If you are going to own a car in Canada you must purchase insurance. It's illegal to drive without it. Follow these few simple steps and you'll find that it's easy to get the right insurance for the right price.
1. Get a letter of experience from your previous insurance company
If you can, get a letter from the company who insured you where you used to live. Make sure it is on the company's letterhead and that it is the original copy. Some Canadian insurance companies may consider your insurance experience when they determine your rates. The more experience you have, the lower your rates. Some insurance companies may accept your letter as proof, but they are not obliged to recognize any foreign insurance experience.
Learn more about what's in a Letter of Experience.
2. You must have a valid Canadian driver's licence.
Most Canadian insurance companies won't provide coverage for people with international licences, so it's important that you get your Canadian driver's licence before you start shopping for insurance.
3. Shop around for the best insurance rates.
Unless you are moving to British Columbia, Saskatchewan or Manitoba where insurance is provided by government agencies, you have a long list of insurance companies to choose from. Each company sets its own insurance rates, so you have to shop around to find the one that has the lowest price for you. The best advice is to compare quotes. You can do that online with the Kanetix.ca's car insurance quote comparison service.
4. Insurance experience
Even though you may have been driving for years and have had previous insurance in another country, most insurance companies will consider you a new driver when determining your insurance rates. The exception here is the United States. Since driving conditions across the border are similar to Canada, insurance companies will often give you credit for having a clean American driving record.
If you are comparing quotes through Kanetix.ca, and you are coming to Canada from anywhere outside of the U.S., consider yourself a new driver with no insurance experience. Once you know what company offers the best rates for you, give us a call. We can put you in touch with the insurance company of your choice so you can discuss if they will give you credit for your previous insurance experience.
5. Arrange for your coverage
Once you have made your decision and selected an insurance company, you need to arrange to purchase your insurance coverage. Some insurance companies will let you set up your insurance, and make payment arrangements over the phone. Others require you to send in signed documents and may even require a deposit to begin your coverage. It's best to allow at least two to three weeks before you want the insurance to start in order to make sure you have enough time to complete any necessary paperwork.
Once you have compared quotes and you want to purchase insurance from one of the companies on the Kanetix comparison tool, just give us a call! We'll put you in touch with the company of your choice to arrange for your coverage - it's that easy!
6. Keep your insurance documents with you
Your insurance company will send your insurance documents to you in the mail. The package should include your official policy wording and a wallet-sized card. This card is usually pink and is considered your "proof of insurance." Make sure you keep the card with you at all times when you are driving. If you are stopped by the police and you do not have your "proof of insurance" card with you, you may receive a ticket and that fine could affect your insurance rates in the future.
Government insurance agencies
If you are moving to British Columbia, Saskatchewan or Manitoba, your insurance choice is simple. You have to purchase insurance from a government insurance provider in that province. Currently, Kanetix.ca does not provide insurance quotes for these government agencies. For more information, check their websites:British Columbia: