How auto insurance differs between provinces

Canadian provinces are distinctly different from one another – so it’s not surprising that each province handles auto insurance differently as well. Some provinces provide coverage through the government, some only provide partial coverage, and some might not provide any. Whether you’re travelling or moving to a different province, or just curious as to how your neighbour is covered, we’ve outlined a few of the main provincial differences when it comes to auto insurance.

British Columbia

Average monthly premium: $153

Goverment provided? Yes (ICBC)

Mandatory coverage:

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

Alberta

Average monthly premium: $110

Goverment provided? No

Mandatory coverage:

  • Third party liability
  • Accident benefits

Did you know? In the event of a collision, Alberta drivers only get compensated a certain amount from their insurance companies, and then have to go after the other person’s insurance company for more compensation (this is called a tort-based insurance system).

Saskatchewan

Average monthly premium: $103

Goverment provided? Yes (SGI)

Mandatory coverage:

  • Property damage
  • Personal injury
  • Third party liability

Did you know? In Saskatchewan, the default insurance plan includes no-fault personal injury coverage, but drivers can opt-out and choose a tort (or “at-fault”) policy instead. Switching would mean that not as many expenses are covered by the policy, but it allows you to sue (or take to court) the other person involved.

Manitoba

Average monthly premium: $90

Goverment provided? Yes (MPI)

Mandatory coverage:

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

Ontario

Average monthly premium: $125

Goverment provided? No

Mandatory coverage:

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

Did you know? While the government doesn’t provide insurance for drivers, auto policies are still heavily regulated. The provincial government outlines a standard auto policy that companies need to align with – which always includes liability, accident benefits and direct compensation – property damage.

Quebec

Average monthly premium: $60

Goverment provided? Yes, but only accident benefits. (SAAQ)

Mandatory coverage:

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

Did you know? Quebec’s public insurance plan is unique because it is “no-fault” coverage, which means you’re covered regardless if you are responsible for the accident. It can be tricky to understand, which is why we’ve laid out everything you need to know about the SAAQ!

Newfoundland and Labrador

Average monthly premium: $97

Goverment provided? No

Mandatory coverage:

  • Third party liability
  • Uninsured automobile protection

Did you know? It’s the only province where medical, funeral, disability and death benefits coverages are optional for drivers.

New Brunswick

Average monthly premium: $72

Goverment provided? No

Mandatory coverage:

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

Did you know? New Brunswick insurance has a unique discount where new drivers applying for their license can receive the “First Chance Discount” on their policy for up to 6 driving years. The discount is meant to give new drivers a break when starting to pay for insurance, provided they keep a clean record for those 6 years.

Prince Edward Island

Average monthly premium: $68

Goverment provided? No

Mandatory coverage:

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

Nova Scotia

Average monthly premium: $74

Goverment provided? No

Mandatory coverage:

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

We hope this helps! It’s a good idea to learn about your own province’s mandatory and optional coverages to make sure you’re fully protected. Find out if you can get Sonnet Insurance in your province.

Monthly Average Premiums provided by: GISA & MSA data for private insurers (as of December 31, 2018), SGI Annual Report (2018), MPI Annual Report (2017), Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), and ICBC Service Plan (2019).
*Manitoba figure is from 2017 due to 2018 not being available.

Coverage your car’s always wanted at a competitive price. https://www.mpi.mb.ca/Pages/Insurance.aspx http://www.autofocus.ca/how-to/insurance-finance-guides/how-auto-insurance-differs-from-province-to-province https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/traffic-accident/public-automobile-insurance-plan/in-brief/ https://fcnb.ca/automobile-insurance.html https://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/auto/forms/Documents/OAP-1-Application-and-Endorsement-Forms/1215E.2.pdf http://www.ibc.ca/ns/auto/auto-insurance/mandatory-coverage/ https://www.sgi.sk.ca/basic-auto-damage-insurance