Pull back the curtain on car insurance
Fast facts about car insurance in Ontario
Average car insurance cost (officially)
Million licensed drivers
Collisions per year
Average household income
Understanding car insurance in Ontario
Ontario is Canada’s biggest province, home to 14,320,000 residents and over 10,000,000 licensed drivers (according to the Ministry of Transportation).
Although Ontario’s collision rate is relatively low, sitting at 2.08%, the province’s car insurance rates are mong the highest in the country (second only to British Columbia). This is due to increasingly severe weather patterns in the Great Lakes region and a much higher level of insurance fraud compared to the rest of the country.
In fact, car insurance companies in Ontario (the ones underwriting policies—not brokers) aren’t as profitable as the public tends to think. In fact, in 2016 they lost $1.02 for every $1.00 they of business they wrote.
At the same time, claims have become more expensive because cars have become more technologically advanced. They have touch screens, backup cameras, sensors for parallel parking assistance, and so on. All of that costs more to replace after collisions.
The Ontario auto insurance market is not a high-margin business. In fact, insurers regularly lose money on Ontario auto insurance as is indicated by the loss ratio numbers the industry releases annually.
In 2016 as an example, the overall combined loss ratio for personal passenger vehicles in Ontario was 102 per cent. Put simply, for every dollar insurers collect in auto premiums, they pay out $1.02 in claims and operating costs.
Ontario’s official car insurance rates compared to other provinces
- British Columbia: $1,832
- Ontario: $1,505
- Alberta: $1,316
- Saskatchewan: $1,235
- Newfoundland and Labrador: $1,168
- Manitoba: $1,080
- Nova Scotia: $891
- New Brunswick: $867
- Prince Edward Island: $816
- Quebec: $717
The insurance companies in Ontario we work with
Busting myths about driving in Ontario
Myth: Ontario’s roads are unsafe.
False. Statistically, Ontario’s roads are about as safe as they come. In 2013 Ontario’s accident fatality rate was the second-lowest across North America. Only the auto-accident rate in Washington, D.C. was lower.
Myth: Parking lots have strict rules.
False. Although the rules of the road apply in parking lots across most of Canada, they don’t apply to parking lots in Ontario. This lets you take your kids out to an empty parking lot to practice their first several trips in the family car.
Myth: Online car insurance quotes are misleading.
That’s why aha insurance is here. We were tired of being misled by basic car insurance quotes, so we developed a a way to give you an accurate online quote in around 3 minutes. That’s why we guarantee the rate for 60 days!
Myth: Cyclists get special treatment.
Cyclists must follow the same rules of the road as any other vehicle, including signalling and observing stop signs. However, this isn’t always enforced outside of main intersections. Drivers just need to leave a meter of space when passing cyclists.
Average annual rates in Ontario by city
For real people with some fender benders, family policies, and maybe even a car made after 2014.
Here’s what our data says.
- North York: $4,261
- Etobicoke: $4,199
- Brampton: $4,071
- Scarborough: $3,825
- East York: $3,605
- Woodbridge: $3,603
- Richmond Hill: $3,579
- Mississauga: $3,473
- Markham: $3,389
- Niagara Falls: $3,321
- Bowmanville: $3,308
- Peterborough: $3,259
- Pickering: $ 3,245
- Newmarket: $ 3,216
- Hamilton: $3,201
- Brantford: $ 3,158
- Maple: $3,150
- Whitby: $3,087
- Ajax: $3,053
- York: $2,999
- Toronto: $2,983
- Barrie: $2,924
- Thornhill: $2,871
- Waterloo: $2,867
- Caledon: $2,780
- London: $2,765
- Fort Erie: $2,720
- Oakville: $2,720
- Sault Ste Marie: $ 2,713
- Kitchener: $2,705
- Milton: $2,680
- St Catharines: $ 2,550
- Windsor: $2,536
- Woodstock: $2,513
- Innisfil: $2,505
- Burlington: $2,476
- Kingston: $ 2,360
- Cambridge: $2,297
- Oshawa: $2,295
- Guelph: $2,268
- Gloucester: $2,256
- Stoney Creek: $2,222
- Nepean: $2,196
- Ottawa: $2,195
- Sudbury: $2,005
- Kanata: $2,002
- Thunder Bay: $1,973
- Wasaga Beach: $1,958
Quick tips on safe driving in Ontario
Use winter tires, full stop.
We don’t need to tell you that winter lasts a long time in Ontario. Installing winter tires on your car gives it far greater traction on the road, which improves your chances of avoiding collisions (and therefore raised insurance rates in the future). They work best when temperatures fall under 7 degrees Celsius.
You also get a winter tire discount if you install them, required by law in the province. Not bad.
Keep windshield wipers in good shape.
Ontario’s roads kick up a lot of salt and grime in both winter and spring (if you can tell the difference between them in March).
Windshield fluid is cheap, so stock up! You could go through a contained every few weeks if you use it frequently, so don’t be afraid to buy some at your next gas stop. Also renew your wiper blades after at least a year.
Rust-proof your car every 1-2 winters.
Accidents can happen when car parts break or just deteriorate from rust. The best way to prevent that is to rust-proof your car to protect the undercarriage.
It gets exposed to all kinds of salt, mud, water, and who knows what else. Put on a fresh protective coat just before winter, when the worst of the salt from the road gets kicked up into your car. It should last 1-2 years.
Brush up on how roundabouts work.
Various cities across Ontario are phasing in roundabouts to improve the flow of traffic and to simplify the coordination of traffic lights.
You’ll often find these at the outskirts of cities where new developments are being built. Understand signalling left to continue in the roundabout and to signal right when you intend to exit. Watch out for those tricky three-lane roundabouts, too!
How to to get cheap car insurance quotes in Ontario
Your driving history is the single-biggest factor that insurance companies use to calculate your rate in Ontario. Avoid collisions with other cars and property, including fences, signs, and generally any damage to your car. Even in parking lots.
Choose safe neighbourhoods.
Insurance companies also use your postal code to calculate your insurance rates (both for home and auto!). Living where claims, accidents, theft, and even severe weather occur more frequently could see higher rates than the average.
Drive low-tech cars.
Generally, the next-biggest factor used to calculate your car insurance rate falls to the cost to replace your car (or its actual cash value). New cars have safety features, but they also have expensive computer components that cost a fortune to replace.
Remove bad drivers from your policy.
By default, everybody that lives in your home is added to your car insurance policy by default. That also means more risk to cover, especially if they’ve had an accident or two in the last 3 years. Make a special note to remove them to lower your rates, if possible.
Install winter tires.
Not only do winter tires improve safety by a huge margin, but it also nets you a discount on your annual premium! It’s hard to argue with that, especially since the extra safety will help keep your policy accident-free.
Consider accident forgiveness.
Making a claim tends to raise your car insurance rates unless you’re considered not at fault. Accident forgiveness prevents your rates from increasing if you are ever found at fault for a collision, saving your money long-term.
Bundle home and auto policies.
This is the number-one way to save money outside of improving your driving record. We offer up to 18% off on auto policies and up to 50% off on home policies, depending on the quote.
Insure both vehicles under one policy.
Just like bundling home and auto policies, insurance companies will usually give you a discount if you bundle all of your cars under a single policy. This is especially useful for married couples!
Frequently asked questions about car insurance in Ontario
I just want a fast quote for Ontario. Where can I get that?
Aboslutely! That’s why aha insurance exists. Get a car insurance quote in about 3 minutes right here. We run the underwriting rules from several different insurance companies and choose the lowest rate for you automatically.It factors in your car details, your driving record, and the coverage options you choose. It’s pretty sweet, and it gets better every time we add a new insurance company to the mix!
What’s the estimated car insurance for a new driver in Ontario?
It would be irresponsible to provide a ballpark number without factoring in all of the data because it all varies so much. New drivers can expect to pay more than experienced drivers for two key reasons. First, you’ll only earn savings with a good driving record over time. Second, most new drivers are under 25—the most likely age group to have collisions, statistically.
How can I compare car insurance in Ontario?
We wouldn’t recommend calling up insurance companies directly. Brokerages are your best bet because they compare the rates for you according to the same factors the companies themselves would use in exchange for a slice of the price. We do this for you automatically with an accurate, online, 3-minute quote.
What is a good car insurance price?
This answer depends on a range of factors like your location, driving history, age, the car being driven, and much, much more. While the average car insurance rate in Ontario is $2,638, you should check out the average rates by city to get a better idea of what you can expect to pay in your area.
Who regulates car insurance in Ontario?
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) has regulated the insurance industry in Ontario since June 8, 2019. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) regulated the industry before that point.
Is auto insurance required in Ontario?
Absolutely. Every policy provides a minimum amount of $200,000 in liability coverage in case you are found to be at fault in an accident. Policies also come with a degree of accident benefit coverage. It’s not a criminal offence, but expect fines between $50 and $500.
Sources for fast facts about Ontario:
- Insurance Bureau of Canada
- Statistics Canada
- Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
- MTO 2016 Road Safety Annual Report
- Ontario Ministry of Finance
Source for average insurance rates by city:
- Survey of 2,800 auto insurance policy holders in Ontario
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