Understanding auto insurance in Ontario
Wherever you’re coming from, this guide will help you understand the basics of auto insurance in Ontario.
Car insurance companies in Ontario use a no-fault insurance system, just like Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland.
No-fault insurance means that instead of approaching the other driver’s insurance company for the cost of damages after an accident, you’ll be reimbursed by your insurer. The no-fault system also helps you avoid lengthy and expensive legal battles, as you’ll only need to interact with your insurance company – they’ll handle everything else.
The insurance companies will then make a fault determination. Depending on the situation, you’ll either be considered fully at fault, partially at fault or not at fault. This affects what type of coverage is activated and whether your insurance premiums change after the accident.
With this in mind, the next thing you should know is what your mandatory insurance covers. Then, you’ll be on your way to finding the best auto insurance Ontario has to offer.
Will private insurers give you what’s mandatory to drive in Ontario?
While car insurance companies in British Columbia and Manitoba are government-run, and car insurance companies based in Saskatchewan and
Québec are partially run by the government, all car insurance companies in Ontario
are private sector. But even though car insurance packages in Ontario are set by the free market, a minimum amount of
coverage is mandatory and included with any basic insurance package.
The minimum coverage you’ll need to put your car on the road is
available with even
the cheapest car insurance
in Ontario. It guarantees you what you need, while also allowing for competitive rates between companies.
If you buy car insurance in Ontario, the mandatory coverage you receive includes:
This covers your legal liability even if you’re partially at fault for an accident. Anyone that suffered injury or property damage (a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or property owner), can pursue a legal settlement. Third-party liability coverage will pay for legal fees and any expenses you’re deemed responsible to cover.
This provides medical, rehab and funeral costs to you, your passengers and anyone else injured in an accident. Most
importantly, it protects you by paying for any medical costs that aren’t covered by OHIP (the Ontario Health
This helps pay to repair your vehicle when you were deemed not at fault. If you’re partially at fault, it
will provide partial coverage. For example, if you’re considered 10% at fault for an accident, you’ll
receive up to 90% of the cost of repairs.
This protects you financially on multiple fronts: if you collide with an uninsured driver; if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run where the driver is unknown; or if a driver’s coverage limit isn’t enough to pay your costs.
Combined, the basic package will cover you for a variety of situations
you may encounter
out on the road. But
it’s far from exhaustive. Depending on your needs as a driver, and the budget you have for your car insurance
quote, Ontario has plenty of add-ons to offer.