Auto Insurance Ontario

Insurance is an important consideration for Ontario’s 8.5 million drivers, but as auto insurance requirements and costs vary across Canada, it can sometimes seem a little confusing. What insurance do you need? How much will it cost, and can you get a better deal elsewhere while remaining protected?

We’re here to help clear the confusion with a definitive guide of everything you need to know about insurance in Canada’s most populous province. Let’s start with some of Ontario’s most reputable auto insurance providers, shown in the table below. Compare their rates, reviews and options, click on a company’s name to learn more about them, or apply for your insurance quote, all from one convenient place. And read on to learn about the ins and outs of Ontario auto insurance.

Best Auto Insurance Companies in Ontario

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Auto Insurance Laws in Ontario

Who needs auto insurance in Ontario?

Everyone in Ontario operating a vehicle - of any kind - must have auto insurance. This includes those with G1 and G2 licenses, people driving motorbikes and other road-certified vehicles, and those driving for commercial purposes. If you are found driving without proper insurance, you may face penalties ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, suspension of your driver’s license, and sometimes even confiscation of your vehicle.

What type of auto insurance is required in Ontario?

Ontario law requires that all drivers have the following auto insurance coverage:

  • Third party liability coverage of at least $200,000
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Accident benefits coverage
  • Direct compensation property damage coverage
  • No fault coverage

The above set of coverages are known as “standard” coverage in Ontario; they are by no means the only auto insurance you can get, but they are the minimum level required by law.

What additional types of auto insurance can I get in Ontario?

As well as the above, there are optional forms of auto insurance available throughout Ontario. This includes:

  • Increased third party liability coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Rental car coverage
  • Replacement vehicle coverage
  • Accident benefits coverage add-ons
  • Specified perils coverage
  • All perils coverage

What’s not included in auto insurance coverage in Ontario?

All insurance policies have exclusions, and these commonly include:

  • Vehicle wear and tear
  • Mechanical failure and breakdowns
  • Tire damage
  • Accidents caused when driver was DUI
  • Accidents resulting in a criminal charge
  • Accidents occurring while the vehicle was used for business purposes - this means that if you drive for a rideshare company, you must check your insurance policy and amend it if necessary.

Where can I get auto insurance in Ontario?

Ontario law requires drivers to purchase their auto insurance from private, for-profit insurance companies licensed and regulated in the province. You can obtain this insurance directly from an insurance company, or via an insurance broker. Some of the most trusted auto insurance providers in the province are listed in the table above.

The Cost of Auto Insurance in Ontario

Ontarians have to pay the most for their auto insurance of any people in Canada; the average cost is just over $160 a month, compared to the national average of $110. However, this amount can vary widely, from driver to driver and from company to company, so always shop around.

How are auto insurance rates calculated in Ontario?

Insurance rates depend on:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Driving history - including past accidents, extra certifications, how long you’ve been licensed, etc.
  • Vehicle details - including age, model, make, safety features, etc.
  • Vehicle use - how often you drive, the type of driving you do, whether you use winter tires, etc.

Women often get lower rates than men, older drivers get better rates than younger drivers, and those who drive more will have to pay more for their insurance. If you have any incidents in your driving history, or have had insurance denied or revoked at any time in the past, you will have to pay a premium for your coverage.

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How can I lower my auto insurance costs in Ontario?

There are a few ways to qualify for cheaper auto insurance:

  • Use winter tires
  • Bundle your auto insurance with other types of insurance
  • Complete a driver certification, such as a safe driving course
  • Increase your deductible (note that this means that, in the event of a claim, your out of pocket costs will be higher)
  • Drive less
  • Move to a safer area
  • Utilize secure parking
  • Buy a safer car

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Choosing Auto Insurance in Ontario

Here are some simple questions to help you sift through your choices when shopping for auto insurance in Ontario:

  1. Does the policy offer accident forgiveness?
  2. How will my premiums be affected if I am in an accident?
  3. How do I contact the company in the event of a claim or an issue with my insurance?
  4. What optional coverages does the company offer, and how much does each add to the policy’s premium?
  5. What is the policy’s deductible, and what is the effect on the premium if I either raise or lower this deductible?
  6. What discounts are available?
  7. What can I do to lower the insurance premium?
  8. Are there any cancellation penalties if I chose to end the insurance contract early?
  9. Can I see some past customer reviews?

Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Insurance in Ontario

Do I need auto insurance?

Yes! All drivers in Ontario, at all levels, operating any kind of road-certified vehicle on Ontario’s public roads, need insurance that meets the province’s minimum required levels.

How much does auto insurance cost?

The average cost of auto insurance in Ontario is $160 a month, which is about $50 a month higher than the national average. This may be more or less, depending on your individual circumstances.

Where can I get auto insurance in Ontario?

Ontario has over 80 different companies offering auto insurance; some are listed in the table shown above. They are all licensed and regulated by the provincial government, and your auto insurance is only valid if you purchase it from a licensed provider.

How long does it take to get auto insurance in Ontario?

Getting auto insurance is a very quick process; once you’ve provided your personal details and the car’s information, an insurer can give you an accurate quote in minutes. If you decide to move forward, your coverage can start as soon as the next business day.

Do I need auto insurance if I drive a motorcycle?

Yes, all motorcyclists, including those with M1 and M2 licenses, need auto insurance.

Can I get auto insurance for RVs and other vehicles?

Yes, and insurance for RVs and other vehicles is mandatory. Talk to your auto insurance provider about your coverage options.

Can I get auto insurance if I’ve had an at-fault accident in the past?

Yes - but not every insurance company will agree to cover you if you have a poor driving history. Those that do will charge you more, as you will be considered a high risk driver. If you’re struggling to find a company that will cover you, take a look here.

What’s accident forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness is when an insurance company will “forgive” the first at-fault accident that appears on your insurance record; this forgiveness means that your insurance costs won’t increase because of the accident.

Written By Smarter Loans Staff

The Smarter Loans Staff is made up of writers, researchers, journalists, business leaders and industry experts who carefully research, analyze and produce Canada’s highest quality content when it comes to money matters, on behalf of Smarter Loans. While we cannot possibly name every person involved in the process, we collectively credit them as Smarter Loans Writing Staff. Our work has been featured in the Toronto Star, National Post and many other publications. Today, Smarter Loans is recognized in Canada as the go-to destination for financial education, and was named the “GPS of Fintech Lending” by the Toronto Star.