A man with watch, hand on steering wheel, dashboard lights

When Do You Need Car Insurance In Canada?

If you own a car in Canada, you need to have car insurance or you could be fined. All provinces and territories in Canada expect you to have car insurance that covers:

  • Liabilities;
  • Bodily injuries; and
  • Accident benefits

Note: some provinces or territories may require you to get additional car insurance.

What Should Your Required Car Insurance Cover?

Your Canadian Car Insurance should cover you in the following:

    • Liabilities: for insurance that covers:
      • Injury;
      • Death;
      • Health expenses of other people; and
      • Property damage

Note: this insurance does not cover damage costs to your own car.

  • Accident/Bodily Injury Insurance covers the cost of:
    • Your medical expenses; and
    • Your loss of income after the accident

What Other Options For Car Insurance Are There In Canada?

If you plan to live in Canada long term, you should consider Collision Insurance or Comprehensive Insurance.

If you hit another vehicle or object when you are driving, Collision insurance covers you for the:

  • Repairs of your vehicle
  • Replacement of your vehicle

Comprehensive Insurance covers you, if your car is damaged by:

  • Fire;
  • Vandalism; or
  • Theft

Note: Comprehensive Insurance will not cover you, if your car is damaged in an accident with another vehicle. Any theft of personal items inside your vehicle are generally not covered by either of these insurance plans.

What Type Of Vehicle Insurance Is Offered in Canada

Province/TerritoryType of Car Insurance Offered In Canada
British Columbia  
New Brunswick  
Newfoundland and Labrador  
Nova Scotia  
Prince Edward Island  
Northwest Territories  

For more information about vehicle insurance for your province or territory, you can visit the Car Insurance Where You Live section of the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Car insurance

Wherever you reside in Canada, you will need to have auto insurance, and although every province and territory determines unique required minimum insurance coverages, you can find many similarities in Canada about Canadian car insurance in general.

Your driving record will affect your car insurance premium. In case you have a clean driving record, your premium is going to be lower than if you have experienced a conviction or accident. So, it is good to have a clean driving record.

A person’s car insurance premium can be affected by the car you drive. Like drivers, cars can be rated differently as well. Insurance coverage functions that way simply because stealing rates, the historical repair costs and vehicle safety ratings can vary significantly.

How frequently as well as how far you drive factors into the car insurance rate. This works very simple – the more hours you spend driving, the higher the possibility is that you will be in a collision. In a case you work near your home (or maybe you use the public transit), chances are you will pay much less for the car insurance compared to someone that commutes an hour a day, each way.

Some optional coverage as well as endorsements are available. Although each province has required minimums that you must have as part of your policy, you can find and some optional coverage and endorsements that you can add to your policy for a certain fee.

Here are some of the more common:

Collision coverage – This covers the damage that can affect your vehicle as a result of a car crash or collision with an object.
Comprehensive coverage – This insures your car against damage triggered by occasion such as vandalism or theft.
Loss of use – If you are on collision cover and are involved in an accident. Loss of use cover will be responsible for your transportation costs (a car rental for example) during the time of your vehicle being repaired.

Car insurance

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a unique 9 digit number that identifies people who:

Earn money through work and investments
Pay taxes
Contribute to pension plans
Use government services

Why do you need it?

As a new immigrant you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada and to use some government programs. An employer cannot pay you if you do not have a SIN. The law in Canada says that your employer has to ask you to show your SIN card, or proof that you have applied for a SIN, within 3 days after you start a job. It’s a good idea to apply for your SIN as soon as you can. That way, you will have it when you need it.

How to apply for SIN

To get a Social Insurance Number (SIN), you have to fill out an application. You also need to collect some documents to submit with your application. You can get an application form online or from your local Service Canada Centre. There is no application fee for your first SIN. Many settlement agencies can help you apply for a SIN.

Main Insurance companies operating in Canada

Here you can check some of the best insurance companies operating in Canada rated by different factors such as rankings of customer satisfaction and direct written premiums.

SGI Canada – SGI is the trade name of the property and casualty insurance division of Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). This company offers products in more than half of Canada’s provinces and is one of the best leaders of the auto insurance companies in Canada.
Manitoba Public Insurance – (MPI, is also called Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation, or MPIC) and presents a non-profit Crown corporation based in Manitoba that has offered basic public auto insurance since 1971.
TD Insurance – TD is part of the TD Bank Group, one of Canada’s largest financial services organizations. This company works in 2 sectors: general insurance and life and health insurance. They have earned their place as the largest direct-response home and auto insurance group and one of the top three personal home and auto insurance groups in Canada.
Aviva Canada Inc. – is a Canadian property and casualty insurance company and a wholly owned subsidiary of the UK-based Aviva plc. They offer home, automobile, personal, recreational vehicle, and business insurance to more than 3 million clients. They have around 3,000 employees, 30 locations and 1,700 independent broker partners.
Desjardines Insurance – is a trademark, the property of Desjardins General Insurance Group Inc., and a registered business name used by its subsidiary Certas Direct Insurance Company to sell auto and home insurance products in Ontario and Alberta. Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG) is among the biggest and the most successful insurance companies in Canada, and have one of the greatest customer service ratings in the insurance industry. They have been meeting the home and auto insurance demands of Canadians for more than 60 years.