If you live in Ontario and think you pay too much for auto insurance, what if I told you your biggest problem might be your neighbours?
Kanetix is an online insurance comparison marketplace, and a recently released study shows who is getting dinged the most for car insurance. We all know the factors that go into determining how much you’re going to have to pay: The make and model of car you drive, your driving record, and your prior insurance history. What you may not realize is how much another factor comes into play: Geography.
While Ontario drivers pay an average annual premium of $1,316 (that’s the highest in Canada), for some residents that would be a bargain. Brampton tops out as the most expensive city in Ontario, and therefore Canada, at $2,268. Rounding out the top ten are Vaughan ($1,825), Mississauga ($1,788), Markham ($1,785), Toronto ($1,743), Richmond Hill ($1,709), Ajax ($1,519), Hamilton ($1,497), Pickering ($1,450) and Whitby ($1,399).
Insurance companies use statistics; pure numbers. You can whine and complain all you like, but if you’re driving a car that is involved in a significant number of claims, even if they’re not yours, you’ll pay more. Sometimes it’s due to something like the lack of a good security system – older pickups are notoriously overly represented in the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s top ten most stolen lists because they’re easier to steal. That weighs against you when you go to insure one. Sometimes, it’s that same numbers game just working against you, like with the Chevrolet Cruze: There are so many of them on the road, they’re involved in more payouts.
If you live in a city, or a neighbourhood, that takes more from the system than another one, you will pay. If you live in an area that sports more collisions than average, or is more heavily ticketed, you will pay. Janine White is the vice president of Kanetix, and cautions against making sweeping generalizations against entire cities, however.
“The industry breaks it down even more, by postal code. Parts of Toronto are actually even more expensive than Brampton,” she notes. Some are paying more than Brampton. If your postal code begins with M1S (Agincourt North), you’re paying an average of $2,384 per year. M1V (Milliken), $2,384; M1W (L’Amoreaux), $2384; M1B (Malvern), $2,313; M1X (Rouge), $2,313. You can look at postal code census readings and see how many households (M1B, about 20,000) or how few (M1X, about 3,000) can impact your rates.