Ontario has a graduated licencing program comprising three levels. The first step is obtaining a G1 licence, which is available to new drivers aged 16 and older. As a G1 driver, you must be insured to get behind the wheel (please note that driving is only legal once you’ve successfully passed the written G1 test).
However, given that this is your first foray into the world of driving, you might be wondering how to purchase car insurance, whether you can carry your own insurance, and what kind of coverage you need. Fear not - we answer all of your burning questions below. Keep reading to learn more about car insurance for G1 drivers below.
How does Ontario’s graduated licensing system work
To help you understand car insurance for G1 drivers, we break down Ontario’s graduated licensing system below:
- Level one: After successfully passing a written test that covers knowledge of the road, a driver can obtain a G1 license.
- Level two: The G1 driver will be granted a G2 licence once they successfully complete a road test. Between the G1 and G2 tests, the G1 driver must practice their driving skills with a driver with at least four years of driving experience and has the option of enrolling in an approved driving course (which can shorten the required time between each level from twelve months to eight months).
- Level three: When a G2 driver passes a second road test, which includes highway driving, they will earn their full G licence.
How can a driver obtain a G1 license?
To be eligible for a G1 licence , three conditions need to be met: the person must be at least 16 years of age, they must pass a basic eye test, and they must pass a short written test. The prospective G1 driver can take the eye and written tests at any DriveTest Centre in Ontario. Tests can be booked online or over the phone.
On the day of the test, you will need to provide proof of identity using any of the following documents: a passport (both Canadian and foreign passports are accepted), an Indian status card, an Ontario photo card, a permanent resident card, a study permit, or a citizenship photo card.
What happens after I pass my G1 test?
Once you’ve passed your G1 test, the next step is to obtain car insurance. As a G1 driver, you cannot purchase your own car insurance. Rather, you must be added to another person’s policy. Another step after passing your G1 test is to start preparing for your G2 road test by practicing your driving skills. The G2 test is a road test, and it is necessary if you want to progress through Ontario’s graduated licencing program and obtain a complete licence (also known as a G licence).
How soon after passing my G1 test can I book my G2 test?
According to Ontario law, you are only eligible to take the G2 road test one year after you obtained your G1. However, this time frame is shortened to eight months if you enrol in an approved driving course. Enrolling in an approved driving school offers many benefits to young drivers such as saving you money on car insurance and driving with an experienced teacher instead of a family member.
What restrictions do G1 licence holders have?
While G1 licences allow you to legally get behind the wheel in Ontario, they come with many restrictions. G1 drivers must be aware of these restrictions to ensure they obey the law at all times. As the lowest class of driver’s licence in Ontario, G1 drivers face the following limitations:
- You cannot drive with any alcohol or drugs in your system (your blood alcohol level must be zero).
- You cannot drive alone. An accompanying driver must sit in the front passenger seat and hold a valid G licence. They must also have a minimum of four years of driving experience and a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of less than .05%.
- Each person in the vehicle must have a working seatbelt.
- You cannot drive on 400-series highways or high-speed roads with a posted speed limit of over 80 km/h unless you are accompanied by a certified driving instructor.
- You cannot drive between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
Does a G1 require car insurance?
Yes, G1 drivers, like all drivers, require car insurance to drive in Ontario. One key difference for G1 drivers is that they can’t carry their own car insurance coverage. As such, they need to be covered by another driver’s coverage (a driver that holds a full and valid licence themselves). This person is usually a parent or guardian of the G1 driver. To add a G1 driver to your policy, you will need to notify your insurance provider or broker. You will also need to notify them when the G1 driver graduates to a valid G2 licence holder.
How much does insurance cost for G1 drivers in Ontario?
The cost of car insurance for G1 drivers in Ontario varies. Even though the G1 driver is being added to an existing driver’s policy, it can still be costly. An insurance company will weigh various factors when determining premiums. However, since G1 drivers tend to have little to no experience behind the wheel, G1 car insurance is usually expensive.
Car insurance rates by licence type
There’s no getting around it - young drivers tend to pay the highest car insurance premiums in Ontario. That said, the cost of car insurance changes as a driver makes their way through the graduated licensing system. As you progress through the system, your insurance rates are likely to go down. Generally speaking, drivers can expect to pay 10% less when they go from a G1 to a G2 licence holder, and another 10% less when they graduate from a G2 licence to a G licence.
How can a G1 driver save money on an auto insurance policy?
New drivers pay the highest premiums for car insurance in the province. This is due to the fact that they have little to no driving experience, which makes them a riskier investment in the eyes of the insurance company. While G1 car insurance might still be costlier than G-level policies, there are ways to minimize its cost.
First, registering in an approved driving school is one way to save money. Many insurance companies offer insurance discounts to G1 drivers that have enrolled in and completed an approved driving course. Meanwhile, a G1 driver can also save money on car insurance by driving safely and responsibly and obeying the rules of the road. Doing so will lead to a clean driving record which is your best bet at keeping premiums low.
To learn more about how you can save money on car insurance , contact BrokerLink. As auto insurance experts, we know the ins and outs of the industry and can let you in on our tips for saving money on car insurance.
Compulsory auto insurance for G1 drivers
Car insurance is mandatory for all drivers in Ontario, whether they hold G1, G2, or G licences. Like all other Canadian provinces and territories, Ontario has its own unique set of mandatory coverage requirements for car insurance. Third party liability coverage, direct compensation - property damage coverage, uninsured automobile coverage, and accident benefits coverage are all mandatory components of car insurance in Ontario. Therefore, G1 drivers must ensure their policies meet these minimum standards. We break down each type of compulsory auto insurance coverage for G1 drivers below:
Third party liability coverage
Third party liability coverage provides legal protection if you injure someone or cause property damage to another person’s property on the road. This type of coverage can help pay for medical expenses associated with bodily injuries or repairs of damaged cars, as well as any applicable legal fees and settlements up to the coverage limit. In Ontario, G1 drivers are required to hold a minimum of $200,000 in third party liability coverage at all times.
Direct compensation - property damage coverage
Direct compensation - property damage coverage protects an insured vehicle and its contents against property damage, so long as the policyholder is not at fault for the collision that caused said damage. Under this type of coverage, the insurance provider typically pays for the repair or replacement of your car directly. Note that to be eligible for direct compensation coverage, the collision must meet the following circumstances: it occurred in Ontario, it involved more than one vehicle, and it involved at least one vehicle that participates in the province’s car insurance program.
Uninsured automobile coverage
Uninsured automobile coverage is designed to protect you and any passengers in your vehicle if you get into a collision with an at-fault driver who is either uninsured or underinsured. This type of coverage can also protect the policyholder in the event of a hit-and-run.
Accident benefits coverage
If you, a passenger, or a pedestrian requires medical attention following a collision, accident benefits coverage can help. This type of coverage is provided no matter who was at fault for the accident and it can help cover a wide range of medical expenses like prescription medications, physical therapy, or rehabilitation, as well as loss of income.
Optional car insurance for G1 drivers
The four coverages listed above are the only types that are mandatory for G1 drivers. That said, there are optional coverages available to G1 drivers that might be worthwhile. From collision coverage to accident benefits coverage, check out some of the most popular additional coverages available to G1 drivers in Ontario:
If you get into an accident with another vehicle or object on the road, no matter who is at fault for the accident, collision coverage can help cover the costs. Under the collision coverage section of your policy, you can receive compensation to help pay for any property damage that resulted from the accident, such as a damaged car.
G1 drivers may find comprehensive coverage worthwhile. This optional type of coverage protects against a wide range of circumstances other than collisions. Sometimes referred to as parked car insurance, comprehensive coverage will compensate you in the event of damage caused by an insured peril. Examples of insured perils are theft, vandalism, water damage, fire, riots, falling objects, and more.
Accident forgiveness coverage
One final type of optional car insurance coverage popular among G1 drivers is accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness is additional coverage that can be added to your car insurance policy as an endorsement, to protect your driving record and to help prevent your insurance premium from increasing if you have an at-fault accident claim.
Note: coverage varies by province.
BrokerLink can help you find the right car insurance for G1 drivers
Want great car insurance coverage at an affordable rate? Contact BrokerLink today. Since 1991, we have helped Ontario drivers find quality car insurance policies. Whether you recently obtained your G1 licence or have held a G licence for decades, we will ensure you find the coverage you need at a competitive price.
Get started now by giving us a call, sending us an email, or visiting us in person at one of BrokerLink’s many locations throughout Canada. You can also request a free G1 driver car insurance quote using our online quote tool. Simply answer a few questions about yourself and the vehicle you drive and you can receive an accurate, no-obligation quote in minutes.
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