Which types of insurance are mandatory in Ontario?

March 12th, 2018  |  Insurance

There are so many options out there when it comes to insurance, be it auto, property, travel, you name it. But how do you know what kind of insurance is mandatory, and what it is you can go without? Luckily, here at HUB Insurance Hunter, we have put together a helpful guide to let you know just what insurance is mandatory in Ontario. We will take a look at auto, property, life, business, and travel.

Auto insurance

Traditional vehicles – Flat out, it is illegal to drive in Ontario without auto insurance, making it a mandatory form of insurance to have. As of January 2017, the mandatory minimum coverage needed in Ontario requires you to have Third Party Liability; Accident Benefits coverage; Uninsured Automobile coverage; and Direct Compensation-Property Damage coverage. This level of auto insurance covers you in the event that you are involved in an at fault accident, covering the damages of the other car, and any medical/legal expenses.

Motorcycle insurance falls under much of the same parameters, with the necessity of mandatory coverage.

The important thing to note is that the minimum mandatory auto insurance does not cover any damages made to your car if you are found at fault in an accident, nor does it cover you in the event that something out of your control happens to your car. This can include anything from a fallen tree on the roof of your car, to your vehicle being stolen from a parking garage. Additional insurance to help cover you and your vehicle, including comprehensive, collision, and supplementary riders are not mandatory Ontario, however can be extremely beneficial to you. Good auto insurance doesn’t need to break the bank either. Compare your options and find an insurer who provides cheap auto insurance.

Alternative vehicles – Now, what about alternative vehicles, such as boats, ATVs, motorhomes, etc?

It is not mandatory to have insurance for a watercraft in Ontario, however, some financial institutions may require proof of insurance when purchasing a new watercraft, and some marinas require it to dock your boat. The same could be said for most ATV and other leisure vehicles.

When it comes to a motorhome, it varies. If the motorhome attached to the back of your vehicle, no, it does not require insurance. But, if your motorhome is one that you drive around in, yes. It will require the same minimum level of coverage as that of a standard vehicle.

Property insurance

Homeowners insurance – This may be a shocking revelation to some, but getting home insurance is not actually mandatory. However, it is extremely rare to be a homeowner and not have some sort of coverage on your home. As a homeowner, insurance is the best thing you can do to ensure that your home and your possessions are protected. And while it is not strictly speaking “mandatory” many financial institutions will ask for proof of insurance when purchasing a home.

Rental insuranceRental insurance, while again is not mandatory in the province of Ontario, can be extremely beneficial to have. Often renters do not think to get renters insurance because they believe that their landlords coverage extends to them, however, that is not the case. Your landlord’s coverage will often cover the common areas of the building, leaving your unit and your possessions at risk.

Condo insurance – Condo insurance is not inherently mandatory, but there are many condo buildings that will require tenants to have condo insurance. While some may believe that you are covered under their building’s insurance, that coverage is more often than not limited to the hallways and other common areas. Much like the rental insurance, condo insurance ensure that your unit and possessions are protected.

Life insurance

It is not mandatory in Ontario to have any form of life insurance. However, if you were looking for coverage it can be obtained in a number of different ways. Many work benefits and credit card actually come with some sort of life insurance, covering you in some respects if something were to happen.

Business Insurance

Insurance for your business in Ontario is not mandatory, but some sectors may have exceptions to that rule. For example, contractors with employees working at certain heights. It is best to speak with your broker and someone who knows your business to know exactly what kind of coverage you may need.

In-home businessIf you run your business out of your home, it is not mandatory to get additional coverage, as some coverage will spill over from your homeowner’s insurance. However, it may not be enough, so it is a good idea to assess your business and speak to your insurance broker about whether or not you need to add additional coverage either through your home insurance or by the way of a separate business policy.

Travel insurance

Country specific – For the vast majority of countries, travel insurance is not mandatory. However, there are some travel destinations that do require mandatory travel insurance to enter. Currently that list of countries consists of Poland, Cuba, and the Czech Republic. In order to enter one of these countries, you must be able to provide proof of emergency medial travel insurance, if you fail to do so you will be denied entry. It is best to do your research ahead of time and know exactly what you need to travel. If you are using a travel agent, they will be able to answer any questions you have and inform you about your destinations rules of travel.

Technically optional - While noted above, there are a few exceptions to the rule, but travel insurance is “optional”. However, it is heavily advised to get coverage if you are heading out of your home province, and even more so if you are leaving the county. If you are traveling within Canada, you will still retain some of your health care benefits, but as soon as your leave your home province, you will lose many of the benefits you are accustomed to. And, once you leave the country all together, you will no longer have any coverage under your regular health care. This is where a travel insurance policy comes into play. Having emergency medical travel insurance, while again not mandatory, is extremely important, as it covers any costs in the event that a medical emergency arises during your travels.

There are other forms of travel insurance, including trip interruption/cancellation, and baggage coverage, but these are even more optional than emergency medical. However, it is still a good idea to get, especially if you are planning a big trip with numerous non-refundable deposits.

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