Brampton, followed by Vaughan and Mississauga round out the three most expensive cities in Ontario to insure a vehicle.
There’s an age old adage about "location, location, location." Turns out it’s also a critical component of auto insurance rates too. If you live anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area, reprieves are few and far between, but some places are just flat out worse than others.
In a recent news release by Kanetix.ca, the company behind the eponymous insurance research and comparison tool, it was uncovered that the city of Brampton, Ontario has some of the highest ratings in the province, by a rather wide margin.
With rates 65 percent higher than the provincial average, Brampton beats out Vaughan, which is 39 percent higher than the average, and Mississauga at 33 percent more, for the unwanted title of most expensive region to insure a vehicle.
Speaking with Motor1 Canada, Janine White, vice president of Kanetix, shared how the company arrived upon the numbers. “What we do to isolate the impact of where you live is we take a 35-year-old clean driver, and we do the exact same driver profile across all of the different postal codes. So we keep all the variables the same with the exception of postal code. What that allows us to do is, say given the exact same driver profile, what is the impact of just where you live.”
Based on the discussed scenario of a 35-year-old driver with a clean record, the provincial average annual premium for Ontario is a lofty $1,448. Broken down, here’s how Ontario’s cities stack up by the numbers:
|City||Estimated premium||Compared to provincial average|
|1. Brampton||$2,392||65% higher|
|2. Vaughan||$2,018||39% higher|
|4. Toronto (tie)||$1,886||30% higher|
|4. Markham (tie)||$1,886||30% higher|
|6. Richmond Hill||$1,783||23% higher|
|7. Hamilton||$1,683||16% higher|
|8. Pickering||$1,593||10% higher|
|9. Ajax||$1,556||7.5% higher|
White notes that there are far more variables that affect auto insurance, but the goal here was to simply identify what impacts a driver’s home address has on their premium.
Kanetix makes this data available through an interactive online map it calls InsuraMap.
Users can enter their postal code and see how they compare to the areas around them and the rest of the province. In addition to Ontario, InsuraMap also shows data for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Alberta.
“At the end of the day whatever the averages for an area comes down to statistics. The insurance companies, each individually, look at statistics for an area. Statistically, the red areas, the ones with much higher averages, have something in that [area’s] statistical data that tells them that claims costs will be higher for that group,” says White.
While Ontario is known for higher insurance premiums nationally, it’s important to note that insurance coverage and insurance products aren’t the same across the board.
Explaining what exactly about your postal code affects your rates may be data only available to ratings agencies, but White summarizes it as follows: “The main thing it comes to is [population] density. The higher density in an area, the more accidents that typically occur, there are more thefts, and when you have those, you have higher claims costs in those areas. And if claims costs in an area go up, so do the premiums of the drivers in that area.”
All Ontario isn’t bad news. however. According to the data from InsuraMap, the lowest rates in the province can be found in Hawkesbury, Renfrew, Petawawa, Pembroke, Port Elgin, Kincardine, Smith Falls, Perth, Gananoque, Carleton Place, and Brockville.
While Ontario is known for higher insurance premiums nationally, it’s important to note that insurance coverage and insurance products aren’t the same across the board. The benefits and terms of a policy in Ontario would be rather different from one in British Columbia, which has province-run coverage.
While you may not be able to do much to help the area you live in now, a look through the data and the map might help you decide where to live next. Especially if your auto insurance rates are on the higher end.
Photos: Kanetix; Jeremy Cohn, Amber Payie via Twitter; LockSmith; Regina Police Service; stock images