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No matter where you live, you need insurance to drive a vehicle in Canada. It is the law. A valid policy is a requirement in all provinces, even though coverage limits vary. For example, your Ontario car insurance plan offers different types of protection than an Alberta car insurance plan.
How you shop for and where you get your auto insurance from also varies. In some provinces you get coverage through a public plan. In others you get it through a private insurer.
All provinces offer a variety of coverage types. Some are mandatory, some are optional. Typically, your policy will include third party liability, accident benefits, and property damage. You have the option to customize your plan. You can add extra protection, endorsements, and increase coverage limits.
Yes, car insurance is mandatory in Canada. All drivers are legally required to have insurance for their vehicle, regardless of province or territory. Mandatory coverage requirements vary by province, minimum amounts, limits, and optional coverage vary by region.
In Canada, insurance requirements are unique to the province you reside. Depending on your province you could have public or private insurance. Most provinces use a no fault model, but have different rules and regulations for insurance.
Car insurance is offered in a private or public system. Under private systems, you get insurance coverage from private insurers. In a public system, you get coverage through your provincial government.
The best coverage is not just about how much it costs. It's about finding great value and a policy that gives you the financial protection you need when driving.
Here are the most common types of auto insurance available in Canada :
How you get coverage, availability, systems, rules, regulations, and rates are different by province and territory. Plans are available though private insurers and brokers in most regions. Others get coverage through public government run programs.
All provinces require you have at least $200,000 in third party liability coverage (except for Nova Scotia and Quebec) and accident benefits. Some provinces require direct compensation property damage, while others do not. Only Alberta does not require uninsured automobile protection.
The table below illustrates insurance requirements across Canada :
|Province or Territory||Public or Private||No Fault Insurance||Minimum Liability Coverage||Required Coverage||Minimum Driving Age||Insurance Regulator|
|Ontario||Private||Yes||$200,000||Accident benefits, DCPD, Uninsured automobile||16||Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario(FSRA)|
|Alberta||Private||No||$200,000||Accident benefits||14||Alberta Superintendent of Insurance|
|British Columbia||Public||No||$200,000||Accident benefits, Uninsured automobile||16||BC Financial Services Authority(BCFSA)|
|Manitoba||Public||No||$200,000||All perils, personal injury, hit and run, inverse liability||16||Financial Institutions Regulation Branch (FIRB)|
|New Brunswick||Private||Yes||$200,000||Accident benefits, DCPD, Uninsured automobile||14||Financial and Consumer Services Commission|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Private||No||$200,000||Uninsured automobile||16||Superintendent of Insurance|
|Northwest Territories||Private||No||$200,000||Property damage, personal injury||17||Office of the Superintendent of Insurance|
|Nova Scotia||Private||Yes||$500,000||Accident benefits, DCPD, Uninsured automobile||16||Office of the Superintendent of Insurance|
|Nunavut||Private||No||$200,000||Property damage, personal injury||15||Office of the Superintendent of Insurance|
|Prince Edward Island||Private||Yes||$200,000||Accident benefits, Uninsured automobile||16||Office of the Superintendent of Insurance|
|Quebec||Public and Private||Yes||$50,000||Accident benefits, Property damage||16||Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF)|
|Saskatchewan||Public||No||$200,000||Property damage, Personal injury||16||Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority|
|Yukon Territories||Private||No||$200,000||Property damage, Personal injury||15||Office of the Superintendent of Insurance|
The way auto insurance companies determine your rates is unique for each company. Each has their own specific formula they use to assess your risk level and determine your premiums. Some insurers calculate certain variables more heavily than others.
There are variables you can control and others you cannot. Focus on the factors you can control to reduce how much you pay. Insurers generally use the same collection of information, including the following :
A lot can change in a year. Take the time to review your auto insurance annually. This will help you make the right adjustments to your coverage and ensure you get the best rate. It may be better to stay with your current provider or switch. But you will not know for sure unless you assess your options.
Car insurance costs in Canada vary widely from province to province. Where you live will impact your rates. The average annual insurance rates are the highest in British Columbia at $1,832. They are the lowest in Quebec at $717. The average premium for Canadian drivers is $1,244.
Here are some common questions we get about car insurance :
Auto insurance rates change frequently and vary based on insurance provider. Comparing car insurance quotes allows you to see what the market has to offer – given your driving history, vehicle, coverage needs and other factors. It’s recommended to compare quotes each time your policy comes up for renewal. This will make sure you are getting the lowest rate.
There is not one specific company that offers the cheapest auto insurance rates. There are many considerations used by each company and premiums for coverage can vary. Fees could differ by hundreds of dollars depending on a provider’s risk tolerance and assessment criteria.
In provinces with a private system, insurers can compete for your business. This means there is incentive for them to offer you better premiums. No two insurers are the same. It is in your best interests to shop around. The only way to know for sure who can offer you the cheapest rates is to get quotes from multiple companies.
The more information you provide, the more accurate of a quote you’ll receive. Have this information handy when you get a quote :
Yes. Where you live will impact your car insurance quote. It is a leading variable used by insurers to assess and determine how much you’ll pay. There are many things associated with your location than can impact what you pay, including :
Regardless of where you live, take the time to compare quotes and maximize your savings.
All drivers must meet certain eligibility criteria to be able to get car insurance in Canada. You must meet the following standards :
These are the minimum requirements to qualify for coverage. A poor driving record or past insurance issues could make it more challenging for you to qualify.
The simple answer is no. You cannot drive without insurance in Canada. While it is not a criminal offense, you face serious fines and penalties (they vary by province). If you are caught behind with wheel without a policy you could face these repercussions :
For example, in Ontario, you could have fines starting at $5,000 for the first offence. You also face a suspension of your licence for up to one year. Plus, you could have your vehicle impounded for up to three months. It is not worth driving without a valid insurance.
Yes. Getting a car insurance quote is 100% free.
It depends on where you get the quote. For some insurers your quote will be valid for 30 or 60 days. Some may be longer or shorter. Speak with your insurance professional to get clarification.
Most drivers will see a considerable decrease in costs once they turn 25. That is, if they don't get any tickets and are claims free. You will also see your rates decrease over time as you build up your insurance and driving experience.
Choosing an insurance friendly vehicle, getting married, and bundling home insurance will also help you save more. You can also expect another drop in rates once you turn 50.
A car insurance deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay out of pocket in the event you file a claim.
For example, let’s say your deductible is $1,000 and your claim cost is $5,000. You would have to pay the $1,000 and your insurer would cover the remaining $4,000.
You can choose your deductible amount and it can vary based on your coverage type. They can range from $500 to $2,000 or more. The amount you choose will have a direct impact on your premiums.
No-fault insurance means that you will deal with your insurer in the event of a claim. Your provider will compensate you for your claim if you are at-fault or not. All provinces have some form of no-fault insurance in place.
How it works varies depending on the rules in your area. For example, some provinces allow you to sue the other parties involved in an accident for damages. The no-fault system is beneficial because to helps to spend up processing time, It ensures people get quick access to medical care.
There are many things you can do to lower your rates. These tips will help you save hundreds on your premiums :
Instantly save money on your auto and home insurance policies. Simply combine them with the same insurer.
Get rewarded for driving safe with up to 30% savings. How you drive will determine how much you save.
Have multiple vehicles? Combine all vehicles with one insurer and pay less.
Install winter tires and save up to 5% instantly. Drive safe and save!
Get rewarded for driving a green vehicle. If you drive an electric or hybrid vehicle you’ll qualify for a discount.
Loyalty pays in the form of savings. Renew with your current provider to get a discount. The longer you stay, the more you can save.
Recently retired? Are you a senior driver? Get reward for your experience behind the wheel. Save up to 10%.
Start off driving the right way. Complete a government approved driver training program and save on your insurance premiums.
Check out these facts about driving and car insurance in Canada that can impact how much you pay :
Shopping for a new car? Check out the insurance rates for some of the most popular vehicles in the country.
Note that data is based on the total average lowest rate for car insurance quotes done on our website for each vehicle in 2020.
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