Car Insurance Sault Ste. Marie

Part of a series on car insurance rates in Ontario.

Car Insurance Sault Ste. Marie FAQs

Is car insurance mandatory in Sault Ste. Marie?

Yes, car insurance is mandatory in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, just like it is across the province. All drivers in Ontario are required by law to have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage to drive legally.

The mandatory insurance coverage in Ontario includes third-party liability coverage, which provides coverage if you are responsible for injuring someone or damaging their property while driving your vehicle. In addition, all Ontario drivers must have:

  • accident benefits coverage, which provides coverage for medical expenses and income replacement if you’re injured in an accident, 
  • uninsured motorist coverage, which provides coverage if you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damages, and
  • direct compensation – property damage (DC-PD) coverage, which provides coverage for property damage to your vehicle if you are in an accident and you are not at fault.

While these are the minimum coverage requirements in Ontario, many drivers choose to purchase additional coverage options, such as collision coverage or comprehensive coverage, to provide greater protection for themselves and their vehicles.

How do I get the best car insurance in Sault Ste. Marie?

To get the best car insurance in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, there are several steps you can take:

  1. 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.
  2. Maintain a clean driving record: Safe driving can help you avoid accidents and traffic violations that can increase your insurance rates.
  3. Ask about discounts: Ask your insurance provider about any available discounts, such as discounts for good driving, loyalty discounts, or discounts for bundling policies.

Remember, the best way to get the best car insurance in Sault Ste. Marie is to shop around and compare quotes from multiple providers. At aha insurance, we guarantee the rate you’re quoted is the rate you pay. We’ll never lure you along with a low quote and then jack the price when it’s time to buy.

Can you register a car without insurance?

No, it is not possible to register a car in Ontario without insurance. In fact, proof of insurance is required at the time of vehicle registration.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) requires all vehicles to be insured with at least the mandatory minimum insurance coverage, which includes third-party liability, accident benefits, direct compensation-property damage, and uninsured motorist coverage.

If you attempt to register a car without insurance, you will be unable to complete the registration process, and your vehicle will not be considered legally registered.

Is there a penalty for driving without a licence?

Yes, there are penalties for driving without a licence in Ontario. Driving a motor vehicle in Ontario without a valid driver’s licence is illegal.

If you are caught driving without a licence, you may face several penalties, including fines of at least $5,000 and up to $50,000, demerit points on your driving record, and even vehicle impoundment. In some cases, you may also face criminal charges, particularly if you have a history of driving offences.

The severity of the penalties will depend on the circumstances of the offence and whether you have a previous record of driving without a licence. Generally, it is always best to ensure that you have a valid driver’s licence before getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

Furthermore, not having valid insurance coverage while driving can lead to further consequences. Insurance companies will categorize you as a high-risk driver and require you to obtain expensive “facility” insurance. In case of an accident, if you do not have insurance, you cannot receive income replacement coverage under accident benefits or file a lawsuit against the other driver for serious injuries. You may also be held responsible for the injuries or deaths of others involved in the accident. 

If you do not have a valid driver’s licence, you can explore other transportation options, such as public transit, ride-sharing services, or asking a licenced driver to give you a ride.

How much is car insurance in Sault Ste. Marie, on average?

Our data indicates that the average cost of car insurance in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is around $2,713. However, the actual price of insurance can vary depending on several factors. 

For instance, the coverage levels you select and your deductible can affect your premiums. Similarly, your driving history, the type of vehicle you own, and where you live can all influence your insurance rates. Younger drivers and male drivers are also statistically more prone to accidents, so they may pay higher insurance rates.

It is essential to remember that these factors can vary among insurance companies and your specific policy. Therefore, comparing quotes from multiple insurance providers in Sault Ste is always a good idea. Marie to find the best coverage options and rates that suit your needs. As one of the first brokerages to offer Canadians an entirely online quoting process, aha insurance can compare top insurance companies and provide you with a quote in minutes, saving you both time and money.

Can I lower my car insurance in Sault Ste. Marie?

Yes, there are several ways that you can lower your car insurance rates in Sault Ste. Marie.

  • Increase your deductibles: Choosing a higher deductible can help lower your premiums, but be sure to choose a deductible you can afford to pay if you need to file a claim.
  • Complete a driver training course: As a new driver, a driver training course can help demonstrate to insurers that you are a safe and responsible driver, which may result in lower rates.
  • Consider bundling policies: Bundling your car insurance with other policies, such as home or life insurance, can often result in a discount.
  • Compare quotes from different providers: This can help you find the best coverage options and rates that fit your budget.
  • Drive safely and maintain a clean driving record: A history of accidents or traffic violations can increase your insurance rates. Avoid these by driving safely and responsibly.
  • Ask your insurance provider about available discounts: Many insurers offer discounts for safe driving, loyalty, and bundling policies. It’s always worth asking if you’re eligible for any discounts.

The best way to lower your car insurance rates in Sault Ste. Marie is to research your options and choose the coverage that provides the protection you need at a price you can afford.

Can I keep a car without insurance?

Yes, you can own a car without insurance in Sault Ste. Marie. After your vehicle is registered with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), if you decide to park the car and never drive it, there is no legal requirement to keep insurance on the vehicle. 

However, even if you decide to park and not drive your car, it is still a good idea to have insurance coverage on it. This can help protect you from liability if someone else decides to drive your car, especially if they are then involved in an accident.

Furthermore, if you decide to drive it eventually, keep in mind that, in Ontario, all drivers are required by law to have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage to drive legally. As such, if you are caught driving without insurance, you could face significant penalties, including fines, licence suspension, and even criminal charges in some cases. Moreover, driving without insurance puts you at risk of financial loss if you are involved in an accident or other incident while driving your car.

Fast facts about auto insurance in Sault Ste. Marie

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 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Sault Ste. Marie sits on the lower-middle end of the spectrum for car insurance rates in Ontario.

It has a lot going for it here: since it’s not a bedroom community for larger cities, people don’t need to spend much time driving to and from work. This cuts down on every driver’s exposure to risk on the road, which in turn lowers the average car insurance premiums (all else being equal).

It also cuts down on traffic just passing through. People aren’t as likely to speed through neighbourhoods where their own kids walk to school.

Having said that, Sault Ste. Marie does have a collision rate on the higher end of the spectrum. This might have to do with severe winters, but it also has to do with personal driving history. Investing in winter tires and driver education goes a long way, in this case.

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 Sault Ste. Marie

Myth: Sault Ste. Marie isn’t a safe place to live.

Not true. While the city’s overall crime severity index is on the upper-middle end of the spectrum in Ontario, it’s not even in the same league as Canada’s most dangerous places. Those places have crime severity indices between 132 and 353. Sault Ste. Marie is safer than many places throughout Canada, all things considered.

Myth: Bayview and Jamestown neighbourhoods aren’t suitable for kids.

That’s not true. Even if these neighbourhoods carry local reputations, these things can differ from street to street (from an actuarial perspective), and those conditions can change whenever people move in or out of a given residence. Move away from streets where there are frequent problems if you’re going to move anyway, but don’t stress out about entire neighbourhoods harming your car insurance rate.

Myth: Sault Ste. Marie is isolated from the rest of Canada.

Nope. Sault Ste. Marie is a major railway stop, making it an important location for nation-wide trade. It’s also a 10-minute hop across the bridge to Michigan, which has some great tourist attractions in its own right. The city also has an international airport that can take you to just about anywhere in Canada in short order.

Myth: The shared border with the United States causes a lot of trouble.

It’s not really what people from out of town think. Traffic and travel increase the sheer number of people in a given area, and that can raise the amount of crime in any part of the world. The border with the United States brings in a good amount of tourism money and cross-border trade. It also lets those of us living in the Soo to travel south for shopping and some classic tourist destinations on the other side.

How Sault Ste. Marie’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 Sault Ste. Marie

Avoid the intersection at Albert and Gore whenever humanly possible.

In 2016 Gore Street got a bit of a makeover. The thought was to improve the flow of traffic between Wellington Street and Queen Street with crosswalks and some additional parking spaces.

The change also included removing the traffic lights at the intersection of Gore and Albert. This hasn’t improved traffic, and police initiatives show that the intersection remains dangerous years after the change was made.

Protect yourself, your car, and your car insurance rates by avoiding this intersection whenever possible. Seriously.

Avoid neighbourhoods with higher rates of reported crimes.

Areas with more reports of break-ins, property damage, or theft can have a negative effect on car insurance rates for everyone in the area.

While the idea of “bad neighbourhoods” can carry unfair stigmas, inurance policies are underwritten with statistical (actuarial) science that takes those things into account. Try northern or eastern neighbourhoods, or anything around the college.

Snow tires aren’t really optional for Sault Ste. Marie’s winters.

Being farther north means that the city gets pretty cold in the winter. Snowfall can get pretty high, and you won’t always be able to rely on public transit to get around when it comes.

That’s why you really, really need snow tires. They work well in temperatures under 7 degrees Celsius, grip snow and ice better than all-seasons, and—as an added bonus—it earns you a modest insurance discount in Ontario.

Sources for fast facts about Sault Ste. Marie:

  • Statistics Canada, Sault Ste. Marie 2016 Census Profile
  • Ministry of Transportation, 2016 Road Safety Report
  • Sault Online, “The most dangerous intersection downtown?”
  • Sault Online, “Gore Street Crash Caught On Camera”
  • Soo Today, “Sault Police traffic clampdown shows increase in intersection accidents, trailer offences”
  • Maclean’s, “Canada’s Most Dangerous Places 2018”
  • Welcome to SSM, “Top 10 Reasons to Move to Sault Ste. Marie”

Source for average insurance rates by city:

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

Google Rating: 4.8

Hot Dang! Those are some beautiful words from beautiful people.