario cannot increase their rates whenever they please. They must apply on a quarterly basis for rate change approval from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). FSRA releases a list of these insurance companies and the approved rate changes on a quarterly basis.
According to FSRA, auto insurance premiums in Ontario increased an average of 1.56% in Q4 over the previous quarter. Some insurers were approved for rate increases as high as 11.05%.
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 is another ongoing problem as 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.
This table outlines quarterly average rate increases as reported by FSRA.
|Quarter and Year||Approved Average Rate Change (%)|
There are four types of car insurance in Ontario that are required by law. All of these are included in a standard auto insurance policy:
In addition, Ontario drivers can purchase optional coverages including collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, specified perils coverage, and all-perils coverage, which may have their own deductibles.
|Insurance type||Mandatory coverage amount||Optional/Additional coverage|
Provides coverage in the event of a
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)||NA||Covers the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle following a collision with another vehicle, an object, or property|
|Comprehensive Coverage||NA||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||NA||
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.
Combines collision/upset and comprehensive coverage
Also provides additional protection if a household member or an employee steals your vehicle
Ontario operates under a no-fault insurance system, which means drivers go through their own insurance company no matter who is at fault in an accident or incident.
In Ontario, 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.
Insurance policies in Ontario are provided by private insurance companies who will look at your driving record, personal information, vehicle details, past convictions, and more before granting you coverage. This makes the market competitive, which is why Ontario drivers are encouraged to compare quotes before the purchase a policy.
Ontario auto insurance premiums average $1505 annually, or $125 monthly, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s 2019 report.
That said, premiums can vary significantly depending on the vehicle you drive, your personal driving and insurance history, the length of your commute, and various other factors.
Ontario’s insurance marketplace is competitive. Premiums vary from one provider to another, which is why provincial regulators like the FSRA recommend comparing multiple quotes before you purchase a policy. It is the easiest way to ensure you are getting the best rate available.
Car insurance rates change over time. 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.
Compare rates today to see if you could be getting a better Ontario car insurance quote.
On average, rural areas are less busy and considered less of a risk than busier municipalities, which means drivers in these regions pay less on average than city-based drivers. In Ontario, drivers in busy cities like 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 area also come into play. This is why premiums not only vary by city but can vary by postal code as well.
Your postal code is only one aspect of your insurance rate, however. Your personal driving record and insurance history have a lot more to do with it.
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 were the RAM 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado, while the most expensive vehicles to insure were Honda Civics and Toyota Corolla.
Interesting to note, RAM pickups 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. Honda Civics frequently make annual lists of the most stolen vehicles in Canada, which is part of the reason they are more expensive to insure.
Here are some of the key factors that affect your Ontario car insurance premiums:
1. The car you drive: The make, model and the age of your vehicle will affect your premiums. Brand new cars, luxury cars and sports cars typically cost more to insure due to the cost of replacing and repairing parts.
2. Usage of the car: Your commute time, the average kilometers you drive in a day, and whether you use your vehicle for business or pleasure will affect your rates.
3. Your driving record: If you have tickets, accidents, or convictions on your record, this is almost guaranteed to raise your premiums.
4. Your postal code: Where you live in Ontario affects your rates. On average, city-based drivers pay more than rural drivers due to the high number of claims reported in the city and the increased likelihood of getting in an accident.
5. Additional coverages: If you add any optional coverages to your policy, your premiums will increase to account for this extra protection.
6. Discounts and benefits: Many insurance companies provide discounts for winter tires, bundling insurance products, insuring two or more cars under the same company, being part of a professional association, and so much more. Eligible discounts will lower your premiums.
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 like 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:
The old school way of comparing quotes involved calling individual companies separately to get rates. Technology has made comparing insurance quotes way easier. As an aggregator site, Rates.ca 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 30 top car insurance companies in Canada. According to our internal data, drivers in Ontario saved approximately $500 on average by comparing quotes in 2019.