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Which Toronto Neighbourhoods Have the Most Expensive Car Insurance Rates?

Jan. 6, 21
4 mins
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Living in Canada’s most populous city offers many noteworthy benefits – a high quality of life, countless job opportunities, access to top-tier universities and colleges, and a thriving cultural scene. But there’s also a downside: Torontonians are subject to paying some of the highest car insurance rates in Ontario.

How much you pay can vary significantly depending on which part of the city you live in, according to RATESDOTCA’s Insuramap, an interactive online map that lets you look up the average auto insurance rate across the city and province by postal code.

The average premium in Ontario is estimated to be $1,616 in 2020, a 9.7% increase from 2018 when it was $1,473, according to RATESDOTCA’s data. In Toronto, the average premium was $2,201 in 2020, up by 12.9% from $1,948 per year in 2018.

However, T.O. residents who live outside of the downtown core or in midtown may be paying as much as $1,305 more for auto insurance per year than their fellow Torontonians. Estimated premiums in some parts of Toronto range from $2,202 to $3,000 per year.

Where are the most expensive car insurance rates in Toronto?

With rates continuing to creep up despite the reductions and rebates offered by insurers in 2020 because of COVID-19, some Toronto drivers may be feeling the financial squeeze more than others.

Here are the most expensive areas in Toronto for car insurance:

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Ward Postal Code Starting With Borough Estimated Premium
Scarborough-Rouge Park, Scarborough-Guildwood, Scarborough Centre, Scarborough North M1B, M1J, M1X Scarborough $3,000
Humber River-Black Creek M3J, M3N, M9L, M9M North York $2,864
Etobicoke North M9V Etobicoke $2,864
York Centre M3H North York $2,593
Scarborough Southwest, Scarborough Centre, Scarborough-Agincourt, Scarborough North M1K, M1S, M1T, M1V Scarborough $2,529
Scarborough-Guildwood, Scarborough-Centre M1G, M1H, M1P Scarborough $2,491
Humber River-Black Creek, York Centre, York-South Weston M3L, M3M, M6M North York $2,463
York-South Weston, Davenport M6N Toronto $2,463
York-South Weston M9N North York $2,463
Etobicoke North M9W Etobicoke $2,463

The rate estimates in Insuramap are based on a 35-year-old driver of a 2017 Honda Civic with a clean driving record.

Where are the least expensive car insurance rates in Toronto?

According to RATESDOTCA’s Insuramap, the cheapest rates in Toronto are estimated to be $1,695. Meanwhile, the rates in the city’s core and midtown are cheaper than those found on the north end of the city. One reason for this could be that residents who live downtown rely on their vehicles less than those living in Etobicoke, York, North York or Scarborough.

The city's Vision Zero Road Safety Plan 2017-2021 suggests that only 32% of residents who live in the city’s core or East York rely on a personal vehicle to get around. The rest take public transit (37%), or they cycle or walk (31%). For those living elsewhere in the city, however, driving more common:

  • 70% of residents in Etobicoke and York drive
  • 65% of residents in North York drive
  • 65% of residents in Scarborough drive

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Ward Postal Code Starting With Borough Estimated Premium
Toronto-St. Paul's/Don Valley West/University-Rosedale M5P, M4W, M4V, M4T, M4S Toronto $1,695
Don Valley West/Eglinton-Lawrence M4N, M5M, M4R, M4P North York $1,695
Don Valley West/Eglinton-Lawrence M4G East York $1,695

What influences the car insurance premium you get?

Where you live is one of many factors insurers weigh when calculating the rate you get. The other factors they look at include:

  • Your driving record and experience.
  • The vehicle you drive.
  • Your insurance history.
  • Your age, gender, and marital status.
  • How many kilometres you drive annually.

If you have a clean driving record (no at-fault collisions or traffic convictions for things like speeding or distracted driving), you may be wondering why insurance premiums go up each year. The answer is insurance premiums are based on what insurance companies assume they need to shell out to settle claims. That calculation is based on historical claims data. So, if there are a lot of claims in the part of the city you live, that tends to lead to higher rates. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) 2020 fact book, more than half of every dollar an insurer receives is paid out to settle claims, and insurers paid out $41.5 billion in claims in 2019.

Meanwhile, if provincial legislation called, “Ending Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Act 2019” (aka Bill 42), becomes law, insurers would no longer be permitted to use your postal code in their calculations when determining what you pay for coverage. Whether or not that unfolds remains to be seen.

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Don't waste time calling around for auto insurance

Use RATESDOTCA to shop around, and compare multiple quotes at the same time.

How to lower your car insurance rate no matter where you live

There are many ways Toronto’s drivers can save money on their insurance premiums, including being a defensive driver and keeping your driving record free of traffic convictions and collisions.

There are other ways you might be able to lower your premium. Talk to your broker or agent about how you can do so and inquire about the discounts your car insurance provider offers for which you may be eligible.

Your Toronto car insurance premium could be lower

Regardless of which Toronto borough or neighbourhood you live in, if you haven’t put your current premium to the test by shopping around, you may be paying too much for coverage. Comparing quotes at least once a year when your policy is up for renewal is undeniably one of the easiest ways to find out how much you can save.

Liam Lahey

Liam Lahey is a versatile, seasoned writer and editor. He worked as both a staff writer and freelance writer for many business and technology publications as well as for several newspapers. He writes about home, auto, and travel insurance, and is the media spokesperson for RATESDOTCA.

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