As a new driver in Ontario, there are several documents that you need to obtain before hitting the road for the first time. Some of these things include a valid driver's license (G2 or G class), proof of registration and car insurance.
Although all of these are equally important, many drivers in Ontario still choose to drive without car insurance.
When it comes to driving without insurance Ontario has stringent laws that need to be followed and respected — failing to follow these rules can result in serious (and expensive) consequences.
Continue reading to learn why driving without car insurance in Ontario is a bad idea.
Do you need help finding car insurance quotes in Ontario?
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Why do drivers need car insurance in Ontario?
You likely know that car insurance is required by law in Ontario — but why?
Well, the law stems from the idea that if all drivers have car insurance, then everyone has access to financial support in the event of a collision or similar accident.
Getting financial support allows you to cover repair or replacement costs related to the accident. Furthermore, drivers can use financial aid to pay for medical or rehabilitation-related expenses.
So, even though you may feel like car insurance is just an additional cost, it helps you protect yourself (and others) in the long run.
Consequences of driving without car insurance in Ontario
Although driving without insurance isn't a criminal offence in Ontario, it is an offence under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act of Ontario. Because of this classification, drivers that are caught driving without insurance will not face any criminal charges (i.e. jail time). Still, they will likely face a number of hefty fines and penalties.
As mentioned above, drivers have to pay a large fine for driving without insurance Ontario.
This begs the question, "what is the fine for driving without insurance in Ontario?" and we're happy to share that information with you.
The size of the fine that you'll receive for driving without insurance in Ontario depends on how many prior offences you have. In the event of a first offence, you'll likely be required to pay a fine ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. To make matters worse, drivers that obtain two violations can receive a fine ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.
So, unless you have tens of thousands of dollars to spare, we highly recommend not driving without insurance in Ontario.
Loss of privileges and misc. penalties
You've likely heard people say that "driving is a privilege, not a right", and they are correct. We are extremely lucky to have the privilege to use vehicles to make our lives easier. That's why the Ontario government has such severe repercussions for drivers that don't follow the rules of the road.
If you get caught driving without auto insurance in Ontario, you will likely face the following consequences:
- Suspension of driver's license (for up to one year from the date of the event)
- Your vehicle can be impounded for up to three months
- Surcharge fee due to the Provincial Offence Act (generally 25% of the total fine)
No financial support
As mentioned earlier, car insurance ensures that drivers are financially protected after getting into an accident.
However, if you get into a collision while driving without insurance, you won't receive any financial support (even if you aren't deemed at fault).
On the other hand, if you have collision insurance, you will receive all or a portion of your vehicle's repair/replacement cost, meaning that you don't have to deal with any unnecessary financial burdens.
Getting coverage after being convicted of driving without insurance is difficult
If you get convicted of driving a vehicle without valid car insurance, you'll be hard-pressed to find a provider in the future.
As you may know, insurance providers want to work with low-risk drivers that are less likely to get into an accident or break the rules of the road. So, if you've been convicted of driving without car insurance, you would likely be considered high risk. Thus, it will most likely be challenging to find a provider that is willing to work with you in the future.
That being said, you may be able to find coverage if you’re willing to purchase a form of high-risk car insurance (it should be noted that high-risk car insurance is considerably more expensive than standard car insurance).
How common is driving without car insurance in Ontario?
Although it's hard to provide you with exact numbers, many experts believe that approximately 2% of drivers do not have adequate car insurance in Ontario. This means that thousands of drivers are putting themselves in physical and financial jeopardy.
Can you drive a partner or family member's vehicle without car insurance in Ontario?
Yes, you are able to drive a partner or family member's vehicle without car insurance as long as they have sufficient coverage. If you happen to get into a car accident, the event will be filed under the vehicle owner's insurance policy.
You can also drive a vehicle if you are listed as a secondary or occasional driver on another person's policy (parents will often list their children as secondary drivers while they share the vehicle).
Bonus tip — Most dealerships in Ontario allow drivers to test drive a car without insurance as long as the driver is willing to cover the costs of any damage that occurs during the test drive.
What have you learned about getting a no insurance ticket Ontario?
After reading this article, we hope that you now know that driving without adequate car insurance is unnecessarily risky and dangerous. Not only is it against the law, but it's also an enormous financial risk.