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Average Car Insurance Rates In Canada By Province


Ontario flag


Ontario has the highest average premium for auto insurance in the country. This is actually for a very good reason, however. In Ontario, in a 2016 census, there were a total of 13,448,494 people living in the province. This is the highest population of all of the provinces in Canada. In fact, the population of Ontario is over 1/3 of the size of the entire country. Due to this reason, there is a higher risk of accidents occurring in Ontario. As a result of this, insurance companies charge more.

Ontario Mandatory Coverage

In Ontario, you are required to have $200,000 in third-party liability coverage. You are also required to have medical payment coverage of $50,000 for non-catastrophic injury and $1,000,000 for catastrophic injury. On top of that, you also have to have $6000 for funeral expenses and $400 per week in disability coverage. The average car insurance premium rate in Ontario is $1458.



Québec has the lowest average insurance rate in all of Canada. However, Québec actually has the second-highest population in the country. In a 2016 census, Québec had a total population of 8,164,361. You might think that having this large of a population would increase the cost of insurance tremendously. However, Québec has a different car insurance system than the rest of Canada. In Québec, you are only required to carry Québec’s public auto insurance plan.

Québec Mandatory Coverage

This plan only requires you to have $50,000 in liability coverage. Due to the low amount of coverage you are required to have, average insurance rates are much cheaper. This is also because Québec has a no-fault system which eliminates the right to sue the other driver. The lack of ability to sue and the other driver in Québec substantially lowers the risk for insurance providers. Québec has an average car insurance premium of just $724.

British Columbia

British Columbia

Insurance in British Columbia is definitely considered expensive. Although the province does not have quite as steep auto insurance premium rates as Ontario, they do have the 2nd highest average insurance premiums in the country. British Columbia also ranks third amongst Canadian provinces for the number of people living there. In British Columbia, in a 2016 census, there were 4,648,055 people living there. The population of British Columbia is less than Québec, however, the minimum liability you are required to have in British Columbia is much higher than that of Québec.

British Columbia Mandatory Coverage

In British Columbia, you must have third-party liability coverage of $200,000. You must also have $50,000 in medical and rehabilitation coverage, $200,000 in hit and run coverage, and $1 million in underinsured motorist protection coverage. This mandatory insurance plan is much more than the 50,000-dollar liability plan in Québec, which is why British Columbia has the second-highest auto insurance premiums in the country, with the average premium costing $1316.



The auto insurance premium rate in Alberta closely reflects how population affects insurance rates. Alberta has the third-highest auto insurance premium in the country. The province of Alberta also has the fourth largest population among the Canadian provinces. In a 2016 census, the population of Alberta was 4,067,175. The other main reason why Alberta ranks third highest for auto insurance premiums is that they have lower mandatory coverage than the top two provinces.

Alberta Mandatory Coverage

In Alberta, you are required to have $200,000 in third-party liability coverage. The other mandatory coverage is lower than that of British Columbia and Ontario. You are only required to have $50,000 in medical coverage and $5000 for funeral expenses. In Alberta, you can sue for damages, but there is a cap on it of $4,777, which substantially lowers the risk for insurance companies. Due to these reasons, the average auto insurance rate in Alberta is $1179.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

The auto insurance premiums that the people of Nova Scotia have to pay are not much more than the cheapest auto premiums in the country. Even though Nova Scotia ranks 5th for having the lowest premiums, there is still only a $59 difference between the lowest auto insurance premium and Nova Scotia’s auto insurance premium. This is partly because the population of the provinces for the top five lowest average insurance premiums is very similar, excluding Québec of course. The difference between the highest and lowest population of the top five lowest average insurance premium provinces, excluding Québec, is just 955,445 people. As a result of this, there are very similar auto insurance premiums between these provinces.

Nova Scotia Mandatory Coverage

In Nova Scotia, you are required to have $500,000 in third-party liability coverage. You also must have at least $50,000 in medical payment coverage and $2500 in funeral expense coverage. On top of that, you also need to have $250 a week in disability insurance. In Nova Scotia, you are not allowed to sue for more than $8,213 for pain and suffering caused by minor injuries. This saves insurance companies money and allows Nova Scotia to have an average insurance premium of $783.

Newfoundland and Labrador

newfoundland and labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador have relatively high auto insurance premiums compared to the rest of Canada. However, the premiums here aren’t considered to be outrageous when compared to some of the top provinces. Newfoundland and Labrador residents have the fourth-highest average insurance premiums in the country. The main reason why Newfoundland and Labrador residents have lower insurance rates than that of third-place Alberta is that the minimum coverage you are required to have is less.

Newfoundland And Labrador Mandatory Coverage

In Newfoundland, you are required to have $200,000 in third-party liability coverage. However, you can have $25,000 less in medical coverage than you are required to have in Alberta. In Newfoundland and Labrador, you’re only required to have $25,000 per person in medical coverage, and your funeral expenses insurance is only required to be $1000. On top of that, there is also a limit on pain and suffering. A victim can sue in Newfoundland and Labrador, but there is an insurance deductible of $2500, which reduces the number of people who file lawsuits against the other driver after an accident. Due to these reasons, the average auto insurance premium in Newfoundland and Labrador is $1090.



In Saskatchewan, you are required to purchase basic auto insurance from the government. Saskatchewan has the 4th lowest auto insurance premium rates in the country. This is somewhat surprising as the government still allows for some pretty large auto insurance settlements to occur. Under the regular basic insurance plan in Saskatchewan, drivers are not allowed to sue for pain and suffering. However, you do have the option to pay to switch to a tort policy that allows you to sue other drivers. The only way you can sue another driver with the basic insurance policy is if the other driver has a tort policy. When this occurs you can sue the other driver for up to $2500.

Saskatchewan Mandatory Coverage

In Saskatchewan, you are required to have 200,000 dollars in third-party liability coverage. The basic insurance policy in Saskatchewan allows for medical payments up to $6,382,084. With this plan, you also get funeral expenses up to $9573, disability up to $86,463 noncatastrophic injury up to 182,888, and catastrophic injury compensation of $233,373. In Saskatchewan, the average auto insurance plan costs just $775.


Nunavut flag


In 2016, Nunavut had the second-lowest population of all the Canadian provinces. However, even though they have such a low population, they do pay a fair amount of money for insurance. Nunavut ranks 7th place in Canada for having the lowest average premium. This is partially due to the extreme weather conditions that Nunavut has to deal with on a regular basis. In Nunavut, it is winter conditions for the majority of the year, which makes driving more dangerous. The more dangerous driving is, the higher insurance premiums usually are.

Nunavut Mandatory Coverage

In Nunavut, you are required to have $200,000 in third-party liability coverage and you must have medical payments that cover up to $25,000 per person as well as $1000 for funeral expenses and $140 per week coverage for disability. This is about average for Canada in terms of mandatory coverage, but the premiums are also higher in Nunavut because victims are allowed to Sue for pain and suffering. The average auto insurance premium in Nunavut is $968.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island has a very low population, which certainly helps the province have low insurance rates. In fact, Prince Edward Island has the second-lowest average insurance rate in Canada. The province also has the fourth-lowest population with a total population as per a 2016 census, of 142,907. One of the main reasons that Prince Edward Island has low insurance rates is due to the laws governing insurance in the province.

Prince Edward Island Mandatory Coverage

On Prince Edward Island, you are required to have a minimum of $200,000 in third-party liability. However, you are only required to have $25,000 coverage for medical payments and a thousand dollars in disability coverage. On top of that, insurance companies do not have to pay a whole lot of money out in lawsuits on Prince Edward Island. The victims are only allowed to sue for up to $2500 for their pain and suffering. As a result of these reasons, on Prince Edward Island, the average auto insurance premium is $755.

Northwest Territories

northwest territories

The Northwest Territories has the third-lowest population in the country. However, they have the eighth-lowest average insurance premium. The Northwest Territories do not get the best weather and insurance rates are higher there for this reason. In the Northwest Territories, you are required to have $200,000 in third-party liability, $25,000 for medical payments, and funeral expenses coverage must be $1000. The reason that insurance rates are a little bit higher in this province is that victims can sue for pain and suffering. There are no limitations on the amount that a victim can sue for, which is a higher risk for insurance companies. In the Northwest Territories, the average auto insurance premium is $974.



Even though Yukon ranks sixth for having the lowest premium in the country, it still has some pretty affordable insurance rates. This is partially due to the low population of the Yukon Territory, which only has a population of 35,944 people. However, it is also due to the low mandatory insurance coverage that is required in the province. In the Yukon, you are required to have $200,000 in third-party liability. You are only required to have $10,000 in medical payment coverage and $2000 in disability coverage. In the Yukon, you can sue for pain and suffering and for any losses that you have. However, due to the low minimums for both medical payments and disability, the Yukon has very affordable insurance premiums. In the Yukon, the average auto insurance premium is $806.



Manitoba has the 5th highest population in Canada and the fifth-highest auto insurance premium. They also have a mandatory basic insurance plan in place. This insurance plan requires residents to have $200,000 in third-party liability coverage. The plan also has no limit on medical payment coverage. Coverage for things like funeral expenses and disability are also quite steep, which is why Manitoba has higher rates. Mandatory coverage for funeral expenses is $8,050, disability is up to $89,000 per year, a non-catastrophic injury is up to $147,669 and catastrophic injury is $233,173. In Manitoba, you can’t sue for pain and suffering or for losses that exceed your coverage. Since insurance companies generally aren’t on the hook for millions of dollars, the average auto insurance premium in Manitoba is $1001.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick

One of the main reasons why New Brunswick has low insurance rates is due to having their pain and suffering rewards capped. In New Brunswick, there is a cap on pain and suffering rewards for minor injuries at $7500. Drivers in New Brunswick are allowed to sue for losses, however. They are also required to have $200,000 in third-party liability coverage, medical payments up to $50,000, coverage for funeral expenses up to $2500, and disability coverage up to $250 per week. The population of New Brunswick is the sixth lowest in Canada with a total population of 747,101. New Brunswick ranks third in terms of having the lowest average insurance premium with its average premium costing just $763.

To Conclude

Depending on where you live in Canada, there can be a huge difference in your auto insurance premium. The higher the population in the area and the more accidents that occur, the higher the auto insurance premium. The minimum mandatory insurance also plays a pretty substantial role in the average premium for some provinces. It is important to realize that just because your auto insurance premium is cheaper, it isn’t necessarily better. You need to decide what amount of auto insurance you should have for your situation. There is no perfect amount of insurance to have. However, you should make sure that you have enough insurance for your own peace of mind.

Car Insurance Statistics in Canada

There are a lot of things happening in the insurance industry. In 2015, private insurance companies outperformed public insurance companies for the first time in 15 years. After a bit of a rough patch from 2008-2009 where both property and casualty insurance companies, as well as licensed reinsurers, saw losses, the market has since rebounded. From 2011 to 2015, both haven’t seen profits dip below the low of 69.4 million that reinsurers saw in 2013. It has definitely been an interesting ride for insurance companies in the last decade, but as you will see below, things have been turning around.

Auto Insurance Profit History

The prices for auto insurance have been on the rise over the past five years. This is unfortunate for Canadian consumers, but it is great for the insurance industry. Profits have been on the rise industry-wide. It has been great for both investors as well as private insurance companies. Here is a table covering the profits for insurance companies over the past five years to show you just how much the industry has been gaining ground:

YearProperty and Casualty InsuranceLicensed Reinsurers

Accident Data

safe driving

When you look back over the past, we see some promising improvements when it comes to safe driving in Canada. Back in 1995, there were a startling number of fatal accidents occurred. There was a total of 3,313 accidents causing fatalities. Moving five years ahead, we see a bit of improvement. There were 2,904 fatalities that happened in the year 2000. For the next five years, fatalities seemed pretty stable as in 2005, we saw 2,898 fatalities. From 2005 onwards, however, we have seen substantial improvements. In 2010 we saw just 2238 fatalities and moving ahead another five years, we saw 1858 fatalities. These are very promising numbers for all Canadians. It is clear that we are headed towards the safest roads that this country has ever seen. Hopefully one day that number will be zero, until then, however, we hope that we see this trend continue.

Paid Premiums By Province

On a provincial basis, we have seen some pretty substantial direct written auto premiums. The population of Canada has been rising and the more it rises, the more drivers we are seeing on Canadian roads. This is starting to show up for auto insurance providers in the total direct written auto premiums that they are collecting. Here is what each province collected in 2015:

ProvinceDirect WrittenAuto Premium
Newfoundland and Labrador414,801,000
Prince Edward Island77,204,000
Nova Scotia547,136,000
New Brunswick473,241,000
British Columbia225,917,000

Have Motor Vehicle Sales Been On The Rise?

Yes, motor vehicle sales have been on the rise. From August 2016 to August 2017 we saw a 7 percent increase in the number of new motor vehicles. In August 2016, we saw 174,976 new motor vehicles compared to August 2017 Sales of 187,257. Alberta and Nova Scotia saw the biggest increases in overall sales, with sales going up 18.4 percent in Alberta and sales rising 22.7 percent in Nova Scotia. Trucks actually saw a larger increase in sales than passenger vehicles over the time period. Truck sales were up 8.6 percent, while passenger cars were up 3.9 percent.

How Have Provincial Vehicle Sales Changed?

On A Province by Province basis, we have seen substantial increases in overall motor vehicle sales on a year-over-year basis. Every single province actually had an increase in the number of new motor vehicles purchased from August 2016 to August 2017. The smallest increases percentage-wise occurred in Ontario. Ontario had just a 1 percent increase in the amount of new motor vehicle sales. Other provinces fared much better. The next lowest was New Brunswick, which had a 5.8 percent increase in the number of motor vehicle sales. After Quebec, which had a 7.8 percent increase in sales, every other province saw an increase of 10% or more.

How Is Vehicle Manufacturing In Canada?

The amount of manufacturing that Canada has done in North America has been on the decline. Since 2008, when we had a 16.1 percent share in automotive production, we have seen substantial losses. In 2015, Canada only had a 12.7 percent stake in North American automobile production. This is partially due to Mexico picking up the production of vehicles over the last decade. Mexico had a 16.8 percent share in 2008 and in 2015, they now have a 19.9 percent share in the manufacturing industry. It is important to realize that although we aren’t manufacturing as many automobiles, we are selling more vehicles.

How Is The Auto Service Industry Faring?

The auto service industry In Canada has done very well since the recession we had in 2008-2009. The industry suffered across the board in this time period, however, it has since rebounded. This is proven when we look at the wholesale and retail trade markets. When comparing pre-recession numbers to post-recession numbers, the wholesale trade in autos was up 31.6 percent. In the retail trade industry, we saw gains of 23.1 percent. These are some pretty tremendous gains for the service industry and we only expect these gains to continue. More and more vehicles are being driven in Canada and therefore the number of vehicles that need to be serviced continues to be on the rise. Until the day that vehicle sales are no longer on the rise, we can expect to see the service industry thrive.

How Are Gasoline Sales?


With the rise in the sale of new vehicles, we have also seen a rise in gasoline sales. From 2012-to 2013 we saw a substantial rise in net gasoline sales. However, it has evened off a little bit since then. From 2013 to 2014, we saw a slight drop in net sales. From 2014-2015 there was another sharp rise, followed by a sharp drop in 2016 sales. The difference between 2012 and 2016 gasoline sales was $40,444,101 compared to $40,920,479. So although we saw some increases over the long term, we had lower gasoline sales in 2016 than we have had since 2013. This is a great sign for the environment, we might finally be starting to get on the right track.

How Have The Top Insurance Companies Changed In Recent Years?

To see how the top insurance companies have been changing, we decided to look at the market share for the top five insurance companies. We then thought that the best way to show you how the top companies have been changing would be to show you how much they have been making for the past five years. The results are pretty astonishing:

Insurance Company2011 Profit2012 Profit2013 Profit2014 Profit2015 Profit
Lloyd's Underwriters$206,868,000$451,914,000$338,773,000$358,272,000$465,835,000
TD Insurance, General Insurance$14,564,000–$152,509,000–$624,762,000–$289,912,000$211,362,000
RSA Canada Group$83,085,000$71,981,000–$33,015,000$54,354,000$177,844,000

List of Risk Factors Affecting Car Insurance Rates in Canada

Most individuals shopping for vehicle insurance know certain things will increase the rates. They know that insurance companies look at these as being risks. There are many more risk factors that insurance companies take into account. When it comes to vehicle insurance. When insurance shoppers are aware of this, they have a better understanding. Of what is going to set their premiums. This will then help them to mitigate those risk factors that they can. Doing this then will help to reduce the cost of the premiums. There are some risk factors that are easier to reduce than others.

Age and Gender

These are two risk factors that individuals don’t have any control over. Insurance companies will take into consideration age on two different levels. They will consider age when it comes to the young driver who has just got their license. It will also take into account the elderly drivers. When it comes to driving and gender, usually the insurance premiums are higher for males.

Marital status

marital status

For many, they do not understand why it’s important for insurance companies to know one’s marital status. It is because insurance companies depend on statistics. Help to set their premiums, statistics have shown that married couples create fewer claims. Which in turn creates fewer risks for the insurance company.

Driving Experience

The driving experience is a risk factor that most insurance shoppers are aware of. They know that for young drivers that have no experience the insurance is going to cost more. Insurance companies believe that the more experience a driver has, the less likely they are going to run into a circumstance. One that is going to create a claim against them.

Driving History

Driving history is a common risk factor that many are aware of. What a lot of people are not familiar with is what is in the driving history. That is important to the insurance companies. The insurance companies are all about risk. They are going to want to know what risk their insureds are taking. If there is a lot of driving infractions, then this is a red flag for the insurance company. One that the insured is creating greater risk for them.


Insurance companies are all about making money. They do not want to have to be paying out claims. They will look at the claims history of an insured to see what claims they have created in the past. This puts the insurance company at a higher risk level that there will be a repeat of claims made.

Insurance History

Insurance companies want to know the history of those that they are going to insure. This is in regards to where they have had their insurance before and what kind. Again they will rely on statistics. Those continuous with their insurance coverage are less likely to end up in an accident. They also want to look at the insurance history. To make sure that the insurance shopper has been paying their premiums on time. This is an area of risk that insurance companies face.

Vehicle Information

The type of vehicle an individual is driving is important on many different levels. There are a few risk factors that can affect the insurance company with the vehicle. First, they are going to get concerned about the cost of repair. Or replacement if there is a collision. Or, if the vehicle gets stolen. The more expensive a vehicle is to buy the more expensive it is going to be to repair or replace. Another area where a vehicle can create a risk is in the type of vehicle it is. High-powered and performance vehicles or sports vehicles tend to create more risk. For the insurance company. It is because they get concerned with that much power. That the insured is going to take advantage of which puts them in a riskier situation. This in turn puts the insurance company at a higher risk.

The Use of The Vehicle

Another important aspect of the vehicle is how it is going to get used. For those that are driving their vehicle back and forth every day, it means they’re on the roads more often. Whenever the vehicle is on the road, the insurance company is at risk.

The insurance company is going to look at the mileage that is being driven on a yearly basis. This gives them a good indicator of how often the vehicle is being used.

Where the Insured Lives

Individuals know the insurance company is going to ask for their address. Included in this will be the postal code. Many don’t realize that the postal code is of great importance to the insurance company. One of the risks that insurance companies get faced with is where a vehicle is. It could be at risk for theft. Again they will rely on statistics for geographic areas to help determine this. The postal code is a quick way for them to be able to rely on the statistics they need for this.

The Insurance Coverage

Every driver in Canada must have insurance if they are going to drive in the country. Insurance companies will provide basic insurance as needed. However many individuals want more coverage than what the basic allows. Some individuals want more third-party protection. While others are looking at extra comprehensive coverage. The more insurance that an individual buys the more risk they are creating. For the company, they are dealing with. Although insurance companies want to upsell their products. While doing so, they want to keep their risks down. The insurance buyer has to weigh out the benefits. For the extra amount that they’re going to be paying. The company may feel that the extra purchases are going to increase their risks. They’re going to make sure that the premiums tacked on are going to cover this.

Reducing the Risks

As can be seen, from the different risk factors there are some that can get controlled by the insured. Choosing a car that is considered cheap insurance is one option. Another option is by keeping a clean driving record. Reducing the risk that will reduce the cost of the premiums. Then added to this will be taking advantage of the insurance discounts. These two steps combined are important. Along with savvy insurance shopping. Then an insurance shopper can realize some great savings when it comes to insurance.

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.