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Do Immigrants Need Car Insurance To Drive In Ontario?


Canada is the dream destination for millions of immigrants who decide to live, work and raise their kids here. Ontario is one of the provinces in Canada that is home to diverse immigrants living across many cities that make up a huge proportion of the motorists. All drivers are required to carry active car insurance with the minimum level of coverage in Ontario. That is as per law and regulated by FSCO. If you don’t have car insurance, you are liable to pay a hefty fine, your vehicle may be impounded and it is better not to speak of the joy when your license gets suspended. If you drive for a living, this penalty will cause a serious dent in your pocket.

Before you get car insurance, you have to first get an Ontario driver’s license. If you are an immigrant from the following countries or provinces, you may get an Ontario driver’s license based on your past driving experience and any international or interprovincial mutual agreement with Ontario.

  • Other territories and provinces in Canada
  • Canadian Forces in Europe
  • United States
  • Austria, Australia, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Isle of Man, Switzerland, and Korea

Can Immigrants Get A Car Insurance Policy In Ontario

Yes, immigrants to Canada can get a car insurance policy in Ontario, provided that they meet certain conditions. However, it is not an easy task to get the best quality insurance at a decent premium rate. It is best that you know what to expect in terms of pricing as you are a newly licensed driver who just moved from another country. The car insurance premiums could tip the scale to the higher side. This is because you have no driving history in Ontario and the Ministry of Transportation will not give you full credit for your driving experience from your country of origin. The maximum credit you may get is for a driving period of up to 24 months in that country, which has to be authenticated by the original licensing authority or that country’s embassy in a letter.

Shopping around for quotes to get the best deals at cheap prices could be very tiresome. It is much more time savvy and economical if as a new immigrant you may try to use our car insurance calculator. You get multiple quotes from different providers in a jiffy that will save your time and money. The car insurance industry in Ontario is highly competitive and if you don’t know your way to work around these insurers for a better deal, you may easily get a rip-off. Instead, you may check out our car insurance calculator as there are certain insurance companies in Ontario that offer car insurance policies to new immigrants with no driving record in Canada.

How Much Does Car Insurance Policy Cost To An Immigrant In Ontario


Car insurance premiums are higher in Ontario when compared to other provinces and definitely expensive for new immigrants. At the very least, the average annual cost for a standard car insurance package is around $6,000 to $8,000. The following factors are considered:

  • Past Driving Record

    – The main reason for the higher premium is the lack of a Canadian driving record or history. Ontario has no record of your driving experience, violations, or collisions while you were abroad. As per an insurance company, the lack of data translates to high risk, even though you had a glorious driving record back home.

  • Current Driving Record

    – The other data that greatly affect the price of your insurance in Ontario is your driving experience while in Canada or another province. There are interprovincial exchanges of data which may include your bad driving record too.

  • Car

    – The make and model of your car do matter when calculating premiums.

  • Purpose

    – Those who use their cars for a daily commute to the office will also pay higher premiums, especially for long-distance commutes. A shorter driving distance means less exposure to accidents, which means lower risk and premiums.

  • Location

    – The place where you live and work does matter. Insurance rates are costlier in urban cities than in rural areas. The reasoning behind this is that there are more cars in thickly populated areas and therefore, there is a higher risk of collision.

  • Age

    – This is also an important factor and it is well-known in Ontario that the drivers aged 25 or more with a clean record get a better rate. Younger drivers are considered as high-risk and statistical data supports this fact in terms of higher rates of collision or violation.

How Can Immigrants In Ontario Save On Car Insurance


It is recommended to obtain the documents from the licensing agency back home to prove your driving history and record. In order to save on car insurance, you may follow some processes as soon as you arrive in Canada.

  • You must have your old driving license from your country of origin and the accompanying documents supporting its verification. This will help the insurance company to determine your past driving experience.
  • When you arrive in Ontario, get a driving license right away, even if you are not going to buy a car. The logic behind this is that as time passes by, the length of your driving experience on Canadian roads also increases. Since you have no car, you will have no violations and your records stay clean too. A good driving record gives a lower insurance rate when you hunt for a new policy for your car.
  • Another great option is to install a telematics device to track your car usage and monitor the acceleration, braking, distance traveled, and time of day the car was used. These details will help insurers determine the best price for your premium. If you prove yourself to be a low-risk driver, you may use this to leverage for better insurance rates.

Lastly, you may become a member of auto clubs like CAA Ontario. Membership to organizations like this increases your trust rating and lowers some of the expenses of the insurance company. It also helps to lower your risk assessment score which translates to better car insurance premium rates.

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.