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Guide to car insurance when moving to a new province

Published on Apr 11, 2021 | Last updated Apr 9, 2021 5 minute read

Guide to car insurance when moving to a new province

There are many factors to consider when it comes to moving, such as renting a moving truck and getting packing boxes ready. Insurance is another factor to consider. In addition to protecting belongings from being damaged, moving to another province also means – among other things – getting a new address and licence plate number, which directly ties into insurance.

Insurance regulations differ all over Canada. Some provinces require things that others don’t. Before your move, it’s important to educate yourself on the insurance laws in your new province.

How auto insurance differs between Canadian provinces

British Columbia

Is insurance provided by the government? Yes.

What is the mandatory coverage?

  • Third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured automobile protection
  • Hit and run
  • Inverse liability protection

Alberta

Is insurance provided by the government? No.

What is the mandatory coverage?

  • Third-party liability
  • Accident benefits

Read our blog post for more information on how to register and insurance your car in Alberta.

Saskatchewan

Is insurance provided by the government? Yes.

What is the mandatory coverage?

  • Property damage
  • Personal injury
  • Third-party liability

Manitoba

Is insurance provided by the government? Yes.

What is the mandatory coverage?

  • Third-party liability
  • Personal injury
  • All perils (collision, comprehensive)

Ontario

Is insurance provided by the government? No.

What is the mandatory coverage?

  • Third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured automobile protection
  • Direct Compensation – Property damage

Quebec

Is insurance provided by the government? Yes, but only accident benefits.

What is the mandatory coverage?

  • Accident benefits
  • Civil liability
  • Personal injury
  • Property damage

Newfoundland and Labrador

Is insurance provided by the government? No.

What is the mandatory coverage?

  • Third-party liability
  • Uninsured automobile protection

New Brunswick

Is insurance provided by the government? No.

What is the mandatory coverage?

  • Third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured automobile protection
  • Direct Compensation – Property damage

Prince Edward Island

Is insurance provided by the government? No.

What is the mandatory coverage?

  • Third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured automobile protection
  • Direct Compensation – Property damage

Nova Scotia

Is insurance provided by the government? No.

What is the mandatory coverage?

  • Third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured automobile protection
  • Hit and run
  • Direct Compensation – Property damage

Things to do before you move

Here are a few things you’ll need to do before your move, for a smooth experience when it comes to obtaining car insurance.

Get a claims experience letter

A claims experience letter from an insurance provider details your insurance history. Because a customer is unlikely to have an insurance record in their new home province, a claims experience letter is necessary. Having the letter ready for the insurance provider in the new province allows for a quick and easy transition.

Receiving a claims experience letter usually takes one week. A BrokerLink broker can request the letter on the customer’s behalf or they can directly contact their insurance provider.

Get a copy of your driver’s abstract

Your new insurance company may request a copy of your driver’s abstract so obtain one in advance. It’s a lot easier to get it before you move than once you’ve already settled in.

You should get this in addition to the letter of experience because there are differences between the two documents. A driver’s abstract may include details like your:

  • Driver’s license number, license class, license 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

Public vs. 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 are moving 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. They also might not offer you the cheapest rate in your new province. This is why we recommend you take the time to explore your options and compare multiple quotes using a broker.

Need help with auto insurance?

To ensure all insurance details are taken care of before moving to another province, it’s important to contact a BrokerLink broker. While they may not help with the packing process, their expert advice is like the bubble wrap for breakable objects – it protects what is important for our customers. From start to finish, our brokers handle the legwork to make sure you walk away satisfied.

It's easy to get in touch with BrokerLink:

Guide to getting car insurance when moving provinces FAQs

How often should I shop for a new car insurance policy?

We recommend that you review your insurance policy at renewal to ensure you understand your coverage and that you have the maximum amount you need. (Unless you have a big life change like moving or getting married.) A broker can help you find the best policy to fit your individual needs.

Why does a change of address make my car insurance higher?

Where you live plays a big role in the price of your car insurance. Because of this, moving can impact how much you pay. This is because every city and town has different risk factors. Some places may have higher crime rates, or higher accident rates, which is all considered when determining car insurance prices.

What does inverse liability protection mean?

Inverse liability protection is a type of coverage provided by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. This coverage protects you in parts of Canada where local laws don't let you claim against a person who caused a crash. If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, 100 per cent of repair costs will be covered (unless you were partly responsible for the crash). For example, if you were 25 per cent responsible, you'll receive 75 per cent of the cost of repairing your car. To find out more information about inverse liability protection, please speak with an insurance advisor in your province.