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Auto Insurance

Welcome to your car insurance guide for Ottawa, where you will learn about car insurance premiums, potential savings, and other tips for when you need car insurance protection in Canada’s capital city.

What are typical Car Insurance rates in Ottawa?

These are average car insurance rates across Ontario and Canada. The first chart compares several provinces. The second compares drivers by age. The differences can be considerable.

Drivers in Ontario spend more on auto insurance than any other province in Canada, despite recent government efforts to reduce Ontario auto insurance rates.

However, residents of Ottawa do enjoy lower rates than those living in Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga and Hamilton. In Ottawa, rates are around $80-$100 per month. Some neighbourhoods, like Sheffield Green, Riverview, Pineview, and Kempark average higher rates around $110-$125 per month.

It is important to note that car insurance rates in Gatineau, QC (bordering Ottawa) are much lower. This is because Quebec’s car insurance approach is different than any other province in Canada. Gatineau drivers spend around $50-$70/month for car insurance.

Get to know all Car Insurance components

Car insurance is made up a variety of components. Some are mandatory, and others are based on your individual coverage needs.

Insurance componentDescriptionType
Collision insuranceIf you damage your car in an accident or collision with another vehicle, this is the insurance component that pays for the costs. If your car is totalled, collision insurance pays a reasonable cost to replace it.Not mandatory
Liability insuranceIf you hurt another person or damage their vehicle in an accident, this mandatory coverage provides financial relief for their damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, legal fees, and more. In some provinces you can be sued as a result of the accident, pushing your costs into the millions. Although this coverage is mandatory, it is not expensive, so it makes sense to purchase more coverage than the minimum.Mandatory
Comprehensive insuranceNot all accidents are collisions. Comprehensive covers you for damages from extreme weather, falling objects, theft, flooding, and vandalism.Not mandatory
All perilsThis type of auto insurance covers a lot of various perils like someone you live with stealing your car, or damage by an additional driver.Not mandatory
Uninsured motorist / Hit-and-run coverageThis mandatory coverage protects you against accidents with uninsured drivers, and motorists that engage in hit-and-runs.Mandatory
Accident BenefitsThis covers medical and related expenses resulting from the accident. Such expenses can include nursing, income replacement, etc.Not mandatory

What cars are the most expensive ones to insure?

The cost of car insurance is linked to the types of claims associated with those cars, and includes: accident benefits insurance claims, collision insurance claims, comprehensive insurance claims, and direct compensation property damage insurance claims. Here are examples of cars (model years 2014-2018) with high insurance costs:

  • BMW X6
  • BMW 4th series
  • Tesla Model S
  • Cayenne
  • BMW 3rd series
  • Audi Q7
  • Mercedes-Benz S series
  • Hyundai Genesis
  • Audi S5
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS
  • Mercedes-Benz C series
  • Audi A5
  • Subaru/Toyota BRZ
  • Dodge Charger Ford Mustang
  • Lexus IS

Remember, however, that your driving habits, age, driving history, location, policy type and coverage needs have an impact on  your car’s insurance rates. The car’s model/make alone is not a good predictor of what your insurance rates will cost.

7 Ways to save on Car Insurance in Ottawa

It’s hard to get cheap car insurance in Ottawa due to the high rates in the region, but it’s not impossible. We have compiled several tips so you can reduce your car insurance rates.

  1. Multiple Cars Bundle: If you have more than one vehicle to insure, look for an insurer that offers a bundle discount.
  2. Bundle home and auto: Looking for both home and auto insurance? This is another bundle discount that is offered by some insurers.
  3. Minimal Coverage: If your car is old and does not have a high value, you can cut back to the minimum coverage required by law. You’ll be protected if you damage someone else’s car, but remember, you won’t be covered for damages on your car. You’ll save a bit each month on your premium though.
  4. Private Garage: The safer the location of where you park, the lower your risk. If you have a garage or secure space to park, make sure your insurance company knows.
  5. Leverage Your Credit Card: Use a credit card navigator tool to find cards that come with rental insurance. You can save around $20/day in collision damage waiver fees if you rent with a card that has rental insurance protection.
  6. Winter Tires: Insurers know winter tires lower your risk. Some reward your safer choice with lower premiums.
  7. Repair Costs: Replacement parts for a Mini Cooper or BMW cost more than for a Ford Focus. The more expensive the car is to repair, the higher the insurance premium.

Ottawa Car Insurance quotes, examples

Sample car insurance quote #1:

A male driver, 45 years old, no claims in the last three years, no at-fault accidents, and no license suspensions. Vehicle: 2018 Mazda 3 GX, CAA member, comprehensive coverage (including collision). Policy: $1,000 deductible, 3rd party liability – $2,000,000.

$ 76 per month ($912 annually)

Sample car insurance quote #2:

A female driver, 52 years old, no claims in the last three years, no at-fault accidents, and no license suspensions. Vehicle: 2014 Ford Escape, collision-only coverage (no comprehensive). Policy: $1,000 deductible, 3rd party liability – $1,000,000.

$ 62 per month ($744 annually)

Sample car insurance quote #3:

A female driver, 34 years old, no claims in the last three years, no at-fault accidents, and no license suspensions. Vehicle: 2016 Toyota Camry, comprehensive coverage (including collision). Policy: $1,000 deductible, 3rd party liability – $1,000,000.

$ 85 per month ($1,020 annually)

Car casualty rates in Ontario (including Ottawa)

Ontario drivers are safer than drivers in many other provinces, as evidenced by casualty statistics from Transport Canada (2018).

ProvinceFatalities per 100,00 licensed driversInjuries per 100,00 licensed drivers

Sadly, Ontario’s good driving record is not reflected in this province’s car insurance rates, which are among the highest in the country.

Car Insurance in Ottawa – what you must know

  • Car insurance is required by law in Ottawa and in Ontario.
  • In Ontario, $200,000 is minimum mandatory liability 3rd party coverage that is required by law and is part of every car insurance policy.
  • Other insurance benefits you can expect in Ottawa, Ontario are:
    • Disability income benefits: 70% of your gross income up to max of $400 per week.
    • Non catastrophic injuries: $65,000 is the standard maximum amount for medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care expenses (physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, home aide, etc.) if you have been seriously injured in an accident.
    • Catastrophic injuries: the standard maximum for catastrophic injuries is $1,000,000.
    • The maximum amount for caregiver benefits is $250 per week for the first dependant, and then $50 per week for each additional dependant.
    • Should your injuries prevent you from housekeeping and routine duties at home, you may be eligible for up to $100/week to hire someone to help around the home.
    • Death and funeral benefits are: $25,000 paid to your eligible spouse, $10,000 to each dependant, and a maximum of $6,000 for funeral expenses.

What cars are the least expensive ones to insure?

Some cars are less likely to get into an accident and when they do, the associated repair and damage costs are lower. Here are examples of cars (model year 2014-2018) that are typically more affordable to insure.

  • Smart Fortwo
  • Ford F150
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Chevrolet Tahoe/Yukon
  • Chevrolet Silverado/Sierra
  • Fiat 500
  • Ford Mustang Convertible
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Buick Encore
  • Honda CR-V
  • Jeep Compass
  • Chevrolet Equinox/Terrain
  • Nissan Xterra
  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Accent

It is important to note that your car’s make and model is just one of the factors that define your insurance rates. Your personal driving history impacts your rates a lot more than the type of car you drive.

5 Car Insurance myths to know

Myth #1: Insurance works in the same way across all Canadian provinces

Insurance differs across Canada. Some provinces use a no-fault system, and some use an at-fault (aka tort) system. Some provinces use a mixture of both. The system in use defines which insurance company pays for a claim and if those involved in the accident can sue the other party. Additionally, in MB, SK, and BC, only one company per province (MPI, SGI and ICBC respectively) can provide car insurance.

Myth #2: It is more expensive to insure red coloured cars

This classic myth prevails, but it’s not true! The color of the car has zero impact on the quote. You can drive a red, green, pink, or blue car without it impacting your insurance rates.

Myth #3 Other parties can always sue you for damages or/and injuries if you are at-fault

The other party can only sue if provincial regulations allow. In some provinces you cannot sue even if the other party is clearly at fault.

Myth #4: If I have comprehensive coverage, I can always expect to get OEM (original equipment manufacturers) parts for my vehicle

There are many cases where an insurer will make use of aftermarket or recycled parts. This is to keep the cost of claims lower. Check your policy carefully as some insurers may offer the use of OEM parts as an additional policy rider only.

Myth #5: Insurance for two-door cars/convertibles is always more expensive

The car’s history such as the prevalence to be stolen, the type of car, accident rate, etc., affect the rate far more than the number of doors and roof type.

There are some cars that fall to the cheaper side of insurance rates. General examples include Hyundai, Nissan, Ford, Buick, Chevrolet, and Jeep. On the other hand, various series of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Lexus tend to cost more. This is simply because these are more expensive cars that drive higher repair costs. Check the tables above for the exact makes/models.

Car insurance costs in Ottawa depend on various factors. On average, drivers in Ottawa will pay between $80 and $100 monthly. In some neighbourhoods, however, that cost can be as high as $110-$125 per month. It is important to note that if you have a maximum of two violations in the last three years – not including parking tickets – you can expect to pay 20%-35% higher rates; and if you have a serious history of driving problems, your rates can double. Also, younger drivers can expect significantly higher insurance premiums. 

Our proprietary insurance review platform has collected independent consumer reviews for a variety of insurance and financial products since 2012 and has thousands of insurance reviews you can access for free. Click here to see all our car insurance reviews.

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