Ontario is home to almost 14 million registered vehicles. Regardless of their size, all registered vehicles in Ontario must have auto insurance. Being the most populous province, it’s not surprising that Ontario has some of the highest car insurance rates in the country. The wide range of insurance costs are a result of many factors. Let’s take a closer look at insurance rates across the province, highlighting both the most expensive and cheapest car insurance in Ontario.
Average cost of car insurance in Ontario
According to 2020 estimates from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the average cost of a car insurance policy for an Ontario driver is $1,655. As with everything else in Ontario, insurance is expensive. On average, Canadian insurers are paying out as much in claims as they’re earning in revenue. Insurance fraud, increasingly severe weather, and a handful of secondary factors have raised the cost of insurance in Ontario over the last two decades. However, the auto insurance industry has been experiencing a dip in the cost of premiums over the past few years. Let’s examine some of the reasons:
As of December 2021, the average Ontario car insurance premium dropped to $1,555 annually or $129.60 per month. This is a 3.8% decrease from 2020. Auto insurance prices were going up for years in Ontario. The arrival of COVID-19 and its rapid spread across the globe brought with it immediate changes to drivers. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRAO) has approved more than 100 rate reductions and 42 various rebates during the pandemic.
The largest overall decrease in auto insurance premiums in Ontario within the last five years was caused by several factors, but especially:
- Professionals using their cars less while working from home
- Insurance providers offering relief measures through lowered rates and rebates
- Drivers lowering their coverage to compensate for reduced commuting
- Fewer new drivers behind the wheel due to a backlogged testing schedule
Decreases in the number of vehicles on the road led to price decreases. Less cars on the road means fewer accidents and insurance claims, translating into better profits for insurance companies and savings for you. Looking forward to the rest of 2022, experts are uncertain about the direction rates will take. FSRAO says the lower rates won’t last forever, as it’s expected when the pandemic ends and driving habits return to normal that premiums will start to creep back up.
Which cities in Ontario have the most expensive car insurance?
According to proprietary data, the cities with the most expensive yearly rates are all part of the GTA. Vaughan has the most expensive car insurance rates, on average, followed by Ajax, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Mississauga, and Pickering. The full list is included below:
- Vaughan: $2,179
- Ajax: $2,104
- Richmond Hill: $2,025
- Brampton: $1,976
- Mississauga: $1,971
- Pickering: $1,959
- Toronto: $1,953
- Oshawa: $1,833
- Whitby: $1,792
- Nobleton, Schomberg, Orangeville, King City: $1,766
Formerly number four on the list, Vaughan’s average annual premium was $2,334 in 2020. While Vaughan moved up to the top of the rankings, it still saw a decrease of 6.67%. Vaughan is comprised of Woodbridge, Thornhill, Concord, Kleinburg, and Maple.
Conversely, Brampton, which has long held the title as the most expensive city in Ontario to insure a car, saw the largest decline in premiums of 27%. Its drop in ranking may be due, in part, to the City of Brampton approving a motion last March to lobby the province to end “postal code discrimination.” This is referring to the practice of insurance companies pricing premiums based on overall claims frequency in a given geographic area rather than by individual driving behaviour.
Which cities in Ontario have the cheapest car insurance?
The top 10 Ontario cities with the cheapest insurance are:
- Kendal: $1,271
- Port Hope: $1,175
- Amherstview: $1,132
- Brockville: $1,132
- Iroquois: $1,132
- Martintown: $1,132
- Elizabethtown: $1,132
- Cornwall: $1,132
- Kingston: $1,132
- Gananoque: $1,132
There is a difference of $1,047 between the least to the most-costly premiums province-wide. All cities on the above list pay about $400 less per year than the 2021 Ontario average of $1,555.
In an interesting development, RATESDOTCA reports that though the drivers from the above places pay the least in premiums, they saw their insurance rates go up year-over-year (with the exception of the village of Kendal, where rates decreased by 7.6%). Historically, insurance companies say that auto insurance tends to get cheaper the further you are from Toronto and its surrounding suburbs. For the most part, this remains to be true…with some exceptions. Typically, theft and accidents are less common in smaller, less-populated cities, which plays a big part in rates. However, due to the pandemic, the smaller cities cited above saw an increase in their population. This may prove to be in part because of remote work people moving further out of Toronto. This will result in an increase of cars on the road. Experts are studying data to be able to conclude that definitively.
Ways to save on your insurance premiums
Car insurance rates vary from city-to-city, right down to your own neighbourhood. There are some costs you can’t control. It’s difficult to change your age, gender, the car you currently drive, or where you live, but they’re all factors that influence your rate. You can, however, still find a number of ways to save money on your auto insurance rates. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of how to lower your car insurance in Ontario so you can learn about every insurance discount you deserve and can work towards earning.
To learn more about how to save money on auto insurance rates, click here.
Auto insurance rates are determined by many factors, such as your driving record, how much you drive, and where you live. The simplest way to lower what you pay is to shop around to find out if you can pay a lower price for the coverage you need. Luckily, Ontario’s private auto insurance market means that there is a sizeable selection of insurance companies to choose from. We can help you find a policy that’s both affordable and offers the right amount of protection. Speak to one of our isure representatives to help you get the most competitive rates for your Ontario city!