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Car insurance in Ontario, like elsewhere, is influenced by multiple factors. Gender used to be one of these factors, but as of January 1, 2020, the use of gender and gender identity has been prohibited as a factor for determining insurance rates in Ontario. Here’s a breakdown of the topic, considering the context of female drivers:

  1. Importance of Car Insurance in Ontario:
    • Mandatory: Every vehicle owner in Ontario is required by law to have a minimum level of car insurance. This ensures that all drivers are financially protected if they’re involved in a collision.
  2. Standard Coverage:
    • Third-Party Liability Coverage: Protects you if someone else is killed or injured, or their property is damaged. Minimum coverage is $200,000, but most drivers opt for at least $1 million.
    • Accident Benefits: Covers medical bills, rehabilitation, funeral expenses, and more regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
    • Uninsured Motorist: Protects against injury or death caused by an uninsured driver or hit-and-run.
    • Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD): Covers damages to your vehicle if another driver is at fault.
  3. Factors that Determine Insurance Rates:
    • Driving record: Accidents, traffic violations, or convictions can increase your rate.
    • Location: Urban areas generally have higher insurance premiums due to higher risks of theft and collisions.
    • Vehicle type: High-end or sporty cars might cost more to insure than economical models.
    • Use and mileage: The more you drive, the higher the risk.
    • Driver’s age: Historically, younger drivers usually had higher rates due to perceived inexperience.
    • Driver training: Completing a recognized driving course can lower premiums, especially for new drivers.
    • Coverage type and amount: Choosing higher deductibles or fewer coverages can reduce premiums.
    • Insurance history: Gaps in coverage or a history of claims can influence rates.
  4. Gender and Insurance in Ontario:
    • Historical Perspective: In the past, gender was a factor in determining insurance rates. Statistically, young male drivers were involved in more accidents and serious infractions than their female counterparts, leading to higher premiums for males.
    • Current Situation: As of January 1, 2020, insurance companies in Ontario are no longer allowed to use gender or gender identity to determine auto insurance rates. This move was in line with the global trend of removing gender as a determining factor and promoting equality.
  5. Tips for Female Drivers to Lower Rates:
    • Safe Driving: Maintaining a clean driving record is paramount.
    • Discounts: Inquire about potential discounts like multi-vehicle, winter tires, or loyalty discounts.
    • Adjust Coverage: If driving an older vehicle, consider if comprehensive or collision coverage is needed.
    • Increase Deductibles: Opting for a higher deductible can reduce the premium, but means you’ll pay more out-of-pocket in the event of a claim.
    • Shop Around: Rates vary between insurers, so obtain multiple quotes.

Why Is Insurance Cheaper For Females?

female driver

Historically, car insurance has often been cheaper for females compared to males, especially in the younger age groups. This disparity was largely based on statistical data related to driving habits, accident rates, and other risk factors. Here are the reasons that were commonly cited:

  1. Accident Statistics: In many regions, young male drivers were statistically more likely to be involved in serious accidents compared to young female drivers. Serious accidents can result in costly insurance claims, which would then be reflected in higher premiums for those deemed at higher risk.
  2. Riskier Behavior: Studies and insurance claim data indicated that young males were more likely to engage in riskier driving behavior, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or not using seat belts.
  3. Higher Mileage: Men, on average, tended to drive more miles than women, leading to a higher exposure to risk.
  4. Type of Vehicle: Men were more likely to choose high-performance or larger vehicles, which might attract higher insurance premiums, while women often chose safer, smaller cars.
  5. Insurance Claim Patterns: Even though women might have been equally or more likely to be involved in minor fender benders, the claims’ costs were generally lower than the high-cost claims often associated with the more severe accidents that a smaller subset of male drivers had.
  6. Consistency in Payments: Some studies suggested that women were more consistent and timely in paying premiums, making them more favorable clients for insurance companies.

However, it’s essential to note the evolving landscape:

  • Changing Dynamics: As societies evolve, so do driving patterns and behaviors. The gap between male and female accident rates and behaviors may be narrowing in many regions.
  • Legislation and Gender Discrimination: Some jurisdictions have moved away from gender-based pricing to promote equality. For example, the European Union banned gender-based pricing for insurance products in 2012, and as mentioned earlier, Ontario did the same in 2020. Such moves are based on the view that using gender as a rating factor is discriminatory.

In essence, while gender was historically a significant factor in insurance pricing due to the reasons above, the trend is changing, and an increasing number of regions and companies are adopting gender-neutral policies.

How Much Is Car Insurance For A Woman?

Aged Woman

Auto insurance rates in Canada can vary depending on several factors, including the driver’s location, age, driving record, and the make and model of their vehicle. Here are examples of what female drivers in major cities across Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec might pay for auto insurance per year and per month, based on their age and an example driver profile.

Driver Profile:

  • Female driver
  • Owns a 2018 Honda Civic
  • Drives an average of 15,000 km per year
  • Purchases a standard auto insurance policy with $1 million in liability coverage and a $1,000 deductible


  • Toronto, 25 years old: $2,200 per year or $183 per month
  • Toronto, 35 years old: $1,800 per year or $150 per month
  • Toronto, 45 years old: $1,500 per year or $125 per month
  • Ottawa, 25 years old: $1,900 per year or $158 per month
  • Ottawa, 35 years old: $1,500 per year or $125 per month
  • Ottawa, 45 years old: $1,300 per year or $108 per month
  • Mississauga, 25 years old: $2,100 per year or $175 per month
  • Mississauga, 35 years old: $1,700 per year or $142 per month
  • Mississauga, 45 years old: $1,400 per year or $117 per month
  • Brampton, 25 years old: $2,300 per year or $192 per month
  • Brampton, 35 years old: $1,900 per year or $158 per month
  • Brampton, 45 years old: $1,500 per year or $125 per month


  • Calgary, 25 years old: $1,800 per year or $150 per month
  • Calgary, 35 years old: $1,400 per year or $117 per month
  • Calgary, 45 years old: $1,100 per year or $92 per month
  • Edmonton, 25 years old: $1,700 per year or $142 per month
  • Edmonton, 35 years old: $1,300 per year or $108 per month
  • Edmonton, 45 years old: $1,000 per year or $83 per month
  • Red Deer, 25 years old: $1,500 per year or $125 per month
  • Red Deer, 35 years old: $1,200 per year or $100 per month
  • Red Deer, 45 years old: $950 per year or $79 per month
  • Lethbridge, 25 years old: $1,300 per year or $108 per month
  • Lethbridge, 35 years old: $1,000 per year or $83 per month
  • Lethbridge, 45 years old: $800 per year or $67 per month


  • Montreal, 25 years old: $1,400 per year or $117 per month
  • Montreal, 35 years old: $1,100 per year or $92 per month
  • Montreal, 45 years old: $900 per year or $75 per month
  • Quebec City, 25 years old: $1,200 per year or $100 per month
  • Quebec City, 35 years old: $900 per year or $75 per month
  • Quebec City, 45 years old: $800 per year or $67 per month

Gatineau, 25 years old: $1,100 per year or $92 per month

  • Gatineau, 35 years old: $850 per year or $71 per month
  • Gatineau, 45 years old: $700 per year or $58 per month
  • Longueuil, 25 years old: $1,200 per year or $100 per month
  • Longueuil, 35 years old: $950 per year or $79 per month
  • Longueuil, 45 years old: $800 per year or $67 per month

These are just examples and auto insurance rates can vary widely based on individual circumstances. Other factors that may impact rates include the driver’s marital status, credit score, and driving record, as well as the level of coverage and deductible they choose. It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare rates from multiple insurance providers to find the best coverage and pricing for your individual needs.

Why is age important when it comes to car insurance in Ontario?

Reason Why

Age is an essential factor in determining car insurance premiums in Ontario (and many other places) due to its strong correlation with driving behavior, experience, and risk. Here’s why age plays a pivotal role:

  1. Driving Experience:
    • Young Drivers: New drivers, regardless of age, tend to lack the experience that helps in anticipating and responding to potential hazards. However, age often coincides with experience, meaning that younger drivers are typically less experienced.
    • Mature Drivers: Those in middle age often have decades of driving experience, making them better equipped to handle various driving scenarios.
  2. Statistical Data on Accidents:
    • Young drivers, especially those under 25, statistically have higher accident rates compared to older age groups.
    • Insurance companies use this data to assess risk. If a specific age group is more likely to be involved in an accident, insurers might charge higher premiums to that group to offset the potential claims costs.
  3. Risk-taking Behavior:
    • Younger drivers, particularly males, have been shown in studies to be more prone to risk-taking behaviors such as speeding, not using seat belts, or driving under the influence.
    • Such behaviors can lead to more severe accidents and therefore higher insurance claims.
  4. Cognitive and Physical Changes in Older Age:
    • While young drivers are often associated with higher insurance premiums, very elderly drivers might also see increased rates. This is because, with advancing age, reflexes can slow, and cognitive abilities might decline, potentially affecting driving skills.
    • Moreover, when elderly individuals are involved in accidents, they may suffer more severe injuries, leading to higher medical claims.
  5. Length of Insurance History:
    • Young drivers typically don’t have an insurance history, making it challenging for insurers to determine their reliability or risk. A driver in their 30s or 40s with a clean insurance record provides more data for the insurer to consider and might be offered a more favorable rate.
  6. Discounts Related to Age and Experience:
    • Many insurance companies offer discounts for new drivers who have completed recognized driver’s education programs.
    • Mature drivers with a long history of safe driving may qualify for loyalty or claims-free discounts.

In conclusion, age, intertwined with experience and behavior patterns typical of certain age groups, provides insurance companies with a predictive tool to assess risk. Since insurance is fundamentally about assessing and pricing risk, age becomes an important factor in determining car insurance premiums in Ontario

Why is Location Factored In?

Map Location

Location plays a significant role in determining car insurance premiums. The area where a driver lives and primarily uses their vehicle can impact the risk of an accident, theft, vandalism, and other insurance claims. Here’s why location is factored into car insurance premiums:

  1. Traffic Density:
    • Urban areas typically have higher traffic densities than rural areas. More vehicles can mean a higher likelihood of accidents, leading to more claims.
  2. Accident Statistics:
    • Certain areas might have higher rates of collisions and accidents. If a specific location has a history of more frequent accidents, then living in that area could result in higher insurance premiums.
  3. Theft and Vandalism Rates:
    • Some areas, particularly urban or areas with higher crime rates, might have higher rates of vehicle theft or vandalism. If you live in an area where cars are frequently stolen or damaged, your insurance rates might be higher.
  4. Weather and Environmental Factors:
    • Locations prone to severe weather conditions like hail, floods, or heavy snow can influence car insurance rates, as these conditions can lead to increased claims.
    • Similarly, areas with winding roads, poor road conditions, or a lack of proper lighting can have higher accident rates.
  5. Availability of Public Transport:
    • In areas with readily available and efficient public transportation, people might drive less frequently, potentially reducing the risk of accidents and claims.
  6. Local Repair Costs:
    • The cost to repair vehicles can vary by location due to differences in labor rates, parts availability, and other local factors. If repairs are generally more expensive in a particular area, insurance rates might be higher.
  7. Legal Environment:
    • Some regions might have a history of higher litigation costs or more frequent litigation related to car accidents, which can impact insurance claims and premiums.
  8. Economic Factors:
    • Areas with higher unemployment rates might see increased incidents of fraud or theft, affecting insurance rates.
  9. Emergency Services Response Time:
    • Locations with quick access to hospitals or where emergency services have shorter response times might result in less severe claim outcomes after accidents, potentially influencing rates.

Insurance is all about assessing risk, and the place where a car is predominantly driven and parked can significantly influence various risks associated with that vehicle. By adjusting premiums based on location, insurers are better able to ensure that the premiums collected align with the risks posed by policyholders.

List of cheapest cars to insure for women drivers in Canada

The cost to insure a vehicle is influenced by various factors, including the car’s safety features, repair costs, and theft rate. Generally, vehicles that are less expensive to repair, have good safety ratings, and are less likely to be stolen will be cheaper to insure. While gender-specific rates have been phased out in many parts of Canada, the following cars tend to be more affordable to insure for drivers in general, and hence, for women too:

  1. Honda Civic:
    • Average Rate Range: CAD $1,200 – CAD $1,600 annually.
    • Why: It’s a popular car with high safety ratings, reliable, and has relatively low repair costs.
  2. Toyota Corolla:
    • Average Rate Range: CAD $1,250 – CAD $1,650 annually.
    • Why: Its reliability, good safety scores, and widespread availability of parts make it affordable to insure.
  3. Hyundai Elantra:
    • Average Rate Range: CAD $1,200 – CAD $1,600 annually.
    • Why: Known for its safety features and reasonable repair costs.
  4. Mazda3:
    • Average Rate Range: CAD $1,300 – CAD $1,700 annually.
    • Why: Good safety ratings and is not particularly targeted for thefts.
  5. Volkswagen Jetta:
    • Average Rate Range: CAD $1,250 – CAD $1,650 annually.
    • Why: Reliable with decent safety scores and not a high-theft vehicle.
  6. Ford Focus:
    • Average Rate Range: CAD $1,200 – CAD $1,600 annually.
    • Why: Comes with advanced safety features and doesn’t cost a lot to repair.
  7. Subaru Impreza:
    • Average Rate Range: CAD $1,300 – CAD $1,700 annually.
    • Why: Highly rated for safety and known for its reliability.
  8. Chevrolet Cruze:
    • Average Rate Range: CAD $1,250 – CAD $1,650 annually.
    • Why: Affordable repair costs and good safety ratings.
  9. Toyota RAV4:
    • Average Rate Range: CAD $1,300 – CAD $1,700 annually.
    • Why: SUVs generally cost more to insure, but the RAV4 is an exception due to its safety features and reliability.
  10. Ford Escape:
  • Average Rate Range: CAD $1,350 – CAD $1,750 annually.
  • Why: A popular SUV with good safety ratings and reasonable repair costs.

Car insurance discounts for female drivers

Car insurance rates and discounts are primarily determined by risk assessment, which can be influenced by various factors, including age, driving history, and, historically, gender. However, many regions have moved away from gender-based pricing to promote fairness and equality.

That said, while there might not be direct “female driver discounts,” there are many discounts that anyone, including female drivers, can take advantage of. The availability of these discounts can vary by province and territory in Canada, due to the different insurance regulations and market conditions in each jurisdiction.

Here’s a general overview of car insurance discounts across Canadian provinces:

  1. British Columbia (BC):
    • Discounts for being claims-free.
    • Discounts for drivers who have completed a recognized driver training program.
    • Senior discount for drivers over a certain age.
  2. Alberta:
    • Multi-vehicle discount.
    • Winter tire discount.
    • Anti-theft device discount.
    • Loyalty discount for long-term customers.
  3. Saskatchewan:
    • Safe driver recognition programs offer discounts for those without at-fault accidents or traffic convictions.
  4. Manitoba:
    • Discounts based on a merit scale, where drivers earn points for safe driving.
    • There’s a discount for vehicles with an approved anti-theft immobilizer.
  5. Ontario:
    • Multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts.
    • Winter tire discount.
    • Retirement discount for those who are retired and no longer commute.
    • Discounts for drivers who’ve completed an approved driver training program.
  6. Quebec:
    • Discount for hybrid or electric vehicles.
    • Discounts for drivers without claims.
    • Discounts for vehicles with anti-theft devices.
  7. Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island):
    • Multi-vehicle discount.
    • Conviction-free discount.
    • Discounts for mature drivers above a certain age without at-fault accidents.
  8. Northern Territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut):
    • Discounts might be less varied due to the smaller market, but many standard discounts such as multi-vehicle, claims-free, and safe driver discounts can be available.

Best car insurance companies for female drivers in Canada

Choosing the “best” car insurance company for female drivers is subjective, as it depends on individual needs, priorities, and experiences. However, some companies consistently receive positive feedback or offer unique advantages in certain provinces. It’s important to note that many regions in Canada, including Ontario, have moved away from gender-based pricing.

Here’s a general overview of well-regarded insurance companies in different provinces, keeping in mind that these are broad generalizations and that individual experiences may vary:

  1. British Columbia (BC)
    • ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia): Being a government-run insurer, ICBC is the primary source of auto insurance in BC. While all BC drivers must purchase basic coverage through ICBC, they can buy additional coverage from private insurers.
  2. Alberta
    • Intact Insurance: This company is known for its wide range of coverage options and discounts. Intact also has a reputation for efficient claims processing.
    • TD Insurance: Offers competitive rates and has comprehensive coverage options.
  3. Saskatchewan
    • SGI (Saskatchewan Government Insurance): A crown corporation that provides basic coverage, with the option to purchase additional coverage. It’s well-regarded for its community involvement and customer service.
  4. Manitoba
    • MPI (Manitoba Public Insurance): Being a public insurer, MPI offers basic auto insurance for all Manitobans, but many turn to private insurers for optional additional coverage.
  5. Ontario
    • Belairdirect: Recognized for its competitive rates and excellent customer service. The company also offers various discounts.
    • Desjardins: Offers a wide range of coverage options and has a reputation for good customer service.
  6. Quebec
    • Desjardins: Apart from its presence in Ontario, it’s also popular in Quebec due to its competitive pricing and comprehensive coverage.
    • La Capitale: Known for its excellent customer service and a range of coverage options.
  7. Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island)
    • TD Insurance: Its wide coverage and multiple discount options make it popular in the Atlantic provinces.
    • Intact Insurance: Praised for its comprehensive coverages and efficient claims processing.
  8. Northern Territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut)
    • Coverage options might be less varied due to a smaller market, but national insurers like Aviva and Intact offer policies here and are generally well-regarded.

Why are they considered the best? The companies mentioned are often recognized for:

  • Competitive Pricing: Offering competitive rates for the coverages provided.
  • Customer Service: Efficient service, both in terms of policy management and claims processing.
  • Coverage Options: Providing a range of coverage options to suit different needs.
  • Claims Process: A smooth and transparent claims process.
  • Financial Stability: Ensuring that they have the financial resources to cover claims.
  • Reputation: Positive reviews and feedback from existing policyholders.

Car Insurance Rates for Female FAQs

1. Q: Is car insurance cheaper for female drivers in Canada? A: Historically, female drivers often received lower premiums than male drivers, especially among younger age groups, due to statistical data on driving behavior and accident rates. However, many provinces, like Ontario, have banned the use of gender as a determining factor in insurance premiums. The trend across Canada is moving towards more gender-neutral policies.

2. Q: Are there specific car insurance discounts available only for female drivers? A: No, there aren’t discounts exclusive to female drivers. However, there are many discounts available that female drivers can benefit from, such as safe driver discounts, multi-policy discounts, and loyalty discounts.

3. Q: How does marital status affect car insurance rates for females in Canada? A: Marital status can influence car insurance rates. Married individuals, both men and women, might receive slightly lower rates on the premise that they tend to be more cautious drivers. But this varies between insurance companies and provinces.

4. Q: How does age affect car insurance rates for female drivers? A: Age plays a significant role in determining premiums. Young drivers, typically under 25, regardless of gender, often face higher rates due to their lack of experience. As drivers age and gain more driving experience, premiums typically decrease, provided they maintain a good driving record.

5. Q: Do female drivers need different coverage compared to male drivers? A: No, the essential coverages needed are the same regardless of gender. Drivers should consider their personal circumstances, vehicle type, and financial situation when determining the right coverage.

6. Q: Are there insurance companies in Canada that cater specifically to female drivers? A: While there might be marketing campaigns or promotions targeting female drivers, no major insurance company in Canada exclusively caters to female drivers. The industry is regulated to ensure fairness and prevent discrimination.

7. Q: How do life changes, like pregnancy, affect car insurance for women? A: Pregnancy itself doesn’t directly impact car insurance premiums. However, life changes associated with pregnancy, like buying a safer car or moving to a suburban area, might influence rates. It’s always a good idea to inform your insurer about major life changes to ensure you have the right coverage and are receiving all applicable discounts.

8. Q: Does taking a defensive driving course benefit female drivers in Canada? A: Yes, many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers, regardless of gender, who’ve completed a recognized defensive driving or driver’s education course.

9. Q: How does vehicle choice impact insurance rates for female drivers? A: The type of vehicle affects insurance rates for all drivers. Cars with high safety ratings, low repair costs, and a low theft rate often come with lower premiums. While some studies suggest women may choose safer vehicles, the rate is determined by the vehicle itself, not the gender of the driver.

10. Q: Do female senior drivers get any discounts on their car insurance in Canada? A: Yes, many insurance companies offer discounts for mature drivers, generally starting at age 50 or 55, provided they have a good driving record. The specifics can vary among providers and provinces.

11. Q: How does the number of kilometers driven annually impact insurance rates for women? A: The number of kilometers you drive annually can influence your insurance rate. Those who drive less, perhaps due to working from home or using public transport frequently, might qualify for a low mileage discount. This applies to all drivers, irrespective of gender.

12. Q: Are there any special considerations for female drivers who use their cars for business purposes? A: Female drivers using their cars for business should ensure they have the proper coverage, like commercial auto insurance. Using a personal car for business without notifying the insurer could result in a denied claim in the event of an accident.

13. Q: What’s the best way for female drivers to compare car insurance rates in Canada? A: The best approach is to get quotes from multiple providers. Online comparison tools, working with an insurance broker, or contacting insurers directly can all be effective ways to compare rates and coverages.

14. Q: If a woman has a child who starts driving, how does this affect her insurance? A: Adding a young driver, particularly a teenager, can result in a significant increase in premiums due to the higher risk associated with young drivers. However, there might be discounts available, such as a student discount or a discount for completing a driver’s education course.

15. Q: Does marital status impact potential discounts, given that some women might opt for multi-vehicle policies or bundle with a partner’s policy? A: Yes, combining policies with a spouse or insuring multiple vehicles under one policy can often lead to multi-policy or multi-vehicle discounts. Many insurance companies offer such discounts as an incentive for customer loyalty.

About the Author: Valerie D. Hahn

Valerie is an insurance editor, journalist, and business professional at RateLab. She has more than 15 years of experience in personal financial products. She strives to educate readers and ensure that they are properly protected.

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