• Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

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Ontario’s most expensive cities for car insurance

Brampton is Ontario’s reigning champ for the city with the most expensive car insurance — 62.5% higher than the province’s average.

That said, the city has become more affordable since 2020, when it was 123.5% more expensive than the rest of the province, a LowestRates report finds.  

LowestRates’ report was published a day before Ontario’s auditor general found the province has the highest private passenger auto insurance premiums in Canada, despite having one of the lowest rates of car crash injuries. The AG’s annual report proposed that Ontario adopt rate reduction measures implemented in other provinces. 

Here are the top 10 most expensive cities in Ontario for car insurance, according to LowestRates: 

  • Brampton — 62.5% more expensive than Ontario’s average 
  • North York — 44.3% more expensive than Ontario’s average 
  • Scarborough — 43.7% more expensive than Ontario’s average  
  • Etobicoke — 29.4% more expensive than Ontario’s average  
  • Vaughan — 25.6% more expensive than Ontario’s average  
  • Mississauga — 25.5% more expensive than Ontario’s average  
  • Toronto — 23% more expensive than Ontario’s average  
  • Gormley — 18.3% more expensive than Ontario’s average 
  • Richmond Hill — 18.2% more expensive than Ontario’s average  
  • York — 11.2% more expensive than Ontario’s average 

The rate aggregator names a couple of reasons for why Brampton and other surburban GTA areas take the lead as the most expensive places for car insurance. 

First, dubbed the “the suburb factor,” most drivers in suburban areas like Brampton rely on cars to get “pretty much anywhere,” meaning their rates will be higher than drivers in Toronto, where driver log fewer kilometres per year, on average.  

“Drivers in suburbs must drive on bigger highways and more congested roads, which insurance companies view as riskier than driving on city streets with lower speed limits,” LowestRates says, adding population density is also a contributing factor.  

The report also points to “the driving experience factor.” Many cities on the aggregator’s list of higher premiums are home to new Canadians, whose driving history from their home country often doesn’t count once they get to Canada. “A higher percentage of new drivers…in a given region also plays a part in driving up insurance premiums because their lack of experience on Canadian roads makes them riskier to insure,” LowestRates suggests.  

While Brampton is Ontario’s most expensive city for car insurance, Ontario is the province with the most expensive auto insurance in all of Canada. Ontario’s auditor general suggests several initiatives from other provinces could be applied to Ontario to reduce rates. 

“For example, like Alberta, Ontario could develop more protocols to treat automobile accident injuries instead of providing cash for those injured to seek their own treatment,” reads a report by the office of Ontario’s auditor general. “Ontario could also follow British Columbia and Saskatchewan in implementing a mandatory licensing or certification regime for automobile repair businesses to protect consumers against poor repairs and fraud.” 

The audit also recommends that Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) reassess the way automobile insurance companies determine premiums, including using a person’s address, gender and age as variables in calculating automobile insurance premiums. 


Feature image by iStock.com/ShutterOK


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