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.