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Ontario’s most expensive places for car insurance revealed

February 14, 2023

Brampton retains its title this year as the city with the most expensive car insurance in Ontario.

Rates in the suburban area, located just west of Toronto, are 62.5 per cent higher than the provincial average.

The good news, however, is the city has become more affordable since 2020 when it was 123.5 per cent more expensive than the rest of the province.

Here are the top 10 most expensive cities in Ontario for car insurance where premiums are more than the provincial average, according to LowestRates:

  • Brampton — 62.5 per cent more expensive
  • North York — 44.3 per cent more expensive
  • Scarborough — 43.7 per cent more expensive
  • Etobicoke — 29.4 per cent more expensive
  • Vaughan — 25.6 per cent more expensive
  • Mississauga — 25.5 per cent more expensive
  • Toronto — 23 per cent more expensive
  • Gormley — 18.3 per cent more expensive
  • Richmond Hill — 18.2 per cent more expensive
  • York —11.2 per cent more expensive

A number of reasons were offered as to why Brampton and other Greater Toronto Area communities take the lead as the most expensive places for car insurance.

First, the “suburb factor” is where most drivers in suburban areas like Brampton rely on cars to get “pretty much anywhere.” That’s because rates there will be higher than for drivers in the City of Toronto where, on average, drivers log fewer kilometres per year.

“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,” according to LowestRates. 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 arrive in Canada.

Lack of experience

“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 Canada. Ontario’s auditor general suggested in a recent annual report 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,” the Ontario auditor general’s report noted. “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 reassess the way automobile insurance companies determine premiums, including using a person’s address, gender and age as variables in calculating automobile insurance premiums.

With files from Canadian Underwriter

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