LowestRates.ca, an online comparison site for insurance, mortgages, loans and credit cards, released its 2019 First Quarter Auto Insurance Price Index. The index shows the average cost of car insurance in Canada within each quarter of the year. This year’s index showed that Ontario, Alberta, and Atlantic Canada had high insurance rates in the first quarter of 2019.

Alberta had the highest increase at 11.22 percent while Atlantic Canada was up at 6.52 percent and Ontario was up 9.06 percent.

“Auto insurance rates have been on the rise for more than a year now, and this happens for a number of reasons that are typically outside of the average driver’s control—more instances of fraud and a greater number of accidents, for example,” says Justin Thouin, Co-Founder and CEO of LowestRates.ca.

There is also the difference in how much drivers are paying this year compared to last year by gender:

  • In Ontario, men pay 8.73 percent more than last year, while women pay 11.03 percent more.
  • In Atlantic Canada, men pay 4.52 percent more than last year while women pay 10.41 percent more,
  • In Alberta, men pay 11.40 percent more than last year, while women pay 11.68 percent more.

One of the big factors causing the rise in pricing is that several insurers have left Ontario and Alberta, two of the biggest markets in Canada. Esurance and AIG Insurance both left Canada last year and more insurers have warned about the growing cost of doing business in some provinces.

“We’ve heard from our partners in both Alberta and Ontario that caps on pricing in those provinces have led to instances where insurers are paying out more in claims than they were taking in from premiums,” says Thouin. “These pricing pressures have resulted in some insurance companies and brokers doing less business in these provinces or exiting altogether, leading to less competition and higher prices.”

It remains to be seen whether rates will continue to go up or whether there’s a way they might go down someday.