The price of auto insurance in Ontario has risen again — with one city seeing a spike of almost 40 per cent, a new study suggests.
A survey of Ontario’s car insurance premiums completed by insurance comparison website RatesDotCa found, since 2021, the average premium rose by 12 per cent across Ontario.
The average cost in Ontario for an insurance premier now $1,744 per year, RatesDotCa said.
The end of COVID-19 restrictions and a broad return to pre-pandemic driving pattens may be one of the reasons for the increase.
The costs for insurance companies are also rising, as vehicle parts shortages and inflation threaten to increase the value of claims. RatesDotCa said a rise in car theft and more severe claims could also be part of the equation.
The rising costs, however, have not hit Ontario equally.
Brampton, where residents have long complained about sky-high premiums saw the average premium cost rise 37 per cent. The city was once again the most expensive place for auto insurance in Ontario at an average annual cost of $2,707.
The plight of Brampton drivers was highlighted by Ontario’s auditor general in her latest annual report.
In her value-for-money audit, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk found that a Brampton resident who drives the exact same vehicle as a London resident would pay more than twice as much to insure the car based on postal code.
In the example provided by the auditor, the London resident would pay $1,200 per year for auto insurance, while someone driving the same car in Brampton would pay $3,350.
The audit also found the average auto insurance premium increased almost 14 per cent between 2017 and 2021 leading to the “highest private passenger automobile insurance premiums in Canada.”
The latest data from RatesDotCa suggests, while Brampton remains at the top of the unenviable rankings, other major cities aren’t too far behind.
At $2,325 per year, the survey found Toronto was the second most expensive city in 2023, and Mississauga ($2,311 per year) was third. York Region’s cities remain high on the list. Vaughan residents pay an average annual premier of $2,158 per year, down around one per cent from 2021.
The average rate in Toronto rose by 19 per cent, according to RatesDotCa.
The auditor general’s report laid blame at the feet of both the Ford government and Ontario’s financial services regulator.
It found that neither the Ministry of Finance nor the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) had “done significant work to address past recommendations to reduce costs” for drivers in Ontario.
The most expensive cities in Ontario
RatesDotCa calculated the average rate based on sample quotes for a 35-year-old man with no previous claims or driving convictions. The sample was for a four-door sedan.
The full top 10 cities for insurance premiums, according to RatesDotCa is below:
1 Brampton ($2,707)
2 Toronto ($2,325)
3 Mississauga ($2,311)
4 Richmond Hill ($2,188)
5 Vaughan ($2,158)
6 Pickering ($1,985)
7 Markham ($1,870)
8 Oshawa ($1,839)
9 Hamilton ($1,810)
10 Schomberg, King City, Stouffville, Aurora, Nobleton ($1,801)