Skip to main content
Ratehub logo
Ratehub logo

What is high risk auto insurance in Ontario?

Car insurance for high risk drivers doesn't come cheap. To combat the added cost, make sure you shop the market with us today – get customized quotes from Ontario's top providers in just a few minutes.

It’s not easy to maintain a perfect driving record. People get tickets, they have accidents, they miss bill payments, and unfortunately, some even drive impaired or distracted. When a driver continues to accumulate driving infractions, they can eventually be considered a high risk driver.

Drivers are legally required to be covered by an auto insurance policy. Auto insurance is a necessary level of protection that ensures expenses are covered if a vehicle is damaged or stolen or that people or property are impacted by a motor vehicle collision. 

When an insurance provider considers it likely that an Ontario driver will be involved in an accident or not pay their premiums, that driver is considered high risk and will need to seek out high risk car insurance in Ontario.

Key takeaways on high risk auto insurance in Ontario

  1. If you're at a high risk of getting into a car accident or defaulting on your premium payments, you may need specialized high-risk auto insurance in Ontario. Insurers look at your conviction record and your insurance history to determine so.

  2. Many insurers won't offer policies to high-risk drivers, so you may need to go to one that specializes in this coverage specifically (e.g. Pafco, Jevco). And as a last resort, drivers that can't be insured anywhere else will need to get a Facility Association policy.

  3. While it's unlikely you'll find cheap auto insurance as a high-risk driver, you can seek out different discounts (e.g. auto-home bundling, usage-based insurance). But the best way to save will be to keep your driving record as clean as possible – infractions don't stay on there forever.

Who needs high risk car insurance in Ontario?

Any driver considered to be at high risk of having an accident or defaulting on their premium payments will need high risk car insurance in Ontario. 

A driver will be considered high risk if their history includes:

  • Multiple collisions
  • Missed premium payments 
  • Multiple speeding tickets (or breaking other traffic laws)
  • Impaired driving convictions
  • Car insurance fraud convictions
  • Distracted driving convictions

How does high risk auto insurance work in Ontario?

It can be difficult and expensive to find and purchase high risk car insurance in Ontario. Depending on the driver’s level of risk and their financial history, insurers can charge double, triple (or more!) the premium cost for high risk drivers than they do for average drivers. Insurance companies can even refuse to sell a policy to certain drivers. 

While individual insurance providers have the right and ability to refuse to insure a driver because of their high level of risk, the insurance industry as a whole cannot refuse coverage. That’s where the Facility Association comes in.

High risk auto insurance vs. Facility Association insurance

Luckily, drivers who are unable to secure high risk insurance coverage from regular car insurance providers have another alternative – Facility Association insurance. This will be extremely expensive, but it will allow them to get back behind the wheel.

While the average annual insurance premium for a driver in Ontario was $1,674 as of October 2022, Facility Association insurance premiums can cost over $8,000 per year, making this a last resort for high risk drivers.

The Facility Association is a not-for-profit association of insurance providers that operates in Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and each of the Canadian territories. Every organization licensed to issue liability insurance in these geographies is a part of the Facility Association, which guarantees that any driver eligible to purchase automobile insurance has access to basic coverage. 

While drivers can apply to be insured through the Facility Association, the Association is not an underwriter and does not issue its own insurance policies. Rather, it works with its member companies to ensure that drivers have access to high risk car insurance. 

The best high risk auto insurance companies in Ontario

While it’s a good idea for any high risk driver to start out contacting regular insurance providers to see if they will offer coverage, here are some options if that doesn’t work out. 

Every insurance provider will charge higher premiums for high risk drivers, however, there are some non-standard insurance carriers that specialize in high risk car insurance in Ontario – these include:

If these companies refuse coverage because the risk is too high, the next step is to contact the Facility Association. 

Compare car insurance quotes from Canada's top providers.

Get personalized car insurance quotes in minutes, free of charge.

How to get the cheapest high risk auto insurance in Ontario

While it’s extremely unlikely that drivers needing high risk car insurance will find a policy with premiums close to the average premium cost, there are steps they can take to reduce their inflated premiums over time – these include:

  • Insuring multiple vehicles which can reduce the monthly premiums charged per vehicle
  • Making sure you have winter tires which can reduce the likelihood of a weather-related collision in winter
  • Installing an alarm or other anti-theft device in the vehicle to reduce the likelihood of it being stolen
  • Bundling home and auto insurance to receive a discount on both
  • Agreeing to download an app that allows the insurance company to monitor a person’s driving habits (usage-based insurance) – if the driver shows that they obey traffic laws over a period of time, their premiums could be reduced

The bottom line

Drivers who have a history of accidents, tickets, or other driving infractions will face increased insurance premiums because they are considered high risk drivers. 

These infractions don’t stay on a driver’s record forever, so if you are a high risk driver, be patient, obey the traffic laws, and work towards clearing your driving record to reduce your high risk insurance premiums over time. 

Also read

7 car security tips: how to prevent car theft

What is the total cost of car ownership?

How much is car insurance in Toronto?