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These 10 cities have the highest car insurance rates in Ontario

Jan. 24, 2022
8 mins
An aerial view of brightly coloured cars in a parking lot

Car insurance premiums for many Ontario cities decreased in 2021, according to RATESDOTCA’s Auto Insuramap, which maps out premiums by postal code.

The average Ontario premium in 2021 was $1,555, a 3.8% decrease from 2020, when the average was $1,616.

Significant premium reductions went to Toronto drivers, as well as suburban drivers who commute to the city for work. Most notably, Brampton rates fell by more than 25%. By comparison, prices went up for drivers in smaller, more rural parts of the province.

As you delve further into the data, consider checking out the methodology we used and what to keep in mind while reading the report.

Which cities in Ontario have the most expensive rates?

Here are the top ten most expensive cities for car insurance:

Ontario_Most Expensive Map_V1@2x.jpg

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.

Vaughan now claims the title as the city with the highest annual insurance premiums, at $2,178. Brampton, the former title holder, is now closer to the middle of the band of the top 10 list. A cluster of towns in Dufferin County and the Township of King, just north of Vaughan and Brampton, tied for the tenth spot.

Toronto fell by one position in 2021. We’ve also broken down premiums by Toronto neighbourhood.

Complete ranking of car insurance premiums by Ontario city

Rank City 2021 premium 2020 premium YoY change
1 VAUGHAN $2,179 $2,334 -6.70%
2 AJAX $2,104 $2,141 -1.70%
3 RICHMOND HILL $2,025 $2,286 -11.40%
4 BRAMPTON $1,976 $2,698 -26.80%
5 MISSISSAUGA $1,971 $2,372 -16.90%
6 PICKERING $1,959 $1,961 -0.10%
7 TORONTO $1,953 $2,201 -11.30%
8 OSHAWA $1,833 $1,636 12.10%
9 WHITBY $1,792 $1,777 0.90%
10 NOBLETON $1,766 $1,547 14.20%
10 SCHOMBERG $1,766 $1,547 14.20%
10 ORANGEVILLE $1,766 $1,547 14.20%
10 KING CITY $1,766 $1,547 14.20%
11 MARKHAM $1,744 $2,222 -21.50%
12 CALEDON $1,717 $1,547 11.00%
13 MULMUR $1,689 $1,568 7.70%
14 ALLISTON $1,636 $1,568 4.30%
14 SHELBURNE $1,636 $1,568 4.30%
14 BRADFORD $1,636 $1,568 4.30%
14 BORDEN $1,636 $1,568 4.30%
15 BARRIE $1,582 $1,568 0.90%
15 STOUFFVILLE $1,582 $1,547 2.30%
15 HOLLAND LANDING $1,582 $1,568 0.90%
15 AURORA $1,582 $1,547 2.30%
15 WASAGA BEACH $1,582 $1,568 0.90%
15 KESWICK $1,582 $1,568 0.90%
15 INNISFIL $1,582 $1,568 0.90%
15 NEWMARKET $1,582 $1,558 1.60%
16 SELKIRK $1,580 $1,432 10.30%
17 HAMILTON $1,564 $1,755 -10.90%
18 GEORGETOWN $1,526 $1,547 -1.40%
18 ACTON $1,526 $1,380 10.60%
19 LONDON $1,505 $1,509 -0.20%
20 MILTON $1,498 $1,380 8.60%
21 WINDSOR $1,491 $1,412 5.50%
22 PRICEVILLE $1,459 $1,568 -7.00%
23 CAMBRIDGE $1,412 $1,318 7.20%
24 OAKVILLE $1,408 $1,380 2.00%
25 FOLEYET $1,398 $1,519 -8.00%
25 THESSALON $1,398 $1,519 -8.00%
25 ELLIOT LAKE $1,398 $1,501 -6.90%
25 SAULT STE. MARIE $1,398 $1,430 -2.20%
25 HEARST $1,398 $1,519 -8.00%
25 SOUTH PORCUPINE $1,398 $1,519 -8.00%
25 IROQUOIS FALLS $1,398 $1,519 -8.00%
25 DUBREUILVILLE $1,398 $1,519 -8.00%
25 MANITOWANING $1,398 $1,519 -8.00%
26 DUNNVILLE $1,394 $1,236 12.80%
27 GUELPH $1,391 $1,302 6.80%
28 LASALLE $1,383 $1,213 14.00%
28 AMHERSTBURG $1,383 $1,213 14.00%
28 WALLACEBURG $1,383 $1,213 14.00%
28 COMBER $1,383 $1,213 14.00%
28 CHATHAM $1,383 $1,213 14.00%
28 KINGSVILLE $1,383 $1,213 14.00%
28 ESSEX $1,383 $1,213 14.00%
28 PELEE ISLAND $1,383 $1,213 14.00%
28 LEAMINGTON $1,383 $1,213 14.00%
29 ESPANOLA $1,378 $1,519 -9.30%
29 TIMMINS $1,378 $1,519 -9.30%
29 COURTICE $1,378 $1,547 -10.90%
29 BOWMANVILLE $1,378 $1,547 -10.90%
29 NEWCASTLE $1,378 $1,547 -10.90%
30 BURLINGTON $1,374 $1,337 2.70%
31 SHUNIAH $1,369 $1,488 -8.00%
31 NEEBING $1,369 $1,488 -8.00%
31 BRANTFORD $1,369 $1,344 1.90%
31 THUNDER BAY $1,369 $1,488 -8.00%
32 ST GEORGE BRANT $1,368 $1,192 14.80%
32 GRIMSBY $1,368 $1,192 14.80%
32 BINBROOK $1,368 $1,192 14.80%
32 CAMPBELLVILLE $1,368 $1,192 14.80%
32 WATERDOWN $1,368 $1,192 14.80%
33 WATERLOO $1,351 $1,276 5.90%
34 BOBCAYGEON $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 MIDLAND $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 CANNINGTON $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 LAKEFIELD $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 SUNDERLAND $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 NORTH BAY $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 COBALT $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 ELMVALE $1,351 $1,436 -5.90%
34 LORING $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 ORONO $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 STURGEON FALLS $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 PENETANGUISHENE $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 MINESING $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 PETERBOROUGH $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 UXBRIDGE $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 LINDSAY $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 CUMBERLAND BEACH $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 PORT PERRY $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
34 ORILLIA $1,351 $1,234 9.50%
35 KITCHENER $1,346 $1,341 0.40%
36 WOODSTOCK $1,331 $1,256 6.00%
37 PORT COLBORNE $1,327 $1,236 7.40%
37 ST DAVIDS $1,327 $1,236 7.40%
37 ST CATHARINES $1,327 $1,242 6.90%
37 NIAGARA FALLS $1,327 $1,247 6.40%
37 THOROLD $1,327 $1,247 6.40%
37 FORT ERIE $1,327 $1,247 6.40%
37 WELLAND $1,327 $1,247 6.40%
38 ST MARYS $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 FERGUS $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 DELHI $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 OWEN SOUND $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 HURON PARK $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 PARIS $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 STRATFORD $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 HANOVER $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 OIL SPRINGS $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 ELMIRA $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 SIMCOE $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 KINCARDINE $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 NEW HAMBURG $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 PORT ELGIN $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 CHESLEY $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 COURTLAND $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 STRATHROY $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 AYLMER $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 MEAFORD $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 WELLESLEY $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 TILLSONBURG $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 SHEDDEN $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 INGERSOLL $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 COLLINGWOOD $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 LISTOWEL $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 ROSTOCK $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
38 GODERICH $1,318 $1,211 8.80%
39 SUMMER BEAVER $1,310 $1,424 -8.00%
39 INGOLF $1,310 $1,424 -8.00%
40 KIRKLAND LAKE $1,306 $1,470 -11.20%
40 KAPUSKASING $1,306 $1,519 -14.00%
41 FORT FRANCES $1,283 $1,203 6.70%
41 KENORA $1,283 $1,203 6.70%
41 KEEWATIN $1,283 $1,203 6.70%
41 SIOUX LOOKOUT $1,283 $1,203 6.70%
41 DRYDEN $1,283 $1,203 6.70%
41 DEVLIN $1,283 $1,203 6.70%
41 KASABONIKA $1,283 $1,203 6.70%
42 PORT STANLEY $1,278 $1,124 13.70%
42 ST THOMAS $1,278 $1,124 13.70%
43 HANMER $1,258 $1,165 8.00%
43 LIVELY $1,258 $1,165 8.00%
43 GARSON $1,258 $1,165 8.00%
43 VAL CARON $1,258 $1,165 8.00%
43 SUDBURY $1,258 $1,165 8.00%
44 OTTAWA $1,257 $1,213 3.60%
45 SARNIA $1,256 $1,159 8.40%
46 CURRAN $1,255 $1,020 23.00%
47 BARRYS BAY $1,253 $1,234 1.50%
48 HAWKESBURY $1,239 $1,020 21.50%
49 ROCKLAND $1,206 $1,107 8.90%
49 RENFREW $1,206 $1,107 8.90%
49 CARLETON PLACE $1,206 $1,107 8.90%
49 CASSELMAN $1,206 $1,107 8.90%
49 PETAWAWA $1,206 $1,107 8.90%
49 RUSSELL $1,206 $1,107 8.90%
49 ARNPRIOR $1,206 $1,107 8.90%
49 PERTH $1,206 $1,107 8.90%
49 NAVAN $1,206 $1,107 8.90%
49 PEMBROKE $1,206 $1,107 8.90%
50 KILWORTHY $1,187 $1,234 -3.80%
50 NOVAR $1,187 $1,234 -3.80%
50 HUNTSVILLE $1,187 $1,234 -3.80%
50 MCKELLAR $1,187 $1,234 -3.80%
50 UTTERSON $1,187 $1,234 -3.80%
50 GRAVENHURST $1,187 $1,234 -3.80%
50 BRACEBRIDGE $1,187 $1,234 -3.80%
50 ROSSEAU $1,187 $1,234 -3.80%
50 PARRY SOUND $1,187 $1,234 -3.80%
51 CLOYNE $1,185 $1,103 7.40%
51 SMITHS FALLS $1,185 $1,103 7.40%
51 KEMPTVILLE $1,185 $1,103 7.40%
52 COBOURG $1,175 $1,103 6.50%
52 BELLEVILLE $1,175 $1,225 -4.10%
52 NAPANEE $1,175 $1,103 6.50%
52 TRENTON $1,175 $1,225 -4.10%
52 PICTON $1,175 $1,103 6.50%
52 KENDAL $1,175 $1,271 -7.60%
52 PORT HOPE $1,175 $1,103 6.50%
53 AMHERSTVIEW $1,132 $1,103 2.60%
53 BROCKVILLE $1,132 $1,103 2.60%
53 IROQUOIS $1,132 $1,103 2.60%
53 MARTINTOWN $1,132 $1,107 2.30%
53 ELIZABETHTOWN $1,132 $1,103 2.60%
53 CORNWALL $1,132 $1,107 2.30%
53 KINGSTON $1,132 $1,103 2.60%
53 GANANOQUE $1,132 $1,103 2.60%

Vaughan is the new home of Ontario’s most expensive premium

Premiums for Vaughan in 2021 reached $2,179. Formerly number four on the list, Vaughan’s average annual premium was $2,334 in 2020. Even still, that’s a decrease of 6.67%.

To reach the total for Vaughan, we combined the premiums for Woodbridge, Thornhill, Concord, Kleinburg, and Maple.

Within Vaughan, the communities with the highest premiums are the L4L postal code district in Woodbridge and L4K in Concord, where premiums averaged $2,584 per year.

Even though Vaughan unseated Brampton as the city with the highest average premium, a difference of only about $200 separates them. “Vaughan’s claim frequency could have been slightly higher than Brampton for that time period,” causing the northwestern suburb to take this year’s top spot, says RATESDOTCA expert Tanisha Kishan, a chartered insurance professional.

Brampton is bumped out of the top spot

High insurance premiums have dogged Brampton for years. To address affordability, the City of Brampton approved a motion last March to lobby the province to end “postal code discrimination,” referring to the practice of insurance companies pricing premiums based on overall claims frequency in a given geographic area rather than by individual driving behaviour.

But in 2021, rates in Brampton fell by a considerable 26.8%, or from $2,698 to $1,975. What happened?

Kishan wasn’t surprised by the percentage drop. Across the province, claims activity went down in 2021, which helped insurance companies save money. In turn, rates for drivers went down.

“A 26% decrease in Brampton just makes sense because of how expensive the annual rates were there,” says Kishan.

Which cities in Ontario have the cheapest rates? 

The following cities pay less than the 2021 Ontario average of $1,555 — about $400 less per year.

Rank City Estimated 2021 premium Change from 2020
1. Cornwall, Elizabethtown, Amherstview, Gananoque, Martintown, Iroquois, Brockville, Kingston $1,132 +2.3% (Cornwall), +2.6% (all other cities)
2. Kendal, Napanee, Trenton, Port Hope, Cobourg, Belleville, Picton $1,175 -7.6% (Kendal), +6.5% (all other cities)
3. Cloyne, Kemptville, Smiths Falls $1,185 +7.4%

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

While they round out the bottom of the provincial ranking, these communities still saw their rates go up year-over-year (except in the village of Kendal, where rates decreased by 7.6%). It could be correlated to the migration of city dwellers to the country, Kishan says.

“Because of remote work people started moving a bit farther out and the number of cars on the road could have increased slightly,” she says, adding that more data is needed to be able to conclude that definitively. More likely, drivers in these communities maintained similar commutes.

Why did car insurance rates decrease in 2021?

Auto insurance prices had been going up for years in Ontario. But COVID-19's rapid spread across the globe brought immediate changes to drivers in the province — insurance companies offered rebates and financial supports to policyholders, and drivers lowered their coverage to compensate for the fact that they weren’t commuting — and the effects of restrictions compound each year the pandemic drags on.

The largest overall decrease in auto insurance premiums in Ontario within the last five years was caused by several factors, but especially:

  • Professionals using their cars less while working from home
  • Insurance providers offering relief measures through lowered rates and rebates
  • And fewer new drivers behind the wheel due to a backlogged testing schedule

“A decrease in numbers of vehicles on the road will lead to price decreases,” says Kishan. Fewer cars correlate with fewer insurance claims, which translates into better profits for insurance companies.

Looking forward to the rest of 2022, experts like Kishan are uncertain about the direction rates will take. Insurance companies have been able to save money due to decreasing claims activity. If driving conditions get back to pre-pandemic levels, claims activity will likely increase and insurance rates will follow. If current conditions persist — or, indeed, get worse — claims could continue to fall. At the very least, the rebates offered during the first wave of COVID are likely to end soon.

“The COVID rebates would probably correlate to what happens in the next couple of months. They came into place because people were laid off or they had to remote-work,” says Kishan. “But at this time, I don’t really see it continuing because we’re still following reopening plan towards the end of this month.”

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

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 (like for speeding) and a major traffic conviction (driving under the influence, for example) will raise your rate. Parking tickets do not affect your insurance premium.
  • Avoid making insurance claims. In general, making a claim on your policy will raise your premium. However, it depends on the severity and cost of the claim and whether you were at fault for the accident (you can be 100%, 50%, or even 25% at fault). You can purchase a product called an insurance rider (optional additional coverage) that ensures your premium doesn’t go up after your first accident.
  • Install winter tires. Insurance companies in Ontario have to reduce your premium by up to 5% if you have winter tires on your car. More importantly, winter tires can keep out of a situation where you’d have to file a claim.
  • 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 for the rest. 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 providers now offer an app that monitors your driving behaviour. Good driving habits translate into discounts at renewal time. However, in Ontario, if the app catches you driving badly, the insurance company could raise your rates.
  • Drive less. The more kilometres you log, the higher your insurance rate. If you can supplement your driving with public transportation, you can save on insurance.
  • Sign up for usage-based insurance. CAA offers cheaper rates for drivers who log 12,000 kilometres or less per year. You’re charged for every additional 1,000 kilometres you log.

Finally, compare insurance quotes. It's one of the most efficient and immediate ways to save hundreds of dollars.

Your car insurance premium could be lower

Keep an eye on your insurance costs by rom 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 recommend shopping around for car insurance before locking into a policy.

“For consumers, the best thing that you could potentially do is check your rates at renewal, especially in Ontario. There’s so many insurance companies out there so it is in your best interest to shop around to see that your premium is the lowest,” says Kishan.

Our methodology and how to interpret RATESDOTCA Auto Insuramap data

Here’s how we found the estimated prices for Ontario cities.

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.

All 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 displayed are based on RATESDOTCA’s data. Our roster of insurance companies in our digital marketplace, while broad, dictates the prices offered.

Furthermore, 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.

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Alexandra Bosanac

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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