Car insurance in Toronto
Auto insurance is mandatory for every vehicle on the road in Ontario, including Toronto. There are minimum standards for the car insurance coverage that drivers are required to carry, outlined in Ontario's Insurance Act. Many drivers opt for additional insurance beyond the legal minimum since this better protects against financial risks related to driving, like property damage and injuries.
Ontario has a no-fault insurance system. This means that all drivers involved in accidents file claims with their own insurance providers to cover their losses. This makes it faster and more efficient for drivers to receive compensation than a tort insurance system, where the driver deemed to be the victim in an accident must sue the at-fault driver for compensation in court.
Mandatory auto insurance coverage in Toronto
As a Toronto driver, you must follow laws set by the province of Ontario for mandatory minimum insurance coverage throughout the province. There are different coverage levels for various types of risks related to driving, and these are all combined in your auto insurance policy.
Here are the types of car insurance coverage required in Toronto by Ontario law:
Third-party liability insurance:
This type of coverage protects you in the event you are sued related to property damage, injuries or the death of another person. Ontario's minimum amount for third-party liability coverage is $200,000.
Statutory accident benefits insurance:
This type of coverage provides for some of your needs if you are injured in an auto accident, like supplemental medical benefits, rehabilitation services, and attendant care. It also includes income replacement and caregiver benefits if your injuries prevent you from working or providing care to a dependent.
Standard coverage for accident benefits:
$3,500 per person for medical care for minor injuries.
$65,000 per person for combined medical and attendant care for serious injuries for up to five years (benefit period may be longer for children).
$1 million per person for combined medical and attendant care for catastrophic injuries.
Direct compensation property damage insurance:
This type of coverage, called DCPD for short, protects you when your vehicle or items inside your vehicle are damaged. The name of this kind of coverage reflects that your insurance provider directly compensates you for the loss, even though another person may be at fault. You don't have to sue the other person in court in order to receive compensation.
Uninsured vehicle insurance:
This coverage type 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 receive compensation. You will also be protected against damage to your vehicle caused by an uninsured car.
Optional auto insurance coverages in Toronto
Many Toronto drivers prefer to carry additional car insurance beyond what's required by Ontario law. You have the option of increasing your coverage amounts for the standard coverage types in your policy. You can also opt for additional kinds of coverage that protect you from other types of risks.
Here are some of the optional coverages you may choose to purchase:
Extra third-party liability coverage: The standard coverage amount is $200,000. However, legal damages can exceed this amount if you are found to be at fault in a collision in which another person is seriously injured or killed. For more protection, insurance companies encourage drivers to purchase at least $1 million to $2 million in third-party liability coverage.
Additional accident benefits coverage: You can increase the coverage amounts for medical and attendant care expenses in the event you are injured in an auto accident. Standard coverage is $65,000 for serious injuries and $1 million for catastrophic injuries. It will raise your premium, but it's recommended to increase your benefit to as much as $1 million and $3 million respectively. You can also increase other accident benefits that help you or your family cover additional costs linked to significant injury or death from an auto accident, such as for housekeeping, dependent care, and funeral expenses.
Greater coverage for damage to your vehicle: Optional collision coverage protects you from losses if your vehicle is involved in an accident with another vehicle, building or other objects, or if it rolls over. You can also choose coverage for additional causes of damage, or perils, such as falling tree limbs, fire, theft, and more. You can choose to cover a limited range of additional perils or opt for a more expansive list, depending on your needs and tolerance for risk.
Stronger coverage for collisions with uninsured or hit-and-run drivers: You can purchase a higher level of protection for you and your family in the event you are injured or killed, or your vehicle is damaged by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. You can boost the coverage amount up to the level of your third-party liability coverage by adding OPCF 44R, the Family Protection Endorsement, to your policy.
Loss of use coverage: This optional insurance type covers a rental car while your vehicle is repaired or replaced due to a covered accident or other insured damage. The endorsement OPCF 20, Coverage for Transportation Replacement, adds loss of use coverage to your policy.
Borrowed and rented vehicles coverage: You can extend your auto insurance coverage for the vehicle you own to also cover any vehicles you rent or borrow on a short-term basis. You'll need to add OPCF 27, Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile(s), to your coverage to gain this protection.
Leased vehicle coverage: If you drive a leased vehicle, you will need to add an endorsement to your auto insurance: OPCF 5, Permission to Rent or Lease Automobiles and Extending Coverage to the Specified Lessee(s). This is for long-term leases rather than short-term car rentals.
New vehicle replacement: This coverage type provides temporary protection for new vehicles, usually for the first two or so years you own a new car. This type of protection means that if your new vehicle is damaged in a covered event, your 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. The Removing Depreciation Deduction endorsement, OPCF 43, offers this type of protection.
Auto insurance providers offer other optional coverage types as well. If you have questions about your coverage, request a car insurance quote using LowestRates.ca's free online quote tool above. We make it easy to find the cheapest car insurance that meets your needs, and a licensed broker will connect with you to answer any questions you have and secure your rate.
Factors that determine your car insurance rates in Toronto
There are a variety of factors that impact auto insurance rates. Some of these are specific to you and your vehicle and others have to do with broader trends in the economy and the insurance market.
Here are the individual factors insurance providers consider when setting your Toronto car insurance rates:
How much driving experience you have: Experienced drivers are usually safer drivers.
Your driving history: Drivers with clean records, free of recent accidents and claims, get lower rates.
Your gender and age: Young, male drivers are typically involved in more accidents and claims than older, female drivers, so insurance rates reflect this.
Where you drive and park: Different geographic areas have different rates of accidents, auto thefts and claims.
How much you drive: The more you use your vehicle, the greater the likelihood that you will be involved in an accident and need to make an insurance claim.
Your vehicle: Insurance providers look at several factors related to your vehicle, including its safety record on the roads, the cost of replacement parts and repair labour, its popularity with auto thieves, and its overall value. All of these factors will influence your premium.
The amount of coverage you need: Greater coverage comes at a price.
Besides the factors related to you, your vehicle and how you use it, there are bigger factors that can impact the auto insurance market and drive prices up or down. These include:
Rates of auto theft: When crime rates go up, claims are more common, increasing insurance providers' costs.
Rates of insurance fraud: The frequency of fraud in the market can increase the cost of car insurance.
Trends in legal damages to settle claims: Higher compensation amounts for auto accident victims can lead to higher insurance prices.
Trends in auto design and manufacturing: The widespread adoption of digital technology in cars makes them more expensive to repair.
Car insurance rates for Toronto seniors
People between the ages of 50 to 65 pay, on average, the lowest car insurance rates.
That's because this age group tends to have a long insurance and driving history, long loyalty to their insurance provider, and multiple insurance products with the same company (like home and auto coverage). Insurance providers favour all these characteristics and reward customers who have them with lower rates.
Seniors above 70 or 80 years old may see their car insurance prices rise. Insurance providers consider older seniors to have a higher risk of accidents. It may also take older people longer to recover if they are injured in an accident, making claims more expensive.
If you are a senior who has seen your auto insurance premium increase with age, comparing rates with different companies may yield savings. Use LowestRates.ca's online quote tool above to get started.
Car insurance rates for Toronto students
If you are a young driver, you're part of the demographic group with the highest car insurance costs. This is because younger, less experienced drivers are more likely to get involved in auto accidents that lead to claims for insurance providers.
If you have had car insurance coverage since age 16, your rates should begin going down in your mid-20s and will continue to decline as you age.
You can't control your age, but there are some factors you can control to drive down your student car insurance costs. Here are a few tips to reduce your premiums:
Rather than buying your own vehicle, use your parents' car and ask to be added as a secondary driver on their insurance policy.
Take a driver's education course. Ask your insurance provider what courses qualify for a discount and what proof you will need to provide.
Maintain good grades. Some insurance providers offer good student discounts. Ask your provider what they require.
Toronto car insurance rates for new immigrants
If you've recently immigrated to Toronto from another country, you will need to get an Ontario driver's license and car insurance.
Immigrants are required to trade their driver's license from their previous country for an Ontario license within 60 days of arrival. Learn more about car insurance for newcomers.
The provincial government honours drivers' licenses from certain countries as equivalent to an Ontario license, making it easier to trade in your old license for a new one. Here are the countries Ontario recognizes for its driver's license exchange program:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States.
You can request your previous car insurance provider to give a reference to your new Ontario insurance company. Sharing information about your positive insurance and driving history can help lower your rate.
If you moved to Ontario from a country besides those listed above, you will need to follow the steps of Ontario's graduated licensing system to obtain your driver's license.
Toronto car insurance rates for high-risk drivers
High-risk drivers can be costlier to their insurance providers, so their rates reflect this. So, who's a high-risk driver? A conviction for a driving offence or being caught driving without insurance coverage can earn you this designation.
High-risk drivers still need auto insurance in order to drive, so there are providers that will offer you coverage. LowestRates.ca partners with the best high-risk car insurance providers to ensure you can obtain the coverage you need at the lowest rate available.
Facts and myths about Toronto auto insurance.
Myths and rumors abound when it comes to auto insurance. Test your insurance savvy by guessing which of these statements is fact or fiction (don’t worry, we reveal the correct answer).
Myth: Every speeding ticket will increase your premiums. Tickets from automated speed cameras will not impact your insurance, since the cameras can’t identify the driver with certainty. The ticket is sent to the vehicle’s registered owner. However, unpaid fines could eventually show up on your history and impact your insurance by preventing you from renewing your license. In any case, practicing safe driving habits is an important way to safeguard your insurance rates and the safety of everyone using the roads.
Fact: Men pay more than women for car insurance. Young men under age 25 tend to pay higher auto insurance premiums as they are statistically more likely to get into accidents. However, as men age and build a positive driving record the gender gap diminishes.
Myth: If a tree limb falls on your car, your insurance will always cover the damage. Your car insurance policy will only protect you from damage caused by falling tree limbs, vandalism, fire and certain other causes if you have purchased comprehensive coverage that includes these risks. It’s important to understand your options when selecting an auto insurance policy so you know what’s covered and what’s not.
Fact: Your neighborhood can impact your Toronto car insurance rate. The area where you live influences your car insurance premiums, even from one Toronto neighborhood to the next. This is because the rate of collisions and auto theft varies significantly by location.
Maybe: A long relationship with one auto insurance provider will earn you the best price. While insurance companies offer long-time customers loyalty incentives, it’s still a smart move to shop the market. The auto insurance provider who initially offered you a fabulous rate may no longer have the best deal for your coverage needs. It’s a good habit to compare the market every year or so to understand whether you’re still getting the best price from your Toronto insurance provider.
Myth: You’re locked into your current car insurance policy until your contract expires. If you find a better deal on car insurance or want to change your coverage, you can do this at any time. You don’t have to wait until your policy expires.
Car insurance can feel complicated. It’s a customized product, with a variety of factors that can impact your rates. This can easily lead to misperceptions, rumors and myths about how auto insurance works.
At LowestRates.ca, we break down what factors really go into your car insurance cost, demystify the market for you, and help you find the best price, whatever your coverage needs.
Learn more about Toronto car insurance on this page and when you’re ready to find the best deal on the coverage you need, use our free online quote tool. You’ll get a customized quote for the most competitive rate on your coverage in just a few minutes.