In Canada, the highest car insurance rates are found in Ontario and, within the province, the most expensive averages reside in Toronto and the greater Toronto area. One of the best ways to find the lowest prices is through aggressive comparison shopping. With well over 100 companies providing auto insurance in the province though, shopping around can be a full-time job.
The quickest and easiest way to find the best options for low-cost auto insurance uses a car insurance calculator. This is an online tool with which a motorist enters personal information, driving history, and previous auto insurance claims. With this information, the calculator generates an estimate for that motorist, making comparisons easy.
There are two types of calculators available online. Some insurance companies offer calculators using their own car insurance products. While this can give an accurate estimate for a car insurance policy from that company, it doesn’t compare with other companies. There’s no way to know how that quote sits in the auto insurance price spectrum.
General car insurance calculators compare prices for more than one insurer. The car insurance calculator available through Ratelab is not only this type of calculator, it is one of the largest and most thorough available to Toronto residents. Partnering with over 50 auto insurance providers across the province, Ratelab’s calculator returns the lowest cost quotes for any car insurance quotes, simply because of the number of companies searched. Imagine the time it would take to search or call 50 companies to appreciate the convenience the Ratelab calculator represents.
How Much is Car Insurance in Toronto
The best rates for this driver, depending on specific postal regions in the city, drop as low as $1,100, while the most expensive regions approach or exceed $2,000. Comparing these to provincial averages, Toronto’s best auto insurance rates approximately match the average rate for the entire province.
The lowest cost areas inside Toronto’s city limits are found in residential areas surrounding the city core, where residents may either not own cars or have cars but use transit for much of their day-to-day transportation. The most expensive areas for coverage are found in both northeast and northwest corners. These areas are not as conveniently served by transit, and car use becomes more important to get around.
The entire city of Toronto, and indeed the GTA as well, suffers from typical big-city pressures that drive up car insurance rates. High population density means more traffic, a greater risk for collisions, and a higher likelihood of car theft and vandalism. Each of these factors drives up insurance premiums and spreads costs to each insured driver in the city.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Toronto
The average cost of car insurance in Toronto is $1,791.
*Methodology: We used a sample profile for a male driver aged 30 years with his own vehicle having mandatory coverage. He drives a Honda Civic 2012 car with an average mileage of 5000 – 8000 km per year to commute to work. He has a clean driving record history of 5 years with no accidents or collisions.
We surveyed the car insurance prices in the city of Toronto for the purpose of illustrating the range in quotes based on driving records, location, and other criteria.
Benefits of Using a Car Insurance Calculator in Toronto, Canada
When used correctly, car insurance calculators are quite accurate. Using one will give you peace of mind, knowing that you’re getting a good deal. It’s also great to use if you need to check your current policy against competitors to make sure you can’t save money by switching. Calculators can also provide recommendations on deductibles and limits based on your answers, making them a helpful guide for choosing coverage.
How Car Insurance Works in Toronto
Rates between insurers in Ontario vary dramatically. There’s no “one size fits all” insurance pricing. Though any two companies could have similar pricing on a given policy, it’s just as easy that there could be hundreds of dollars of difference. To understand why let’s look at how auto insurance works in Ontario along with how the Toronto area affects calculations.
First of all, Ontario’s auto insurance industry is served by private insurance companies operating under the rules and regulations of the Insurance Act. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario is the government body that acts as a watchdog for the insurance industry.
Though the Ontario car insurance industry has heavy regulations in place, it remains a competitive market. Individual companies are free to calculate premiums and accept clients based on their own unique rules. Each company devises its operating procedures and the FSCO then approves these, provided they comply with provisions of the Insurance Act.
The result is that each insurance company has a unique “recipe” for car insurance premiums that takes a multitude of factors into account for every car insurance policy issued. The weight of each factor may vary between companies. This is why one motorist can see several prices for the same coverage when shopping for insurance.
These factors include:
- Postal code: where a driver lives, affects risk.
- Make, model, and year of car: different vehicles and vehicle types have different risks.
- How much a car is driven: daily use makes insurance more expensive than occasional use.
- Driving records: the driving history of each motorist named on a policy is considered.
- Age, gender, and marital status: Though some provinces limit the impact of these potentially discriminatory factors, Toronto and Ontario continue to consider these.
- Additional insurance coverage beyond the provincially required minimums.
- Deductible limits: low deductibles equal higher premiums and vice versa.
While each insurer sets its own rate, these are part of what the FSCO approves, so a company that is licensed to sell car insurance in Ontario has had its rates approved.
Most Popular Car Brands in Toronto
The most popular car insured in Toronto is the Honda Civic LX 4-door. Overall, residents in Toronto favor these five car brands: Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, and Ford. When you are driving on the Don Valley Parkway or the Danforth, there is a good chance you will see a large number of these vehicles cruising down the highway because one thing heavy commuters know is to buy a car from a brand you can trust.
Who Shops for Car Insurance in Toronto?
Toronto residents are among the most diverse in the country, with millions of people behind the wheel each day. The average resident in the Toronto area who shops for car insurance is between 35 and 36 years of age. Further analysis reveals that 71.4% of drivers shopping for car insurance in Toronto are males, and 28.6-% are females.
Toronto drivers have a surprisingly low rate of accidents and tickets, given the millions of motorists on the road and long commutes in heavy traffic.
Out of all of the insured drivers in Toronto, 9.8% of male drivers and 8.07% of female drivers have received a ticket or been involved in a motor vehicle accident in the past. Annually, 9.1% of male motorists and 9.9% of female drivers report receiving a ticket. Each year, about 9.5% of females and 7.5% of males report an accident.
How Toronto Car Insurance Companies Calculate Premiums
The provincial government of Ontario sets many rules about how insurance premiums are supposed to be calculated, but individual insurance companies have some room to adjust their rates. Within a reasonable limit, your premium should reflect the likelihood of you submitting a claim to the insurance company. The drivers who are labeled lower risk are thought to have a lower chance of submitting a claim, so they pay less in premiums than drivers who are considered more likely to need expenses covered.
When determining your risk factor, there are several things the insurance company looks at, including your driving history, the type of car you drive, and where you live. Just because you haven’t submitted a claim in the past doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have super cheap car insurance in Toronto. By analyzing a range of factors, insurance companies sort their customers into demographic groups. Each group has a different risk factor and corresponding premium level.
How Your Insurance Premiums are Spent
If you’re wondering what the insurance company does with your money, you may be interested in a simple breakdown of where your insurance dollars go. For each dollar of a premium, roughly half goes back to policyholders in the form of paid-out claims. Another 15 cents goes to taxes and local communities while 20 cents goes to operate and regulatory costs and roughly 10 cents goes toward profit. These numbers fluctuate slightly between insurance companies.
Top Car Insurance Companies and Brokers in Toronto
The ideal car insurance provider for a motorist provides a balance of products and services that are right for that driver, so the perfect company changes from driver to driver. In Toronto, some of the biggest insurance companies providing auto insurance include:
- Belair Direct
- Desjardins Group/State Farm
The property and casualty insurance industry landscape frequently changes as companies purchase, merge, and re-brand.
All types of insurance are represented by brokers, and agents who handle policies through several different insurance companies. Prior to the advent of online car insurance calculators, a broker was often the best bet for comparison shopping auto policies. Even today, a broker is a strong ally once a motorist identifies the best rates and providers while using a car insurance calculator.
In Toronto and the GTA, some brokers recognized in their industry as leading performers include:
- Jones DesLauriers Insurance
- Nacora Insurance Brokers Ltd.
- Jardine Lloyd Thompson Canada
- Mitchell Sandham Financial Services
- The Insurance Market
- KRG Insurance Brokers
- Highcourt Partners Ltd.
- RIO Insurance Brokers
- Broker Team Insurance
- Tredd Insurance Brokers
- Paisley Manor Insurance
- Marsh Canada Ltd.
(Source: Insurance Business Canada)
How to Reduce Car Insurance Toronto
There are ways to combat high Toronto car insurance costs, even in the pricey Toronto market. Every car on Ontario roads must carry basic insurance. This coverage principally ensures that other people remain protected in an accident with an at-fault driver. That driver – and their vehicle – are not particularly well covered by basic policies.
The Ontario government only requires $200,000 of third-party liability protection in the minimum mandatory policy. In the case of a serious accident, settlements can easily exceed this amount. It’s common for drivers to opt for greater coverage of $500,000, $1 million, or even $2 million in third-party liability insurance. More coverage equals higher premiums.
Collision and comprehensive insurance coverage are not required by the government. While a driver can choose not to cover their car, most people will have some level of these insurance types in place. Choosing not to add collision or comprehensive insurance is usually only viable for those with older vehicles who would replace them if a collision occurred, rather than repairing them. Drivers of newer vehicles who finance their purchase may be required by the lender to have collision and comprehensive insurance in place.
Adjusting collision and comprehensive deductibles is the most common way to save. The lowest deductible amount in Ontario is $300 for each type of additional coverage. This means that if a car is damaged or stolen, the driver pays $300 in most cases before the insurance company contributes. The $300 level is the most expensive in terms of monthly premiums. Many drivers will choose $500, $1,500, or even greater deductibles in return for lower policy rates.
Insurance companies offer discounts and special packages that may lower insurance premiums. The secret to obtaining these as a motorist is asking. Few insurers will automatically apply discounts unless a client requests a price break. Common discounts include:
There are many more, and not all insurers offer all types of discounts. Checking with an agent or broker is the best way for a driver to know which offers to apply.
Is Car Insurance Cheaper Outside Toronto?
The short answer is yes. Average prices outside the city of Toronto are cheaper. The longer answer is that there are also areas where the cost of car insurance in Toronto is more expensive. Brampton and Vaughan, in particular, are home to the very highest car insurance prices in Canada. Subject to many of the same big city influences as Toronto, it’s suspected that these areas are hotbeds for car insurance fraud, as accidents are frequent and claims costs are high.
Eastern Ontario is the home of the best average car insurance rates, over $500 less than most Toronto regions. Kingston, Belleville, and Napanee enjoy average rates of around $1,000. The slower pace of life and lower population densities outside the Big Smoke combine to push down insurance premiums in these regions.
What Does Car Insurance in Toronto Pay For?
Insurance pays for losses. The types of losses that are covered and the limits on how much coverage is provided will be spelled out in your insurance contract. You should look at the contract and read it carefully to figure out exactly what is and what is not covered. Insurance won’t pay for every problem you encounter, but it will pay for a lot of things–some things you may not even know are covered.
In general, insurance is intended to help cope with the financial consequences of accidents or unpredictable events. If the event is not sudden or accidental–for example, a flood when you live on a floodplain–insurance will not cover it.