For drivers in Canada, where you live can have a huge impact on your insurance premium. The same driver with the same car can pay several times more for their auto insurance depending on where they live. The reason is that individual provinces set their own rules for insurance, which greatly impacts the price of auto coverage for residents of that area.
In Ontario, car insurance is tightly regulated by the provincial government and administered by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. Insurance is offered through private companies. A minimum amount of coverage is mandatory for any vehicle registered and licensed in Ontario. This minimum coverage includes:
Third Party Liability
Drivers are required to carry a minimum of $200,000 in third-party liability protection. While that’s the minimum, many drivers opt to carry more as any damages over this amount are the legal responsibility of the driver.
Statutory Accident Benefits
These benefits pay for injuries or rehabilitation after an accident, regardless of fault. The benefits include attendant care, caregiver, non-earner, and income replacement benefits. There are no limits on coverage, so most drivers aim quite high.
Direct Compensation Property Damage
Similar to collision coverage, this coverage pays for the vehicle and the contents of the vehicle as long as the other person involved in the accident is responsible for the loss. The benefit is paid by your insurance company, which is where the name comes from. To claim the benefit, the accident must take place in Ontario. This coverage is required for Ontario residents.
Car Insurance in BC
In British Columbia, auto insurance is provided by a government-run insurance company, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. People in BC have had very little say in their insurance choice since 1973, and many find the practice preferable to having to shop around.
Even though insurance is province-run, customers have some of the same choices as other Canadians. They can purchase collision, fire, and theft insurance from private companies to supplement their insurance plans.
Comparing Car Insurance Costs: BC vs. Ontario
The dubious honour of highest insurance costs in Canada go to Ontario, though BC doesn’t cheer too loudly in celebration. The west coast province places second behind Ontario in both dollar cost and affordability. In 2015, taking a look at an average driver in each province, the same car and insurance coverage showed a spread of about $200. The BC driver looked at a $1,200 annual car insurance bill, while his Ontario counterpart paid a little over $1,500.
In addition, a 2011 study compared insurance prices to drivers’ disposable income. It took the BC motorist 4 percent of their disposable income to pay for car insurance. The Ontario driver forked out 4.5 percent of discretionary dollars.
Comparing to Quebec, a province with a hybrid public and private insurance system, the average driver there paid less than $700. Quebec has the best overall rates for car insurance in Canada. Coverage costs the average motorist only 2.5 percent of their disposable income.