Ontario car insurance premiums sometimes seem random and arbitrary to vehicle owners. But, in order to get the optimal insurance policy, it’s important to understand the average insurance cost in Ontario based on your age group. Knowing what others are paying, and the reasons behind it will ensure you find the best deal possible.
While prices may seem random now, there is a lot of method to the madness, and premiums are calculated by examining the unique characteristics of each vehicle and its drivers. In this article, we’ll explore how some of these calculations work when it comes to age and hopefully demystify some of the science behind how insurance premiums are calculated.
Average insurance cost in Ontario by age: Frequently Asked Questions
How is the average car insurance rate affected by age?
The average cost of car insurance in Ontario is affected by the age of the driver, but age is only one of several major factors that affect your premium. Insurance rates in Ontario are driven by two main factors: the vehicle and the drivers.
For the vehicle, these are the primary factors used to determine your insurance cost in Ontario:
Make, model, year – It makes sense that a new, expensive car will cost more to repair or replace. But it’s not that simple, because even less expensive cars that have driver assist features such as lane assist, blind spot indicators and adaptive cruise control can cost much more to repair than a car without these features. This is because even small fender-benders can result in the replacement of expensive sensors and the recalibration and testing of those systems. Your insurance company has a huge database of car accident claims and uses this data to determine the cost to repair certain vehicles. This information is then used to help calculate your premium which is reflected in your car insurance quotes.
Location – Some areas of Ontario are more prone to accidents than other areas. For example, the data may show that city residents are more prone to accidents than people in more rural areas. There may be data that shows that car thefts happen much more often in certain areas than others. Your premium will reflect this difference in risk.
Car usage & annual mileage – How you use your car is another factor used to determine your premium. The more you drive your vehicle, the more likely you will experience an accident. For example, someone who commutes from the suburbs to a city every day for work is more likely to have an accident than someone who works from home and only uses their car for errands.
For the driver of the vehicle, these are the main things insurance companies consider when determining what you will pay:
Age and experience – The age of the driver and the amount of driving experience they have under their belt plays a huge role in determining the premium. We will break down the issue in more detail in the following sections.
Driving record – Insurers will order a driving record for every driver on the policy and the results will impact your premium. They will check your driving record for any traffic tickets and violations, from speeding tickets to DUIs, any infraction that has not fallen off your record will appear. Generally, if a driver has one traffic ticket, their premium will increase from 0-10% (many companies will forgive one ticket). A second ticket will increase your premium by 20% and a third will increase your premium by as much as 40%. If a driver has a serious infraction on their record, such as a DUI or stunt driving, they may choose to decline coverage and send you to a company that insures high-risk drivers.
Claims activity – Insurers will also order the history of your previous claims activity. If the drivers have any previous activity on their record, it may affect your premium. Previous claims activity may also make you ineligible for a claims-free credit or affect your available insurance coverage. If you have multiple claims in your history, it will definitely increase your premium. Your insurance broker or representative will be able to provide specific details about your unique circumstances.
What is the average cost of car insurance for new drivers in Ontario?
As we outlined above, there are many factors that influence an insurance premium. It’s undeniable that age and driving experience plays a large role in what you are charged for your car insurance.
However, we can determine the average cost of car insurance for new drivers in Ontario by looking at average Ontario auto insurance premiums and breaking those down by age.
Average Cost of Insurance by Age
You can see that young people can expect to pay much more for insurance than older, more experienced drivers. We’ll explore why age plays such a large role in determining your auto insurance premium below.
How much does it cost to insure a teenage driver?
Parents of teenagers know too well that adding a newly licensed teenager to your policy is expensive. While it may seem that insurers are punishing young drivers, the reason for these higher premiums is very much rooted in years of accident data.
It should be noted up front that teenage girls tend to have much lower insurance premiums than guys. In their first year of driving, males pay approximately 25% more than females the same age. What men pay is often different from what women pay because statistical findings reflect an increased risk based on gender and age.
A 2017 Federal Highway Administration study in the US shows that guys aged 16–19 years were almost three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than drivers who are 30 years old. The CDC states that in 2019, the death rate from accidents for male teenage drivers was more than twice as high as that for female drivers the same age.
While there are many reasons for these worrying statistics, there are four characteristics that have been identified as the main reasons this happens:
Inexperience – This is a big one. Teenaged boys are less likely to identify potential risks and when they do, they don’t always know what they should do to avoid an accident and make critical mistakes.
Seatbelt use – Teen guys don’t wear seatbelts. Sadly, half of all teenagers who died in a car accident in 2017 were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident.
Speeding – young males like to break the speed limit. Studies show that young males are more than twice as likely to speed than women of the same age.
Peer pressure – When it comes to driving, guys are more susceptible to peer pressure than their female peers. For 16 and 17-year-olds, having one passenger under age 21 in the car was associated with a 44% greater risk of being killed in a crash, and having 2 passengers under the age of 21 more than doubled the risk of being killed in a crash.
Distracted driving – Teen boys can more easily get distracted than women drivers the same age. One study found that 40% of teen boys had used their phones to text or email while driving in the previous 30 days.
For more information on this topic, be sure to read Why is car insurance for new drivers so expensive?
At what age does the cost of car insurance go down?
The first year for all teenage drivers is by far the most dangerous, especially for younger drivers. In fact, for the first few months after being licensed the accident rate is about 50% higher for 16-year-old drivers than it is for 18–19-year-old drivers.
This results in the premium for young first-year drivers to be much higher than for more experienced drivers. Parents will notice a significant decrease in premiums in the second year. And if the driver avoids traffic tickets and accidents, their premium will continue to go down every year until they hit old age.
At what age does your auto insurance start going up?
Just as new drivers pay more because they’re more likely to be involved in an accident, this also applies to seniors.
While having a car is a great way for seniors to stay mobile and independent, their driving habits start to diminish. According to the CDC, this is likely due to changes in vision, physical functioning, and the ability to reason and remember, as well as some diseases and medications.
Older drivers will see their insurance rates start to increase around age 70 and their premiums will continue to increase each year afterward. However, if the older driver maintains a clean driving record with no claims, any increase will be relatively minimal.
How old do you have to be to have your own car insurance?
An insurance policy is a legal contract between you and your insurance company. Therefore, you need to be of legal age to have your own car insurance. In Ontario, this happens when a teenager turns 18. Anyone younger than this who buys a car will have to have a parent or guardian buy an insurance policy in their name and list the minor as the driver of the vehicle.