Young friends sitting on their car.

May 26, 2023 | Updated November 8, 2023

The best insurance companies for younger drivers in Ontario in 2023

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See the latest version of this post: The best car insurance companies in Ontario for 2024

Last updated: November 8, 2023, 6:58PM EST

Wondering what the best auto insurance company for young drivers in Ontario is? Here’s the scoop: For women under the age of 25, Aviva has the lowest average premiums. For men in the same age group, it’s Intact. But because auto insurance rates are determined by so many different factors, these definitely aren’t one-size-fits-all answers. In fact, when we ran quotes for 14 young drivers using our online auto insurance quoter, six different insurers had the best price for at least one of them.

Logos of the insurance companies listed in the tables below.

Insurance companies view young men and women very differently. To determine which insurers are the best for young drivers, we created 14 fictional driver profiles consisting of seven men and seven women, aged 25 or younger, and ran insurance quotes for all of them.

Key findings:

  • Aviva has the best auto insurance rates, on average, for women 25 and under
  • Intact has the best average rates for men 25 and under
  • Six different insurance companies (Aviva, Intact, Commonwell, SGI, Wawanesa, Jevco) offer the best rate for at least one of our driver profiles.
  • Regardless of gender, Aviva appears to be the best insurer for young G2 drivers.

Before digging into the specifics of our study, it’s important to note that determining the best insurance companies involves much more than just who has the lowest price. We’re highlight premiums here as it’s the one factor that definitely varies by age. But there’s a lot more to examine. For a comprehensive look at other factors like service and claims experience along with Google and JD Power ratings, check out the best Ontario auto insurers of 2024.

The rankings

When it comes to premiums for young drivers, this is how our top auto insurers stack up against one another:

Table 1.
Best insurers for young men
Regular marketHigh-risk
1. Intact1. Jevco
2. SGI Canada2. Pafco
3. Aviva3. Coachman
4. Wawanesa4. Echelon
5. Commonwell
6. Economical
7. Zenith
8. CAA
10. Travelers
11. Pembridge
Table 2.
Best insurers for young women
Regular marketHigh-risk
1. Aviva1. Jevco
2. Commonwell2. Echelon
3. SGI Canada3. Pafco
4. Intact4. Coachman
5. Wawanesa
6. CAA
7. Economical
9. Pembridge
10. Travelers
11. Zenith

To create a meaningful ranking, we generated separate lists for men and women, and for high-risk and regular market insurers.

Male and female drivers are examined separately because young men are much worse drivers statistically, and because of this are viewed differently by insurance companies. However, this difference disappears by age 25.

High-risk insurers are also ranked separately because the nature of the drivers they take on (people with a history of insurance non-payment, at-fault claims, multiple tickets, etc.) means that their premiums are higher than regular market insurers.

How we came up with the rankings

As mentioned above, there are several ways that you can evaluate insurers. In this instance, we’re comparing companies based on their offerings to a specific demographic, and because of that, the only reliable way to rank them is on price since it’s the only factor that differs significantly for young drivers.

To gauge how different insurers perform in terms of pricing, we created 14 fictional driver profiles – seven men and seven women – and obtained quotes for all of them. Although the drivers aren’t real, the rates reflect what someone with similar characteristics (age, gender, location, driving record) could realistically expect to pay for their auto insurance.

All of the quotes were based on the same coverages, policy limits, deductibles and discounts, as follows:

  • Apart from the G2 drivers (Riley and Isa), all the drivers received their G1 the day they turned 16, their G2 one year later, and their G license one year after that
  • A Winter tire discount was included on all quotes
  • No honour student discounts were applied
  • No multi-vehicle or home bundle discounts were applied
  • Coverage details:
    • $1 million liability coverage
    • Zero deductible for direct compensation claims
    • $1,000 deductible for collision and comprehensive claims
    • Accident forgiveness where available
    • Replacement cost coverage where available (mostly for cars under three years old)
    • $1,500 coverage for loss of use (rental car)
    • $50,000 coverage for damage to unowned vehicle (rental, loaner, etc.)
    • Family protection endorsement in case the driver or their family are injured by another driver who’s inadequately insured

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Meet our young male drivers

We ran quotes for the following drivers:

  • Riley, Male, 17 (G2 license), single, Woodstock (N4T), clean record
    Drives a 2019 GMC SIERRA 1500 CREW CAB 2WD
  • Keegan, Male, 20, single, Cornwall (K6K), following too close in 2020
    Drives a 2013 VW GOLF 2.0 TDI WAGON
  • John-Paul, Male, 21, single, Burlington (L7P), clean record
    Drives a 2014 TOYOTA MATRIX WAGON
  • Hakim, Male, 23, common-law, Goderich (N7A), at-fault and speeding in 2019
    Drives a 2018 NISSAN 370Z ROADSTER
  • Jock, Male, 25, married, Lindsay (K9V), speeding in 2021
  • Zachary, Male, 24, divorced, Port Hope (L1A), speeding tickets in 2021 and 2022, at-fault accident in 2022
    Drives a 2022 ACURA TLX TECH 4DR AWD
  • Grayson, Male, 19, single, Dryden (P8N), speeding tickets in 2021 and 2022, failure to show insurance ticket in 2023
    Drives a 2015 BUICK ENCORE 4DR 2WD

Here are the auto insurance quotes for the individuals above:

Table 3. Ontario insurance rates for young male drivers1
  Riley (17, G2) Keegan (20) John-Paul (21) Hakim (23) Jock (25) Reg. Avg. Zachary (24) Grayson (19) High-risk Avg.
Intact 4,771 2,882 2,640 3,494 2,674 $3,292      
SGI Canada 6,302 2,949 2,777 2,702 2,656 $3,477      
Aviva 4,328 3,883 2,500 4,122 3,296 $3,626      
Wawanesa 5,928 3,577 3,414 3,640 2,461 $3,804      
Commonwell 6,084 5,842 3,872 2,737 1,928 $4,093      
Economical 6,891 5,046 3,689 3,696 3,134 $4,491      
Zenith 7,943 5,461 3,539 3,640 3,196 $4,756      
CAA 6,221 6,910 4,268 4,479 2,204 $4,816      
Travelers 6,552 5,592 4,152 4,908 4,260 $5,093      
Pembridge 8,289 4,833 3,485 5,831 3,676 $5,223      
Jevco             $6,566 $7,643 $7,105
Pafco             $8,186 $9,106 $8,646
Coachman             $9,024 $9,526 $9,275
            $11,926 $11,696 $11,811
1Estimated annual quotes from the Mitch auto insurance quoter for seven sample male driver profiles.

Intact is the winner for young male drivers in the regular market. They have the lowest average premiums by 6% over second place SGI, offer the best quote for two drivers, and they are no worse than fifth on any profile. But if you’re Jock, Intact will cost you 39% more than Commonwell.

Meet our young female drivers

We ran quotes for the following drivers:

  • Isa, Female, 18 (G2 license), single, Kanata (K2L), clean record
    Drives a 2018 FORD FOCUS ELECTRIC 5DR
  • Wren, Female, 19, single, Scarborough (M1G), speeding ticket in 2022
    Drives a 2019 CHRYSLER 300 S 4DR
  • Akilah, Female, 22, single, Kenora (P9N), clean record
    Drives a 2013 CHEVY IMPALA LS V6 4DR
  • Karlee, Female, 23, married, Whitby (L1N), at-fault claim in 2021
    Drives a 2022 BMW 330i Xdrive 4DR AWD
  • Grey, Non-binary, 25, common-law, Georgetown (L7G), speeding ticket in 2018
  • Dalilah, Female, 20, married, Strathroy (N7G), impaired driving conviction and speeding ticket in 2023
  • Aarya, Female, 24, single, Bancroft (K0L), four speeding tickets from 2021 to 2023

Here are the auto insurance quotes for the individuals above.

Table 4. Ontario insurance rates for young female drivers1
 Isa (18, G2)Wren (19)Akilah (22)Karlee (23)Grey (25)Reg. Avg.Dalilah (20)Aarya (24)High-risk Avg.
SGI Canada$5,544$10,386$1,777$7,078$2,672$5,491   
Jevco      $3,883$3,835$3,859
Echelon      $4,332$4,539$4,436
Pafco      $5,162$4,792$4,977
Coachman      NA2$4,522NA
1Estimated annual quotes from the Mitch auto insurance quoter for seven sample male driver profiles; 2Even high-risk insurers have limits. Coachman does not accept drivers with a recent impaired driving conviction.

For young females, Aviva is the winner with the lowest average quote by 7% over runner up Commonwell, and offering the best price for four out of the six regular market driver profiles. If you’re Karlee, you may not mind paying 1% more than the lowest price with Aviva, but if you’re Akilah, Aviva’s quote is 34% higher than the rate offered by Wawanesa.

Will these rankings change over time?

The short answer is yes, they will. Rankings based on auto insurance rates are accurate at the time the quotes are run. While some insurers may remain competitive for years in certain market segments, exact rates usually vary every few months and will certainly change over the course of a year or more.

The rankings presented in this article are based on the rates that insurance companies file each quarter with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). While not every company adjusts their rates quarterly, many do, and they are required to justify their rate changes by providing evidence of how much they’ve paid out in claims. When a company experiences a quarter with lower claims costs for a particular market segment – say young drivers, for example – they may reduce rates for that segment. On the flip side, if their claims shoot up, it becomes necessary to raise premiums to cover these expenses and rates will increase.

This means the auto insurance market is in a constant state of flux with some insurers reducing rates to attract a particular type of customer, and others raising rates for that same demographic to maintain profitability. It’s unlikely that one insurer will consistently be the cheapest option in a given segment for an extended period. Should they manage to achieve this while remaining profitable, eventually competitors will also lower their rates in an attempt to replicate their success.

How can young drivers save on auto insurance?

1. Get insured under your parents’ policy

All of the quotes in this article are for standalone policies with the person in question being the primary driver on the vehicle. But for young drivers, especially those under the age of 20, the most affordable way to gain experience is to be listed as an occasional driver on their parents’ policy.

Take Keegan, for example. He’s 20 years old, lives in Cornwall, and had a conviction for following too close in 2020. If he were to get coverage on his own, his best price would be $2,882 with Intact. But assuming he’s still living with his parents, he could be listed as an occasional driver on the same car for only $994 more than his parents are already paying with CAA (or only $402 if he was female). This can be an even more cost effective choice in the GTA, where insurance rates are considerably higher for young drivers.

2. Prove you’re a good driver (telematics)

Even if you’re a responsible, safety-oriented driver, you are paying for the mistakes made by all the other young drivers who came before you. This is because you haven’t had the opportunity to build a long history of clean driving. This may feel incredibly unfair, especially for young men – who even with a clean record, may sometimes pay insurance premiums that are three or four times higher than the provincial average.

The only way for young drivers to offset this is to opt for a telematics device that measures their driving behaviour. Doing this can lead to significant savings if you drive safely. For instance, consider our G2 driver, Riley, whose best rate would ordinarily be $4,328 with Aviva. If Riley decided to register for Aviva Journey (Aviva’s telematics program), he’d get a 10% discount just for signing up. This would lower his base rate to $3,903, and it could decrease to $3,470 (a 20% discount) by the end of the policy term if he consistently demonstrated excellent driving habits1.

Please note: If you decide to participate in a telematics program, you’ll need to install a device in your vehicle, or download an app to your phone. It will measure things like how much you drive, when you drive, and how quickly you start and stop.

1Most users save 10%. You’ll only get the maximum 20-25% discount by severely limiting your kilometres, avoiding rush hour driving, and making sure all your starts and stops are gradual.

3. Avoid tickets and accidents

If you’re 50 years old and have over three decades’ worth of driving experience, having a speeding ticket or even an at-fault accident on your record won’t necessarily affect your premium that much. But for young drivers, tickets and at-fault accidents will result in significant increases to your insurance costs.

For example, Wren’s best rate is $9,055 with Aviva. Without a speeding ticket on her record, Aviva would still be her best choice, but her premium would be lowered to $6,642. That’s an extra 36% she’s paying because of that one speeding ticket.

Your best insurer is here

We want all drivers in Ontario to be able to find the insurance company that’s best suited to their individual needs. Depending on who you are, where you live, your age and your driving record, your best insurer could be any one of six or more companies.

When it comes to shopping for insurance, a sure-fire way to always find the right coverage for you is to work with a licensed brokerage like Mitch Insurance. With over 70 insurance company partners, we’ve got the best insurer for you, no matter what your situation is. Give us a call and get a quote today.

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