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A certificate of insurance is essentially a document that verifies you have insurance coverage. If you ever get pulled over by the police, they will ask you to hand over your license, registration, and proof of insurance. A certificate of insurance states the amount of liability that your vehicle has as well as the length of time that the policy lasts. Failure to have proof of insurance could land you in legal trouble if you happen to get into an accident. Insurance is mandatory to have on all Canadian roads, no matter where you live. Due to this reason, it is important to know what your insurance certificate looks like.

What Does the Insurance Certificate Actually Look like?


If you happen to live in Ontario, your insurance certificate is definitely one that stands out. In Ontario, your insurance certificate is actually pink in color. However, depending on where you live in Canada, it can be white or another specialized provincial color. The paper is extremely easy to spot and in some provinces, you’re actually allowed to print the certificate of insurance off on your own.

How Do I Get a Certificate of Insurance?

Getting a certificate of insurance is very easy to do. When you purchase insurance, a certificate of insurance is issued. It is given to you at the same time as your other insurance documents. When you go to the service center to register a vehicle, you can get them to print off a temporary certificate of insurance. Your actual certificate of insurance should arrive a little bit later in the mail.

Do I Need to Keep My a Certificate of Insurance Handy?


Yes, you do need to keep your certificate of insurance handy. It is highly recommended that you keep a certificate of insurance in your vehicle or within your wallet. If you happen to get into an accident with someone else, you’re going to have to give your insurance company information. The only way that you can get this information is by having your certificate of insurance handy. If you do not have your certificate of insurance, you can face fines if you happen to be caught.

Is Insurance in My Province Public or Private?

There are a total of four Different Provinces in Canada that provide public auto insurance coverage. The rest of Canada allows you to be able to purchase insurance from any location that you desire. These four provinces include the likes of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Québec as well as British Columbia. If you happen to live in one of these provinces, there is basic auto insurance that is mandatory for you to purchase from the government. In other provinces, there are also minimum amounts of insurance that you must purchase. However, you are allowed to purchase that insurance from a third-party insurance company.

Does An Insurance Certificate Come On Anything Other Than Paper?

As technology increases, there are more government programs that are moving onto the Internet. Certificates of insurance will soon be available on the Internet. You can show them directly on your mobile device if you want to. The best part about this technology is that it actually saves car insurance providers money. They do not have to take the time to print off and mail paper slips to their clients. You would probably be surprised how much time and effort this takes up. As technology makes its way onto the market, you can expect to receive some kind of a discount from your insurance provider as a result of them not having to send out a pink slip.

When Is It Expected That Electronics Certificates of Insurance Will Come out?

Although nothing is certain, you should expect to see electronic certificates of insurance come out very soon. It was in 2017, in Ontario, Canada that the government announced the future rule changes to proof of insurance. In all likelihood, we should see some development in this area within the next year or so.

Benefits of an Electronic Certificate of Insurance

electronic certificate

There are a variety of benefits such as the elimination of paper by using an electronic certificate of insurance. Electronically showing proof of insurance makes it much harder for people to lose their insurance slips as well. Due to this reason alone, it is expected that there will be a reduction in the number of tickets issued. Currently, there are still a lot of tickets given to people who fail to show proof of insurance. The other main benefit for you is that it makes it extremely easy to check out your insurance policy to see when it expires. When a certificate of insurance is in paper form, most people don’t bother to look at it. However, if it is directly on their mobile device, it is in a much more user-friendly and accessible format to read over.

Cons of Electronic Proof of Insurance

It isn’t necessarily ideal to have electronic proof of insurance if you do not have a mobile phone. Due to this reason, insurance companies will still issue regular paper slips if you want them. The other problem arises if you start to have problems with your phone or if you lose your phone. When this occurs, you do not want someone else getting access to your insurance information. When letting someone else drive your vehicle around, it also becomes a bit of an issue. The other driver will likely need a copy of the insurance slip as well, which means that your insurance company is likely going to know exactly who is driving your vehicle at all times.

To Conclude

The ability to be able to verify your insurance coverage is extremely important. It is especially important when you get into an accident and another driver is involved. They will surely ask you for your insurance information. This information is extremely important to have when filing an insurance claim for both drivers involved. Remember, the limits of your coverage are listed directly on your certificate of insurance. Therefore, in the event of an accident, this is one of the first places that you should turn to if you need money to help recover.

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.