Pickering, Oshawa in top 10 for highest car insurance rates in Ontario

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Published May 5, 2023 at 4:40 pm

Auto insurance rates rose 12 per cent this year from 2021 numbers, though most Durham communities saw little change.

Insurance rates in Brampton skyrocketed 37 per cent to $2,707 per year in that span to vault to the dubious #1 spot in the province, supplanting Richmond Hill, which dropped to number four, though rates in that town still increased eight per cent.

Ajax had the second highest rates in Ontario in 2021 at $2,104 but rates fell 16 per cent (estimated) to $1,726, dropping the town to #21 on the list.

Two other Durham communities which were in the top 10 remained there, though the rates in Pickering ($1,985 from $1,959) and Oshawa ($1,839 from $1,833) showed little change, holding the two municipalities to the #6 and #8 spots, respectively.

Whitby, which was in ninth spot in 2021, dropped to #23, with rates decreasing six per cent to $1,690 per year. Bowmanville’s rates rose 30 per cent to almost crack the top ten this year at the 15 spot with annual average rates of $1,796.

(Rate estimates are based on a 35-year-old driver of a 2019 four-door Honda Civic with a clean driving record.)

The data is from the RATESDOTCA Insuramap, an interactive online map that shows the average insurance rates by postal code. The average estimated premium is currently $1,744, marking the largest increase in the history of the survey.

The previous survey was in December 2021 and the provincial average was $1,555 but a lot has changed since. The lifting of COVID restrictions means drivers have mostly returned to their pre-pandemic routines. Meanwhile, operating costs for insurers are rising due to surging inflation, ongoing vehicle and parts shortages, longer wait times for repairs, an uptick in car theft, and a jump in the number and severity of claims filed.

Brampton is back on top with the highest average rate in the province after losing the crown last poll. York Region cities, meanwhile, dominate the rankings – collectively they are up 37 per cent – but Vaughan, last year’s top spot holder fell to the middle of the list at $2,158 although its rate remained mostly stable.

Toronto ($2,325 per year) and Mississauga ($2,311 per year) displace Ajax and Richmond Hill for the second and third spots.

Rank City Average 2023 estimated premium Average 2021 estimated premium Change (%)
1 Brampton $2,707 $1,976 37%
2 Toronto $2,325 $1,953 19%
3 Mississauga $2,311 $1,971 17%
4 Richmond Hill $2,188 $2,025 8%
5 Vaughan $2,158 $2,179 -1%
6 Pickering $1,985 $1,959 1%
7 Markham $1,870 $1,744 7%
8 Oshawa $1,839 $1,833 0%
9 Hamilton $1,810 $1,564 16%
10 Schomberg, King City, Stouffville, Aurora, Nobleton $1,801 $1,766 (Schomberg, King City, Nobleton), $1,582 (Stouffville, Aurora) 2% (Schomberg, King City, Nobleton), 14% (Stouffville, Aurora)

Other Durham communities in the top 100 include Courtice, Cannington, Uxbridge, Sunderland and Newcastle.

The rates are expected to climb again this year as rapidly rising inflation triggered numerous Ontario insurers to request permission to increase rates. Rate change requests to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) began trickling in late last year, some of which were major.

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