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15 Ont. cities that pay the most for auto insurance

By HUB SmartCoverage Team on November 1st, 2020

If you’re a Brampton driver, you live in the most expensive city in Ontario to insure a vehicle, says a recent report.

LowestRates.ca, an insurance comparison website, published its list of the top 15 most expensive cities to drive an insured vehicle. The company revealed that motorists who live in Brampton pay rates that are 123.5 per cent above the Ontario average. The company noted that high rates are due, in part, to greater instances of insurance fraud in the area – one factor that drives up premiums.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s 2020 estimates, the average cost of an insurance policy for an Ontario driver is $1,505.

To determine the rankings, the company referred to data from its auto insurance quoter in September 2020. It analyzed one driver with a single vehicle that had no tickets or claims.

Not surprisingly, many of the suburbs that comprise the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have the highest rates. Second place goes to Scarborough – located east of the City of Toronto – where insurance rates that are 83.6 per cent more expensive than the provincial average. Drivers in North York, also in the GTA, pay 77.8 per cent above the average and took the third-place spot.

“Drivers in suburbs need a vehicle to get pretty much anywhere, and they drive on bigger highways and more congested roads, each of which would contribute to higher premiums since there’s more risk associated,” LowestRates.ca said in a blog post.

Below is this year’s list of the 15 most expensive Ontario cities for auto insurance:

  • Brampton (123.5% more)
  • Scarborough (83.6% more)
  • North York (77.8% more)
  • Etobicoke (67.7% more)
  • Mississauga (50% more)
  • East York (48.1% more)
  • Markham (40.8% more)
  • Toronto (36.7% more)
  • Hamilton (36.2% more)
  • Richmond Hill (35.8% more)
  • Windsor (31.5% more)
  • Ajax (26.7% more)
  • Pickering (25.2% more)
  • Barrie (20.7% more)
  • Oshawa (20.2% more)

The LowestRates.ca report also found many of the cities have a significant percentage of drivers with fewer than three years of driving experience. They are likely to be classified as “new drivers” by insurers, and their lack of insurance and/or driving history means they are typically charged more. Whether they are student drivers or New Canadians with no history of driving in this country, it all impacts rates.

Insurers in Ontario look at different factors to decide the level of risk you pose and the likelihood you will put in a claim. According to IBC, they include your: location, type of vehicle, driving history, age, and gender as well as how much you drive a year. If you represent a low risk, you get a lower premium.

Despite higher insurance rates, there are still ways for drivers to find savings regardless of where they live.

  1. Shop Around - Compare rates online from multiple insurance companies or use a broker who will do the legwork for you.
  2. Keep a Clean Record – The longer you maintain a good driving history the more likely your rates will drop.
  3. Don’t make unnecessary claims – The more claims you make the more likely your premiums will increase. Pay small ones out of pocket if you can.
  4. Bring proof of past experience – If you are a newcomer to the country or international student, you may get a better deal if you can provide proof of insurance history and driving experience to an insurance company.
  5. Dig for discounts – Ask your broker what you qualify for. Winter tires, driver’s ed, and certain safety features on your vehicle can all help you save money.
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