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

 Canadian drivers pay an average of $1,300 to $1,800 for auto insurance coverage each year, recent data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) shows. These figures, however, can vary significantly, depending on where a motorist lives as there is also a huge difference between how the car insurance system works between provinces and territories.

How does car insurance work in Canada?

To operate a vehicle, Canadian motorists 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 affect future eligibility for obtaining coverage. 

But each province and territory implement different car insurance systems, which results in varying levels of protection and premium prices for drivers across the country.

For those living in British Columbia and Manitoba, auto insurance is regulated by government-owned organizations, 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.

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: Revealed – the most expensive city in Ontario for car insurance

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 do car insurance premiums cost in each province and territory?

To find out how much auto insurance premiums cost across the country, online insurance comparison platform HelloSafe.ca calculated average prices compiled from a survey of 13,650 Canadian users. The table below shows how much motorists pay in car premiums annually, along with mandatory coverages, in each province and territory, starting with the cheapest.

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


Average annual car insurance premiums

Mandatory coverages



  • No-fault coverage for all
  • Minimum $50,000 civil liability coverage, including legal liability for property damage and bodily injury
  • Direct compensation property damage



  • Minimum $200,000 third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured motorist

Prince Edward Island


  • Minimum $50,000 third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Direct compensation property damage
  • Uninsured motorist

New Brunswick


  • Minimum $200,000 third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured automobile coverage
  • Direct compensation property damage

Nova Scotia


  • Minimum $500,000 third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Direct compensation property damage
  • Uninsured motorist



  • Minimum $200,000 third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured automobile

Northwest Territories


  • Minimum $200,000 third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured automobile



  • $50,000 per vehicle all-perils coverage (collision and comprehensive)
  • Minimum $200,000 third-party liability

Newfoundland and Labrador


  • Minimum $200,000 third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured motorist



  • Minimum $200,000 third-party liability
  • Accident benefits



  • Minimum $200,000 third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • All-perils coverage



  • Minimum $200,000 third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured automobile coverage
  • Direct compensation property damage

British Columbia


  • Up to $300,000 medical coverage
  • Minimum $200,000 third-party liability
  • Underinsured motorist protection
  • Hit-and-run damage and injuries


How can Canadian drivers save on car insurance premiums?

As the table shows, there can be a massive difference between auto insurance premiums for motorists living in different provinces and territories. In Quebec, for instance, where average car insurance is the cheapest, rates cost about 161% lower than those in British Columbia, where premiums are priced the highest.

To help Canadian drivers save on auto insurance costs, online vehicle retailer Canada Drives offered several practical tips:

  • Review your policy annually to determine how much coverage you actually need.
  • Consider usage-based insurance or telematics.
  • Maintain a good credit history.
  • Install safety features in your vehicle such as an upgraded alarm system or snow tires during winter.
  • Maintain a clean driving record.
  • Choose vehicles that have “excellent crash test ratings, low-theft scores, are not sporty or attract lots of attention.”
  • Bundle policies together.
  • Consider a higher deductible.
  • Shop around for and compare rates.
  • Never miss a payment.
  • Stay with providers that offer “nice loyalty discounts” when their customers reach milestones.
  • Keep gaps off your driving history even if you do not have a car by asking family or friends to add you as a secondary driver to their policy.
  • Pay your policy in full to avail of discounts.

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