Is truck insurance mandatory in Canada?
Yes, truck insurance is mandatory in every Canadian province and territory. That said, the specific coverage requirements vary by province. The following list is made up of the four types of mandatory truck insurance in Ontario:
- Third party liability coverage
- Direct compensation - property damage coverage
- Accident benefits coverage
- Uninsured automobile coverage
Can I drive without truck insurance in Canada?
No, it is illegal for truck drivers to drive without insurance anywhere in Canada. A valid insurance policy is one that meets the minimum coverage requirements in the province you reside in. Failure to comply with these requirements, such as by not purchasing truck insurance and driving anyway, is a serious offence. The following is a list of consequences for driving a truck without insurance in Ontario:
- A fine of $5,000 to $25,000 for a first offence and a 25% surcharge
- A fine of $10,000 to $50,000 for a second offence and a 25% surcharge
- The suspension of your Ontario driver’s licence for anywhere from 30 to 365 days
- Your truck being impounded for up to three months
Mandatory truck insurance
Auto insurance is mandatory for all drivers in Canada, whether you drive a truck, van, or car. Using Ontario as an example, the BrokerLink team has laid out the four types of mandatory coverage below. You can find out more about personal truck insurance requirements and fleet insurance requirements in your province by contacting BrokerLink:
Third party liability coverage
Liability insurance is a legal requirement in Ontario and beyond. It protects a truck driver that gets into an accident when they are deemed to be at fault for the accident in question. If you are liable for a collision, it is the third party liability insurance portion of your policy that will help pay for costs like legal fees, including defense and settlement fees, medical expenses if someone is injured in the collision, and repair bills if someone’s vehicle or other property is damaged. In Ontario, truck insurance policies must feature a minimum of $200,000 in liability coverage.
Accident benefits coverage
Accident benefits coverage covers the cost of medical attention if you are involved in a collision that results in bodily injury. Under this section of your truck insurance policy, you can be reimbursed for medical expenses incurred by you or someone else who was affected by the accident, like the other driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian. Accident benefits coverage usually kicks in when health insurance coverage ends.
Direct compensation - property damage coverage
Direct compensation - property damage coverage is another key element of truck insurance policies. This coverage pertains to property damage. For example, if your truck is dented in an accident, you can seek compensation for the cost of repairs under this portion of your policy.
Uninsured automobile coverage
Uninsured automobile coverage is a compulsory type of truck insurance that will cover the cost if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have auto insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the cost of the damage done. Uninsured automobile coverage can also compensate you for the cost of damage if you get into a hit and run with an unidentified driver.
Extra truck insurance coverage
Third party liability insurance, accident benefits insurance, direct compensation - property damage insurance, and uninsured automobile insurance may be mandatory, but that doesn’t mean they are the only types of truck insurance coverage available to policyholders. Truck drivers may be pleased to learn of several other types of coverage that they can add to their policies. By adding any of the optional coverages to your truck insurance plan, you will benefit from greater protection in the event of losses or damages:
Collision coverage will help pay to repair your truck if you get into an accident with another vehicle or object while driving, no matter whether you were at fault for the accident or not.
Comprehensive coverage is another type of optional coverage that many truck owners choose to purchase. It can safeguard your truck against all kinds of risks, like theft, collisions with animals, and damage caused by vandalism, windstorms, water damage, fire, falling objects, and more. Keep in mind that with comprehensive truck insurance, you will only be covered for the perils named in your policy, so be sure to choose these carefully.
Accident forgiveness coverage
One final type of optional truck insurance coverage popular among drivers is accident forgiveness coverage. 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.
Loss of use coverage
If your truck is damaged and you cannot drive it for a set period of time, loss of use coverage can help you out until your truck is repaired. With this type of coverage in your policy, you can be reimbursed for the cost of temporary alternate transportation, like ride shares, public transit, or a rental car.
Commercial auto insurance
Commercial auto insurance is one last type of coverage that may apply, depending on your situation. It is only mandatory if you use your truck for business purposes. Even if your truck is used for a mix of personal and business reasons, you will still need to purchase commercial auto insurance. This is because personal truck insurance does not cover business use, so if a loss occurred while you were driving your truck for work, your claim would likely be denied. Please note that business use constitutes any commercial purpose of the vehicle other than commuting. This includes but is not limited to transporting materials, visiting customers’ or clients’ homes, transporting clients or customers and delivering items.
Truck insurance cost breakdown
Anyone that is considering purchasing truck insurance likely wants to know how much it will cost them. The best way to discover this is to contact a local insurance broker for a free quote. Luckily, BrokerLink offers free truck insurance quotes to all Canadian drivers. The truck insurance experts at BrokerLink can not only provide you with a free quote but also explain why your quote is what it is. They can do this by breaking down the various factors that insurance companies use to calculate premiums. Below is a brief list of factors that impact truck insurance costs in Canada:
- Where you live (and where you regularly commute)
- Model, make, and year of vehicle
- Past claims
- Average mileage
- Driving experience
- Driving record
- Insurance history
- Deductible amount
- Regulatory bodies
- How you use your vehicle
How to save money on truck insurance in Canada
Minimize how much money you spend on truck insurance by taking advantage of the tips below. BrokerLink wants to make truck insurance affordable for all, which is why our team put our heads together to come up with the following list of effective money-saving tips:
Drive less often and receive an occasional driver discount
Annual mileage is another factor that impacts truck insurance rates in Canada. The lower your annual mileage, the cheaper your rates are likely to be. Depending on how low they are, you might even be eligible for occasional driver insurance. Contact BrokerLink to learn more about the benefits that come with being categorized as an occasional driver. We can also offer tips on how to keep your mileage down.
Benefit from the safety and savings that winter tires offer
A winter tire discount is one of the most popular truck insurance discounts in Canada. These discounts are offered in several provinces across the country. To qualify, you must meet your insurance company’s conditions, though in many cases, these conditions are basic, like having the tires installed by a certain date each year. Winter tire discounts have multiple benefits as not only do they lower your truck insurance premium but they also make your vehicle safer to drive during the cold, snowy months of the year.
Bundle truck insurance policies
Insurance bundles can garner customers a serious discount on truck insurance. Reach out to BrokerLink to learn more about which insurance companies in Canada offer bundles for truck insurance. Keep in mind that in many cases, you don't have to purchase two or more of the same type of insurance to qualify. You can combine products, purchasing one truck insurance plan and one car insurance plan or one truck insurance plan and one home insurance plan, etc.
Outfit your truck with an anti-theft device
Anti-theft devices minimize the odds of your truck being stolen, and in turn, an insurance agent may offer you a discount. If you are interested in an anti-theft device discount, contact BrokerLink. One of our insurance advisors can explain the conditions that must be met to qualify.
Select higher truck insurance deductibles
The deductibles you select for your truck insurance policy matter. They have the ability to significantly raise or lower your premium. Before buying truck insurance, assess your financial situation to determine how much money you could afford to pay if you suffer a loss. The maximum amount you are comfortable paying is the amount that you should choose for your deductible. The higher you are willing to go, the lower your truck insurance premium will be. If you can only afford low deductibles, you should expect your truck insurance rates to be more expensive.
Don’t miss your truck insurance payments
Forgetting to pay for your truck insurance plan or making delayed payments can result in an insurance premium increase - or worse, your policy being cancelled. Thus, make it a priority to make all of your truck insurance payments on time. If you often forget to pay your bills, consider enrolling in a yearly payment schedule so you only have one payment deadline to keep track of. If you prefer a monthly payment plan, set reminders for yourself in advance of the deadline each month. If you are falling behind on your truck insurance payments for financial reasons, contact your insurance company right away. They might be able to arrange an alternate payment plan that can help you stay on top of payments without impacting your premium or running the risk of a lapse in coverage.
Get help from a truck insurance specialist at BrokerLink
Enlist the help of someone who knows truck insurance like the back of their hand: a BrokerLink insurance advisor. A BrokerLink insurance broker is a great resource to have at your disposal when shopping for truck insurance. They can help you keep costs down and find a policy that covers personal use of your truck, business use of your truck, or both!
Contact BrokerLink to find quality truck insurance coverage near you
Do you want to find out more about truck insurance in Canada? BrokerLink is here to answer your questions. Our licensed insurance experts will help you navigate the world of truck insurance. We can make coverage recommendations, explain what kind of policy is best for your specific truck, and help you update it as needed. In other words, we are your one-stop shop for all things insurance. Come to us with any questions or concerns, and we will help. Of course, we also offer free truck insurance quotes to all customers. To request a free quote, reach out to us in one of the following three ways: by phone, online, or in person at one of BrokerLink’s insurance offices. You will receive a free quote in minutes.
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FAQs on truck insurance
Can I get a free truck insurance quote?
Yes. Insurance brokers and companies across Canada offer free insurance quotes to customers, and that includes quotes for car insurance, motorcycle insurance, truck insurance, home insurance, business insurance, pet insurance, and more.
Where can I find truck insurance in Canada?
Truck insurance can be purchased directly through an insurance agent or with help from an insurance broker. Both insurance agents and insurance brokers are licensed professionals.
If I get into an accident in my truck, how long will it stay on my driving record?
It depends on where the accident occurs. In Ontario, accidents remain on driving records for an average of six years. Depending on the circumstances of the accidents - namely whether you were at fault for it or not - your rates may increase as a result. However, if you have accident forgiveness coverage included with your policy, your rates may not rise due to the accident, however there is no guarantee that your rates will not increase.
If my wallet is stolen from my truck, does insurance cover me?
If your wallet is stolen from your truck, it is highly unlikely that your truck insurance policy will cover you. Even the most comprehensive truck insurance policies do not usually cover personal items that are stolen from your vehicle. Only permanent fixtures, like your truck’s steering wheel or a previously-installed stereo system, would be covered, if your policy features comprehensive coverage. If a personal belonging, like a wallet, laptop, or smartphone were to be stolen from your truck while it was parked at your home, it might be covered by your home insurance plan depending on your policy. It is also worth noting that while comprehensive coverage does not cover the theft of personal belongings from your truck, it will likely cover you in the event that your truck itself is stolen.
What optional types of insurance coverage are worth considering for truck drivers?
A few types of optional insurance coverage that drivers of trucks may want to consider adding to their policies include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, accident forgiveness coverage, loss of use coverage, and roadside assistance coverage. Remember that if you drive your truck for commercial purposes as well as personal purposes, you must purchase a commercial auto insurance add-on.
How do I renew my truck insurance policy?
Renewing a truck insurance policy is easy, especially if you are enrolled in automatic renewals. Automatic renewals are a convenient option for many policyholders. They work like this: Rather than your policy being cancelled at the end of the term, it is renewed for another term. This helps customers avoid a gap in coverage, which can lead to increased rates. If you are not signed up for automatic renewals with your insurance provider, renewing your policy is still relatively simple. Find a way to get in touch with your insurer - either by phone, online, or in person - and explain that you would like to renew your policy. They should be able to help you out quickly and easily. Before renewing your truck insurance plan, read through it to refresh your memory and double-check if it still contains adequate coverage for your needs. Renewal periods are an excellent opportunity to update your policy as needed.
Do I need a valid driver’s licence to buy truck insurance in Canada?
Yes. You will not be able to purchase truck insurance or even register your truck with your provincial regulatory body unless you can show a copy of a valid driver’s licence. Thus, you must obtain a valid driver’s licence before purchasing insurance.
Am I covered if I drive my truck in another province?
You might be. It depends on the circumstances under which you are driving your truck in another province. If you are only temporarily visiting another province, such as driving from British Columbia to Alberta for a one-week vacation, your truck insurance plan will cover you. But if you are moving to a new province, you will need to notify your insurance provider and purchase a new plan. Since insurance policies and regulations are dependent on where you live, a change of address, especially if it also involves a change of province, can impact your rates and the types of coverage you need. Failing to notify your insurance provider of a move can lead to a cancelled or voided policy.
What happens if I drive without truck insurance?
Driving any kind of vehicle without auto insurance is a serious offence, no matter where you live in Canada. The consequences of driving a truck without a valid insurance policy may include fines worth tens of thousands of dollars, jail time, the impounding of your vehicle, and the suspension of your driver’s licence for up to a year.
Will a friend be covered if I let them borrow my truck?
If you gave your friend permission to drive your truck, they have a valid driver’s licence, and they are not listed as an excluded person on your policy, then yes, they will be covered by your insurance if they borrow your truck. Truck insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. When you lend your vehicle, you are also lending your insurance.
If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.
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