The best insurance companies for younger drivers in Ontario in 2023


What auto insurance company is the best in Ontario for young drivers? Turns out the answer is different depending on whether you’re a man or a woman. For female drivers 25 and under, Aviva has the best average premiums. For males, it’s Intact. But it gets even more complicated than that. We ran quotes for 14 young drivers using our online quoting system, and seven different insurers had the best rate for at least one of them.

Insurance companies see young men very differently than young women. So to get a sense for which company might be best for young drivers, we created 14 fictional driver profiles, seven men and seven women, all 25 or younger, and ran quotes for them.

Key findings:

  • Aviva has the best auto insurance rates, on average, for females 25 and under.
  • Intact Insurance has the best average rates for male drivers 25 and under.
  • Seven different insurance companies (Aviva, Intact, Commonwell, SGI, Wawanesa, Gore Mutual, Jevco) offer the best rate for at least one of the driver profiles we created.
  • Aviva appears to be the best insurer for young G2 drivers, regardless of gender.

Before we go on to share the details of our study, it’s important to note that there’s much more to determining the best insurance companies than just price. We focus on price here because it’s the one factor that definitely varies by age. Check out our Best auto insurers blog post, where we talk about other factors like service and claims experience, and share Google and JD Power ratings.

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The rankings

Here is how our top auto insurers stack up against each other when it comes to prices for young drivers.

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

In order to be a useful ranking, we had to generate separate lists for men and women, and for high-risk and regular market insurers.

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

The rankings for male and female drivers are separate because young men are statistically much worse drivers than young women, and are viewed very differently by insurance companies. This difference fades with age, and all but disappears by age 25.

How we came up with the rankings

As shared above, there are a number of ways to evaluate insurance companies. Because in this case we are talking about how insurers cater to a particular market, the only way to reliably rank them is on price, as that is the only factor that is significantly different for young drivers.

So to determine how insurance companies perform in terms of pricing, we created 14 fictional driver profiles, seven men and seven women, and ran quotes for each of them. Although the drivers are made up, the rates we generated accurately reflect what someone with similar circumstances (age, gender, location, driving record) would pay in the real world.

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

  • With the exception of the G2 drivers (Riley and Isa), everyone got their G1 the day they turned 16, G2 one year later, and G license one year after that
  • 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

Meet our young male drivers

We ran quotes for the following young male 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

And here are the quotes.

Ontario insurance quotes for young male drivers
 Riley (17, G2)Keegan (20)John-Paul (21)Hakim (23)Jock (25)Reg. Avg.Zachary (24)Grayson (19)High-risk Avg.
SGI Canada6,3022,9492,7772,7022,656$3,477   
Gore Mutual8,5554,6995,4513,1812,201$4,817   
Jevco      $6,566$7,643$7,105
Pafco      $8,186$9,106$8,646
Coachman      $9,024$9,526$9,275
Echelon      $11,926$11,696$11,811

Intact is the winner with young male drivers in the regular market. They have the lowest average 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 young female 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-binary1, 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

And here are the quotes.

Ontario insurance quotes for young female drivers
 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   
Gore Mutual$6,842$14,237$2,014$6,808$2,198$6,420   
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

For young women drivers, Aviva is the overwhelming winner, with the lowest average quote by 7% over runner up Commonwell, and offering the best price for four out of six regular market 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. The moral of the story is that insurance pricing is very specific to the individual, and the only way to know you’re getting the best rate is to get quotes from as many companies as you can.  

Will these rankings change over time?

Rankings based on rates are accurate at the time the quotes are run. History shows that some companies remain competitive over years in certain market segments, but exact rates often vary every few months and certainly over a year or more.

The rankings in this piece are based on rates that insurance companies file every quarter with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). Not every company changes their rates every quarter, but many do, and they have to justify their new rates with evidence of how much money they’ve spent in paying claims. When a company has a quarter with lower claims costs for a particular market segment, say young drivers, they may reduce their rates for that segment. If their claims go up, well, obviously they will have to collect more premium to cover those costs, and rates will increase.

So the auto insurance market is constantly fluctuating, with some companies lowering rates to attract more of a particular type of customer, and others increasing rates for that same group, just to stay profitable. It’s not likely that one insurer will be the cheapest in a given segment for very long. If they are, and they can make a profit, eventually others will lower their rates to try to mimic their success.

How can young drivers save on auto insurance?

1. Get insured under your parents

All of the quotes included in this piece are for standalone policies, meaning that the person in question is the primary driver on the vehicle. By far the most affordable way for young drivers, especially those under 20, to gain experience is to be listed as an occasional driver on their parents’ policy.

Take Keegan, for instance. He’s 20, lives in Cornwall, and had a conviction for following too close in 2020. On his own, his best price would be $2,882 with Intact Insurance. 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 (only $402 if he was a girl). This can make an even bigger difference in the GTA, where rates are much higher for young drivers.

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

Even if you’re a conscientious, safety-oriented individual, you are paying for the sins of every young driver that came before you, because you haven’t had a chance yet to build a 10 or 20-year record of clean driving. This can seem incredibly unfair, especially for young men, who even with a clean record, can sometimes pay three or four times the provincial average for insurance.

The only way for young drivers to mitigate this effect is to opt for a telematics device that measures how you drive and can save you big bucks if you drive safely. To illustrate, our G2 driver, Riley, whose best rate would ordinarily be $4,328 with Aviva, could opt for Aviva Journey, Aviva’s telematics program, and get a 10% discount just for signing up. His base rate would be $3,903, and could go as low as $3,470 (20% discount) by the end of the policy term if showed excellent driving habits3.

Important note: If you opt for a telematics program, you’ll have to install a device in your vehicle, or download an app to your phone, that measures things like how much you drive, what time of day you drive, and how quickly you start and stop.

3. Avoid tickets and accidents

If you’re 50 and you’ve been driving for 30 years, having one speeding ticket or even an at-fault on your record won’t necessarily affect your premium that much. If you’re under 25, tickets and at-faults will cost you dearly.

In the quote examples above, Wren’s best rate is $9,055 with Aviva. If she didn’t have a speeding ticket on her record, Aviva would still be her best choice, but the premium would be $6,642. That’s an extra 36% she’s paying, for one speeding ticket.

Your best insurer is here

We want all Ontario drivers to end up with the insurance company that is best suited to their individual needs. Depending on who you are, how old you are, where you live and what your driving record is, your best insurer could be any one of seven or more. There’s really only one way to always hit the bullseye. Shop with a licensed insurance brokerage like Mitch Insurance. With 70+ insurance company partners, we’ve got the best insurer for you, regardless of your circumstances. We’re waiting for your call.

1 Non-binary or gender X drivers are rated as males, then as females, and are given the lower of the two rates. For young drivers, this effectively means they are rated as females.

2 Even high-risk insurers have limits. Coachman does not accept drivers with a recent impaired driving conviction.

3 Most 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.

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