In order to operate a vehicle in Canada, you are required to have a valid car insurance policy in place at all times. Car insurance policy requirements vary from province to province, depending on the type of insurance system each is mandated by (public vs. private). However, you need to have a minimum amount of third-party liability insurance, to protect yourself financially in the event that you injure someone or damage their car/property. You’ll also need a minimum amount of accident benefits protection, which provides you with coverage for any medical/rehabilitation costs that occur as result from an accident.
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However, there are some other federal and provincial laws that allow for exceptions. The biggest exception is Bill S-4, or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. One of the implications for insurance companies is that it they can share personal information without consent if it reasonably allows them to discover and prevent fraud.
Bundling more than one car onto a single insurance policy can save you money, as can bundling your car with your home insurance. Some insurers offer “good student” discounts to full-time post-secondary students who can prove their good grades. Many insurers also offer discounts to members of professional organizations or affiliation groups – so it pays to ask about discount relationships.
If you're male and under 25 in Ontario, you're going to get dinged hard. It sucks, but it's the way the system's setup. Other than complaining to your MPP about enacting change, you're mostly out of luck. If you're in a large urban area like Toronto, it's also going to hurt since you're paying for other people's accidents. Here's a map from Kanetix to give you an idea of insurance rate differences across Ontario.
It is often possible for those seeking cheap car insurance to bundle their service and get an additional discount on other policies such as home insurance. For example, if you have multiple drivers living in a home you own, rather than having separate car insurance policies and a separate home insurance policy, you can often get everything covered in one policy at a significantly discounted rate. Best of all, you can save time when it comes time to pay bills as you will only have to make a single payment.
If your driving licence originates from a country that has an agreement with Canada and can be converted into a Canadian licence, there is also the question of how long you can drive with your out-of-country driving licence before you have to convert it, and these times vary by province. Here are examples from Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia:
Other insurance conditions may arise depending on the type of vehicle, its use, and any customizations or modifications made to the vehicle. For example, if you have altered your vehicle to enhance its performance or appearance, most insurance companies would need to assess the vehicle to determine if they could insure it. If you plan on modifying your vehicle, call us first! We will let you know if the changes you plan on making could have an impact on your policy.
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