What factors impact Toronto car insurance?
It is safe to assume that car insurance rates in Toronto will be higher than most cities in the country. With millions of drivers and vehicles on the roads, the risk of accidents increases drastically. Generally speaking, Toronto drivers will pay a higher premium than those in smaller towns and municipalities simply due to the size of the city. While some factors are under your control in determining your rates, your location is not. This is because the bigger the population, the more likely there will be an insurance claim of some sort.
Whether you are an excellent driver or not, younger drivers are considered to be of high risk and will always have higher rates than a driver with years of experience.
As long as you keep a clean record, your premium should decrease after 6-10 years of driving.
Being a good driver pays off. Your insurance company will reward you for keeping a clean driving record. If you have received traffic tickets or been involved in an at-fault collision, you can expect to face higher premiums.
If the type of car you drive is known to target thieves, you might have a higher premium. The same goes for vehicles that are more expensive to repair or replace.
Car insurance rates in Toronto will vary based on how much you drive everyday. For example, someone who has a lengthy daily commute will pay more than someone who only uses their car to do local errands such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy.
The area in which you live in the city will impact your rates. For example, some areas are more prone to theft or have intersections with a higher than average instance of accidents.
- Postal code with the highest premiums:
- The M6M area in Toronto has the highest premiums, which is the former City of York. This area comprises the Del Ray, Keelesdale, Mount Dennis, and Silverthorne neighbourhoods. So far this year, the average annual rate is $8,220.88.
- Postal code with the lowest premiums:
- You will likely find the lowest premiums in the M5K area, Toronto which includes a small section of downtown Toronto, on Wellington Street between York and Bay Streets. The current average annual rate in this area is $2,410.43. This shows the wide range in premiums.
- Postal code with the highest premiums:
Most insurance companies offer discounts for various reasons. Whether you install winter tires or an anti-theft device, or belong to a corporation, the military, or an accredited university, you will likely experience lower rates. If you aren’t sure which discounts are available to you, always make sure to ask!
Don’t let Toronto’s size overwhelm you when it comes to getting your car insurance. There are several insurance companies competing for your business that will offer competitive prices. While one insurer might be raising their prices, another might be lowering them. This is why you should compare quotes often. It also doesn’t hurt to shop around when you have an existing policy, you never know what kind of deal you might come across.
When comparing rates, we suggest considering the factors you can control, rather than the ones that you can’t. Once you have this part taken care of, you’re one step closer to finding the cheapest car insurance quotes.
What type of coverage do I need?
Falling under Ontario’s requirements, drivers in Toronto must have the following coverage:
- A minimum of $200,000 in third-party liability (protects you if you’re sued for damages or injuries you caused)
- Accident Benefits insurance (covers costs that exceed provincial health care should you be injured in a crash)
- Direct compensation-property damage coverage (financial protection if the other driver causes a collision and damages your car)
- Uninsured automobile coverage (coverage for personal injury or property damage caused by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run)
Types of coverage
Covers costs of damages should you be involved in a collision.
Covers costs of damages beyond your control such as theft, weather, fire, falling objects or vandalism.
- You can choose to add specific risks to your policy that you would like to be protected from. Specific risks will only be covered if written in your policy.
Where collision and comprehensive insurance meet. This offers protection if your car is damaged in a collision or by any other insurable risk.
How does car insurance in Toronto compare to other cities in Ontario?
While the cost of car insurance in Toronto is known to be high, it isn’t the most expensive compared to other cities in Ontario. The top five cities in Canada with the highest car insurance premiums include:
- Brampton $2,494
- North York $2,478
- Mississauga $2,086
- Richmond Hill $2,033
- Toronto (22% cheaper than Brampton) – $1,948
While Toronto is behind Brampton, North York, Mississauga, and Scarborough, rates remain high (still 60% higher than the provincial average). These rates can be attributed to the city’s high population, resulting in heavy traffic on the roads. Not only does Toronto have congested roads, they have a high risk of theft and collision as well. This is why insurance companies will charge Toronto drivers more. You can expect to have lower premiums in rural towns or areas that have a smaller population.
If you’re a Toronto driver and concerned about the cost of your car insurance, don’t worry too much. There are several factors, including your unique driving profile, that go into determining your premium, location is only one of them.
Tips for driving in Toronto
Toronto is a big city, and the busy roads and highways are no walk in the park. While car insurance in Toronto is already expensive, don’t let your premium get any higher as a result of poor driving practices.
Watch out for streetcars
Streetcars are hard to miss when driving through Toronto. If a streetcar is stopped in front of you, never pass it. Passengers are constantly hopping on and off at almost every downtown intersection. When they stop, all cars behind them must stop too.
Watch out for cyclists
Don’t forget you are sharing the road with hundreds of cyclists and they’re everywhere in downtown Toronto. As a result, it is crucial that you’re aware when driving through the city.
- Be extra careful when making a right turn or opening your door, as there is a high chance a cyclist might be in your blind spot.
- It is against the law to stop in a bike lane
- You must keep one metre distance when passing cyclists in your car.
If you disobey these rules, not only will you receive a fine but this will also show up on your driving record for insurance companies to see.
Avoid busy intersections at rush hour
Toronto’s Mayor John Tory identified the city’s top ten most congested intersections.
- Eglinton Avenue West and Martin Grove Road
- Lawrence Avenue West and Black Creek Drive
- St. Clair Avenue East and Mount Pleasant Avenue
- Finch Avenue and Yonge Street
- Sheppard Avenue and Yonge Street
- Bloor Street East and Parliament Avenue
- O’Connor Drive and Don Mills Road
- Eastern Avenue and Carlaw Avenue
- Finch Avenue East and Victoria Park Avenue
- Kingston Road and Lawrence Avenue East
While no one enjoys driving during rush hour, you can make it easier for yourself by avoiding these intersections. Not only will you save yourself a headache, you will also put yourself at a lower risk of a collision. If you can avoid these areas, it will be worth it!