Some people may wonder if it’s worth the risk to drive uninsured to save money. However, Ontario and all parts of Canada have strict auto insurance rules. When it comes down to it, these regulations are designed to keep you safe on the road. So, what is the penalty for driving without insurance in Ontario? This guide reviews the consequences and explains why having a policy is essential.
Why Do You Need Car Insurance in Ontario?
Car insurance protects you in an accident, whether there are autobody damages or injuries to you or another person. It provides you peace of mind knowing that, in most cases, if an unforeseeable event happens on the road, you won’t need to pay out of pocket. Expenses for car repairs or hospital bills can add up, and this can be a significant burden to shoulder alone.
Additionally, car insurance is the law in Ontario. The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA) states that all drivers in Ontario must carry an insurance card to prove their coverage. This is mandatory for everyone before they’re allowed to operate a vehicle.
What are the Consequences of Driving Without Car Insurance?
Driving without insurance can come with severe consequences. For example:
The fines you face depend on your history and whether you have other driving offences. You may pay up to $25,000 the first time you’re convicted and up to $50,000 if you’re caught without insurance again. Additionally, the Provincial Offence Act may add a 25% surcharge to your fine.
2. License Suspension
Many of us use our vehicles to help us in our day-to-day lives, whether we need to commute to work, run errands, or enjoy a road trip. If you’re caught without car insurance in Ontario, you may face a driver’s license suspension for up to one year.
3. Your Car Could Be Impounded
If you’re pulled over by a police officer while driving without insurance, they may impound your vehicle. Paying to get your vehicle out of the impound can be expensive, and the fees usually increase daily.
Can You Be Arrested?
While driving without insurance is an offence under the CAIA, it isn’t a criminal offence. This means that if you’re caught driving without insurance, you won’t get arrested. However, the fines and license suspensions are serious consequences that must be taken seriously as they can negatively impact your financials and driving record.
Is Driving Without Insurance Common?
Most drivers in Ontario are properly insured. There are enough uninsured motorists on the roads to pose a problem, however. If you’re in an accident with someone that doesn’t have insurance, you may need to take legal action to get the compensation you’re entitled to. If they don’t have any assets, you may need to go through your own insurance for compensation.
Get the Best Deal on Your Auto Insurance
Don’t leave things up to chance. At Rowat Insurance, we’re here to protect you on the road by finding the best auto policies available for your unique needs — we’re on your side! Contact us today to learn more.