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In Ontario, if you intend to drive a car on the roads, you got to have active car insurance with at least minimum coverage. Insurance premiums are very high in Ontario in comparison to other provinces and even if you were to drive for a short term you have to still carry car insurance. Usually, car insurance policies are sold on a semimonthly and annual basis in Ontario. So, the shortest term you could get a policy would be for 6 months and not less.

But in recent years, there are many drivers who are looking to get temporary car insurance in Ontario due to various reasons. Some may want to use their car only for a while and prefer taking public transit during the harsh winter months. Others may want to use the car only during the summer for road trips or may want to store it as a seasonal vehicle. Whether you drive your own car or someone else’s, you have to always the pink liability insurance card in Ontario for that vehicle.

Who May Need Temporary Car Insurance In Ontario

car insurance

There are many types of motorists who may prefer to get temporary car insurance in Ontario:

  • There are certain drivers who are on a visit to Canada for a short term of fewer than 6 months. They may want to drive rather than rent or use any other mode of transport. It is not an easy task for them to obtain insurance as they need to have an Ontario license to do so. The whole process of purchasing, registering, and insuring a car for short period is very cumbersome for non-resident temporary drivers. Finally, if they resort to temporarily renting a car, they may have insurance on the rental company’s fleet policy.
  • The drivers who may be selling their cars are in the process of changing the ownership of their vehicles and need insurance in the meantime. It is necessary to have temporary car insurance even if you were to drive your car with a temporary license plate sticker to bridge the gap in between for a period of 10 days. You may still need to have insurance for a longer term as there is no such provision for 10 days.
  • The need for temporary car insurance to cover a rental vehicle may arise if there is no such coverage through the fleet insurance policy of the rental company.
  • In case you are in the process of switching your car insurance policy to another provider, you may need to look for temporary insurance if you are still driving that car. In some cases, the old policy may cover you for a certain period of time but not beyond.
  • If you are a student back home on vacation and wish to drive, you may have to look for temporary car insurance for that short duration.

Such car insurance policies are also useful for those who are looking to borrow someone’s car, to test drive a car that they are planning to buy. Or maybe even transport a newly purchased car across the province before deciding on an annual insurance policy.

How Can You Get Temporary Car Insurance In Ontario For Seasonal Vehicle

vintage vehicle

As per the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, a seasonal vehicle may not be driven for an extended duration of time. These include vehicles that are used during particular seasons or some drivers may prefer to store their vintage vehicle when they do not intend to drive. Or, they may be away on a vacation or unable to drive due to some reason.

It is important to have the minimum level of insurance coverage for a seasonal vehicle too. It is recommended to keep the comprehensive coverage on the insurance to protect against sudden perils such as fire, vandalism, theft, missiles, etc. You may not need to continue the road coverage or liability and accident benefits when the vehicle is in storage. If the car is financed or leased, there may be a requirement for collision coverage as per the agreement terms. Once you decide to start driving the seasonal vehicle again on the roads, you may have to start the full road insurance coverage again. It is important to do so well in advance so that the insurance company does update the information with the Insurance Bureau of Canada. And it is important to update the license plate stickers with a proper display of the expiry date, or you may be fined.

What Are The Options To Getting Temporary Car Insurance In Ontario


There are not many companies in Ontario that offer temporary insurance. There are no insurance providers who sell less than a 6-month car insurance policy in Ontario. Sometimes, getting a semi-monthly policy and then canceling it could be an option for temporary car insurance. However, you may need to check with the insurance provider on their cancellation terms and refund policy. Though it may sound expensive, you may weigh this option against the unnecessary cost of canceling out an annual policy. Some insurers may require you to keep the minimum term period before you cancel, especially if you got a good deal. If you plan to stop paying premiums after a few months, rather than cancel the policy, that is not the best idea. Your policy may lapse and it might not be easy to get another policy as you may be then considered as high-risk due to a gap in insurance.

Certain credit cards may provide you with some level of coverage for your car that may not be very dependable. You may try to minimize your costs of a temporary auto policy by bundling your car insurance for the regular vehicle with another unused one. Most insurance providers do give multi-car or multi-product discounts such as bundling of home insurance and car insurance. This discount may help to offset some costs related to temporary insurance. The FSCO strictly regulates the auto insurance industry in Ontario, but the insurance market is run by private insurers and not provincial governance.

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.