Uninsured auto insurance 101: What you need to know
Uninsured auto insurance also ensures you receive funds quickly. Think: If you’re a victim and you’re left having to pay for loss out of pocket, it may take you months or years in court to get those funds back. Instead, you can claim immediately from your own insurance company, so you’re taken care of quickly.
How much does uninsured auto insurance cost in Canada?
If you have a car insurance policy, you likely already have this coverage, since it’s included with any policy that has liability coverage, or road coverages. The only exception would be policies for vehicles that are parked in storage with comprehensive only coverage, namely for fire and theft.
The cost varies from policy to policy just as all other coverages do, but typically this coverage represents a nominal portion of your annual premium, often coming in at less than $25 to $50 per vehicle annually.
What happens if you drive without insurance?
If you’re ever thinking of driving without insurance, spring for an Uber instead. “It’s a major offence with serious implications, including a $5,000 fine under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA),” says Mitchell. “It will also affect your eligibility with many insurance companies.” So, when you look to get insurance in the future, you can expect to pay well above your previous rates. Translation: Sky-high rates.
What happens if you drive without insurance and get into an accident?
If you’re at fault, it will hurt. “You could end up being sued by the victim of the accident and/or their insurance company,” says Mitchell. “When an insurance company pays their customer under the uninsured auto coverage, they may then go after you to recover their losses.”
Even if the accident isn’t your fault, you’re in trouble if you don’t have insurance. “You may still be subject to fines under the CAIA,” says Mitchell. “You also would have no right to recover for your damages or injuries since The Insurance Act prevents uninsured drivers from recovering funds even if they are not at fault for the accident.”
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident where you’re not able to get the insurance info from the other driver because they fled, first and foremost, call the police. “You’re legally obligated to stay at the scene of an accident,” says Karageorgos. “If someone doesn’t stop, that’s a red flag—they may be under the influence or uninsured.”
He also recommends recording as many details as you can and taking photos and videos. “Being in a collision is a stressful and traumatic event, so you want to have those details available when the police or your insurance company needs them.”