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When you find the best quote, secure your Ontario auto insurance rate by talking to a licensed broker or agent.

Compare Ontario auto insurance quotes to find your lowest rate.

Not only does Ontario have more drivers than any province in Canada, but it also has the most expensive car insurance in the country. The average cost of a car insurance policy for an Ontario driver is $1,655 according to 2020 estimates from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

That’s a lot of money, but there are still ways to find savings on auto insurance.

Lowestrates.ca will help you find the cheapest car insurance policy no matter where you live in the province. Start by entering your postal code and in three minutes you’ll receive quotes from 50+ Canadian insurance providers.

We believe you’ll be surprised by how much your quotes vary.

Want to know more about how auto insurance works in Ontario and how to get the best policy at the lowest price? Keep reading for helpful information and tips.

Front view of a car. Illustration.

See how our customers in Ontario save big on auto insurance.

CustomerLocationVehicleLowest rateAverage rateSaved
Quote from August 07, 2022
Customer
Male, 19 years old
Location
thunder bay
Vehicle
2016 FORD FIESTA ST 5DR
Lowest Rate
$301/mth
$3,612/yr
Average Rate
$515/mth
$6,178/yr
Saved
$214/mth
41.53%
Quote from August 07, 2022
Customer
Female, 52 years old
Location
oak ridges
Vehicle
2021 HONDA CIVIC EX 4DR
Lowest Rate
$182/mth
$2,180/yr
Average Rate
$287/mth
$3,446/yr
Saved
$106/mth
36.74%

Different types of auto insurance in Ontario.

Mandatory car insurance coverage

Ontario's no-fault insurance system requires that drivers carry at least $200,000 in third-party liability insurance for their vehicles. Without this minimum amount of liability coverage, drivers can't register their automobiles. A basic insurance policy in Ontario also includes coverage for medical services and damage to your vehicle. Each is described below.

Accident benefits in Ontario

These are the medical benefits that come with a standard auto insurance policy:

Direct compensation property damage coverage (DCPD)

Ontario drivers are also required to buy direct compensation property damage (DCPD) coverage.

DCPD covers your vehicle damages if another driver is found at fault for the accident. Even if someone else damages your car, you collect benefits from your own insurer.

Uninsured vehicle insurance

This coverage protects you and your family from losses related to a collision with an uninsured vehicle or a hit-and-run driver. If you are injured or killed, you and your family can be compensated. You will also be protected against damage to your vehicle caused by an uninsured car.

Optional car insurance coverage

You can add coverage to your base policy if you believe you'll need it. There are four types of optional coverages and coverage amounts you can purchase. Here's what each one protects against.

Other types of car insurance coverage

Borrowed and rented vehicles coverage

Extended coverage beyond your primary vehicle to include any vehicles you rent or borrow on a short-term basis. Is added to your policy as an endorsement, OPCF 27, Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile(s).

Leased vehicle coverage

Adds protection for long-term leases as opposed to short-term rentals. Is added to your policy as an endorsement, OPCF 5, Permission to Rent or Lease Automobiles and Extending Coverage to the Specified Lessee(s).

Loss of use coverage

This covers a rental car while your vehicle is repaired or replaced due to a covered accident or other insured damage. It's added to your base policy as an endorsement, OPCF 20, Coverage for Transportation Replacement.

New vehicle replacement

Offers temporary protection for new vehicles, usually for the first two years of owning a new car. This means that if your vehicle is damaged following a covered peril, the insurance provider won't factor its depreciated value into your compensation. This could more easily allow you to replace the vehicle with another new vehicle. It is added to the policy as an endorsement, OPCF 43, Removing Depreciation Deduction.

Ride-sharing driver coverage

Ontario was the first province to approve an insurance policy for ride-sharing drivers. If you drive for a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, make sure you get the right coverage. Ride-sharing insurance is essential to keep your customers, your vehicle, and yourself protected in case something happens while you're on the road.

Usage-based car insurance coverage

Ontario was one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to approve usage-based car insurance policies, and drivers in the province can take advantage of this newer type of insurance plan to dramatically lower their premiums.

Factors that determine car insurance rates in Ontario.

Insurance providers evaluate a variety of factors before they calculate your car insurance rate.

The following variables are used to determine your insurance rate in the province:

When applying for a car insurance quote, these are the factors that will most strongly impact the premiums offered to you.

Auto insurance legal requirements & rate regulations in Ontario.

Ontario's auto insurance system & its legal requirements

All drivers in Canada are required by law to have car insurance.

To ensure you have the best coverage at the lowest rate, it helps to understand the nuances of the system.

First, there's mandatory coverage that all drivers in Ontario are required to have third-party liability, accident benefits, direct compensation property damage (DCPD) and uninsured vehicle.

Second, drivers can opt to add coverage to their policy – either by adding individual endorsements, or by purchasing a coverage package. Many insurance providers describe these packages as collision, comprehensive, specified perils or all-perils.

It's also helpful to understand how the overall car insurance industry operates in Canada. Car insurance rates are regulated by each province, resulting in slightly different coverage between each.

Ontario has a no-fault system. This means that your car insurance company handles your claim, regardless of who caused the accident.

One of the benefits of a no-fault regime is that there's no delay for injured parties receiving compensation. Rather than having to sue the at-fault driver, claims are processed by each party's own insurance provider.

However, the term ‘no fault’ can cause some confusion; insurance providers still want to know who caused the collision because they will need to establish fault before financial compensation can be awarded.

If the collision was your fault, it will be reflected on your record and your premiums may increase.

You can still be convicted under the Criminal Code and the Highway Traffic Act, and you can also be sued by the injured party for damages that exceed the limits of your insurance benefit.

Another detail to be aware of: If you're found driving without car insurance coverage in Ontario, you will be penalized. Motorists convicted of driving without insurance must pay a fine ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for their first offence. Second offence fines range from $10,000 to $50,000, and your driver's licence may be suspended for up to a year.

If you're in a collision, don't have coverage and are convicted of driving without the minimum auto insurance coverage required by law, you'll be identified as a “high-risk driver”. You'll face higher auto insurance rates in the future, and your vehicle may be impounded.

The costs of being in a collision when you don't have a licence could also be significant. For example, you could be responsible for covering the cost of property damage and physical damage for anyone injured.

Ontario's auto insurance authority & rate regulation

Auto insurance premiums in Canada are government regulated, meaning that they don't change without approval.

To change rates, insurance providers in Ontario must go through the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).

Following approval, FSRA publishes a list of approved rate changes.

The approval process means that auto insurance rates don't tend to change as often as home insurance rates, which are unregulated.

Insurance providers make money through premiums as well as investments. In a low-interest rate environment, when investments aren't necessarily producing a high return, home insurance premiums are likely to increase sooner than car insurance premiums.

How do Ontario car insurance rates compare to other provinces?

Unfortunately, Ontario auto insurance premiums are among the highest in Canada. Why? Many experts point to high fraud rates and higher than average traffic on Ontario roads.

Compare the average Ontario insurance rate to other provinces:

ProvinceAverage
Yearly Rate 1
Ontario$1,655
British Columbia$1,582 2
Alberta$1,514
Newfoundland &
Labrador
$1,251
Manitoba$1,200
Northwest
Territories
$978 2
Nunavut$1,033 2
ProvinceAverage
Yearly Rate 1
Yukon$889 2
Nova Scotia$1,066
Saskatchewan$1,274
New Brunswick$1,014
Prince Edward
Island
$885
Quebec$857

1Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador – IBC with data from GISA exhibits auto1005-2020-ON, AB, and ATL as well as GISA exhibits AUTO1010-TER-2020

2 British Columbia (ICBC only)- ICBC Annual Report. Manitoba - MPI Annual Report, private insurers. Québec - Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec.

Car insurance coverage for specific demographics in Ontario.

Ontario car insurance for seniors

Extensive driving history and a clean record are two factors that can help bring down a car insurance premium for drivers 30-69 years old. As a result, many drivers in that cohort enjoy some of the lowest rates. In fact, many providers offer age-specific discounts for drivers ages 50-69.

However, insurance providers begin to consider a driver who's 70 or older a greater risk. As a result, premiums begin to increase.

There are still ways to reduce your premium past age 70. Comparison shopping for the best rate each time your policy is up for renewal is an essential first step to managing your insurance costs. We also recommend that you consider bundling your policies, increasing your deductible, enrolling in a telematics program and/or even driving less. It's still possible to get a lower car insurance rate. However, you must be strategic in how you go about it.

Ontario car insurance for new immigrants

To secure car insurance in Canada, you must have a Canadian driver's licence. In some instances, you can simply exchange the one you had in your previous country. However, not all countries have a reciprocal licence exchange with Canada.

If you can't exchange your licence, you must complete the Ontario requirements for getting a driver's licence, including written and driving tests.

Once you have a licence, you'll follow the same process for getting car insurance as every resident.

Comparison shopping is the crucial first step in getting the best coverage at the lowest rate. In addition, you can customize your policy so that you're only paying for the coverage you need, nothing more.

Drivers who have no known driving history may be subject to higher premiums. This is because insurance providers have little information to gauge the risk they're assuming by writing a policy for you.

As you gain a longer driving history in Canada, you'll be more likely to secure a lower rate. We recommend that you comparison shop for a lower rate every time your policy is up for renewal.

Ontario car insurance for students

Students are most likely to secure a lower car insurance premium when they're added to the policy of a parent or guardian.

This approach to coverage offers the same amount of protection as a policy held on its own, however, the premium is based on the record of the policy holder, an experienced driver.

When a driver is young and without much driving history, insurance providers offer higher premiums because they're unable to gauge how likely the driver is to make a claim.

Ontario car insurance for high-risk drivers

Since car insurance is required by law in Canada, every driver must be insured, including those whose driving records are so problematic that many insurance providers would pause before writing a policy with them.

Drivers with poor driving records or numerous traffic tickets can be deemed high-risk drivers. Other offences likely to land a driver in that category include drivers with at-fault accidents on their record, an impaired driving conviction or one for stunt driving.

If you have been deemed a high-risk driver, expect your car insurance premiums to be more expensive.

You'll still be eligible for basic car insurance either from providers who specialize in providing coverage for high-risk drivers, or through the Facility Association, a group of providers that guarantees coverage for all eligible drivers.

How to get the cheapest auto insurance quotes in Ontario.

It's easy — if you know how. Here are some of the best ways to lower your auto insurance premiums:

Shop around

We'll show you the most competitive rates from all the top insurers. Now you can compare quotes all in one place.

Buy the right coverage

Avoiding extra frills in your policy and paying for only the coverage you need will lower your premiums.

Drive responsibly

Your driving record impacts your rate. Fewer infractions and fines equals cheaper insurance.

Pay on time

Prompt payments can save you money on late fees and lower your premiums. Insurers love a good customer.

Bundle up

Bundling a house, motorcycle, RV, or other type of insurance policy to your car insurance plan can lower your rates.

Be safe, not sorry

Safety features like winter tires and alarm systems can help reduce your insurance premium.

Stick with one insurer

Most auto insurance companies give loyalty discounts to customers who stay with them for a number of years.

Take a course

A defensive driving course makes you a better driver and can significantly reduce your car insurance premiums.

Keep driving

The math is clear: more experience on the road equals lower car insurance premiums. Young drivers almost universally pay higher rates for car insurance. While it’s difficult for new drivers to secure cheap car insurance rates, you may be able to lower your rates by maintaining good gradepecials and attending driving school.

Look at location

Where you drive affects your premiums. Some postal codes are associated with higher rates of car accidents and theft.

Choose the right car

Cars have cheaper insurance rates usually with high crash-test scores, low theft ratings, and less powerful engines.

Track your driving

With a usage-based car insurance policy, you can turn your low-risk driving habits into lower premiums.

Ontario cities with the cheapest car insurance.

Insurance companies say that auto insurance tends to get cheaper the farther you are from Toronto and its surrounding suburbs.

Our data confirms it. We examined car insurance quotes generated on our site in early 2020 and found that the top five Ontario cities with the cheapest insurance are:

Why is insurance cheaper in less populated, often rural, areas? Actuarial data suggests that thefts and accidents are less common in smaller cities.

Okay, sure, location plays a big part in determining your premium. But so does your personal driving history.

If you have a short driving and insurance history — or a long one that's mired with driving convictions — your postal code won't prevent you from getting slapped with a high premium.

On LowestRates.ca, drivers from very small Ontario towns have gotten quotes that rival what the average driver in Toronto pays, sometimes even twice that.

It just goes to show that being a good driver pays off in the long run.

Trends in Ontario car insurance rates.

Auto insurance rates in Canada are regulated at the provincial level. When they change in Ontario one of the main reasons is that insurance providers have successfully lobbied the regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).

Insurance providers recommend rate increases to cover their own costs. For example, in 2022, many providers reflect that the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles is increasing. The technology in cars is also more expensive and inflation, labour shortages and supply chain challenges are also driving up costs.

Increasing rates in 2022 are a contrast to rate trends at the end of 2020 and 2021, when, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, car insurance rates in Ontario went down. This was in part because of savings that insurance providers offered when drivers' habits changed significantly. At the time, the Insurance Bureau of Canada projected that the savings would total about $600 million for Canadian drivers.

Reduced car insurance rates marked a significant change and came after many years of steady increases. Specifically, in every quarter between April 2018 and July 2020, rates went up

This upward trend is reflected in the table below, based on FSRA data.

QuarterRate change
2021 Q4 (Oct. 1 - Dec. 30)-0.25%
2021 Q3 (Jul 1 - Sep. 30)0.02%
2021 Q2 (Apr. 1 - Jun. 30)-0.01%
2021 Q1 (Jan. 1 - Mar. 31)-0.10%
2020 Q4 (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31)-0.17%
2020 Q3 (Jul 1 - Sep. 30)0.00%
2020 Q2 (Apr. 1 - Jun. 30)+1.25%
2020 Q1 (Jan. 1 - Mar. 30)+0.85%
2019 Q4 (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31)+1.56%
2019 Q3 (Jul 1 - Sep. 30)+2.60
2019 Q2 (Apr. 1 - Jun. 30)+1.99%
2019 Q1 (Jan. 1 - Mar. 31)+2.70%

FSRA highlighted several factors that may have contributed to the consecutive rate increases:

In 2022, rates are beginning to climb again. Insurance companies reported that they're up against high loss ratios. Translation: they're spending more on claims than they're taking in from premiums.

Beyond rate decreases that took place during the height of the pandemic, government-led attempts to curb price increases have been ineffective.

Auto insurance in Ontario: What you need to know.

 

How much is car insurance in Ontario?

The average annual cost of car insurance for Ontario drivers in 2020, the most recent year for which data is available from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, is $1,655.

However, this figure can vary significantly depending on the driver. In general, experienced drivers with clean driving records receive the lowest rates whereas newer drivers with traffic tickets or convictions are likely to get higher premiums.

Car insurance premiums are also affected by location as well as the amount of coverage. If you happen to live and drive in an area where there’s a high volume of collisions and/or theft, your premiums are likely to be higher. Similarly, if you opt for the maximum amount of protection, you’re likely to pay more.

Who offers the cheapest car insurance in Ontario?

Ontario has the highest auto insurance costs in the country, ahead of British Columbia.

It’s challenging to find cheap insurance in a province where it’s uniformly expensive — and getting more expensive — to own a car. But there’s one thing that applies to all drivers, no matter where you live in Canada: There isn’t a single provider of auto insurance that provides cheaper premiums to all who apply.

Insurance actuaries painstakingly calculate the risk that each and every applicant presents. Then, they compare that person’s risk rating to the collective risk that all their other customers in their insurance pool present. They also consider the cost of claims as a whole: car repairs cost a lot more than they used to, leading to higher claims.

Basically, there are a whole bunch of variables that insurance providers consider before they’ll underwrite a policy for you.

The only way that a company is going to offer you cheap car insurance is if they think you are at low risk of making a claim.

That’s why we encourage focusing on being a good driver and doing other housekeeping things such as always paying your premium on time and never letting your car insurance lapse — and of course, comparing insurance on an annual basis.

Would you even want discount insurance? If the time comes for you to make a claim, you get what you pay for. You want to be well taken care of in your time of need.

Luckily, Ontario’s private auto insurance market means that there is a sizable 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.

How has Ontario’s distracted driving law impacted car insurance rates?

In 2019, Ontario began enforcing new rules around distracted driving. Bill 174, or Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, strengthened existing road safety laws by fining drivers who are caught talking on their phones, texting, dialing or emailing using a hand-held device.

The penalties for getting caught are: a $1,000 fine, 3-day licence suspension, 3 demerit points on the first conviction; $2,000 fine, 7-day suspension, 6 demerit points on the second conviction; $3,000 fine, 30-day suspension on the third conviction.

We conducted our own analysis and found that an Ontario driver would see a 15% increase in their car insurance premium after their first conviction. A premium of $191 a month would go up to $226.

After the second conviction, an Ontario driver would see a 27% increase in their insurance premium. Their insurance would go up from $226 to $308.

How do I get a probationary licence (G2) in Ontario?

You can begin the licensing process in Ontario when you turn 16. To get a learner's licence (G1) in Ontario, you have to pass a written test on your knowledge of the rules of the road and a vision test.

When you pass these tests, you get your G1 licence. But once you get behind the wheel, you must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver whose blood alcohol content (BAC) is less than 0.05, and your own BAC must be 0.

After you hold your G1 licence for 12 months or 8 months with the completion of a driver's education course, you have to pass an advanced road test to earn your probationary licence (G2).

Drivers with a G2 licence cannot drive between 12:00 AM and 5:00 AM or on high-speed expressways (including 400-series highways). And they must maintain a BAC of 0.

How do I get a full licence in Ontario?

Once you've had your G2 licence for 12 months, you can take your final road test, which usually includes driving on a four-lane highway. If you pass, you get your full licence (called a G). Just remember: you have to renew your G license every 5 years, and Ontario drivers have to maintain a BAC of 0 until they turn 22.

Having only a G1 or G2 licence means your car insurance premiums will be higher than an experienced driver with a G licence.

Insurance companies consider new drivers at an elevated risk level to insure.

However, there are still ways to lower your premium. Some insurers provide discounts to students and alumni of certain post-secondary institutions. Some also provide discounts for students who maintain a high GPA.

Enroll in a government-approved driving course. Showing an insurer proof of completion will lower also lower your rate.

Alexandra Bosanac

Alexandra Bosanac

About the Author

Alexandra Bosanac is the Core Content Manager for LowestRates.ca. Her reporting has appeared in Canadian Business, the Toronto Star, the National Post, and the CBC.

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* Shoppers in Ontario who obtained a quote on LowestRates.ca from January to December 2021 saved an average of 32%. The average savings percentage represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of all other quoted premiums generated by LowestRates.ca and displayed to shoppers.