Car Insurance Ottawa

Part of a series on car insurance rates in Ontario.

Car Insurance Ottawa: FAQ

What type of car insurance does aha insurance offer in Ottawa?

In Ottawa, Ontario, drivers can choose from three main types of car insurance coverage:

Liability Coverage

This is the mandatory minimum coverage required by law in Ontario. Liability coverage protects you financially if you are found to be at fault in an accident and are responsible for causing injury or property damage to another person. This coverage pays for damages and injuries to others but does not cover your own injuries or property damage. This is included in a standard car insurance package in Ontario, along with uninsured motorist coverage, direct compensation—property damage (DCPD) coverage, and accident benefits coverage.

Collision Coverage

This optional coverage protects your vehicle in the event of an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage pays for damages to your vehicle up to its actual cash value minus your deductible.

Comprehensive Coverage

This is also optional coverage that protects your vehicle against non-collision events, such as theft, vandalism, and weather damage. This coverage pays for damages to your vehicle up to its actual cash value minus your deductible.


It is important to remember that while liability coverage is mandatory, collision and comprehensive coverage are optional. However, drivers should consider their circumstances and vehicle value when deciding whether to purchase these additional coverages. Additionally, there may be other types of optional coverage available, such as rental car coverage, that drivers may also want to consider.

How much does car insurance cost in Ottawa, Ontario?

The cost of car insurance in Ottawa, Ontario, can vary depending on several factors, including the driver’s age, driving record, type of vehicle, and coverage levels. According to our recent data, the average cost of car insurance in Ottawa is approximately $2,195 per year.

However, it’s important to note that this is just an average and individual rates can vary widely. Some drivers may pay more or less than this, depending on their circumstances and their chosen insurance provider.

To get a more accurate estimate of car insurance costs in Ottawa, it’s best to get quotes from multiple insurance providers and compare rates and coverage options. This will give you a better understanding of the cost of insurance based on your individual needs and circumstances. Contact aha insurance today to partner with an insurance broker who can compare quotes from top insurance companies on your behalf, saving you time and money!

How much can I expect to pay monthly for car insurance in Ottawa?

According to our data, the average driver in Ottawa, Ontario, pays $2,195 annually for their car insurance. This means that, on average, drivers in Ottawa can expect to pay around $183 a month for their car insurance premiums. 

Car insurance rates in Ottawa can be some of the highest in the province due to a number of factors, such as a high number of accidents and claims and the high cost of repairing and replacing vehicles in the area. This does not mean, however, that you can not do more to lower your rates. Here are seven tips that may help lower your car insurance rates in Ottawa.

  1. Increase your deductibles: Choosing a higher deductible can help lower your premiums. A deductible is an amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. However, make sure you choose a deductible you can afford to pay in case of a claim.
  2. Maintain a clean driving record: Safe driving can help you avoid accidents and traffic violations that can increase your insurance rates. Avoiding accidents, claims and traffic violations, such as speeding or running a red light, can help lower your insurance rates.
  3. Bundle your insurance policies: Bundling your car insurance with other insurance policies, such as home or life insurance, can often result in a discount.
  4. Ask about discounts: Ask your insurance provider about any available discounts, such as discounts for safe driving, loyalty discounts, or discounts for bundling policies. Some insurance companies offer discounts for having anti-theft devices, winter tires, or driving a low-risk vehicle.
  5. Shop around and compare quotes: Get quotes from multiple insurance providers to compare rates and coverage options. This will help you find the best coverage at the most affordable price.
  6. Choose a safer car: Cars with advanced safety features and low theft rates may be less expensive to insure. Insurance companies often consider the cost to repair a car when setting premiums, so a car that is cheaper to repair may also have lower premiums.
  7. Consider usage-based insurance: Some insurance companies offer usage-based insurance, where your premiums are based on your actual driving habits. This type of insurance uses a telematics device installed in your car to track your driving behaviour, such as how often you drive, your speed, and how hard you brake.

Remember, every insurance company has its own way of setting rates and coverage options, so it is essential to shop around and compare quotes to find the best coverage at the most affordable price for your individual needs.

Who regulates car insurance rates in Ottawa?

In Ontario, car insurance rates are regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). The FSRA is an independent government agency that regulates various financial services industry sectors, including insurance. The agency is responsible for ensuring that insurance companies in Ontario comply with the Insurance Act and other applicable laws and regulations.

Under the current system, insurance companies in Ontario are required to file proposed rate changes with the FSRA for approval before they can be implemented. These rate changes are subject to review and analysis by the FSRA, which determines whether they are reasonable and justified based on a number of factors, including claims costs, expenses, and investment income.

The FSRA is also responsible for reviewing and approving all Ontario insurers’ standard auto insurance policy wording. This helps ensure that consumers have access to clear and consistent information about their insurance coverage.

While the FSRA plays an important role in regulating car insurance rates in Ottawa and across Ontario, insurance rates can vary widely between insurance companies and even between different policyholders with the same insurer.

Can I get a car insurance quote online?

Absolutely. In fact, here at aha insurance, we specialize in providing online insurance quotes quickly and easily.

To get a quote from us, visit our online quote tool and enter your personal and vehicle information into our online quote form. The quote form will ask for details such as your name, address, age, gender, driver’s license number, vehicle make and model, and desired coverage levels.

Once you have submitted your information, we will provide you with a quote for car insurance coverage that meets your needs in only three minutes! Our quote will include a breakdown of the coverage and the associated costs, so you can see exactly what you are paying for. And we guarantee that the price you are quoted is the price you pay. We will never lure you along with a low quote and then jack the price when it is time to buy.

However, if you have any questions or concerns about the quote, do not hesitate to contact our team for assistance. They can help you understand your coverage options, answer any questions, and provide further guidance on getting the best car insurance coverage at an affordable price.

How do I get the best car insurance in Ottawa?

To get the best car insurance in Ottawa, there are several steps you can take:

  1. Shop around: Get quotes from multiple insurance providers to compare rates and coverage options. This will help you find the best coverage at the most affordable price.
  2. Bundle policies: Consider bundling your car insurance with other policies, such as home or life insurance. This can often result in discounts on your premiums.
  3. Maintain a clean driving record: Safe driving can help you avoid accidents and traffic violations that can increase your insurance rates.
  4. Ask about discounts: Ask your insurance provider about any available discounts, such as discounts for good driving, loyalty discounts, or discounts for bundling policies.
  5. Consider your coverage needs: Consider the level of coverage you need based on your individual circumstances, such as the age and value of your vehicle, your driving habits, and your budget.
  6. Choose a reputable insurance company: Choose an insurance company with good customer service and a claims-handling track record. Research the company’s ratings and reviews to ensure they fit your needs well.
  7. Partner with a licenced insurance broker: Having to shop around and compare several quotes, research insurance companies, hunt for discounts, and review your various coverage needs can quickly become overwhelming. By working with a licenced insurance broker, they can do all of this on your behalf quickly and easily to ensure you obtain the right insurance for your needs at the right price.
What are the main things affecting my auto insurance premiums in Ottawa?

Various factors can influence the cost of car insurance in Ottawa. Below you’ll find a list of some of the main factors.

  • Location: Insurance companies take into account the location where you live and where you drive. Ottawa is a highly populated city with a high vehicle theft and accident rate, which can contribute to higher insurance rates.
  • Driving record: Your driving history is important when determining your car insurance rates. Insurance companies may consider any accidents, tickets, or other driving violations on your record when determining your premiums.
  • Age and gender: Younger drivers and male drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents, so they may face higher insurance rates.
  • Vehicle type: The type of vehicle you drive can also affect your insurance rates. High-performance or high-risk vehicles typically cost more to insure than safer, more reliable vehicles.
  • Insurance coverage levels: The amount of coverage you choose can also affect your insurance rates. Drivers who choose higher levels of coverage or lower deductibles may face higher premiums.
  • Insurance and claims history: Your previous insurance coverage, including any lapses in coverage or claims history, can also impact your insurance rates.
How does mileage impact my auto insurance rate?

Generally, the more you drive, the higher your insurance rates will be. This is because drivers who spend more time on the road are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents.

When you apply for car insurance, you may be asked to estimate your annual mileage. Insurance companies will use this estimate to calculate your rates, with higher mileage drivers typically paying higher premiums. However, some insurance providers may offer discounts for low-mileage drivers, as they are considered less risky.

Moreover, some insurance companies use telematics devices to track your mileage and driving habits. These devices can provide more accurate information on your driving behaviour and can lead to lower premiums for safe drivers with low mileage.

Why is car insurance important in Ottawa?

Car insurance is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it is mandatory by law to have car insurance to operate a motor vehicle in the province. Driving without insurance can result in significant fines and penalties and leave you personally liable for damages and injuries if you are involved in an accident.

Beyond the legal requirement, car insurance is important in Ottawa because it provides financial protection in the event of an accident or other unforeseen event. Car accidents can be costly, resulting in property damage, medical bills, and legal fees. With car insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are financially protected in the event of an accident.

Overall, in Ottawa, car insurance is important to comply with legal requirements, protect against financial risk, and provide peace of mind while driving in an area with high accidents and claims.

Fast facts about auto insurance in Ottawa

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 Ottawa, Ontario

Canada’s capitol is a reasonably large and affluent city, with nearly a million people living within its limits. Commuters don’t necessarily need to use the 417 (Queensway), even though it runs right through the city’s core and across the Rideau River, which explains why the city enjoys reasonable car insurance premiums despite the moderately high collision rate.

Ottawa enjoys the perception as a very safe city, and overall, it is. Having said that, the area’s crime rate has risen overall between 2016 and 2018, which could explain why the city’s rates sit just on the higher end of the province’s averages.

Ottawa also has a reasonably efficient public transit system (OC Transpo) that runs frequently with busses and a light rail transit system (LRT) in and around the core routes. That means that it may be cheaper to use public transit in Ottawa’s core, but there’s a good chance you’ll need a car if you’re living outside of it.

Despite OC Transpo’s high rate of collisions, public transit remains one of the safest means to travel around the city on a regular basis. Since the public transit lines run along routes toward downtown, you can reduce your car insurance rates by commuting via public transit most of the time.

Get your bundle on & save!

Want even cheaper insurance? Save up to 50% on home and up to 15% on car insurance when you bundle them.

Get your bundle on & save!

Want even cheaper insurance? Save up to 50% on home and up to 15% on car insurance when you bundle them.

Busting myths about driving and insurance in Ottawa

Myth: Ottawa is safer than most cities.

This is actually true, at least as far as the 2016 census can tell us. In 2016 Ottawa had a crime severity index of 51.3, whereas Gatineau (right across the river) scored 56.7, and Montreal scored 57.8. Halifax scored 61, Hamilton scored 53.6, and London scored 68.4. 

Myth: Public transit runs better than Ontario’s other cities.

Few opinions stand in the middle of this debate. While routes traveling downtown have a reputation for reliability, you’ll hear more than one complaint about all other bus routes around the city. If you can’t take a direct route downtown, then  it might be worth exploring a personal vehicle.

Myth: Public transit is unsafe in Ottawa.

This is false, but with a caveat. While public transit is still an incredibly safe way to get around town (either on the bus or the LRT), OC Transpo has seen more collision fatalities in the last decade than eight other Canadian metro areas combined. Thankfully, the collision numbers are only in the single digits.

Myth: Ottawa has higher rates because it’s a bigger city with more drivers.

False. In fact, our data shows that Ottawa’s average annual car insurance rate is $570 lower than that of London (Ontario), which has roughly one-third of the population. Ottawa’s low crime rate probably contributes to the city’s affordable rates in addition to familiarity with regular winter driving.

How Ottawa’s rates compare to other cities in Ontario

  • 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 insurance and driving in Ottawa

Don’t live where the crime severity index is high.

While Ottawa is generally a safe city with an overall crime severity index of 51.3 (as of the 2016 census), certain wards do have significantly higher crime rates per capita than others. Avoid these ones to reduce your overall car insurance rates, if possible:

  • Downtown (Somerset): 11,240 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Rideau-Vanier: 9,790 crimes per 100,000 people

Most other wards have no more than 4,000 crimes per 100,00 people.

Ottawa is pretty far north. Winter driving skills will save you from making claims.

 The Ottawa Police Force have a helpful guide on how to prepare for winter driving around the capitol:

  • Top up windshield fluid frequently. Visibility is safety.
  • Invest in winter tires. Seriously. They come with insurance discounts.
  • Clear all snow, ice, and slush from your vehicle—even the roof—or else it could blind other drivers.
  • Test your vehicle’s brakes in winter conditions, even just for 5 minutes in an empty parking lot.

Practice escaping a skid (safely).

Far more accidents happen in winter, and driving over ice is one of the most dangerous parts of the season. That’s why it pays to learn how to regain control of your car if it loses enough traction to start skidding on the road.

  • Take your feet off the accelerator or brake.
  • Look and gently steer in the direction you want to move.
  • If skidding straight, shift to Neutral Gear until you regain traction, then shift back and drive slowly.

Sources about Ottawa:

  • Stats Canada, 2016 Census Profile, Ottawa
  • CBC, “Ottawa’s violent crime rate jumped in 2017”
  • Ottawa Police, 2018 Annual Report, Crime Statistics
  • Ministry of Transportation, 2016 Road Safety Report
  • Crime Severity Index, 2016 Census
  • David and Marie Haynes, “Crime Levels in Ottawa’s Neigbourhoods”
  • Ottawa Citizen, “OC Transpo has had more collision fatalities in 10 years than eight major Canadian transit systems combined”

Source for average insurance rates by city:

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

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