How to Get Car Insurance in a New Canadian Province or Territory

Moving from one region of Canada to another involves a lot of planning, including transferring your driver’s licence, vehicle registration, and licence plates to the province or territory where you will live. Moving to a different part of the country also involves getting car insurance for your new address.

Here are some things to think about to help make getting auto insurance in a new province or territory easier:

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Before Moving: Get a Letter of Experience and Driver’s Abstract

Before you move, contact your current insurance company and request a letter of experience. That document will provide information about your insurance history with your current insurer including the time insured, if the policy was cancelled, and a record of all claims filed against the policy. Additionally, it should show the same information for previous policies held in the same province.

It's also a good idea to get a copy of your driver’s abstract. Your new insurance company may request this information, and it is a lot easier to get it before you move. There are differences between a driver's abstract and a letter of experience, which is why it is helpful to get both before you go. A driver's abstract may include details like your:

  • Driver's licence number, licence class, licence status and expiry date
  • Date of birth, gender, and height
  • Present and previous addresses
  • Any conditions, restrictions, and due dates for medical exams (for commercial drivers)
  • Beginner driver education course completion date
  • Date of any convictions and current demerit points total
  • Earliest licensed date available as well as replacements, renewals, and class changes

A letter of experience, meanwhile, concerns your insurance history, rather than your driving record and may include:

  • Previous cancellations by an insurer
  • Collisions
  • Claims history
  • Length of time you have been continuously insured

The following links will help you find the information you need to get your driver's abstract or record in your current province or territory:

After Moving: Licensing and Vehicle Registration

You will also need to exchange your driver's licence and register your vehicle in your new province or territory. Most provinces and territories give you up to 90 days to switch your licence and register your vehicle after relocating to their respective regions:

Public and Private Auto Insurance

If you are moving to British Columbia, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba, your insurance choice is simple. You have to purchase car insurance from the government insurance provider in that province.

If you move to any other province or territory, you have options to choose which private insurer you want to provide you with auto insurance coverage. The company that insured you where you lived previously may not provide insurance where you are moving to or they might not offer you the cheapest rate, so take the time to explore your options by comparing quotes.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to look into what your options are for affordable home insurance, condo insurance, or tenant insurance no matter where in Canada you live.

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