The best car insurance in Canada: Your complete guide

However, these don’t cover damages to your own vehicle. For that, you will need to purchase optional coverages. The following two types of coverage are recommended as endorsements. In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, they are both mandatory.

  • Collision insurance: Covers the costs related to the repair or replacement of your vehicle if you are at fault for a collision with another car or an object, such as a tree or pothole. Many drivers opt in for collision due to the variable Canadian weather, road conditions, traffic and other causes of unexpected accidents.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Covers repairs to or replacement of a vehicle that has been damaged by something other than a collision. This can include a fire, theft, vandalism or a wind or hail storm—basically, factors that are often considered outside of your control.

How much car insurance do you need?

What are the best car insurance coverage amounts? The answer to this question will vary from one person to the next, as it ultimately depends on your ability or willingness to cover damages out of pocket, should you get into an accident.

For example, uninsured auto insurance typically provides up to $200,000 in property damage and injury coverage. However, in some provinces, you can increase this amount. However, since a single accident can easily exceed the minimum coverage, many drivers choose to pay for $1 million to $5 million in coverage. Car insurance coverage amounts aren’t entirely up to you, though. Depending on where you live, you will have to have a minimum amount of coverage.

For example, in most Canadian provinces, you are required to have $200,000 in third-party liability coverage. (In Quebec, the minimum is $50,000, and in Nova Scotia, it is $500,000). Remember: As the driver, you are responsible for paying for any damages that go beyond what is included in your policy.

Receiving more coverage means you will have to pay more in premiums.

How much does car insurance cost in Canada?

The amount you will pay in auto insurance premiums is based on a host of factors. Here’s a sample of some of the most important ones:

  • The driver’s profile: New drivers—especially those under the age of 25—tend to pay higher premiums, because the data suggests they are at a great risk of getting into accidents. Similarly, male drivers are statistically more likely to get into an accident causing death, which is factored into premiums.
  • The vehicle: Insurance companies consider how expensive your car would be to fix if you get into an accident, as well as how likely it is to be stolen. They use a system called the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR), which rates different aspects of a vehicle model, helping them understand just how risky your vehicle is to insure.
  • Where you live: Premiums vary widely by province, the difference being that some provinces offer public, government-run insurance programs, and others operate on a private (or a hybrid public-private) model. Even within a single province, costs can be higher if you live in a densely populated area, as opposed to a rural region where there are fewer accidents.
  • Driving history: Insurance will be more expensive if you have a history of traffic tickets or car accidents.

While an insurance broker can give you more accurate numbers for you and your particular driving situation, the General Insurance Statistical Agency has looked at the average premiums across 10 provinces. On average, Canadian drivers spend $1,142 per year on car insurance. Drivers pay the most in British Columbia (where the average cost is $1,832​ per year) and the least in Quebec ($717 per year). Here’s what you may expect to pay, based on the province you live in:

Province Average of cost of car insurance
Alberta $1,316
British Columbia $1,832​
Manitoba $1,080
New Brunswick $867
Newfoundland and Labrador $1,168
Nova Scotia $891​
Ontario $1,505
Prince Edward Island $816
Quebec $717
Saskatchewan $1,235
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How to find the best car insurance in Canada

Given the complexity of auto insurance and the number of variables that determine what you will pay in premiums—including where you live, the amount of coverage you need and your driving record—there isn’t a straightforward answer to your question, “Which company has the best car insurance in Canada?”

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