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Everything you need to know about Ontario’s Top 13 Car Insurance Companies

Ontario Car Insurance Companies

Auto insurance is a must in Ontario. All motorists in the province are required by law to have auto insurance, and there are severe penalties for not having it. There are several auto insurance coverages that every driver is required by law to have in Ontario. These mandatory coverages include third-party liability, accident benefits, direct compensation property damage, and uninsured automobile protection.

But auto insurance can be complicated and confusing. There is a lot to think about, like: coverages, endorsements, prices, jargon, and important decisions to be made. There are also so many insurance companies to choose from with different coverage options available. How do you choose the right one?

This is why an insurance broker can be your port of calm when you are looking for auto insurance in Ontario.

How Many Car Insurance Companies Are There?

There are more than 100 insurance companies in Ontario that sell auto insurance. Many of these insurance companies work with insurance brokers who provide advice, assistance and competitive quotes to people looking for insurance protection.

By working with a broker, customers can review several insurance policy options and prices from several companies with the help of an insurance expert, and the customers get to choose the policy that best suits them.

Insurance companies in Ontario are regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions regulates most property and casualty insurance companies at the national level.

How To Compare Car Insurance Companies?

When comparing car insurance companies in Ontario, consider factors such as a company’s reputation, insurance coverages, deductibles and endorsements, service levels, prices, and discounts. Some people may think Ontario’s car insurance companies are pretty much the same. This may be because the industry is regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario. Insurance companies, in fact, operate in the private sector, and there are differences among them.

Some Things To Think About When Comparing Auto Insurance Companies

  1. Insurance Coverages: Coverages matter. Coverages are the protection you are buying in your insurance policy. Always examine coverages when you are comparing insurance quotes. Know what is covered by your policy and what is not.
  2. Prices: This is always an important consideration, and prices do vary. Consider the cost in terms of what coverages are being offered. A low-priced policy with limited coverages may leave you without the right insurance for your lifestyle.
  3. Value: The value of insurance is in the coverage it provides. Make sure you are getting the protection you need. When comparing quotes from several companies to determine the best value, be sure you are comparing quotes with similar coverages, add-ons, deductibles, and endorsements. Essentially, this means comparing apples to apples, not apples to oranges. An insurance broker can help with this.
  4. Reputation: Buy insurance from an insurance company that has a solid reputation. Does the company have good service? A good claims record? An insurance broker can help here too.
  5. Discounts: Are there discounts available to lower your insurance costs? Insurance companies provide discounts. Get as many discounts as you qualify for.

Car Insurance Companies We Proudly Represent

Below are profiles of more than a dozen insurance companies that sell auto insurance in Ontario. Here are some facts that apply to all of the insurance companies listed below:

  • All provide a variety of property and casualty insurance products.
  • All provide 24/7 claims service.
  • All offer a variety of payment options.
  • All have a solid reputation in the Ontario insurance industry.

Aviva Canada is one of Canada’s largest general insurance companies and has been around for more than 300 years. With their head office in Markham, Ontario, Aviva provides insurance for your home, condo, tenant, high-value home, cottage, automobile, boat, recreational vehicle, recreational trailer, classic car, business insurance, and more. Their promise is “insurance made simple”.  They also run the Aviva Community Fund and it has contributed more than $6.5 million to 220+ communities across Canada. A current focus for Aviva is making Canada’s roads safer.

Some key auto insurance features include:

      • Disappearing Deductible Coverage: Aviva will reduce an auto insurance customer’s deductible every year the customer does not have a claim.
      • Conviction Protector: This coverage helps a driver to avoid paying higher insurance rates if they get a minor driving conviction, such as a speeding ticket conviction.
      • Accident Forgiveness coverage: With accident forgiveness coverage, if you get in your first accident, your car insurance rates will not go up. This applies even if you were at-fault in the accident.
      • Bundled Home & Auto Insurance: If you bundle your home and auto insurance with Aviva, you will receive an additional $1 million in excess liability coverage.
      • Ride-Sharing Coverage: This insurance is for part-time drivers who use their own vehicles to carry passengers for services such as Uber or Lyft.
      • Many Discounts: Retiree discount (10%), multi-line discount (15%), out-of-town student discount when more than 100 km from home (50%), winter tire discount (2%), green vehicle discount (5%) and more.

CAA Insurance is sold through insurance brokers. Brokers represent CAA Insurance to provide auto and home insurance. CAA Insurance dates back to 1974. CAA, formerly known as the Ontario Motor League, has a century-long history in Canada. CAA gives back to communities by supporting charitable organizations and has raised more than $1 million for its charities.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • When a customer purchases CAA Insurance, CAA members get savings of up to 20%.
    • Good Drivers: Those who have been continuously insured and claims-free for 20 years are recognized with a 20-star rating and receive savings on their insurance.
    • The CAA My Pace Program: This is aimed at low-mileage drivers and permits them to “pay as they drive.” It is for those who drive fewer than 9,000 kilometres annually. The less you drive, the more you can save.
    • CAA Connect: This is a technology-based program that tracks a driver’s personal driving habits to calculate personalized discounts. If you are a safe driver, you can save up to 15 % on your auto insurance.
    • Forgive and Forget Protection: This helps good drivers to protect their clean driving record. In the event of a first at-fault accident, the driver can maintain a clean driving record with the company despite the accident.
    • Many Discounts: Bundled auto and home (5% on auto, up to 12% on a home), conviction-free discount (11%), hybrid discount (5%), underage driver away at school and more than 100 km (50%), retiree discount (10%) and more.

Economical Insurance is one of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurance companies. Working with insurance brokers to provide home, auto, business, and farm insurance. They promise to make insurance better and simpler. Economical Insurance was founded in 1871 and their headquarters are in Waterloo, Ontario. Economical provides more than $1 million in donations and sponsorships annually to charities and causes. Its goal is to make a positive difference in communities.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • Driving Record Protector: Your first chargeable accident in the last 6 years will not affect your premium on renewal if you are eligible for the driving record protector.
    • Waiver of Depreciation: When you purchase a waiver of depreciation when insuring a brand new vehicle, you are covered for the full purchase price or the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (whichever is lower) should your vehicle be stolen or damaged beyond repair for up to 5 years.
    • Conviction-Rating Protection: This provides protection in the event of a minor conviction, so a driver’s clean driving record is not affected.
    • Many Discounts: Conviction-free driver, accident-free, renewal discount, experienced driver, installed anti-theft device, bundled insurance, more than one car insured, and more.
    • Economical has more than 600 claims professionals and provides 24-hour emergency service. It has an 89 % customer satisfaction score in post-claim surveys.

Gore Mutual Insurance is the oldest property and casualty insurance company in Canada. They were founded in 1839 and their head office is located in Cambridge, Ontario. Gore Mutual’s insurance protection is sold by insurance brokers. The company promises a blend of savings and coverage on its insurance products. Gore provides auto insurance, home insurance, business insurance, cottage insurance, recreational and leisure insurance, commercial auto insurance, and more. Gore Mutual was recognized as a top employer in Waterloo in 2020 and was named the best insurance company by the IBAO (Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario) in 2014. The Gore Mutual Foundation was created in 1998 and has helped more than 700 charities across Canada and delivered a $42 million social return on investment.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • Accident Forgiveness: Gore offers coverage to protect a driver’s good driving record and forgives your first at-fault collision. If you are not able to drive your car, you may claim for the expenses of a rental car.
    • Occasional Driver: If you have a driver aged 25 or less who is away at school (often referred to as underage and occasional), discounts are available. There is no distance requirement.
    • ClaimCare: Gore’s claims advisors guide a customer through a claim. The same advisor serves the customer through the claims process. They provide an immediate answer to questions about coverages and your claim. The Claims Tracker process keeps you and your insurance broker up to date every step of the way. Gore notes it has a 97% claims satisfaction rating.
    • Ride Share Protection: This is coverage for UBER ride-share drivers.
    • Many Discounts: Winter tire discount (5%), student away at school with no kilometer restriction (50%), multi-line discount (10%), anti-theft recovery discount (15%), loyalty discount (5%), multi-vehicle (15%) and more.

Heartland provides home, agribusiness, auto, farm, and commercial business insurance through insurance brokers. Its head office is in Waterloo, Ontario. Heartland prides itself on being in your community. Heartland Farm Mutual dates back to 2016 with the merger of North Waterloo Farmers Mutual and Oxford Mutual. Combined, these two companies have more than 250 years of insurance experience. Heartland operates the iHeartland Community Fund to support community projects that have a direct benefit at the local level.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • Special Farmer Rates: Vehicles used personally that are located on a farm are entitled to special farmer rates, which can amount to a discount of up to 40% from the base rate.
    • Bundling to Save: By bundling auto policies at Heartland, you can receive up to 18% off most coverages.
    • Protection Plus: Protection can be purchased to ensure your driving record will not be affected by one at-fault accident.
    • Emergency Road Service Excess Coverage: This provides reimbursement for emergency road service up to a limit of $50 per emergency service. Coverage is excess of any other program that you may have access to (i.e., automobile club, automobile dealer, or manufacturer’s warranty or credit card programs). There is no charge to add. It is subject to eligibility.
    • Many Discounts: Short commute to work (5%), theft deterrent discounts (20%), student away from home discount (up to 60%), long-time policyholder discount (5% to 10%), winter tire discount (2%), retiree discount (10%), multi-line (15%) and more.

Intact is Canada’s largest insurance company providing home, auto, business insurance, and more. Intact is represented by insurance brokers and promises outstanding service, comfort, and continuity. Intact’s roots date back to 1809 with the founding of the Halifax Fire Insurance company. Through the Intact Foundation, more than $37 million in charitable giving has been provided to more than 1,400 organizations across Canada. One of Intact’s current focuses is natural disasters caused by climate change, and helping charities developing solutions to floods, wildfires, and other natural disasters.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • My Drive Discount: This program uses app-based technology on your phone to track a driver’s driving habits. Participants receive a 5% discount on auto insurance when they sign up for the program. Participants can save up to 30% discount on their auto insurance depending on their good driving habits.
    • Responsible Driver Guarantee: This program allows good drivers to protect their driving record after a first at-fault accident.
    • Minor Conviction Coverage: This coverage means your first minor conviction – a speeding ticket, for example – will not impact your insurance premium. This is available to drivers who have been licensed for 6 years and have been conviction-free for three years.
    • Claims Help: Intact guarantees to start your claim within 30 minutes of when you report a claim to the company. Intact notes it is rated highest in customer satisfaction with the auto insurance claims experience by J.D. Power.
    • Many Discounts: Hybrid & electric vehicles discount (5%), my home & auto (15% to a specified maximum), good student discount (15%), winter tire discount (3%), theft alarm discount (10%) and more.

Nova Mutual: The name is new, the insurance company’s roots are well established. Nova Mutual was formed with the amalgamation of Wabisa Mutual and Norfolk Mutual in 2018. It provides home, auto, business, and farm insurance through insurance brokers. Nova Mutual promises to be here for you. The company’s head office is in Simcoe, Ontario. Nova Mutual focuses on providing sustainable insurance products and prices. It is also focused on local relationships and community.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • Driving Record Protection: Nova will provide coverage to protect a driver’s good driving record.
    • Nova works to customize policies to meet specific needs.
    • Claims service is 24/7 and emergency roadside service available.
    • Emergency Road Service Excess Coverage: This provides reimbursement for emergency road service up to a limit of $50 per occurrence. This coverage is over any other program that you may have access to (i.e., automobile club, automobile dealer, or manufacturer’s warranty or credit card programs). This coverage is added to all private passenger vehicles carrying both collision and comprehensive coverage or all perils coverage at no charge.
    • Many Discounts: Multi-vehicle discount (10%), short distance to work discount (5%), long-term policyholder discount (5 to 10%), theft-deterrent system discount (20%), retiree discount (10%), multi-vehicle 910%), genNOW discount (10%) and more.

Peel Mutual Insurance is one of the largest mutuals serving Ontario. It provides auto, home, business, and farm insurance through insurance brokers. Peel Mutual was founded in 1876 and has its head office in Brampton, Ontario. Peel avoids one-size-for-all insurance. It aims to customize to suit specific needs. Peel focuses on insurance about people.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • GenNow! Discount: This is a 10% discount for children of Peel Mutual clients who own/drive their own vehicle.
    • Protection Plus is coverage available to protect your good driving record if you have an at-fault accident.
    • If you insure your vehicle with Peel Mutual, it can also provide coverage for your ATV and/or snowmobile.
    • Loss of Use: This provides for reasonable expenses to rent a vehicle or get substitute transportation if the insured vehicle is not operational due to a loss or damage caused by an insured peril.
    • Many Discounts: Mature driver discount (3% to 15%), theft deterrent discount (20%), multi-vehicle discount (10%), long-term policyholders discount (5% to 10%), winter tire discount (2.5%), students away from home (35 to 60%), and more.

Pembridge Insurance was founded in 1999 and provides auto and property insurance through insurance brokers. Pembridge notes that it works hard to understand the needs of its insureds and to provide the best possible products. Pembridge Insurance’s head office is in Markham, Ontario. Pembridge notes its strong foundation of high-quality insurance products and exceptional customer service through the support of its dedicated, independent broker network. Pembridge Insurance sponsors charitable organizations to help build safer and stronger communities.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • My Bridge Program: This provides savings of up to 30% when the insured uses technology that tracks their driving habits. The more safely you drive, the more you can save on your insurance up to the stated maximum. Save 5 to 10% at the time of sign up.
    • Claim Forgiveness Program: This coverage is to protect your driving record at Pembridge following a chargeable at-fault accident. Your renewal premium will not be adjusted as a direct result of one at-fault accident.
    • Loss of Use Coverage: This provides for reasonable expenses incurred for a rental vehicle or other substitute transportation if the insured vehicle is not operational due to loss or damage caused by an insured peril.

Portage Mutual Insurance traces its roots back to 1884 and has its head office in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. It also has a head office in St. Catharines, Ontario. Portage Mutual provides its insurance products through insurance brokers. It offers a range of insurance products, including auto, home, recreational vehicle, farm, and business insurance. Portage Mutual promises security, integrity, hard work, and personalized service. It chooses to work with independent insurance brokers because it believes “this partnership approach results in better service and value for our policyholders.”

Some key insurance features include:

    • Accident Forgiveness: This ‘forgives’ your first at-fault accident wherein the company does not increase your insurance premium.
    • Waiver of Depreciation: If you purchase a waiver of depreciation, the insurer cannot depreciate the value of your brand new vehicle when it is settling a loss or damage claim.
    • Fast, fair claims service.
    • Many Discounts: Claims free (5%), Club 50 discount (10%), drivers attending university discount (50%), farmer’s auto discount (40%), multi-line (10%), multi-vehicle (10%), winter tire discount (5%), retiree discount (10%) and more.

SGI Canada provides property and casualty insurance in five provinces, including Ontario. SGI sells home, auto, and business insurance through insurance brokers. SGI is more than 75 years old and has its head office in Regina, Saskatchewan. SGI has been rated by brokers as a Five-Star Carrier in Insurance Business Canada Magazine’s 2019 survey. It also had the highest ranking in customer experience when compared to the 10 largest insurance companies in Canada. Each year SGI survey customers for their views on the company. It notes 93% of customers renew with SGI each year.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • Loss of Use Coverage: This provides you with a replacement vehicle or transportation costs reimbursement while your vehicle is being fixed or replaced following an insured peril.
    • Choose Your Deductible: You can increase your deductible by choosing a lower monthly premium.
    • Accident Forgiveness: In the event of your first at-fault accident, SGI will protect your driving record and not increase your rates as a result.
    • Removing Depreciation Deduction Endorsement: If purchased, depreciation will not be deducted from the value of the brand new automobile when settling a claim for loss or damage for up to the first 24 months of the original delivery date, subject to eligibility.
    • Many Discounts: Graduated licensing discount (10%), minor conviction-free discount (15%), multi-vehicle discount (15%), retiree discount (5%), winter tire discount (5%), loyalty claims-free discount (up to 10%) and more.

Travelers Insurance works with insurance brokers and provides auto, home, personal, business, management, and professional liability and surety bond insurance. It promises insurance tailored to you. Travelers traces its history in Canada back to 1928. Travelers has become a leading provider of property and casualty insurance for home, auto, and business. Travelers Canada has a head office in Oakville, Ontario. Travelers is dedicated to helping communities by targeting giving and volunteerism. Grants and sponsorships are also part of its philanthropy.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • Accident Forgiveness Endorsement: This provides protection from rate increases as a direct result of your first chargeable at-fault accident in the last 6 years.
    • Loss of Use Coverage: This provides for reasonable expenses incurred for a rental vehicle or other substitute transportation if the insured vehicle is not operational due to loss or damage caused by an
      insured peril.
    • Policy changes can be processed in real-time, so clients immediately know the change in premium.
    • Many Discounts: Single pay discount (5%), retiree discount (5%), dual policy discount ((17.5%), historical vehicle discount (10%), graduated licence discount (10%), recreational vehicle discount (up to 35% depending on vehicle), university discount (5%) and more.

Wawanesa Insurance provides home, auto, business, and farm insurance through insurance brokers. Wawanesa has been one of the largest auto insurers in Canada since 1928. The company promises expert advice for all of your insurance needs. Wawanesa Insurance first opened in Wawanesa, Manitoba, in 1896. It now operates across Canada and has become one of the largest property and casualty insurers in Canada. Wawanesa was awarded an A (Excellent) rating for its financial strength from A.M. Best Co, an authoritative insurance rating and information source.

Some key auto insurance features include:

    • Removing Depreciation Deduction Endorsement: This important optional endorsement waives depreciation when settling a claim for loss and damage to a brand new vehicle for up to 36 months.
    • Accident Waiver: This important optional endorsement provides protection against the premium effects of a first chargeable accident for experienced drivers.
    • Many Discounts: Autonomous emergency braking discount (15%), multi-policy discount (40%), minor conviction- free discount (15%), retiree discount (10%), multi-product discount (15%), away-at-school discount (50 to 75%), winter tire discount, (3%), graduated licencing discount (10%) and more.

Please Note: The companies listed above have been described in general terms.  For a more fulsome overview, please visit their website directly.  There are eligibility criteria and coverage limits for many insurance products, programs, and discounts. An insurance broker can provide more details.  Companies change coverages and discounts from time to time, so please check with an insurance broker in case changes have occurred.

Why Should You Use An Insurance Broker

You should use an insurance broker to provide you with independent advice, assistance and several competitive quotes for auto insurance.

Benefits Of Using An Insurance Broker

  1. Several Quotes: Insurance brokers will get you several quotes so you can choose the insurance company, policy, and price you want.
  2. Advice: Insurance brokers will explain important details about auto insurance to help you to make an informed decision.
  3. Knowledge: Insurance brokers know car insurance. They are trained and licenced to sell auto insurance in Ontario
  4. Service: This is important. We have all had experiences like this: We buy something, and everything seems perfect; however, we later find out the service is not good. Maybe we are left on hold on the phone for…. forever. The customer is a number, not a person. In fact, nothing is personal or helpful. This is NOT the case with an insurance broker. Brokers provide friendly, prompt, and personal service.
  5. Claims: We hope you never to make a claim; however, bad stuff does happen. If you have a claim, you want to be well looked after. Claims can be complicated and stressful. Insurance brokers help their customers deal with insurance companies to resolve claims quickly and fairly.

How Far Back Do Car Insurance Companies Look?

Many car insurance companies look back as many as 6 years at a driver’s record when providing an auto insurance quote. At-fault accidents remain on driver’s driving abstract for as many as 6 years. Infractions such as speeding tickets stay on a driver’s abstract for 3 years. If you have a clean driving record with no tickets, accidents or other infractions, your insurance will be lower, you will have more insurance options, and you could qualify for more money-saving discounts.

How To Switch Car Insurance Companies?

If you want to switch car insurance companies, call an insurance broker and ask for quotes from several other auto insurers. Be sure you get all of the coverages you want. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples – similar coverages, deductibles, and endorsements. An insurance broker will ensure the cancellation of your old policy, and enforcement of a new one happens appropriately. Before you switch, ask if you will be charged a penalty for cancelling before the end of a policy term. Depending on when the term ends, you may be entitled to a refund for early cancellation even after a penalty is paid. Your insurance broker can assist with this.

How To Get A Car Insurance Quote

You can get a car insurance quote by contacting an insurance broker online, by phone, email, or visiting a broker’s office.

Morison Insurance represents all of the insurance companies profiled in this article. Our brokers will get you several car insurance quotes quickly to help you get insured and on the road. We will also save you money whenever possible.

Morison Insurance serves all of Ontario and provides all lines of personal and commercial insurance, including home, auto, recreational, business, farm, life insurance, and more. We also offer a full range of discounts. To learn more about our award-winning team, read our online reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yellow Pages.

 

This blog is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.

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At Morison Insurance we represent dozens of Canada’s best insurance companies. All provide competitive prices, excellent service and outstanding claims service. We will shop at all of these companies to get you the best insurance for your individual needs.

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