At the height of the pandemic, insurance companies promised $1 billion in relief to drivers but new statistics show that rates still went up.
According to Ratesdot.ca, the average Ontario auto insurance premium in December 2018 was $1,473. In December 2020, it rose to $1,616. That’s an increase in two years of 9.7 per cent.
“The cost of car insurance in the Greater Toronto Area remains the highest in the province,” Liam Lahey with Ratesdot.ca told CTV News Toronto.
The most expensive city to own a car remains Brampton, where the average premium is $2,698. The four most expensive cities after that in order are Mississauga, Vaughan, Richmond Hill and Markham.
The cheapest place to own a car in Ontario is in Kingston, Nappanee, Port Hope, Cobourg and Brockville, which all have average annual premiums of $1,103.
While Brampton remains the most expensive city in Ontario to own a vehicle, the four most expensive postal codes to own a car are in Scarborough, where the average premium is $3,000 a year.
The rates quoted in the statistics are for a 35 year old, with a good driving record owning a 2017 Honda Civic.
The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, which represents accident victims, said the insurance system needs to be more transparent so it’s clear just how much profit is being made.
“We know that due to COVID collisions are down, traffic is down and yet rates continue to climb,” Kris Bonn, president elect for the Ontario Trail Lawyers Association, said.
“It’s another example of insurance companies taking advantage of the system to increase the rates of regular drivers while also reducing the payout for innocent injured accident victims,” Bonn said.
Auto theft, fraud and the high cost to replace and repair vehicles are also driving up costs.
Lahey with Ratesdot.ca said if you feel you’re paying too much for insurance it makes sense to shop around.
“Whether your auto policy is up soon or you don’t like the rates your paying checking ratesdot.ca and compare. You may be able to find a lower rate,” Lahey said.
The rates quoted in the statistics are the average premiums for a good driver, so anyone who has had an accident or tickets could be paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars more.