Insurance companies apparently take a lot of stock in which postal code drivers live
The disparity of car insurance rates between areas of one of Canada's biggest cities is quite simply astounding. What's even more surprising, though, is that the person living beside in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) could be paying hundreds of dollars less per year, based solely on their postal code.
A new article from the Toronto Star outlines some of the most- and least-expensive areas to live in within the GTA in terms of car insurance. Interestingly, an area in the heart of downtown - Christie Street - costs the least, with an average annual rate of $1,479. Maybe drivers in Toronto aren't so bad - or maybe there are a lot less of them.
The most expensive area is Downsview in North York, which has an average rate of $2,422. Etobicoke (Albion) isn't far behind at $2,418, and several areas in Scarborough and North York average above $2,300!
Other areas that place on the least-expensive insurance rates list include Central Toronto (in the Davisville and Summerhill areas) and East York. All 10 names mentioned on that list average in the low-$1,500 range.
According to insurance rate comparison website Kanetix, insurance companies apparently take a lot of stock in where drivers live - more specifically, what the first three digits of their postal code is. The companies look at patterns over a period of years, and lump entire areas into specific rates, regardless of the driving records of some individual drivers - no matter how clean they may be.
The patterns are so precise, in fact, that neighbours with different postal codes living next door to each other could have hugely different rates.
The old advice remains the same when it comes to car insurance - be sure to shop around, and of course, don't be involved in any collisions. Having a magical postal code also can't hurt, apparently.
MOST EXPENSIVE RATES LEAST EXPENSIVE RATES
|RANK||POSTAL CODE||AVG. RATE||MAIN INTERSECTION||RANK||POSTAL CODE||AVG. RATE||MAIN INTERSECTION|
|1||M3N||$2,422||North York (Downsview)||1||M6G||$1,479||Downtown Toronto (Christie)|
|2||M9V||$2,418||Etobicoke (Albion)||2||M5P||$1,486||Central Toronto (Forest Hill North)|
|3||M1X||$2,373||Scarborough (Upper Rouge)||3||M4P||$1,503||Central Toronto (Davisville North)|
|4||M1B||$2,370||Scarborough (Malvern)||4||M4S||$1,505||Central Toronto (Davisville)|
|5||M9L||$2,343||North York (Humber Summit)||5||M6J||$1,511||West Toronto (Trinity)|
|6||M9M||$2,314||North York (Humberlea)||6||M4V||$1,513||Central Toronto (Summerhill/Forest Hill)|
|7||M9W||$2,253||Etobicoke (Rexdale)||7||M4T||$1,515||Central Toronto (Moore Park/Summerhill East)|
|8||M6M||$2,241||York (Mount Dennis)||8||M4G||$1,515||East York (Leaside)|
|9||M3J||$2,203||North York (York University)||9||M2K||$1,529||North York (Bayview Village)|
|10||M3M||$2,157||North York (Downsview/Rexdale)||10||M3B||$1,530||North York (Don Mills North)|
Photo courtesy Jeff Gauld, Flickr