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Insuring a vehicle can be pricey depending on where you live. Unfortunately, California drivers tend to pay higher rates than drivers in other states. The average cost of car insurance in Ontario is $2,262 per year (or $189 per month) for full coverage and $636 per year for minimum coverage. But knowing how — and where — to find better deals on car insurance may help you save money on your premium. According to Bankrate’s research, Wawanesa and Kemper are some of the insurers offering the cheapest average rates for full coverage in Ontario.
Best cheap car insurance companies in Ontario
Per data from Quadrant Information Services, Wawanesa, Kemper and Mercury are among the cheapest car insurance companies in Ontario for full coverage. For minimum coverage, Geico, Progressive and Mercury are some of the cheapest. However, to help drivers find the best company for them, Bankrate uses a proprietary scoring system that looks beyond price. Each insurer’s Bankrate Score reflects average rate data from Quadrant Information Services, financial strength ratings from AM Best and customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power, plus coverage availability, discount opportunities and more.
|Insurance company||Bankrate Score||J.D. Power score (California)||Average annual premium for full coverage||Average annual premium for minimum coverage|
Wawanesa is rated No. 1 for customer satisfaction in California per J.D. Power. The carrier is Canada-based and does not have any offices in California, but Wawanesa can likely handle most of your car insurance needs online. Some of the optional coverages available include vehicle manufacturer replacement parts coverage, which helps ensure aftermarket parts are not used for repairs or replacements, and rental expense coverage, which helps pay for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired after a covered accident.
Learn more: Wawanesa insurance review
Of the companies on our list, Kemper has the second-cheapest average rates for full coverage. The company also claims to be committed to social responsibility, as evidenced in its 2022 Environmental, Social and Governance Report. Kemper offers optional coverages and endorsements like gap insurance, along with personalized packages like Kemper Prime Auto Enhanced, which advertises perks such as a diminishing deductible credit for safe driving, trip interruption expense payback and key device replacement. The company’s specialty auto insurance is also said to cater to high-risk drivers. However, Kemper’s average rates for minimum coverage in Ontario are the second-most expensive on our list.
Learn more: Kemper insurance review
Mercury offers low average premiums among the companies on our list, scored well on the J.D. Power report for California and touts some less common coverage options. For instance, its rideshare insurance may be of interest to drivers on app-based services, such as Lyft or Uber. The company also advertises endorsements like rental reimbursement and roadside assistance. Further, car owners who don’t drive often could potentially benefit from Mercury’s low-mileage insurance program called RealDrive. However, the company boasts fewer discount opportunities compared to other insurers.
Learn more: Mercury insurance review
Generally, Geico has competitive rates for high-risk drivers — although its average rate for full coverage in Ontario is among the most expensive on our list. Still, Geico offers the lowest average rate for minimum coverage of the insurers Bankrate reviewed, as well as a range of discount opportunities. The company also provides an array of digital tools for customers and has a history of scoring well on the J.D. Power customer satisfaction report.
Learn more: Geico insurance review
Although Progressive scored relatively low on customer satisfaction per J.D. Power, its average rate for minimum coverage in Ontario is the second-lowest on our list. In addition, Progressive offers several digital tools, discount opportunities, coverage options and endorsements. One such endorsement option that’s less common is custom parts and equipment coverage, which may help repair or replace custom wheels, paint, stereos and more.
Learn more: Progressive insurance review
How to get and keep the cheapest car insurance in Ontario
To find the cheapest car insurance in California, experts recommend the following strategies.
- Get multiple quotes: Getting free quotes from several car insurance companies can be a helpful way to compare rates and pinpoint the companies offering affordable policies with coverage that suits your needs. Try to specify the same types and levels of coverage for each estimate to make sure the comparisons are fair.
- Drive safely: Insurers factor in several variables when calculating rates. Driving records are one of the most important. That said, keeping your record clean typically equates to paying less for insurance. Some companies even award a discount to drivers who go two or three years without a traffic incident.
Frequently asked questions
The best car insurance company in Ontario will vary depending on the driver, their personal preferences and their individual characteristics (i.e., driving record, vehicle make and model and so on). Experts recommend identifying the types of coverage you need and getting quotes from several California insurance companies to figure out which ones can offer you the most competitive rates. It may also be helpful to consider customer satisfaction ratings and claims satisfaction ratings when researching potential providers.
California law requires that all drivers carry at least the mandatory minimum amount of car insurance coverage. In the Golden State, this means drivers need at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $30,000 in bodily injury liability per accident and $5,000 in property damage liability per accident. Alternatively, drivers may elect to make a cash deposit of $35,000 for a self-insurance certificate from the DMV.
Driving without insurance in California may lead to severe consequences. First offenders might face fines of $100 to $200. But repeat offenders could face fines of $200 to $500, plus potential vehicle impoundment, license suspension and/or further financial penalties. Uninsured drivers in California are also prohibited from suing for non-economic damages following an auto accident.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Our 2023 Bankrate Score considers variables our insurance editorial team determined impacts policyholders’ experiences with an insurance company. These rating factors include a robust assessment of each company’s product availability, financial strength ratings, online capabilities and customer and claims support accessibility. Each factor was added to a category, and these categories were weighted in a tiered approach to analyze how companies perform in key customer-impacting categories.
Like our previous Bankrate Scores, each category was assigned a metric to determine performance, and the weighted sum adds up to a company’s total Bankrate Score — out of 5 points. This year, our 2023 scoring model provides a more comprehensive view, indicating when companies excel across several key areas and better highlighting where they fall short.
- Tier 1 (Cost & ratings): To determine how well auto and home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, 2023 quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services (if available), as well as any of the latest third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best and the NAIC, were analyzed.
- Tier 2 (Coverage & savings): We assessed companies’ coverage options and availability to help policyholders find a provider that balances cost with coverage. Additionally, we evaluated each company’s discount options listed on its website.
- Tier 3 (Support): To encompass the many ways an auto insurance company can support policyholders, we analyzed avenues of customer accessibility along with community support. This analysis incorporated additional financial strength ratings from S&P and Moody’s and factored a company’s corporate sustainability efforts.