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Written by Alexandra Bosanac

Car insurance in Waterloo

Waterloo has a limited no-fault auto insurance system. This means that you don't need to sue another driver to get compensation for medical care or physical damage to your car; your insurance company pays for these things. 

In most cases, your interaction with the other driver will be limited to exchanging insurance information immediately after the collision.

The no-fault system entitles you to financial compensation for accident benefits, legal expenses, and even repairs to your car (under some circumstances), even if you caused the accident.

Ontario adopted the no-fault system in the 90’s to shorten wait times for injured drivers to access money to pay for medical care and repair services. Previously, the province had a tort-based auto insurance system under which drivers had to sue for compensation. 

In pure no-fault systems, injured drivers cannot sue the at-fault driver for things not covered by insurance, like damages for pain and suffering. Ontario's no-fault system is defined as ‘limited’ because drivers here have the right to sue for damages. However, the damage has to exceed a financial threshold set by the province.

Also, when people first hear the term ‘no-fault,’ they’re confused about whether you can be found at fault. The Ontario Insurance Act outlines dozens of collision scenarios to determine which driver was at fault. 

Drivers who cause accidents will still face consequences for their actions. The penalties doled out by insurance companies range from premium increases or outright policy cancellations. 

Mandatory and optional car insurance Waterloo

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

Recent auto insurance quotes in Waterloo

Shopper from WATERLOO, ONTARIO
2019 AUDI A5 TECHNIK 2.0 TFSI QUATTRO 4DR SB February 06, 2023
$ 2,431
Per year
Cheapest Rate
$ 6,457
Per year
Average Rate
$ 4,026
or
62 %
in savings
Shopper from WATERLOO, ONTARIO
2020 HONDA CIVIC LX 4DR February 06, 2023
$ 5,138
Per year
Cheapest Rate
$ 8,942
Per year
Average Rate
$ 3,804
or
43 %
in savings

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How much does car insurance cost in Waterloo?

The average car insurance premium in Waterloo is $1,351 per year, or roughly $113 per month, according to the RATESDOTCA Insuramap.

The average Ontario premium is $1,555 annually, making auto insurance 13% cheaper in Waterloo. 

The average premium increased year over year by 5.9%. These figures are based on the quotes a 35-year-old male driver with a clean driving record applying for basic insurance would receive in late 2021. 

Waterloo car insurance rates by postal code

Waterloo average 2022 $1,351
N2J $1,331
N2K $1,331
N2L $1,331
N2T $1,382
N2V $1,382

Average insurance premium numbers are according to data from RATESDOTCA Insuramap.

Insurance companies use forward sortation areas (geographical areas delineated by the first three letters of your postal code) to group, or pool, customers.

The highest premiums in Waterloo were found in forward sortation areas that contain some of the city’s most desirable real estate. Here, drivers pay about $1,382 per year, or $31 more than the city average and $51 more than drivers in the cheapest Waterloo neighbourhoods.

  • N2T (Beechwood, Forest Hills, Laurelwood, Westvale)
  • N2V (Laurelwood)

Many of the forward sortation areas with the lowest premiums are found within, or adjacent to, the downtown core.

  • N2J (Beechwood, Central Frederick, City Commercial Core, Civic Centre, Fairfield, KW Hospital, Laurelwood, Victoria Hills)
  • N2K (Bridgeport East, Bridgeport North, Bridgeport West)
  • N2L (Beechwood, City Commercial Core, Victoria Hills)

Without detailed claims data to draw upon, it’s hard to make concrete conclusions about why these Waterloo neighbourhoods have the premiums they do. However, the conventional wisdom about what drives premiums up or down appears to apply.

For instance, insurance rates tend to be lower for downtown residents (like those in N2J and N2L postal codes) since they’re less dependent on cars. Using your car less will reduce your insurance costs.

As for the N2T and N2V neighbourhoods, higher insurance premiums are usually a sign that insurance companies pay out in claims to policyholders in that area. This could be in part due to affluent families' tendencies to drive cars that cost more to repair or replace. Also, a family could own multiple cars, which increases the cost of insurance.

How does Waterloo's average car insurance rate compare to other cities in Ontario?

Waterloo and its twin city, Kitchener, are in the middle of the pack for auto insurance prices in Ontario. According to the RATESDOTCA Insuramap survey, Waterloo ranked 33rd out of 53 spots and is in the 51st percentile for car insurance prices, meaning the price of insurance in 50% of the other cities surveyed is higher, and the price of insurance in the other half is lower.

Auto insurance in Waterloo costs $1,351 per year on average, or about $113 per month. Overall, Waterloo is on par with its neighbours when it comes to auto insurance. Kitchener’s average rate is fractionally lower, and drivers in Guelph and Cambridge only pay about $4 a month more than drivers in Waterloo.

  • Waterloo: $1,351
  • Kitchener: $1,346 (0.4% cheaper)
  • Guelph: $1,391 (3% more expensive)
  • Cambridge: $1,412 (4.5% more expensive)

The real difference in savings is revealed when you compare Waterloo to cities within the GTA. Insurance in Vaughan, which has the province’s highest average premium, would cost the same driver $828 more per year or $69 more per month. It would cost them $602 more per year or $50 more monthly in Toronto.

Rank City Average 2021 premium Difference (%) from Waterloo
1 Vaughan $2,179 +61%
2 Ajax $2,104 + 61%
3 Richmond Hill $2,025 + 56%
4 Brampton $1,976 + 50%
5 Mississauga $1,971 + 46%
6 Pickering $1,959 + 46%
7 Toronto $1,953 + 45%
8 Oshawa $1,833 + 45%
9 Whitby $1,792 + 36%
10 Nobleton, Schomberg, Orangeville, King City $1,766 + 33%
33 Waterloo $1,351 --

Which companies offer car insurance quotes in Waterloo?

Company name Company type Phone number Address
aha insurance Direct writer 1-855-242-2440 283 Northfield Dr E #4, Waterloo, ON N2J 4G8
Allstate Insurance: Waterloo Agency Insurance company 226-444-5574 330 Farmers Market Rd Unit 402, Waterloo, ON N2V 0A5
Cane and Co. Insurance Insurance Broker 519-570-1117 375 University Ave E Unit 105, Waterloo, ON N2K 3M7
Economical Insurance Insurance company 1-800-265-2180 111 Westmount Rd S, Waterloo, ON N2L 2L6
Insurance Hotline Quotes comparison 1-855-821-7312 360 Adelaide St W suite 100, Toronto, ON M5V 1R7
LowestRates.ca Quotes comparison 1-855-487-6911 1910 Yonge St Suite 401, Toronto, ON M4S 3B2
RATESDOTCA Quotes comparison 1-844-726-0907 360 Adelaide St W suite 100, Toronto, ON M5V 1R7
Scoop Insurance Quotes comparison 1-866-456-6620 300 Lincoln St unit 22, Welland, ON L3B 4N4
The Co-operators Insurance Insurance company 1-800-265-2662 668 Erb St. W Unit B5, Waterloo, ON N2T 2Z7
Zehr Insurance Brokers Ltd Insurance Broker 519-746-5900 279 Weber St N, Waterloo, ON N2J 3H8

Factors that affect your Waterloo car insurance premium

Your car insurance premium is decided by a host of factors. These are the ones with the most impact:

Driving record

The longer you’ve held your licence, the less your car insurance premium will be, assuming you haven’t been charged with any driving convictions, like speeding or distracted driving.

The two groups that pay the most for insurance in Ontario are young and inexperienced drivers and those who have had multiple driving offences.

Even one driving offence can affect your insurance premium and have repercussions for years, as they stay on your record for upwards of five years. 

Fear not, as parking tickets don’t affect your premium since they’re not considered moving offences. 

Insurance history

Being insured for many years is great for your rate.

Insurance companies tend to view mature drivers as more responsible. In fact, around your fifties is when your insurance rates usually hit their lowest level. 

Unfortunately, drivers in their teens and twenties have yet to build an insurance history. As a result, they pay some of the highest premiums out of anyone.

Car make and model

It costs more to insure cars with upgraded features than it will with an ordinary car. 

The more expensive a car is, the more it will cost to repair or replace it. 

However, sometimes a regular car ends up commanding an above-average insurance rate, and that’s due to theft.

For example, in 2022, Honda CR-Vs and Accords were targeted for their catalytic converters by thieves. A global shortage of precious metals used to make converters is attributed to increased thefts.

Optional car insurance coverage

Buying more coverage than is legally required by Ontario law will increase your premium. 

Consider whether you need optional coverage like collision or comprehensive insurance if you’re looking for areas to cut back.

Unless your car is financed or leased, or its model year is less than three years old, it might be cost-effective to pay for repairs or a replacement out of pocket.

An insurance professional can help you slim down your policy responsibly.

On the flip side, buying extra mandatory insurance is often a good idea. 

The mandatory minimum amount of liability insurance is $200,000, but experts recommend buying at least $1 million in liability since the cost to access legal counsel has increased in recent years. 

Increasing your accident benefits will also be a sound investment should you ever need to draw down on them, as medical costs have also risen.

Neighbourhood

Insurance companies rate drivers based on territory and use forward sortation areas (FSA) to define the boundaries. Your FSA is indicated by the first three letters of your postal code.

Your premium is affected by the other policyholders that reside in the same FSA. Suppose many of your neighbours are filing insurance claims. In that case, your rate could be negatively impacted, even if you didn't do anything wrong yourself. If the opposite is true, your premium will be cheaper.

Tips to get cheap car insurance in Waterloo

  • Compare quotes: The Ontario and federal governments recommend getting quotes from multiple insurance companies before you commit to one. Rates comparison sites like ours make it easy to folllow that advice. Enter your postal code, and we'll source quotes from the leading insurance companies serving Kitchener in less than three minutes.
  • Increase your deductible: If you make a claim against certain coverages in your policy, your insurance company may make you pay a deductible. A deductible is the amount you pay towards an expense before your company chips in and pays the rest. Deductibles are supposed to both deter people from filing claims and also incentivize better habits. By volunteering to pay a larger deductible, your insurance company will likely offer an insurance discount in return. You’re offering to take on more risk, which makes you appear more reliable in the eyes of your insurer. 
  • Buy an appropriate amount of insurance: Buying extra liability and accident insurance is a good idea, but there are other coverages that aren’t worth investing in. Talk to an insurance professional about whether you really need comprehensive or collision insurance, for example. 
  • Drive less: Substituting some trips with public transportation can help lower your costs. The less often you use your car, the lower the likelihood you’ll encounter a situation where you need to file a claim. That’s why insurance is so cheap for low-mileage drivers. Be sure to notify your insurance company if you are using your car less due to remote work. It could help reduce your premium.
  • Bundle home and auto insurance: Buying home and auto insurance with the same company is known as bundling and it will reduce your annual insurance costs by up to 15%.
  • Try telematics: Now available to Ontario drivers, telematics refers to technology that monitors your driving habits. With your consent, insurance companies can accurately monitor how hard you break, your average speed, the time of day you drive most, and the number of kilometres you travel each year. This is achieved by installing an electronic device into your onboard diagnostic port.  Being a good driver could reduce your car insurance by up to 25% at renewal. However, insurers can use the data to justify raising your premium, too. 
  • Pay upfront: Insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who paytheir annual premiums upfront. It’s for helping the insurance company reduce their administrative costs that come with billing customers each month. 
  • Apply for discounts: Insurance companies offer a range of discounts. For example, seniors’ discounts, winter tire discounts, and bundling discounts. There are also discounts for being an alumnus of a post-secondary institution or a member of a guild or union. Some insurers extend the benefits to current high school or post-secondary students for maintaining a solid grade point average. 
  • Avoid additional drivers: Adding a secondary driver to your vehicle will raise your premium. If a household member only uses the car on occasion, consider delisting them as a secondary driver. But before you do this, make sure to check in with an insurance professional and see what they say.  Your insurance company expects you to be truthful about how much use the car gets. 
  • Buy an endorsement: Ontario drivers can buy optional car insurance coverages that amend the terms of an insurance policy, known as endorsements. Some endorsements lower your coverage in some areas, resulting in lower premiums. For example, you can waive coverage for glass repair for a cheaper rate. Talk to an insurance professional about whether this tactic makes sense for you. 

Frequently asked questions about car insurance in Waterloo

Have more questions about Waterloo car insurance? We have answers.

Which company has the cheapest car insurance in Waterloo?

Every insurance company will quote a different price; no insurance company offers flat-rate insurance to all its customers. 

Premiums are determined by how much risk an individual within a particular geographic territory represents, no matter where you go. 

That means your friends and family might find a cheaper rate with company A, while company B can offer you a better rate.  

The best way to find out which insurance company you should use is to compare quotes from multiple providers. 

What are the best car insurance companies in Waterloo?

The answer will be different for everyone. Compare car insurance companies to see which one can offer good protection at a low price. 

Can I get month-to-month car insurance in Waterloo?

Month-to-month car insurance isn’t available in Ontario. 

Insurance companies require a one-year commitment from you in return for coverage. Some insurers offer six-month policy terms, but it’s not especially common. 

You could purchase a one-year insurance policy and cancel it before it renews, but you’ll be charged a fee (a percentage of your overall premium). 

Another solution is to purchase usage-based insurance. It’s a new insurance product in Canada geared towards low-mileage drivers. 

You pay a base rate for every 1,000 km you drive, usually up to 10,000 km or less. A device installed into your car’s control panel monitors your driving. 

You can also purchase an endorsement, Suspension of Coverage (OPCF16), that allows you to pause your coverage for cars in storage. 

How do I get car insurance as a new driver in Waterloo?

The traditional route for buying insurance is to go to an insurance agent or broker. 

Today, however, you can compare multiple insurance and brokers in minutes using a rates comparison site like RATESDOTCA. 

New drivers, regardless of age, can expect to be charged higher than average premiums, making shopping around even more critical. Inexperienced drivers may pay the most, but our data shows they stand to find the most significant savings of any group.  

Start a quote on RATESDOTCA and see which company or broker offers your lowest rate. 

Is ride sharing insurance available in Waterloo?

Yes, ride-sharing insurance is available throughout Ontario. The largest rideshare companies offer insurance to drivers. For example, Uber provides drivers rideshare insurance, which is underwritten by Economical insurance. If you're with another insurer, don't worry; ride-sharing insurance won't conflict with your personal policy. Rideshare platforms have partnered with insurers to provide commercial insurance coverage from the moment you turn the app to when you turn it off. When you log off, your personal insurance applies.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) maintains a list of all the recognized rideshare apps and the insurance companies that underwrite their driver policies: 

*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.

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