If you are planning to become a licensed driver in the province of Ontario, Canada, you must become familiar with not only the rules of the road but also Ontario car insurance laws.
Ontario requires that every motorist has valid auto insurance. You can be fined for not carrying valid auto insurance, and the fines can range from $5,000 to as much as $50,000. You can also have your licence suspended, or your vehicle may be impounded.
Anyone who is convicted of driving without auto insurance faces the risk of higher premiums from insurance companies in the future. Many insurers consider these drivers to be high-risk and can charge them higher premiums or may even refuse to sell them insurance.
There are also great risks if you are involved in a car accident in Ontario while in an uninsured vehicle. If you are found to be at fault, you may be held responsible for the medical costs of the person you injured or have to pay them compensation. If the other driver was at fault, you may be blocked from suing them or claiming your own compensation if you do not have auto insurance.
To avoid these risky scenarios, it is wise to purchase auto insurance as soon as possible. Auto insurance can normally be purchased from a licensed insurance broker or agent. To find a good insurance agent or broker, ask family and friends if they can recommend their broker to you. You can also search online or contact the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario or the Insurance Bureau of Canada for a list of certified brokers and agents near you.
When choosing your agent or broker, ensure that they are properly licensed. You should also inquire about their rates since many insurance companies sell different policies, and the rates can vary greatly from one company to another. A good rule of thumb is to obtain at least three separate quotes from different brokers and agents so that you can compare them.
You should also ask the broker or agent about the company’s policy on at-fault claims and the circumstances under which they would not renew your insurance. Many insurers have accident forgiveness provisions in their policies; however, it’s important to remember that insurers cannot use a minor accident occurring on or after June 1, 2016, as a cause to increase your premium if the accident meets certain criteria (namely, that there were no injuries and the damages were less than $2,000).
When purchasing your auto insurance, remember that choosing the cheapest insurance policy available may not always be the wisest option. You should shop around to compare their services, as well as the prices.
Whether you buy your policy from an agent or broker, you should always feel comfortable with the purchase. Select an insurance broker or agent who will answer your questions fully and explain everything to you. Make sure that they can be reached in an emergency to answer your questions or to help you file a claim.
If you get hurt in a crash that was caused by someone else, you can also file a personal injury claim seeking compensation by working with an experienced Ontario injury lawyer, such as those at the Mirian Law Firm.