Purchasing car insurance in Ontario and Alberta has never been easier. Buying an insurance policy once involved visiting your insurance broker’s office or calling your insurance company. Technological advances now allow us to purchase coverage online with many insurance providers.
Whether you purchase your auto insurance policy online, by phone or in person, the process can be fast and easy, even for the most novice insurance buyer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How fast can I get car insurance?
Do I need insurance right away after buying a car?
Like many things related to insurance, there is a nuanced answer to this question.
If you already have an active car insurance policy, many policies contain a clause that provides you with 7-14 days of automatic coverage for a new vehicle. For example, suppose you purchase a car on the weekend, and your insurance company cannot change your policy to reflect the new vehicle. In that case, you can safely and legally drive the car during this period. So, before operating your new vehicle, check your insurance policy to confirm you have this coverage and how long it is in force.
Before relying on this coverage extension, know that only your current coverage transfers to your new car. So, if you replace an older car without collision or comprehensive insurance: your coverage won’t include this protection for your new ride either.
Suppose your new car is worth a lot more than your previous vehicle. In that case, you will only have collision or comprehensive insurance if you update your policy. Therefore, not updating your coverage can be costly if you’re in an accident or the new vehicle is stolen. You may want to upgrade your policy to protect your new vehicle better. For example, a depreciation waiver can cover a new car from depreciated value for 1-3 years.
Still, relying on this automatic coverage should only occur if you cannot contact your insurance professional to update your policy. If the police pull you over or an accident occurs, the lack of proper documentation can cause additional stress.
We always advise you to contact your insurance professional to make arrangements for any vehicle once you decide to purchase it: Ensuring you have coverage for your new car when you drive it off the lot. Having insurance in place means you will have a “pink” liability slip with the correct information to show the police if you get pulled over for a ticket or experience an accident. You also must show proof of insurance to register the vehicle with your province’s transportation ministry and get new license plates or stickers.
Does car insurance go into effect immediately?
When you purchase car insurance, you can pick when you want the coverage to begin. For example, if you have purchased a new vehicle, but it won’t be ready for a week or more, you can choose the day you pick the car up as your policy’s effective date.
Remember that a quote is not an auto insurance policy.
You’ll need your insurance professional to “bind” your coverage. Binding is an insurance term confirming that coverage is approved and that coverage is in force. You will usually receive a written confirmation outlining the vehicle’s protection that states the policy is “bound,” along with temporary pink slips.
Bound coverage is usually replaced with policy documents and permanent pink slips within a few weeks. Thanks to technology, some companies can issue permanent policy documents and pink slips immediately, skipping the need for temporary documents.
Can I insure a car the same day I bought it?
The insurance industry can quote and issue car insurance policies quickly in most cases. You can work with your insurance professional to create the perfect car insurance policy that fits your unique needs within an hour or two (sometimes even faster).
Your insurance professional will gather information on the new vehicle and the people driving it, discuss your coverage options, and make payment arrangements. Once the coverage is bound, they will mail, fax, or email your temporary or permanent pink slips and proof of coverage.
Insuring a car the same day you buy it is possible, providing you give your insurer time to gather information and issue your documents.
How fast can I get car insurance: How long does it take to insure a car in Canada?
The process of insuring a car in Canada can move fast with an experienced broker. Here are the main steps in the process of insuring a vehicle in Canada:
Get a quote – many companies allow you to get a quote online 24/7. As a result, most people can get a fast and accurate quote in minutes at aha insurance. The main exceptions to this speedy turnaround are drivers with serious traffic convictions such as driving under the influence and careless driving, multiple at-fault accidents, and vehicles over 20 years old or with modifications.
Choose coverage – while every vehicle needs at least the minimum legal insurance coverage, you can add additional protection or increase your coverage limits. In most cases, an insurance professional will speak to you to discuss the options available so that you can design a policy that meets your unique needs.
Make payment arrangements – Before a policy is issued, you’ll need to decide if you will pay the premium in one lump sum or monthly using a payment plan. For example, you may need to cover one or two months’ premium upfront.
Bind coverage – As mentioned above, your policy doesn’t come into force until it is bound. When you and your insurance professional are satisfied that all is in order, the broker will bind coverage and provide you with a written confirmation. They will also issue temporary pink slips by email or fax for use until your regular pink slips arrive by mail.
If you have all the pertinent information about the vehicle, such as:
- Make, model and year
- Vehicle information number (VIN)
- The location where you keep the vehicle
- Expected annual mileage
- How you’ll use the vehicle, such as business, commuting, leisure, etc.
You also need to provide information on the drivers of the vehicle, such as:
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number
- Previous tickets or at-fault accidents
- Whether they will be the primary driver or an occasional driver
When you purchase insurance online, you can usually buy a policy and have temporary documents within a couple of hours.
Can I get temporary car insurance in Canada?
In Canada, insurance policies usually cover a 12-month term. If you need insurance for a shorter period, you may need to purchase a 12-month policy and cancel the coverage when it is no longer needed. While this is a simple transaction, most companies will charge you a cancellation fee to end coverage early.
Suppose you need temporary car insurance for a different reason, such as borrowing or renting a vehicle or driving a car directly to a garage for maintenance. In that case, some available solutions do not require purchasing additional car insurance. Check out our article exploring short-term car insurance costs to learn about temporary coverage.