These are Canada's top car insurance providers in 2022

These are Canada's top car insurance providers in 2022 | Insurance Business Canada

These are Canada's top car insurance providers in 2022

Car insurance is one of the biggest costs associated with owning and operating a vehicle.

In Canada – where there are almost 40 million registered vehicles, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada (StatCan) – drivers are legally bound to take out auto coverage. But with motorists swamped with options from various providers, finding the right policies that can fit their varying needs becomes a tall order.

Choosing cheaper coverage can often be tempting. However, drivers risk losing more, especially if the protection such policies offer is insufficient. To get the most out of car insurance, Canadian motorists need to understand the choices available to them and the level of coverage the different types of policies provide.

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How does car insurance work in Canada?

To operate a vehicle, drivers in the country must carry auto insurance. It is required by the law in all provinces and territories. Getting caught driving without one can result in hefty fines and may affect future eligibility for obtaining coverage.

But each province and territory implement different car insurance systems, which result in varying levels of protection and rates.

For those living in British Columbia and Manitoba, auto insurance is regulated by government-owned organizations, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and Manitoba Public Insurance. Car insurance in Saskatchewan is also run by a Crown corporation, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), but motorists can purchase additional coverage through private insurers.

In Québec, the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), another public institution, handles minimum limits for bodily injury, while private companies offer third-party liability, property damage, and additional protection. Drivers in the remaining provinces and territories can purchase car policies from private carriers.

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What does car insurance cover in Canada?

Provinces and territories also have their own rules and regulations when it comes to mandatory coverage, but there are similarities. These are:

  • Third-party liability: This covers the cost of lawsuits if a motorist is responsible for an accident that causes bodily injury, death, or property damage. The minimum amount varies depending on the location but is typically pegged at $200,000.
  • Uninsured automobile/motorist: This coverage kicks in if the policyholder or their passenger is injured or killed by an uninsured driver or in a hit-and-run incident. It also covers damages to the vehicle.
  • Accident benefits: This pays out for medical treatments and income replacement if the policyholder is injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also covers funeral expenses should the driver succumb to their injuries.
  • Direct compensation property damage: Applicable in Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, this policy covers damages to the vehicle and its contents resulting from an accident with another insured vehicle as long as the policyholder is not at fault.

Read more: How driving history impacts car insurance rates in Canada

Car insurance providers also offer optional coverages for enhanced protection, including:

  • Collision coverage: This covers repair costs incurred if the policyholder’s vehicle collides with another vehicle or object, even if they are at fault or someone else was driving the car. It also pays for a replacement if the vehicle is wrecked beyond repair.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This covers repair costs from damages caused by vandalism, theft, fire, natural disasters, and other hazards.
  • Specific-perils coverage: This protects against losses from specific perils identified in the policy.
  • All-perils coverage: Compulsory in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, this covers everything under collision and comprehensive policies and all other incidents beyond the policyholder’s control.

How much does car insurance cost in Canada?

There are several factors that impact how much auto insurance premiums cost across the country, including a motorist’s age, gender, and driving history, the type of vehicle they drive, and the level of coverage they purchase. The table below shows how much motorists pay in car premiums annually in each province, according to the latest data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), starting with the most expensive.

The association pointed out, however, that the figures are merely an estimate and that final prices will vary depending on the specific requirements of each driver.

Province/Territory

Average annual premiums

British Columbia

$1,832

Ontario

$1,528

Alberta

$1,316

Saskatchewan

$1,235

Newfoundland and Labrador

$1,168

Manitoba

$1,140

Nova Scotia

$891

New Brunswick

$867

Prince Edward Island

$816

Québec

$717

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada

Read more: Where can you find the cheapest car insurance rates in Canada?

Who are the top car insurance providers in Canada?

Insurance Business turned to several online insurance platforms and personal finance websites to find out which insurers in the country provide the best coverage. Apart from prices, many of these digital channels factored in customer satisfaction, coverage offered, and nationwide availability in determining Canada’s top auto insurance companies. Here are the leaders of the industry, according to specialists. The list is arranged alphabetically.

1. Aviva Canada

Aviva is widely known in the industry for providing quality car coverage at a fair price. Motorists can also choose among a variety of add-ons, including ride-sharing, transportation replacement, and comprehensive coverage, conviction and collision protection, disappearing deductible, and accident rating waiver. The insurer is also a good option for Lyft drivers because of its partnership with Lyft Canada. In addition, policyholders can avail of discounts by bundling policies, having multiple vehicles in a single plan, staying claims-free, and being a retiree.

2. Belairdirect

A subsidiary of Intact – another insurer on the list – Belairdirect is known for high customer satisfaction, partly because of its user-friendly online platform that enables policyholders to manage their coverage. Motorists can also track claims online or via the insurer’s mobile app. Among the additional coverages drivers can purchase are roadside assistance, accident forgiveness, and Autocomfort, which provides coverage for replacement and rental vehicles. The company also offers protection for Uber drivers in Ontario, Québec, and Alberta.

3. CAA Insurance

Canadian Auto Association (CAA) is the most prominent car association in Canada, servicing more than six million customers through its over 100 branches across the country. A standard car insurance policy from the group covers liability, medical bills, and uninsured motorists. CAA also offers several usage-based programs and antique and classic car protection.

Read more: What auto insurance discounts are you eligible for?

4. Co-operators

Another respected name in the industry, Co-operators is known for its bundle discounts and good customer service. It is among the few insurers that received a five-star rating the last time J.D. Power conducted a car satisfaction survey in Canada. Apart from standard coverages, motorists can avail of a range of optional extras, including accident forgiveness, loss of use, legal liability for damage to non-owned automobiles, family protection, and a limited waiver of depreciation.

5. Desjardins

One of Canada’s largest car insurance providers, Desjardins attracts customers because of its affordable premiums and a wide array of optional coverages, including new vehicle protection, zero deductible, and accident forgiveness. Clients can also take their pick from several discount options, which can be accessed by installing winter tires, being a good student, and parking in a private driveway or garage, among others. Policies are available for drivers in Ontario, Alberta, and Québec.

6. Economical

Economical offers a range of coverages, some of which are not readily available from other insurance providers, making one of the oldest car insurers in the country popular with many Canadian drivers. These include windshield damage and lost wages. Customers can also access insurance plans for snowmobiles, ATVs, motorcycles, campers, RVs, mopeds, and motorhomes. Economical provides a variety of discounts – including conviction-free, accident forgiveness, and anti-theft devices – and decent customer service as well.

7. Intact

Intact is the largest auto insurer in Canada and one of the biggest providers of specialty insurance in North America. Among the benefits of choosing Intact are its above-average discount and optional coverage offerings. Policyholders can also access the MyDrive program, which rewards safe driving practices with reduced premiums. Apart from personal car insurance, the insurer covers Uber and Turo drivers and provides insurance for motorcycles, RVs, snowmobiles, ATVs, and boats.

8. TD Insurance

TD Insurance offers one of the most affordable premiums among all insurers on the list. It also has a decent line-up of discounts such as those for driving a low-risk vehicle and taking a driver’s training course for new and inexperienced motorists. Customers can also save on premiums by requesting a quote or buying car insurance online, which can be a breeze because of the company’s modernized website. In addition, policyholders can use the TD MyAdvantage app to track their driving habits for an additional discount.

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

9. The Personal

The Personal is another insurer that received a five-star rating in the last J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey. The company’s basic coverage includes third-party liability, accident benefits, collision, and uninsured motorist coverage. As for add-ons, among the car insurer’s offerings are new vehicle protection, transportation replacement, liability for non-owned vehicle, and a $0 deductible.

10. Travelers

Travelers provides Canadian motorists with a variety of coverage options, affordable premiums, and great customer service. Coverage is available for personal-use vehicles, motorcycles, antique and classic cars, motorhomes, and recreational vehicles such as off-road, ATVs, and snowmobiles. As for discounts, policyholders can slash rates by bundling policies, having multiple vehicles in one policy, completing a driver’s training course, and having a clean driving record. Its IntelliDrive app, which tracks driving behavior, is another way motorists can reduce premiums.

11. Wawanesa

One of Canada’s largest auto insurers, Wawanesa offers a range of mandatory and optional coverages, allowing motorists to customize their policies to fit their needs. The company is also known for offering car insurance plans at a reasonable price. Wawanesa provides coverage for private and commercial vehicles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, motorhomes and campers, and utility trailers.