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Managing auto insurance costs

3 April 2012

Ontario is reported to have the highest premiums for car insurance in Canada. According to a study from the Fraser Institute, Ontario car insurance premiums averaged $1,281 as of October 2011 whereas Quebec premiums averaged just $642—the lowest in the country.

In an effort to control the high cost of insurance, Ontario introduced reforms last year intended to bring some stability to consumers. Now in full effect, the reforms offer consumers the ability to pick and choose between options that didn’t previously exist. While more choice means you have more options to save, there are even more opportunities at your fingertips that can help you find the coverage that is right for you, your family, or your business.

While Ontario insurance costs did rise in 2011 according to’s quarterly Ontario auto insurance rate review, the year-over-year increase slowed each quarter—likely due to the reforms.

Quebec premiums averaged just $642—the lowest in the country.

Of course, there are a number of ways Ontarians can save on their auto insurance costs.

Ontario Insurance Costs Managing auto insurance costs

There are other ways to save too. By making a few very minor changes to your routine, saving potentially hundreds of dollars on your car insurance premium can be an easy task. Like, really easy.

  • Consider the cost of paying monthly. You could save money paying your annual premium all at once, instead of on a monthly basis. Many companies charge you a little extra to cover the cost of administering your payments every month.
  • Don’t believe the myth that all auto insurers are the same; they are not. What you pay with one insurer is not the same as what you would get with another. Rates vary considerably between companies, and often change.
  • Ask about discounts. You may be eligible for discounts that you may not even know about like:
    • Age/retiree discount – if available, the qualifying age differs from provider to provider
    • Multi-vehicle discount – available if you insure multiple vehicles with the same insurer
    • Anti-theft discount – if your vehicle has certain approved anti-theft devices installed
    • Low mileage discount – if your vehicle is not driven often
    • Preferred parking discount   if you regularly park your car at home, in a private, residential driveway or garage you may get a break on your rate


Knowing fact from fiction is half the battle too. For example, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada 40 per cent of Canadians believe the colour of their car affects a car insurance rate. The fact is that car colour doesn’t actually affect your insurance rate. Put simply, the Canadian insurance industry is absolutely colour-blind.

The key to getting the very best auto insurance suited for you is to shop around, because insurance rates can vary significantly between companies. Be it those purchasing auto insurance for the first time, or long time veterans of Ontario roadways, a great place to compare company prices is using an online insurance quoting service – they’re safe, smart, fast, and free.

Using these cost saving tips, paying for auto insurance in Ontario can be less damaging to your wallet, saving you those hard-earned dollars.

About the Author

lucas taylor

A graduate of York University, Lucas has worked for a number of financial institutions before joining as a contributing editor in 2009. Lucas' background in business provides him with a unique perspective on insurance, mortgage, and financial industry news. Outside of his writing gig, he can be found biking across his native Toronto – yes, even in the snow.

Comments (5 )

gene wolanyk Wrote:

Belair Auto Insurance

I was a client of Belair Auto Insurance for 5 years.
In the last year with Belair my wife hade two accidents, one was here fault due to winter slippery conditions, the other was not her fault. Because the accidents were minor fender benders, there was no claim in either case agaist Baelait . Belair Auto Insurance, has been referred to in the industry as SKIMMERS, They only want the best drivers. Despite no claims against them, they cancelled our insurance policy because their POLICY is to get rid of anyone with two or more incidents in one year , even if their customers were not at fault.

I would like to warn anyone considering signing up with Belair to understand their POLICY and be aware that they may be exposing themselves to a huge rate hike if their existing POLICY is concelled and they must look for alternative insurance coverage

It seems like my car insurance payments always sneak up on me because I only pay them once every six months. Do you think it’s better to pay a chunk of money once every six months or to pay monthly? What do you think is the wisest decision?

Dan Wrote:

Thanks! The above post helped me decide not to go with Belair!

Car insurance protects you from personal liability should you be in an accident. Aside from the legal requirements, this is the main reason you want car insurance. If you are in an accident and you are at fault you can be held personally responsible for the costs of medical bills if a person is injured and major monetary awards if a person is killed. These costs can all but ruin most families.

Lyla Burns Wrote:

Thank you for this post! I find that insurance is one of the most expensive things I’m currently paying for. I’ve heard that different companies have great rates such as guelph insurance. I definitely need to shop around and see where I can cut costs when it comes to insurance. Thanks again!

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