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Car insurance is mandatory in all Canadian provinces and territories. There are differences in coverage and limits from one province or territory to the next, but most will have a minimum of third party liability limits and someaccident benefits coverage.
Besides being legally required, you will not be able to lease or finance the purchase of a new or used car without providing proof of insurance first.
If you are caught driving without auto insurance, you can face hefty fines and large insurance premiums. For insurance companies, driving without insurance is on par with driving while impaired and is considered a major conviction compared to speeding, which is a minor conviction. If you have a major conviction on your driving record, your insurance premiums will be very high.
In Ontario, a first offence for driving without insurance is a minimum fine of $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000. The fine for each addtional offence is a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $50,000. Your driver’s licence could also be suspended for up to a year. There are no demerit points on your driving record. Source: Ontario – Compulsory Insurance Act
Auto insurance coverage
Third-Party Liability: If you are at fault for causing a car accident, third party liability will cover the damage to the other person’s property including bodily injury or death. Your auto insurance policy or auto insurance quote will always include third-party liability coverage because it is mandatory in all provinces and territories in Canada. The minimum liability limit in Ontario is $200,000 but most drivers have $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 limits.
Direct Compensation Property Damage: If your vehicle is damaged in an accident that is not your fault, your insurance company will cover the damage to your car, contents, and the loss of use of your vehicle.
Uninsured Motorist: Sometimes the driver at fault is uninsured, or unknown in the case of a hit-and-run accident. This coverage is for bodily injury to you and your passengers.
Accident Benefits: This coverage protects you, a passenger, or a pedestrian who is injured or killed in a car accident no matter who is at fault. Coverage may vary from one province or territory to another, but most include loss of income, funeral expenses, medical and rehabilitation expenses, and benefits for your family members if you are killed.
Collision: Covers loss or damage to the vehicle because of collision with another object.
Comprehensive: Covers damage to your vehicle for anything other than collision or upset such as fire, theft, vandalism, or windshield damage.
All Perils: Combines collision and comprehensive coverage. Coverage is all risk and it covers everything except what is specifically excluded in your policy.
Specified Perils: Combines collision and comprehensive coverage. Coverage is named perils and covers only those perils that are listed in your policy such as fire, lightning, theft, attempted theft, windstorm, hail, rising water, earthquake, explosion, riot, and damage to vehicle during transport.
Ontario Car Insurance Endorsements
OPCF 20 (Loss of Use): Covers the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired or replaced up to the limit on your policy. This endorsement applies to loss or damage to the car from an insured loss and not because your car is in the shop for maintenance.
OPCF 27 (Legal Liability for Non-Owned Automobiles): Provides insurance for vehicles you operate but do not own. This can be a car you borrow or one you rent while on vacation. The endorsement applies to standard vehicles weighing up to 4,500 kilograms so keep this in mind when renting a truck for moving. The limits can range from $25,000 to $50,000. There is no coverage for drivers listed on the policy.
OPCF 39 (Accident Waiver/Forgiveness): Also known as accident protection or claims protection, this endorsement will protect your premium when you have your first at-fault accident. In other words, your premium will not increase because of the claim as long as you stay with the same insurance company.
OPCF 43 (Waiver of Depreciation): Your car insurance policy will pay actual cash value (replacement cost less depreciation) in the event of a loss. This endorsement removes the depreciation for new vehicles up to 2 to 3 years old depending on the insurance company. You must be the original purchaser on the bill of sale.
OPCF 44 (Family Protection Coverage): This coverage increases your Third Party Liability Limit when you are involved in an accident where you are not at fault and the other driver has no insurance, is underinsured, or cannot be identified as in a hit and run.
How to save money on your car insurance
Are you looking for the best rates on car insurance in Ontario? There are many ways to save on your auto insurance premiums but the best way is to shop around. The difference in car insurance rates from one insurance company to the next can be hundreds of dollars or higher.
Add other discounts
Winter tire discount
Does where I live affect my car insurance rate?
Insurance companies divide Ontario into rating territories by postal code. The table below shows the annual auto insurance premium from one insurance company across a number of rating territories. The premium is based on a 40 year old married male with a clear driving record who drives 15 kms to work and 25,000 kms annually. The vehicle is a 2016 Toyota Camry LE 4 door and coverage is $1,000,000 liability with a $1,000 deductible for collision and comprehensive coverage. The auto insurance rates do not include discounts.
If you compare the highest premium in Brampton with the lowest premium in Kingston, there is a very large difference in auto insurance premiums. However, if you compare the premiums in the large cities expect for Brampton, the premiums are close. The same can be said for the smaller cities.
Barrie (L4N) – $1,705
Brampton (L6R) – $3,230
Etobicoke (M8Z) – $2,135
Hamilton (L8V) – $2,147
Kingston (K7L) – $1,219
London (N5Y) – $2,163
North York (M2N) – $2,385
Oshawa (L1H) – $2,028
Ottawa (K1Z) – $1,441
Peterborough (K9J) – $1,462
Sault Ste. Marie (P6B) – $1,484
Thunder Bay (P7C) – $1,434
Toronto (M5E) – $2,426