Revealed – Vehicles brands with the costliest and cheapest insurance rates in Ontario

Revealed – Vehicles brands with the costliest and cheapest insurance rates in Ontario | Insurance Business Canada

Revealed – Vehicles brands with the costliest and cheapest insurance rates in Ontario

When shopping for a car, there are several factors that go into a person’s buying decision. These may include fuel-efficiency, a sensible price, or having the latest comfort and safety features.

Some drivers may also be drawn to certain vehicle brands – and while not often considered as the most essential detail when choosing a ride, according to financial comparison website Lowestrates.ca, a vehicle’s make can impact car insurance rates “for better or worse.”

How does vehicle brand impact auto insurance rates?

When calculating premiums, car insurance companies take into account several factors, including a person’s age, gender, geographical location, profession, driving history, and past claims – which Lowestrates.ca calls the “you” factors.

The comparison site added, however, that the vehicle itself comes with a range of risk factors. To determine how claims costs for certain makes and models impact auto insurance rates, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) analyzes four parameters – collision, comprehensive, direct compensation property damage (DCPD), and accident benefit claims costs – using the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) system.

According to Steven Harris, licensed insurance broker and expert at Lowestrates.ca, insurance providers in some provinces, including Alberta and Ontario, “use the CLEAR system as justification for the insurance rates that they charge on certain vehicles.”

Harris adds that depending on a particular vehicle’s CLEAR performance, motorists in these regions may pay a higher or lower premium due to the potential costs the insurer may likely incur in the event of a claim.

One example that illustrates how the CLEAR system works is Lowestrates.ca’s recent study on the cheapest cars to insure in Canada. In the report, the 2009 Dodge Journey SXT 4DR 2WD topped the list of vehicles with the most affordable auto insurance premiums, with rates 43.29% cheaper than the national average. The comparison site says that is because of the vehicle’s performance and lower claims risk.

Read more: Revealed – the 10 least expensive vehicles to insure in Canada

What is the CLEAR system and how does it work?

The latest CLEAR document, which the IBC also calls the 2020 edition of “How Cars Measure Up,” contains statistics on the number and cost of collision, comprehensive, DCPD, and accident benefit claims for 2001 to 2019 vehicle models, where at least 1,500 of each of the models were insured between 2014 and 2019. The figures come from actual claims data collected from auto insurance providers across Canada.

Columns highlighted in green and with lower number ratings indicate positive rankings in the current marketplace, while a yellow or red code signifies a higher claims risk or likelihood of theft. According to the bureau, multiple green highlights can potentially result in lower premiums.

“The collision and DCPD ratings are more concerned about the cost of repair for those vehicles in those situations,” Harris told Lowestrates.ca. “If you’re in a collision, how much does it cost to fix this make and model of vehicle?”

“For theft, what is the propensity for this vehicle to be stolen? And if the vehicle is stolen and not recovered — a total loss — the payout can be higher on that. And then you have accident benefits, and that’s injuries,” he adds.

Read more: High-risk auto insurance - what Canadian drivers need to know

Harris also explains how pickup trucks are mostly labelled green in terms of accident benefits on the CLEAR scale because larger vehicles offer better crash protection than their smaller counterparts.

“If I’m driving a two-door or a four-door vehicle, I have a higher propensity for injury than if I’m driving a bigger truck,” he says. “And injury can be a very significant part of claims cost.”

What are the costliest and cheapest vehicle brands to insure in Ontario?

To find out which vehicle brands have the most and least expensive premiums in Ontario, Lowestrates.ca analyzed data from its auto insurance quoter from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021. The company then based the figures on a 30 to 39-year-old male motorist with a clean driving record who drives a single vehicle and has no added driver in their policy. The following vehicle brands came out on top.

Costliest vehicle brands to insure

Vehicle make

Difference from provincial average

Nissan

11%

Hyundai

10%

Toyota

9%

Honda

8%

Mazda

6%

Cheapest vehicle brands to insure

Vehicle make

Difference from provincial average

GMC

-30%

Chevrolet

-26%

Ford

-20%

Dodge/Ram

-17%

Acura

-13%

Source: Lowestrates.ca

Harris notes, however, that data on vehicle performance can vary year by year, which can affect how IBC calculates overall claims risk.

“So, just because something had a poor performance in 2020, will it have that same poor performance a year later after the new data set? Maybe,” he says. “Or that variable can change.”

To save on premiums, Lowestrates.ca advises motorists to shop around and compare rates every year come renewal time, regardless of what vehicle brand they are driving.

Read more: Why motorists shouldn’t let their car insurance policies auto-renew

“While CLEAR data can change, so can those ‘you’ factors,” the company explains. “In the past year, maybe you gained driving experience, a traffic conviction disappeared from your record, you moved to a different neighbourhood, or a claim is no longer affecting your insurance rate.”