Ontario is known for growing some pretty delicious apples, but there are some other perks that come with living here. Insurance. Ontario is one of the provinces in Canada that subscribes to the “no-fault” insurance system, which means your own insurance company will pay out your benefits regardless of who caused the accident. This saves you from the hassle of pursuing another party’s insurance company to get compensated.
This also means that you don’t need traveler’s car insurance while driving in the Unite States, most of the time. Nice.
But if you’re a sucker for a good road trip and tend to venture outside Ontario, let’s take a closer look at a few things you should know about your car insurance when you cross the border.
Insurance in Ontario
It’s usually wise to get “uninsured automobile coverage.” This coverage protects insured Ontario drivers and certain family members up to the limit of their own insurance liability coverage in the event that an accident is caused by another driver that has no insurance coverage.
This is particularly important because even though liability insurance is required by law across Canada (with varying limits), some parts of the United States don’t require it.
Can you drive in other provinces with a learner’s permit?
It may depend on the province in which you plan to drive. Every province has their own rules of the road (and licenses to follow them), so you should call up the provincial ministry of transportation before rolling out.
You can find those ministries here:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Prince Edward Island
Fully licensed drivers (i.e. holding a G license) with two years of experience can transfer their licenses between provinces quite easily. Parents should have no trouble transferring their licenses as a result, even if a child with a G1 (Ontario learner’s permit) needs to start from the beginning of the driver’s education process.
Driving outside Canada
Insuring Canadian drivers travelling in the United States is par for the course for the Canadian insurance industry, so you won’t need traveler’s car insurance if you’re just a little south of the 49th parallel. Just be sure to double-check with your provider before setting out. You always want to have a written record of it on hand, if only for peace of mind. Just print it off and keep it in your car in case you ever need it.
If you happen to be involved in a collision while travelling in the United States, report the accident to your insurance company just as if you were at home, and contact the police to file a report.
If your insurance company does not provide any preferred auto shops, it’s a good idea to take your vehicle to a nearby dealership that represents your brand. And of course, if anyone is hurt, call 9-1-1 right away.
Driving outside Canada & the USA
If you’re planning on driving to Mexico, then you might need traveler’s car insurance. Note that your insurance coverage will cease the moment you cross the Mexican border. Check out your options for travel insurance and short-term car insurance.
Some credit cards even offer guaranteed travel insurance for the first 7 or 10 days abroad, so you might even have short-term coverage at your fingertips already. Just make sure you get clear written coverage or confirmation from your insurance provider.
Whether you’re a driving enthusiast or you’re looking for a cost-effective way to vacation remember the rules of driving safely are universal, but insurance policies are a little more personalized.