The Greater Toronto Area has a reputation as the most expensive area in Canada to insure a car, with the average premium price sometimes as much as 47 per cent higher than other regions across the country.
The effect of high premiums in the Greater Toronto Area is profound and it is the main contributor to Ontario as a whole being the most expensive province in Canada for auto insurance. However, not every area in Toronto and its satellite neighborhoods are expensive, and while all are above nationwide averages some areas in Canada’s most populated city are much closer to the mean premium rate.
Even within the Greater Toronto Area there are huge gaps in price. For example, the Christie neighborhood is the most affordable place for auto insurance premiums in the GTA, with the average price sitting at $1,479. Against the most expensive regions Christie is very affordable and in many cases differences in auto insurance prices between high cost and low cost neighborhoods can be as high as 50%.
North York is classed as the most expensive neighborhood in Toronto, Ontario, and indeed the whole country, with a high average premium of $2,422.
It is unclear why this is the case, although auto accidents in the North York area and other neighborhoods with higher rates are more frequent than in other areas of the city. The Toronto and Ontario market is also rife with fraud, 36 per cent more than anywhere else in Canada in fact. It is something insurance companies are fighting to combat and many have set up specialist teams to find perpetrators of auto insurance fraud.
With more accidents, higher crime rates, and rife fraudulent acts (which on average adds $225 to each auto insurance premium), the North York area has become a very expensive place to insurance a vehicle. Add to that the fact that it was recently found that all drivers in Ontario are paying much more for their insurance policy than they should be.
Indeed in 2013 drivers paid out $840 million more than they should have for auto insurance and since 2001 $4 billion has been paid out beyond what was needed. Insurance companies could slash rates by 7.9 per cent and still leave margins to make profits and there have been calls for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) to do more to regulate the price of auto insurance premiums.