Markham residents paid more for auto insurance than drivers from most other parts of the province, according to a leading rate comparison website.
Drivers here have also been hit with the highest rate increase among the province’s most expensive cities for auto insurance.
In December 2020, the most expensive cities for car insurance in Ontario were, in order and with estimated premiums: Brampton ($2,698), Mississauga ($2,372), Vaughan ($2,334), Richmond Hill ($2,286), Markham ($2,222), Toronto ($2,201) and Ajax ($2,141), RATESDOTCA reports.
“Despite insurance companies offering $1 billion in premium relief to Ontario drivers to soften the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the cost of car insurance in the Greater Toronto Area remains the highest in the province,” RATESDOTCA editor Liam Lahey says. “The premiums GTA drivers pay can be attributed to many factors, such as the number of distracted driving fines and car accidents in the region, as well as the escalating costs to repair technologically advanced vehicles.”
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Ontario’s car insurance regulator, decides whether an insurer can increase or decrease their rates. Other factors that go into determining what your premium include your age, gender and marital status; your driving record and insurance history; how many kilometres you drive each year; and the type of vehicle you drive.
According to RATESDOTCA, the average Ontario auto insurance premium in December 2020 was $1,616 — a 9.7 per cent increase from December 2018. Of the most expensive cities for car insurance, Markham drivers faced the highest rate increase of 14.4 per cent from $1,493.
The difference between the most and least expensive rates in the province was $1,678 per year. At $1,103, Kingston, Brockville and Napanee are among the municipalities with the cheapest premiums. Ontario drivers can discover the average cost of auto insurance in their postal code by visiting Insuramap, an interactive online map offered by RATESDOTCA. All estimated premiums are based on a 35-year-old driver of a 2017 Honda Civic DX 4DR with a clean driving record.
Maintaining a clean driving record, bundling your car and home insurance policies from the same provider, installing winter tires, increasing your policy deductibles, signing up for usage-based insurance program, shopping your rate regularly, and comparing policies and premiums are among the ways you can lower your insurance rates, RATESDOTCA suggests.