The best car insurance companies in Ontario

Tyler Wade
by Tyler Wade July 17, 2020 / No Comments

Either drivers have an insatiable appetite for a new whip, or perhaps commuters are shying away from public transit, but car sales are skyrocketing as dealerships adapt to selling cars online. You can now book test drives from your couch. The dealer will drop the vehicle off, thoroughly sanitized – pretty sweet accommodation.

With a test drive, the dealer’s insurance covers you. Before you drive your new car off the dealer’s lot, you need car insurance (or at least be listed on someone else’s policy). So, how do you know which car insurance company is right for you?

The best car insurance company in Ontario for price

Car insurance costs depend on many factors, including your age, where you live, driving history, type of car, and your credit score (to name a few). Unfortunately, the best car insurance companies in Ontario keep their rating systems under lock and key, so we can’t open the vault and uncover the hidden secrets. 

Truth be told, some companies offer better rates to young than old and vice versa. While others may put their weight behind a credit score, because, if you know how to balance a chequebook, surely you can turn into a skid, or look and steer where you want to go.

We’re not underwriters, we can help explain risk, but we don’t decide on pricing. We can help you compare car insurance from multiple providers in minutes to give you the lowest price if that’s what you’re after. 

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If you want to do the work yourself, it’ll take you 30-40 minutes of your time to call each of the 53 insurance companies in Ontario, answer the same questions over and over, and you’ll likely get the same result. Far be it from me to stop you from a laborious activity, so here’s the list.

List of auto insurance companies in Ontario

Ontario’s best car insurance companies offer more than low prices.

You can find a cheap auto quote, but that’s just the apple in a fruit salad – it takes up a lot of the room, but it lacks the colourful diversity strawberries, blueberries, and bananas bring.

There are many ways to save on auto insurance after receiving your quote. For instance, you can bundle with your home insurance, install winter tires, or simply ask for discounts. 

You may want to try usage-based insurance (pay-as-you-go or pay-as-you-drive) if you think your driving habits deserve a better price. But, currently, it’s available from a mere 7 providers: Allstate, Belair Direct, CAA, Desjardins, Intact, Onlia, and TD.

But, it’s not only about price. There are many add-ons or endorsements, you can put on your policy for coverage you might not have.

Ontario insurance company endorsement options

Typical endorsements include comprehensive insurance to protect your car from theft or if a tree falls on it and collision insurance after an accident. They’re available from the entire list, every company provides these coverages.

But even the best car insurance companies in Ontario don’t all offer specialized coverage like accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness essentially makes an accident that would otherwise increase your premium disappear, as long as you stay with that company until it’s off your driving history.

Temporary vehicle replacement isn’t standard after an accident unless you add it on. Still, it’s not available from every insurance company in Ontario. 

If your car is a write-off, and you want to replace it with a new one, you’ll need a “new car guarantee” or replacement cost on your policy. But, only if the Ontario insurer offers it.

Disappearing deductible is an add-on from some Ontario insurance companies that lower your deductible cost for each year you’re accident-free. 

If you plan on driving for Uber or Lyft, you’ll need ride-sharing coverage provided by Intact and Aviva.

Many more options are available, depending on your insurer. All Ontario car insurance companies, however, must offer OPCF. 

Customizing with Ontario Policy Change Forms (OPCF)

An Ontario Policy Change Form (OPCF), “sets out the rights and obligations of insured persons and insurance companies related to automobile insurance coverages, and the terms and conditions of those coverages.” In layman’s terms, it’s not much different than an endorsement, but these are set from the Financial Service Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRAO). 

Here are a few quick ones, but you can find the full list here.

With OPCF 27, you can have your third-party liability cover a rental car and avoid paying the rental car insurance at the counter.

With OPCF16, you can put your car insurance on hold. OPCF17 allows you to reinstate it without penalty.

While each Ontario car insurance company offers OPCF, there are some we didn’t mention in the list, because they’re group insurers. 

Group options from Ontario insurance provider

If you’re a member of a union or large organization, there may be discounts. As an example, you may have heard of TD Meloche Monnex or Johnson insurance before. They are the group insurance arms of TD general insurance and RSA insurance. You can only access these providers through your group association. For this reason, they didn’t make the list of the best car insurance companies in Ontario because they aren’t accessible to all.

For clarity, an employee for the city of Toronto has access to Meloche Monnex because they’re in the CUPE union. A public health nurse for the city also has access to Johnson insurance, but not through CUPE, but rather the Ontario Nurses Association. Johnson works with Ottawa University alumni, whereas Meloche Monnex works with Waterloo and U of T, among others.

I’m not sure if the Antique and Classic car club of Canada has a group discount, but some insurers specialize in unique situations.

Specialized Ontario car insurance companies

Facility Association and Pafco, as examples, provide high-risk car insurance. Drivers that have multiple offences on their records or DUI charges are high risk and may only qualify for coverage from these providers.

Hagerty insurance is the leader in classic car insurance, collector, and antiques. Allstate, RBC, and Chubb are also good options.

The bottom line

It’s easy to get an Ontario car insurance quote and compare prices. Understanding which company is for you depends on your needs. We can help you narrow it down by getting a quote and speaking with one of our favourite Ontario insurance brokers to get the best value for your dollar. Happy shopping!

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