Auto insurance rates are on the rise in Canada, according to new figures from LowestRates.ca. The final quarter of 2018 was particularly pricy for women in Alberta.
The financial product comparison website’s Q4 2018 Auto Insurance Price Index shows rates reached new peaks in Alberta and Atlantic Canada, rising 10.05 and 3.75 per cent respectively, compared to the same time last year.
The index averages the lowest auto insurance rates on LowestRates.ca, and compares the figure to previous quarters.
Albertan women bore the brunt of increases in the fourth quarter, paying 11.13 per cent more year-over-year. Men in that province saw rates tick up 9.49 percent over the same period.
The price hikes for both genders were milder in Atlantic Canada and Ontario. Rates for Atlantic Canadian women rose 5.70 per cent, and 2.88 per cent for Atlantic Canadian men. Ontario women saw rates jump 4.68 per cent. Rates for men in that province increased by 0.67 per cent.
“Rates have been rising steadily for over a year now,” LowestRates.ca co-founder and CEO Justin Thouin wrote in a news release.
Examined quarterly, auto insurance prices in Alberta and Atlantic Canada increased 4.2 per cent and 1.95 per cent, respectively. Ontario saw prices fall for the first since 2017 on a quarterly basis, dropping 5.63 per cent in the final months of 2018.
Thouin said the decrease in Ontario underscores the value of comparing prices online, because the decline occurred in a quarter where provincial regulators approved a 3.35 per cent hike.
“While some insurers are raising rates, others may be lowering theirs,” he said. “Insurance companies raise rates when their costs rise. And not all companies experience the same costs. That’s why it’s important to compare online to ensure you’re being charged a competitive rate.”