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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 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 can approve or decline rate change requests. Car insurance providers apply to increase or decrease their rates throughout the year. If an insurer pays more claims within a fiscal year due to car accidents, they will likely apply for permission to raise rates to help offset their costs.
Ontario auto insurance is privatized, meaning you purchase your policy from companies rather than a government body. FSRA's approved quarterly changes show how often rates fluctuate, making comparing quotes and finding the lowest rate essential.
In 2023, Ontario drivers who used RATESDOTCA saved, on average, $800 on their car insurance.
An auto insurance claim should be filed as soon as possible. Your claim could be denied if you don't file it within a week.
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 your eligibility and the amount you may be entitled to. If 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, like a collision, can have multiple at-fault motorists.
If you are found to be 50% or more at fault for a claim, the event will go on your insurance 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 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's average car insurance premium of $1,832), Ontario drivers still face rates higher than the majority of Canadians. Ontario has the 2nd highest auto insurance premium in Canada. Based on FSRA, the average Ontario car insurance premium was $1,651 as of March 2021. Our RATESDOTCA insurmap data from December 2020 shows the average Ontario car insurance premium is $1,616.
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|
Got more questions about car insurance? We answer them here.
Insurance companies use similar rating factors to determine your quote but evaluate risk differently. This results in different prices for the same coverage. As a result, provincial regulators, like FSRA, recommend shopping around and getting multiple quotes before you purchase a policy. It's the easiest way to ensure you get the best rate available.
According to data from the RATESDOTCA Insuramap, Cloyne, located in Eastern Ontario in the Greater Napanee area, has the cheapest auto insurance in Ontario; the average auto insurance premium is $546 per year.
Several other locales have average premiums that are in the hundreds of dollars. Most are in Northern and Northwestern Ontario, including Summer Beaver, Dryden, and Keewatin (all tied at $586 per year). Kapuskasing's average premium is $888 per year. Chesley, which is in Southwestern Ontario, averages out at $894.
Generally, car insurance rates trend below the provincial average the further away from urbanized areas you get. For example, cities like Toronto and Brampton have some of the highest insurance rates in the province. In contrast, small towns are relatively cheap.
Collisions occur more frequently in the GTA, meaning insurance companies pay more claims to customers. The high premiums represent the increased cost of doing business here.
Insurance companies pour a lot of resources into accurately predicting how much it would cost to repair or replace each car model on the road, meaning the make and model of the vehicle you drive will significantly impact your rates.
So, which models were the cheapest to insure in Ontario last year?
To find out, we looked at some of the best-selling cars in Canada. Then, we compared quotes for a 35-year-old driver from Toronto, where the average premium is $2,325. Our persona had no convictions or tickets and lived in the west-end postal code of M6H.
Pickup trucks occupied the top three spots. The best-selling 2021 GMC Sierra, a light-duty pickup truck, came first, commanding premiums of $1,779 per year (about $150 a month).
The Chevrolet Silverado ($1,811) and the Ford F-150 ($1,862) came in second and third, respectively.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, pickup trucks are among the safest vehicles on the road, which helps keep their rates low.
Unsurprisingly, pickups also reigned supreme when we compared cars by body type.
The Chevrolet Colorado cost $1,542 annually ($128 monthly) to insure in late 2021.
The Honda Civic is one of the most stolen vehicles in Canada, which is part of the reason it is more expensive to insure. The Civic costs $2,592 annually ($216 monthly) to insure in Toronto.
How does your car compare? Check out our complete rankings of the cars that are cheapest to insure in Ontario in 2022, including an analysis of cars by price, body segment, and overall popularity.
Statutory accident benefits provide 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 OHIP doesn't pay. 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:
Additional protection is available for purchase on top of the minimum Statutory Accident Benefits in a basic policy. This includes:
Insurers in Ontario must go to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) to increase (or decrease) rates. FSRA releases a list of these insurance companies, and the approved rate changes shortly after approval is granted.
Car insurance prices are rising again in Ontario after an unprecedented period of no growth during provincially mandated quarantines.
Mass vaccination programs have allowed Ontarians to return to routines resembling pre-pandemic ones, which included much more driving. More cars back on the road means drivers are more likely to be in a collision that results in a claim, which their insurance company will pay.
Predictably, the agency that helps regulate auto insurance prices approved 56 rate increases by the end of the third quarter of 2023, compared with 29 during the same period in 2022.
When COVID-19 first struck Ontario, insurance companies issued rebates to policyholders who had decreased their coverage or needed financial relief.
The story today is very different.
Inflation is putting strain on insurers' operating budgets. And essential car parts, particularly semiconductors, have been in short supply, which is driving up prices.
A Canada-wide spike in car thefts is also aggravating the situation as drivers with comprehensive insurance file claims to have their cars replaced. Thefts in Ontario spiked 48.3% in 2022, and this year’s count is on track to surpass that.
Plus, issues that predate the pandemic, which insurers said were forcing them to raise prices, still exist.
For example, car repair costs have increased as manufacturers introduce new technologies like sensors and cameras to even economy cars.
There are more collisions, too, and the claims stemming from them tend to be more expensive. The province now reports that accident benefits and third-party liability claims account for over half of all auto insurance claims. Translated, many of these claim payouts are going towards legal and medical costs, which add up quickly.
If you feel like you're paying too much, one of the most effective and immediate ways to lower your car insurance costs is to shop around for quotes, according to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). Ontario drivers save $800* on average when comparing car insurance quotes on RATESDOTCA.
Maintaining a 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.
The above insurance company rankings are based on the number of users who have completed Lowestrates.ca car insurance quotes and wanted 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.
|City/Town||Auto Insurance Rate|
|Kingston, Napanee, Port Hope, Cobourg, Brockville||$1,103|
|Cornwall, Petawawa, Russell||$1,107|
|Grimsby and Waterdown||$1,192|
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 Brampton, drivers pay about $2,698, and in Toronto, drivers pay roughly $2,201. These figures cost a startling $500 to $1,000 more than the provincial average.
No surprise then that the Ontario towns and cities with the lowest auto insurance premiums are outside of the GTA.
Find the average rate for your postal code using the RATESDOTCA Insuramap.
See how Ontario's car insurance rates compare to other Canadian 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|
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 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 pandemic rebates. We are expecting similar trend will be continued in 2022, as new Covid variants emerged, number of COVID cases increase rapidly, Ontario government impose further restrictions.
Back in the day, comparing car insurance quotes was a time-consuming chore that involved calling several insurance companies one by one and reciting the same information over and over. Thankfully, technology has made comparing insurance companies much easier.
RATESDOTCA runs your details through a database of quotes from Ontario insurance companies. Then, we bring you a list of quotes from more than 50 insurance companies, allowing you to compare quotes side-by-side easily.
Our service is free, and Ontario drivers who use RATESDOTCA save an average of $800.*
*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.