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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 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|
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, Cornwall, Elizabethtown, Amherstview, Gananoque, Martintown, Iroquois, Brockville, and Kingston are tied for the cheapest auto insurance in Ontario.
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, 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, followed by Ajax, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Mississauga, and Pickering.
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 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 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 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 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.