Car insurance rates can vary substantially depending on factors such as your driving record and type of vehicle. But while the average car insurance cost in Ontario may be a far cry – in either direction – from what you pay, it still serves as a good baseline when you’re shopping around.
Keep reading as we dive into the numbers throughout Canada’s most populous province, including average insurance rates for new drivers in Ontario.
Average Car Insurance Cost in Ontario
Based on our data, Ontarians pay an average of $1,445 for auto insurance each year as of 2020. This is substantially higher than the national average of $1,016. It’s also up 1.58% from the average of $1,505 prior to February 2020.
How Much Is Car Insurance Per Month in Ontario?
Many insurance providers in Ontario simply divide your annual premium by 12 when determining your monthly payments. This would mean the average cost of car insurance in Ontario per month is $120.41.
How Much Is Car Insurance Per Month in Canada?
See the list below for a breakdown of typical monthly car insurance costs across Canada, based on our data and the calculation method used above.
- British Columbia: $123.33
- Ontario: $120.41
- Alberta: $104.25
- Newfoundland & Labrador: $94.33
- Manitoba: $90
- Northwest Territories: $81.5
- Nunavut: $80.25
- Saskatchewan: $78.83
- Nova Scotia: $70.16
- New Brunswick: $68.25
- Yukon: $67.66
- Prince Edward Island: $66.33
- Quebec: $55.08
You can also learn more about what happens to car insurance when you are moving to another province here.
How Much Does Insurance Cost for a New Driver in Ontario?
Average insurance rates for young (16-24) new drivers in Ontario fall within the $3,000 to $7,000 range. New drivers aged above that high-risk bracket will typically pay rates that deviate less drastically from the provincial average ($1,455).
Keep in mind, it’s not just the length of your driving record that matters. Click here to read more about the experience-related factors insurance companies take into account. One of these factors, notably, is your ticket history. As you might expect, more tickets for moving violations will lead to higher insurance rates.
Young new drivers can save money on insurance by being listed as a secondary or occasional driver on a parent’s policy. In addition to waiting until they’re older to purchase a vehicle of their own, they can make sure to progress through Ontario’s graduated licensing system as promptly as possible.
Why Average Auto Insurance Rates in Ontario Are So High
Now, you may be wondering why the average cost of car insurance in Ontario per month is so much higher than elsewhere in the country. Let’s look at the major reasons.
Higher Rates of Insurance Fraud
These costs get passed onto consumers; according to one CBC report, 9% to 18% of the typical Ontarian’s insurance premium goes directly towards offsetting the cost of fraudulent claims that was also discussed in this post.
Urban Hotspots Skew the Numbers
Ontario is home to one of North America’s most densely-populated metropolitan regions – the Greater Toronto Area. Research has shown that residents of any such populous region experience higher incidences of car accidents.
As a result, they pay higher premiums that subsequently skew numbers for the entire province.
Brampton, for example, has an average annual premium cost exceeding $2,300. Its population of 603,000 means its average insurance premium is weighted heavier at the province level than, say, Dufferin County’s (population: 61,000) $1,200.
Ontario’s Insurance Laws
Another reason for the high average cost of insurance in Ontario is that the provincial government mandates higher minimum coverage than you’d find in many other regions of North America.
For example, Ontario law requires that drivers have third-party liability coverage of no less than $200,000. Many insurers go well beyond this and recommend coverage of at least $2 million, which costs more.
In Quebec, meanwhile, drivers are only required to have $50,000 of third-party liability coverage. This is one reason they pay the lowest premiums in Canada, on average.
Factors That Determine Car Insurance Rates
Now that you know about average car insurance costs in Ontario and why they’re so high, let’s take a closer look at the individual factors that determine what rate you end up with. Keep in mind these factors apply even to temporary car insurance such as policies accompanying car rentals.
Your Driving Experience in a Relevant Country
While we touched on the importance of driving experience earlier, that last part is important. Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not count driving experience if it was earned in a country not among a select few.
If you fall under this scenario, you’d be considered a new driver and pay the higher premiums associated with that.
Drivers aged 16-19 are at a higher risk of accidents than those in any other bracket, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A driver’s rate will still typically remain quite high until they reach the age of 25. As one reaches senior citizen status, rates typically start to rise again. Cheap insurance for seniors beyond the age of 70 is difficult (but not impossible) to find given increased risk factors.
Your Driving Record
As you know, some of the convictions for driving violations stay with you for a certain period (from 1 to 10 years). For example, a conviction of careless driving Ontario will remain on your driving history for three years. It can increase car insurance premiums from 10% to 50% (depending on your policy and the severity of the charge). In some cases, a single careless driving charge may result in a premium increase of several hundred dollars per year, which can add up over time. However, your premium increase may be lower if you have a clean driving record and no prior insurance claims.
Where You Live
Ontario is a huge place. Drivers in rural areas face a different set of risks than those in cities, hence the discrepancy between rates.
As a side note, while accidents are more common in cities, they tend to be more fatal in rural regions.
Male drivers are statistically more reckless than their female counterparts, accounting for a staggering 87% of drunk driving fatalities in Canada. Even men who give no indication other than their gender of being at risk for driving drunk will pay higher rates to cover for the risk.
The Vehicle You Drive
Costlier vehicles cost more to repair. It’s a no brainer! Beyond price, though, insurance companies also look at whether the type of vehicle you drive is frequently stolen or involved in accidents. It also matters whether your vehicle is financed or leased.
Your Vehicle Usage
The amount of driving you engage in is another factor insurance companies consider when calculating your premiums. Naturally, the more you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident.
Insurers will also take into account how you use your vehicle. If you’re driving to work every day or using the vehicle commercially, you’ll pay a higher premium. Some insurers also determine usage-based rates through telematics. Read more about this here.
Whether You Use Winter Tires
Ontario has very harsh winters. Winter tires greatly reduce the likelihood of accidents, which is why insurance companies offer discounts for drivers that use them.
How Accidents Affect Your Insurance Rates in Ontario
An accident won’t necessarily impact your insurance premiums. For example, if another driver is involved and determined to be at fault, your rates will remain unaffected by the incident.
Your rate can still rise for other reasons (i.e. if your accident was part of a trend in your area or for your vehicle) but it won’t be because of the accident itself.
If you’re at fault, however, your rates may be affected and the accident will remain on your record for as long as 10 years in Ontario. The exception would be if it’s your first accident and your insurance policy includes forgiveness.
If your premiums do rise, they may do so by more than 30% depending on the circumstances. This may place you considerably higher than the average cost of car insurance in Ontario.