How to Get Car Insurance in Ontario


How To Get Car Insurance Ontario

If you’re a driver in Ontario, Canada, you know how important it is to have car insurance. In fact, it’s illegal to drive without it. While car insurance is mandatory in Ontario, the specific coverage requirements are relatively low. Basic coverage includes third-party liability, accident benefits, uninsured automobile coverage, and direct compensation-property damage. However, it is recommended that you obtain additional coverage to protect yourself and your vehicle in case of accidents or damage.

Whether you are a new driver or an experienced one, obtaining car insurance coverage can be a daunting and confusing process. Having the right car insurance policy is crucial to protect yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle. With so many insurance providers and types of coverage available, choosing the right policy can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to help you understand how to get car insurance in Ontario. 

From understanding the types of coverage available to knowing what factors affect your rates, we’ll provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your car insurance. So, whether you’re a new driver or looking to switch providers, read on to learn more about how to get car insurance in Ontario.

Frequently Asked Questions

The time it takes to get car insurance in Ontario can vary depending on the insurance company and your specific situation. Some insurance companies may be able to provide coverage immediately, while others may require more time to review your application and driving record. Generally, if you have a clean driving record and are purchasing insurance for a standard vehicle, you can typically get coverage within a day. However, suppose you have a poor driving record, are insuring a high-risk vehicle, or require specialized insurance coverage. In that case, finding an insurance provider willing to offer coverage and process your application may take longer.

FSRA, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario, regulates auto insurance in the province. As a branch of the Ministry of Finance, FSRA has the power to approve or deny requests for car insurance rate changes and oversees all insurance regulations. 


In Ontario, private companies offer auto insurance, meaning you need to purchase your policy from a private insurer. Car insurance providers can apply to change their rates anytime throughout the year. If an insurance company has experienced increased payouts due to car accidents, it may apply for a rate increase to offset its costs. That’s why comparing quotes is essential to finding the best rate.

The cost of auto insurance in Ontario varies depending on the location. Insurance Business Canada reported in January 2023 that the province of Ontario had the third-highest auto insurance rate in Canada, with an average annual cost of just under $2,300.


Certain areas such as Alexandria, Brockville, Cornwall, Kingston, North Glengarry and Ogdensburg offer cheaper rates, averaging $1,132 per year. In contrast, the Greater Toronto Area, specifically areas of Vaughan and Scarborough, have some of the highest annual rates, ranging from $2,562 to $2,746. 


That’s why it’s crucial to compare quotes from multiple insurance providers since each provider assesses risk differently and, as a result, offers different prices for the same coverage. Therefore, shopping around is strongly recommended to find more affordable rates.

Your auto insurance rate in Ontario is affected by a variety of factors, including your licence level, driving history and experience, claims history, location, vehicle make, model, and year, vehicle usage, age, gender, and marital status, insurance provider, additional drivers, and driver’s education. For example, having a G1 or G2 licence or a poor driving history can increase your premiums, while completing an accredited driver’s education program can lower them. 

Additionally, living in densely populated areas or high-crime neighbourhoods can raise your insurance rates, as can driving for business or long commutes. Insurance providers also consider your vehicle’s safety rating, theft potential, and accident risk, as well as the make, model, and year. 

Finally, different insurance providers offer varying rates, discounts, and incentives. Also, adding a secondary driver to your policy can increase your rates if their driving history and other factors suggest higher risk.

In Ontario, you need to have the following coverage for your car insurance:


  • Third-Party Liability Coverage: This coverage is mandatory in Ontario and provides protection if you are at fault for an accident that causes injury or property damage to someone else. The minimum required amount is $200,000, but it is recommended to have at least $1 million in coverage.
  • Accident Benefits Coverage: This coverage provides benefits if you or someone in your vehicle is injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It includes medical and rehabilitation expenses, income replacement, and attendant care. The minimum required coverage is $65,000, but it is recommended to have more.
  • Direct Compensation – Property Damage Coverage: This coverage provides compensation for damage to your vehicle and its contents if someone else is at fault for the accident. It is mandatory in Ontario.
  • Uninsured Automobile Coverage: This coverage provides protection if you are in an accident with an uninsured or unidentified driver.


It is important to note that the recommended coverage amounts may vary depending on individual circumstances, such as the vehicle's value, the driver’s history, and the level of risk. It is always advisable to consult with a licensed insurance broker to determine the appropriate coverage for your specific needs.

Optional Coverage

After fulfilling the mandatory car insurance requirements in Ontario, the decision to obtain additional coverage and how much is at your discretion. 


Investing in comprehensive or collision insurance for a new or expensive car is recommended. This is because the added protection ensures that you will be covered for costly repairs or replacements if the vehicle is damaged or written off. Collision covers damage to your vehicle in a collision, and comprehensive covers damage to your vehicle caused by things such as theft, fire, or vandalism. 


You can also invest in specified perils coverage or all perils coverage. Specified perils coverage, as the name suggests, covers only the specific risks or perils that are listed in the policy. This type of coverage is typically more affordable but is very limited. On the other hand, all perils coverage provides more comprehensive protection by covering all types of risks or perils (including those in collision and comprehensive), except for those that are specifically excluded in the policy. Exclusions can vary by policy, but common examples include intentional damage or damage due to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. All perils coverage tends to be more expensive, but it covers significantly more in the event of an accident. 


As your vehicle ages and its value decreases, you may want to consider removing some of the extra coverage to reduce your premiums. It is advisable to consult with your insurer to determine the right time to adjust your coverage.

Yes. To be eligible for car insurance in Ontario, it is important to have a valid license and remember that driving without insurance is illegal. However, factors such as driving history, age, and more can affect your ability to obtain insurance coverage easily. While some insurance companies may refuse to cover high-risk drivers, others specialize in offering coverage to drivers with poor driving records. It is, therefore, recommended to continue searching for an insurance provider willing to offer coverage despite your driving record.


It is also important to note that insurance companies must provide legitimate reasons for denying coverage in writing. Suppose you feel that your denial of coverage violates Ontario’s Insurance Act, such as being denied coverage due to credit history, physical or mental disability, location, or being new to the country. In that case, you should contact the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) for assistance.

Yes, at-fault accidents can affect your car insurance rate. When you are deemed at fault for an accident, your insurance company may consider you a higher-risk driver and increase your premiums. This is because you have demonstrated that you are more likely to file a claim in the future, which means the insurance company may have to pay out more money. However, the specific impact on your rate will depend on the accident's severity, the amount of damage or injury caused, and other factors such as your driving history and your insurance provider's policies. 


Then again, some insurance providers may offer accident forgiveness, which means that your rate will not increase after your first at-fault accident, while others may have different policies regarding at-fault accidents. It is best to check with your insurance provider to determine how at-fault accidents will affect your car insurance rate.

To report a car insurance claim in Ontario, you should follow these steps:


  1. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. You can find the phone number on your insurance policy or the pink insurance slip (which is typically kept in the glove box).
  2. Provide the insurance company with all relevant information, including the date, time, and location of the accident, any witnesses' names and contact information, and the make, model, and license plate number of all vehicles involved.
  3. If the police were called to the accident scene, provide the insurance company with the police report number.
  4. If possible, take photos of the accident scene and any vehicle damage.
  5. Be prepared to provide your insurance company with a detailed description of the accident, including how it happened and who was at fault.
  6. Your insurance company will assign an adjuster to your claim, who will investigate the accident and determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
  7. Follow your insurance company’s instructions for submitting any necessary documentation, such as repair estimates or medical bills.


Remember, it is important to report a claim as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that you receive prompt and fair compensation for any damages or injuries. 


After submitting your claim, a claims adjuster will reach out to you to review your case and assess the amount of compensation you are eligible for. In cases where the at-fault driver does not have insurance, your claim will be processed through the uninsured automobile portion of your policy.

What does at-fault mean?

To be at fault means that your insurance company has determined you are responsible for the damage or injury caused by a driving event, such as a collision. It is possible for there to be more than one at-fault driver in an accident.


If you are found to be at least 50% responsible for a claim, it will be recorded on your insurance history. Having an at-fault accident on your record may lead to an increase in your insurance premiums, although some providers offer accident forgiveness, which allows for one accident before premiums are raised.

It is common to receive a low settlement offer from an insurance adjuster since their role involves saving money for the company. However, policyholders should not feel obligated to accept the initial offer. Insurance adjusters are authorized to negotiate, and the first offer is typically lower than what the policyholder deserves.


If you believe that your car insurance settlement offer is too low, you have the right to negotiate with the insurance company. You can provide evidence, such as photos or repair estimates, to support your claim for a higher settlement amount. You can also request a review of your claim by a supervisor or file a complaint with the insurance company.


If negotiations with the insurance company are not successful, you may consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in car accident cases to represent you. They can assess the value of your claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. In some cases, you may need to take legal action and file a lawsuit to get the compensation you believe you are entitled to. It’s important to keep in mind that accepting a settlement offer will typically require you to sign a release, waiving your right to pursue further legal action.


How do I know if it is a reasonable offer?

To determine if your settlement offer is reasonable, you should consider the following:


  • The extent of the damage: If the settlement offer does not cover the full extent of the damage to your vehicle or other property, it may be too low.
  • The cost of repairs: You should get an estimate from a reputable repair shop to determine the cost of repairs. If the settlement offer is significantly lower than the estimated cost of repairs, it may be too low.
  • Your medical bills: If you were injured in the accident, you should add up all of your medical bills and expenses related to the accident. If the settlement offer does not cover these expenses, it may be too low.
  • Your lost wages: If you missed work due to the accident, you should calculate your lost wages. If the settlement offer does not cover your lost wages, it may be too low.
  • Other damages: You should also consider any other damages that you incurred as a result of the accident, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. If the settlement offer does not adequately compensate you for these damages, it may be too low.


I feel my offer is too low. What should I do next?

Now it’s time to negotiate with the adjuster. In order to negotiate, you need to first reject the initial settlement offer in writing. Next, decide on a flexible range that you believe is fair compensation for your losses. It is important to keep this range reasonable. Wait for the insurance adjuster to respond with another offer, and then counter with an offer near the higher end of your range. The adjuster may accept your counteroffer, or you may continue to negotiate until both parties are satisfied.


A licensed insurance broker can provide assistance with comprehending the technical terms and procedures of an insurance claim. If you are still unsure if the settlement offer is reasonable, you can consult with a personal injury lawyer who can review your case and provide you with advice on whether to accept the offer or negotiate for a higher amount.

Working with an insurance broker can offer several benefits, including:


  • Access to multiple insurance providers: Insurance brokers have relationships with multiple insurance providers and can offer you a range of options to choose from, rather than just one insurance company’s products.
  • Personalized service: Insurance brokers work for you, not for the insurance company. They will take the time to understand your specific insurance needs and can provide personalized recommendations for coverage.
  • Expert advice: Insurance brokers are licensed professionals who are knowledgeable about the insurance industry and can provide expert advice on various insurance-related matters, such as coverage options, policy terms and conditions, and claim procedures.
  • Assistance with claims: Insurance brokers can assist you with filing claims and resolving any issues that may arise during the claims process, which can be especially helpful during a stressful time.
  • Cost savings: Insurance brokers can help you find the best coverage for your needs at a competitive price, and they may be able to secure discounts or other cost-saving measures from insurance providers.


Overall, working with an insurance broker can provide peace of mind knowing that you have an expert on your side and can help ensure that you have the right coverage for your needs.

An insurance broker and an insurance agent both work in the insurance industry, but there are some key differences between the two roles.


An insurance agent typically works for one insurance company and is responsible for selling that company’s insurance products to clients. They are a representative of the insurance company and can only offer the products and prices of that particular company. They may also provide some basic advice to clients about the products they are selling.


On the other hand, an insurance broker is an independent professional who works for the client, not the insurance company. They are not tied to one particular insurance company and can offer clients a range of insurance products from various insurance providers. Insurance brokers act as intermediaries between the client and the insurance company, providing advice, assessing the client’s needs, and recommending the most appropriate insurance coverage for their situation. They may also assist with claims and other related services.


To put it simply, an insurance agent works for an insurance company and can only offer that company’s products, while an insurance broker works for the client and can offer a range of insurance products from multiple insurance companies.

Levitt Insurance Brokers is a highly-rated insurance company in Canada that aims to simplify the insurance industry by providing transparent information, guidance, and straightforward solutions. Unlike other insurance companies, Levitt takes pride in making complex insurance policies easy to understand. Their main objective is to help clients secure their most valuable possessions with efficiency and without hassle, providing peace of mind in just a few minutes.


Levitt’s focus is not just on selling insurance policies but also on helping clients protect what matters most to them. They recognize that every individual has unique requirements, circumstances, and financial capabilities and thus offer personalized solutions to meet their specific needs. Clients can easily compare insurance policies and choose the best one for them using Levitt’s advanced tools, saving them both time and money. With Levitt, obtaining insurance coverage is simple and stress-free.

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