Blog Driving Without Insurance In Ontario

Feb 18, 2021

Driving Without Insurance Will Cost You With Fines, Penalties And Increased Premiums

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Did you know you will be fined or face other penalties if you are caught driving without insurance in Ontario?

Even with the repercussions, some people drive without coverage. This is one of the many factors that lead to higher costs.

Undoubtedly, if you drive without it, you face serious consequences. When discussing the topic of not having an active policy, Ontario drivers are interested in four main things :

  1. Consequences : What are the consequences?
  2. Punishment : What happens if you get caught?
  3. Fines : What are the fines?
  4. Insurance costs : Will it impact your premium?

The following answers common questions about driving without insurance in Ontario, including fines, penalties, consequences, and the potential impact on your car insurance in Canada.

Is Driving Without Insurance Common?

Driving without insurance is something you should never do. It is estimated that more than 2,000 uninsured vehicles are involved in accidents each year in Ontario, and about 2% of all drivers do not have proper protection, according to a Toronto Star Investigation.

Is Driving Without Insurance A Criminal Offense In Canada?

No, driving without it is not a criminal offence in Canada. It is an offence under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act of Ontario (CAIA), meaning that if you are caught, you could face significant fines, but it will not go on your criminal record.

Can You Be Arrested For Driving Without Insurance?

Even though you will not be arrested (unless you are involved in a criminal act when you are caught), you face a series of fines and penalties.

What Are The Driving Without Insurance Laws In Ontario?

Under section 2 of the CAIA:

2 (1) Subject to the regulations, no owner or lessee of a motor vehicle shall,

  1. operate the motor vehicle; or
  2. cause or permit the motor vehicle to be operated, on a highway unless the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile policy.

What Happens If You Are Caught Driving Without Insurance?

Here is what you need to know about the fines for driving a vehicle without valid Ontario car insurance.

Section 3 of the CAIA outlines the penalty :

(3) Every owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who,

  1. contravenes subsection (1) of this section or subsection 13 (11); or
  2. surrenders an insurance card for inspection to a police officer, when requested to do so, purporting to show that the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile coverage when the motor vehicle is not so insured, is guilty of an offense and is liable on a first conviction to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000 and on a subsequent conviction to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 and, in addition, his or her driver’s license may be suspended for a period of not more than one year.

What Is The Fine For Driving Without Insurance In Ontario?

The fine for driving without it in Ontario varies based on the offense :

  • First offense : Fines start at $5000 and could be as high as $25,000.
  • Second offense : Fines start at $10,000 and could reach as high as $50,000.

What Are The Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In Ontario?

In addition to fines, there are other penalties for driving without insurance. They include :

  • Suspension : You could face a driver’s license suspension for up to one year.
  • Impound : You could have your vehicle impounded for up to three months.
  • Additional fees : The Provincial Offense Act tacks on an additional 25% surcharge to your fine.

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Can I Lose My License For Driving Without Insurance?

As part of your first offense for driving without insurance, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days. You could lose your driver’s license for up to one year.

Do You Get Demerit Points For Driving Without Insurance?

There are no demerit points for driving without insurance. But, as stated above, you will be fined.

What Is The Difference Between Driving Without Insurance And Failure To Show Proof?

There is a significant difference between driving without valid insurance and failure to show proof of insurance. You can receive a ticket for both infractions, but the fines for not having it are much more severe.

Can You Drive Another Person's Car Without Insurance?

No, things like driving your parents' car and not having your own insurance are not an issue. As long as your parents have an active policy attached to the vehicle, you can drive it. If the police pull you over, you will have to show proof.

Can You Keep A Car Without Insurance?

If you are keeping a vehicle, but will not be driving it, you won't require collision insurance but it is a good idea to have comprehensive insurance to protect it from risks associated with a parked car including a fallen tree, weather damage, or theft.

When Switching Vehicles, Make Sure You Are Properly Insured

For some, driving without a valid policy may be unintentional. It is imperative to make sure that your insurance does not lapse when switching insurers. Even having a week or a day without it is all it takes to get fined. Learn more about how to cancel your insurance properly to avoid not being insured when you switch providers.

Driving Without Insurance FAQs

While the chances of getting caught without insurance are difficult to determine, it’s not worth the risk. No matter how well you drive, you are always at risk. You could be pulled over by the police unexpectedly or you could be hit by another vehicle.

This is perhaps one of the worst situations you can be in if you are driving without an active policy. If you are involved in an accident, you will be held personally responsible for all the repairs to your vehicle as well as any medical bills. Depending on the amount of damage or type of injuries, this could be a significant cost to you.

You will also be fined or face charges if you are found to be held responsible for an at-fault accident.

Insured drivers are protected against drivers without any. As part of your insurance in Ontario, you are protected with uninsured motorist coverage. This protects you and your family if you are hit by an uninsured or hit and run driver. You are covered for injuries, death, and repair costs.

If you are fined for driving without it, getting insured after the incident will be difficult. Many companies will choose not to insure you and you may require high-risk car insurance.

Yes, your license can get suspended if you are caught driving without valid insurance on your vehicle.

Always Be Properly Insured When Driving

If you get into an accident and do not have proper coverage, you'll be held responsible for your repairs and medical bills. If you are found at-fault, you'll also be liable for any costs towards the other driver's vehicle, medical expenses, and even loss of wages. Don't forget finding a lower rate will be difficult.