Brampton car owners are paying the highest prices for car insurance in Ontario, forking out about 65 per cent more in premiums than the provincial average, according to new data from Kanetix.ca.
The insurance quote website released a list that ranks the most expensive cities for car insurance in Ontario. Perhaps unsurprisingly, areas nearby the Greater Toronto Area have the most expensive premiums, with Brampton topping the list at $2,392 annually. Toronto is tied with Markham in fourth place, with average premiums of $1,886 a year – or about 30 per cent more than the provincial average of $1,448.
Where’s the cheapest city in Ontario for car insurance? According to Kanetix, the town of Hawkesbury, Ont., located southeast of Ottawa, has the lowest average insurance premium at $956 per year.
Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Ontario for auto insurance, and what premiums consumers are typically paying on an annual basis, according to Kanetix (all figures are based on a single, 35-year-old driver with a clean record):
- Brampton: $2,392
- Vaughan: $2,018
- Mississauga: $1,930
- Toronto: $1,886; Markham: $1,886
- Richmond Hill: $1,783
- Hamilton: $1,683
- Pickering: $1,593
- Ajax: $1,556
- Bradford: $1,484; Stouffville: $1,484
Why does location play a role in our insurance premiums? Heavily populated cities, for example, may be prone to more traffic congestion and commuters, while other areas may have higher levels of accidents or car thefts.
“If you live in a city where car insurance rates are high, you can still find ways to lower your rate," Kanetix's vice-president Janine White said.
Here are a few ways you can try to keep costs down:
1. Keep a clean driving record
Many variables are a factored into how your premiums are determined, including your driving record, insurance history and coverage options.
White said you can lower your rates by maintaining a clean driving record. Accidents happen, but this means trying to ensure that your driving history is free of traffic convictions or collisions where you have been at-fault.
2. Choose your cars carefully
Your brand-new sports car will probably cost you more to insure than a family SUV. Insurers watch for the kind of car you're driving when setting rates. They'll be looking at statistics such as how often your model gets stolen, its safety ratings, and repair costs.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada offers a list of the most stolen cars in Canada. If you're shopping for a car, you can also use Kanetix's tool to compare quotes for different models.
3. Plan payments wisely
Another easy thing you can do to save on your insurance premium is paying it annually in one lump sum, rather than on a monthly basis.
"This will avoid any extra fees that companies charge for processing payments each month," White said.
She adds that consumers can save about five to 15 per cent on insurance costs if they bundle auto and home insurance policies.
4. Research insurers
One of the best ways to save on car insurance may be just to compare multiple insurers.
"Insurance companies change their rates quite often, and the same driver with the same history can get a wide range of quotes," White said.
"You could definitely be paying more with one company than another, so it’s so important to do your research and compare."