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The 10 Toronto neighbourhoods with the most expensive car insurance rates

Jan. 24, 2022
6 mins
Cars driving on an urban road

The average car insurance premium in Toronto declined by double digits in 2021, according to the RATESDOTCA Auto Insuramap.

The average annual premium for Toronto, including its suburbs, was $1,952 in 2021. That marks a decrease of 11.3% from 2020, when the average premium was $2,200.

Neighbourhoods play a major role in determining car insurance rates in Toronto as insurance companies look at the number of claims in an area to calculate how likely someone is to make a claim there rather than just evaluating individual driving behaviour. Case in point: the difference between the most and least expensive neighbourhoods is $1,126.

North York and Scarborough are home to the wards with the highest premiums. But while these boroughs still have premiums that are higher than the city and provincial averages, these areas have also been the beneficiaries of decreases. Premium decreases ranged from 4% (Humber River-Black Creek) to nearly 15% (Scarborough North).

Metro Toronto and central and southern Etobicoke have the wards with the lowest premiums.

Which Toronto boroughs have the most expensive rates?

While premiums in some of these neighbourhoods are almost double the current provincial average of $1,555, prices in late 2021 were more competitive than in the previous year. The highest premium in 2020 was $3,000 (Scarborough), or $254 more than the top price this year ($2,746), or an 8% decrease.

Toronto_Most Expensive Map_V1@2x.jpg

Rank Ward Postal code Borough Estimated 2021 premium
1. Humber River-Black Creek M3N, M9M North York $2,746
2. Humber River-Black Creek/ York Centre/York South-Weston M3L, M3J, M9N North York $2,685
3. Humber River-Black Creek M9L North York $2,623
4. Scarborough North/Scarborough-Rouge Park/Scarborough Centre/Scarborough-Guildwood/ Scarborough Southwest M1B, M1J, M1K Scarborough $2,562
5. Scarborough Centre/ Scarborough Southwest M1R, M1L Scarborough $2,536
6. Don Valley East/Beaches-East York M4A North York $2,534
7. Etobicoke North M9V, M9W Etobicoke $2,405
8. Scarborough-Guildwood M1G Scarborough $2,297
9. York South-Weston/ York Centre/Davenport/Eglinton-Lawrence M6N, M3H, M6M, M6E York/North York $2,238
10. Etobicoke-Lakeshore/Etobicoke Centre M9C Etobicoke $2,227

Rate estimates are based on a 35-year-old driver of a 2018 Honda Civic with a clean driving record.

Year after year, Scarborough and North York lead the pack for the boroughs with the highest car insurance prices.

It goes back to the fact that insurance actuaries have to account for the number of claims they expect to see in the upcoming year, says RATESDOTCA expert Tanisha Krishnan, a chartered insurance professional.

“Certain areas and postal codes see higher frequency of accidents and dangerous driving and the rates will reflect that,” says Kishan.

Insurance experts warn that if traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels, insurance providers will likely raise rates.

Which districts in Toronto have the cheapest rates?

The Toronto districts with the cheapest premiums still pay roughly 7% more than the provincial average, which is typical for a large, densely populated city. However, these neighbourhoods saw an average reduction of 19.8% in their premiums over the last 12 months.

Toronto_Least Expensive Map_V1@2x.jpg

Rank Ward Postal code Borough Estimated 2021 premium
1. Toronto Centre/ University-Rosedale/ Spadina-Fort York M4X, M4W, M5B, M5V,
M5S, M7A, M5J, M4Y,
M5H, M5G
Toronto $1,620
2. Willowdale M2N Toronto $1,652
3. Davenport/Parkdale-High Park Etobicoke-Lakeshore/ University-Rosedale/ Spadina-Fort York/ Etobicoke Centre M6P, M8Y, M5T, M8Z,
M8X, M6J, M8W, M6R,
M8V, M6H, M9B, M6K,
M6S
Toronto/ Etobicoke $1,684

Rate estimates are based on a 35-year-old driver of a 2018 Honda Civic with a clean driving record.

Historically, rates are lower in metro Toronto than in the suburbs. It could be because driving frequency is lower in the downtown core, says Kishan. City dwellers have access to other modes of transportation like the TTC or biking, she adds.

But once we start to resume our driving habits — when there’s more cars on the road, essentially — we will see that the rates go back to what they were pre-pandemic.

“If you see the congestion you see today versus what you would have seen before the pandemic, it’s vastly different.”

How do Toronto premiums compare to the rest of the Greater Toronto Area?

The average premium for the GTA (including Toronto) is $1,842, meaning that driving costs Toronto drivers about 6% more than their suburban counterparts. When we look at prices for the rest of Ontario, Toronto is the seventh most expensive city to be a driver.

Rank City Estimated 2021 premium Change from 2020
1. Vaughan $2,179 -6.7%
2. Ajax $2,104 -1.7%
3. Richmond Hill $2,025 -11.4%
4. Brampton $1,976 -26.8%
5. Mississauga $1,971 -16.9%
6. Pickering $1,959 -0.1%
7. Toronto $1,953 -11.3%
8. Oshawa $1,833 +12.1%
9. Whitby $1,792 +0.9%
10. Nobleton, Schomberg, Orangeville, King City $1,766 +14.2%

Rate estimates are based on a 35-year-old driver of a 2018 Honda Civic with a clean driving record.

How to lower your insurance rate no matter where you live in Toronto

No matter where you live, there are still things you can do to lower your car insurance.

  • Maintain a conviction-free driving record. Traffic tickets (speeding tickets, for example) and a major traffic conviction (like driving under the influence) will raise your rate. Parking tickets do not affect your insurance premium.
  • Avoid making insurance claims. Making a claim on your policy will raise your premium, but it also depends on the severity and cost of the claim and whether you were at fault for the accident. To keep your record clean, you might consider purchasing a product called an insurance rider that ensures your premium doesn’t go up after your first accident.
  • Install winter tires. You might be able to reduce your premium by up to 5% if you have winter tires on your car. Winter tires will also reduce the likelihood of you needing to file a claim — and one of the best ways to lower your premium over the long-term is to avoid filing claims.
  • Increase your insurance deductible. If you’re at fault for an accident, you will need to pay a certain amount before your insurance company will pay the difference. This is what’s known as a deductible. If you raise your deductible, the insurance company will have to pay less, and in turn, lower your rate.
  • Try telematics. Most major insurance companies now offer an app that monitors driving skills. Good driving skills translate into discounts, up to 30% sometimes. Be warned, the insurance provider could also raise your rates if the app detects you’ve fallen into bad habits like speeding or braking too hard.
  • Drive less. That’s right: try driving less. The more kilometres you log, the higher your insurance rate.  To save, supplement your car use with public transportation — something that’s easily done in Toronto.
  • Sign up for usage-based insurance. This is a great product for city-dwellers. CAA offers competitive rates for drivers who log 12,000 kilometres or less per year. You’re charged for every additional 1,000 kilometres you log.

Your Toronto car insurance premium could be lower

Finally, compare Toronto auto insurance quotes is the best way to immediately save hundreds of dollars a year on car insurance.

Keep an eye on your insurance costs by comparing car insurance rates in Ontario from several different providers, especially if your policy is up for renewal soon. In fact, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada both recommend shopping around for car insurance before locking into a policy.

Our methodology and how to interpret RATESDOTCA Auto Insuramap data

The RATESDOTCA Auto Insuramap is an interactive online map that lets users search for the estimated auto insurance rate in a city or neighbourhood by postal code.

Estimated premiums are based on a 35-year-old male who drives a 2018 Honda Civic four-door with a clean driving record (gender becomes less of a concern for insurance providers after about age 30).

One thing to keep in mind is that the premiums are based on RATESDOTCA’s data. Our mix of insurance carriers in our digital marketplace, while broad, dictates the prices offered.

In addition, insurance premiums are custom products based on a driver’s unique driving and insurance histories and coverage needs. Your rate could be more — or less — than the one displayed for your postal code.

Alexandra Bosanac

Content Manager

Alexandra Bosanac is a content manager for RATESDOTCA, specializing in auto insurance. She has reported for Canadian Business, the Toronto Star, the National Post, and the CBC.

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