See car insurance rates in Kitchener, Ontario.

Part of a series on car insurance rates in Ontario.

Fast facts about auto insurance in Kitchener

Average annual car insurance rate

Regular drivers in the city

Collisions per year (approximately)


Collision rate for the city

Average age

Average household income


Unemployment rate


Understanding car insurance in Kitchener, Ontario

Kitchener stands as a key economic hub outside of the GTA as a part of the Tri-City Area (alongside Waterloo and Cambridge). A budding smart city and one half of Canada’s own Silicon Valley, it sees many commuters enter and leave the city on a daily basis.

While Kitchener is highly enmeshed with Waterloo (sharing a single police force, for example), insurers may see accidents in one region as separate from the other. Accidents on Waterloo’s Highway 85 may or may not count toward Kitchener’s claims rate, depending on the insurer (and they keep that actuarial science closely guarded).

Having said that, Kitchener’s rates aren’t too surprising. It has a moderate average car insurance rate that reflects a moderate annual collision rate.

Although the rate seems high for its population, so too does the number of drivers. According to the city’s 2016 census profile, over 91,000 people drove to work every day out of the city’s entire population of 233,222 residents. That’s a disproportionate amount of drivers on the road each and every day, which raises the statistical likelihood of a collision.

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Busting myths about driving and insurance in Kitchener

Myth: Kitchener and Waterloo are the same city.

False. Locals know they’re different, even though they share some public services and administration, like the Waterloo Region Police Force. Still, it’s important to remember for people moving here or just earning their driver’s license. Every residential area has its own crime rates, claim rates, and collision rates. Living on one side of the line between Kitchener and Waterloo could yield different rates than the other. Check with multiple insurers (or us) to get the best rate!

Myth: Kitchener is a rough city.

Definitely false. While crime rates have been rising across Canada in general (raising car and home insurance rates alike), Kitchener’s overall crime severity index only stands at 61.2 (shared with Waterloo and Cambridge).

While that’s higher than neighbouring Guelph’s index of 54.6, it’s pretty average compared to other Canadian cities. London’s stands at 68.4, and Thunder Bay’s stands at 85.9. Saskatoon’s stands at 117.8, and Regina’s at 125.8.

Myth: The 401 makes it easy to commute into Kitchener.

False! Although the stretch of the 401 between Cambridge and Kitchener just recently had lanes added, the on and off-ramps at Kitchener’s Highway 8 frequently slow to a crawl during peak traffic times—and if there’s an accident, then expect to get comfy.

You may be better taking back roads than the 401, especially if you need to get to Waterloo on the other side of the city.

Myth: Kitchener’s public transit isn’t reliable.

This depends on where you’re traveling. Public transit to and from the downtown core works reliably, especially with the addition of the light-rail transit system. However, bus lines haven’t focused on transporting people into the southern end of the city, or to Conestoga College’s campus.

Luckily, Grand River Transit just recently opened Door 3 at Conestoga College as of November 14, 2019.

How Kitchener’s rates compare to other cities in Ontario

  • North York: $4,261
  • Etobicoke: $4,199
  • Brampton: $4,071
  • Scarborough: $3,825
  • Woodbridge: $3,603
  • Richmond Hill: $3,579
  • Mississauga: $3,474
  • Markham: $3,389
  • Hamilton: $3,201
  • Ajax: $3,053
  • York: $2,999
  • Toronto: $2,983
  • Barrie: $2,924
  • London: $2,765
  • Oakville: $2,720
  • Kitchener: $2,705
  • Windsor: $2,536
  • Burlington: $2,476
  • Gloucester: $2,256
  • Ottawa: $2,195

Quick tips on insurance and driving in Kitchener

Learn how roundabouts work (they’re everywhere now).

Kitchener has invested pretty heavily into roundabouts in recent years. Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re here to stay—and cycling lanes are being proposed for new ones, too. Remember to use the left signal to indicate that you’re continuing in the roundabout and the right signal to indicate when you’re about to exit. Also yield to trucks entering them, as they have the right to use both lanes.

For even safer driving, just assume that nobody else understands how signalling works in a roundabout, either.

Street parking is all about where you look.

Easy parking can be hard to come by, but decent parking is everywhere in Kitchener (there are over 3,400 roadside spaces). If you’re looking for free parking around the Tannery, then check out the streets on the other side of the Deloitte building on Oak and Michael (you’ll know the huge smokestack when you see it).

For downtown engagements, carefully scan the sides of the roads for parking spots carved out on the sides of the road. Kitchener’s downtown core has undergone substantial redesigns, so many roadside parking spots blend in with the sidewalks right beside them.

Kitchener’s intra-city highways are good until rush hour.

Kitchener has a surprisingly robust highway system for a mid-sized city, and it connects to Waterloo pretty well. The only problem? Everybody uses them, even just to get around smaller parts of town.

This is a can reduce traffic to a crawl or even a full stop during rush hour, causing problems for commuters from outside the city. Get on the road by 4:00 p.m. after work to get ahead of the worst traffic jams.

Avoid collisions with cyclists, because you’re going to see a lot more of them.

Kitchener has made a push to promote cycling in the city as a part of a larger initiative to become a smart city. To that end, the city has created 5 kilometres of dedicated bike lanes, primarily around Water Street, Belmont Avenue, and Queen’s Boulevard.

Cyclists will be much safer, although some areas may have reduced lanes (especially downtown). Be prepared to drive more cautiously.


Sources for fast facts about Kitchener:

  • Stats Canada, 2016 Census Profile, Kitchener
  • Ministry of Transportation, 2016 Road Safety Report
  • CTV News, “Kitchener begins building separated bike lanes as part of pilot program”
  • CBC News, “Canada’s first ‘Dutch-inspired’ roundabout could be built in Kitchener”
  • Kitchener.ca, “Parking options”
  • Crime Severity Index, 2016 Census

Source for average insurance rates by city:

  • Survey of 2,800 auto insurance policy holders in Ontario

Google Rating: 4.8

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