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Ontario is the most populated province in Canada. With over 9.4 million drivers, roads in Ontario can be busy, especially in major population centers like the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa. The province presents a beautiful place to live, offering a diverse range of features from cosmopolitan world cities to open expanses of lush contrasting landscapes.

However, before you hit the roads in Ontario, you will need to have auto insurance for your vehicle. Shop Insurance Canada is a comparison site focused on the customer. Our respected auto insurance quote tool lets you find the cheapest auto insurance quote in Ontario without compromising on the standard of policy. It is hugely important to understand how auto insurance works in the province and how to achieve the best rates. On this page you can find all relevant information, including tips and advice about finding the best car insurance quotes in Ontario.

Is Ontario Car Insurance Expensive?

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Unfortunately, yes. The province has the highest average rates in the whole of Canada. In many cases Ontario’s average of around $1,500 is 30% more expensive than other regions. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, the situation is worse, with many drivers paying more than $2,000 per year to insure their vehicle.

The big question that many customers ask is why are rates so high in Ontario?

There is no one definitive answer, but rather a number of contributing factors. Several experts have issued studies showing rife fraudulent activities within Ontario and there are also accusations that the system discriminates when deciding coverage cost. Drivers in the 16-to-24 age group are subject to higher premiums, not an unheard of practice anywhere, but especially true in Ontario where drivers within this demographic can pay up to 48 per cent more on average.

How Does Shop Insurance Canada Work?

Our auto insurance quote engine will ask for basic driver vehicle information. This first step will see results ranked through the top three quotes from over 25 of Canada’s leading auto insurance providers. At this point you can either select a quote or refine your search even more with customization options like driver record, multi-vehicle policies, and discount opportunities.

Once a quote is selected, you can connect with the provider who will guide your through the process of accessing your chosen rate and opening a new policy through the insurer. The good news is this whole process can take less than five minutes, giving you the most affordable auto insurance quote to save your money and time.

How Is Your Auto Insurance Rate Calculated?

In Ontario, the auto insurance market is private. This means privately run companies can determine the premium cost for insurance in the province. However, all of these rates must be assessed and accepted by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). Remember, auto insurance is required by law in Ontario and indeed throughout Canada.

When determining an auto insurance rate, insurance companies take into account a number of factors.

Below are the most common criteria for determining car insurance cost in Ontario (no particular order).


  • Driving record
  • Age and gender
  • Driving experience
  • Location
  • Level of coverage needed
  • Type of vehicle
  • How much a vehicle is used

The old way of getting a quote was to contact the insurer or a broker and go through the process by phone or in person. This involved moving through all the above criteria. This slow method often meant drivers would accept the first coverage they were offered. Shop Insurance Canada’s online quoting tool asks all these relevant questions in a matter of seconds and you can have a list of quotes in under a minute.

Will Ontario Auto Insurance Rates Decrease Anytime Soon?

Well, the good news is they already are. The Ontarian government promised to reduce premiums by 15.6% before September 2015, a goal that was ultimately missed. This was disappointing, but the government has persisted and worked with insurance companies until rates are around 9% lower in 2016 compared to 2013.

This is a start, and new reforms to the auto insurance system introduced in 2016 are likely to bring rates down further. There is no doubt that Ontario has a long way to go, but the province is working towards a fairer market for consumers. Below is a table to show how rates have been steadily declining in recent years (source: FSCO):

2016 Q2 (Apr. 1 – June 30) +0.33%
2016 Q1 (Jan. 1 – Mar. 31) -3.07%
2015 Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31) -0.15%

How To Get Cheapest Possible Car Insurance Coverage In Ontario

As mentioned, insurance companies in Ontario decide how much a customer will pay for their coverage. However, there are things that can be done to ensure you get the most affordable possible policy with all the benefits you want.

  • Choose the right coverage for you
  • Pay your premiums on time
  • Use comparison tools like out to find quotes
  • Take driver education courses Bundle auto and home insurance together
  • Keep a clean driving history

Ontario Car Insurance Minimum Requirements

Drivers in the province are required by law to carry at least $200,000 in third-party liability coverage for their vehicles. All insurance companies operating in the province legally will offer this liability coverage as a bare minimum because drivers without it cannot register a car.

Another coverage point required by law is direct compensation property damage (DCPD). Under this benefit your vehicle is covered if another driver is found to be at fault in a collision. Unlike some other global insurance markets (the UK for example), this means even if someone else is at fault, your insurance company will handle the claim. This is called a no-fault auto insurance system.

What If I Drive In Ontario Without Insurance?

The penalties for driving without insurance in Ontario are severe. Drivers convicted for operating a vehicle without adequate insurance coverage pay a fine of between $5,000 and $25,000 if it is their first offence. Second-time offenders receive a fine of between $10,000 and $50,000 and face having their driver’s license revoked for a year.