Temporary Car Insurance in Canada

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Temporary car insurance in Canada is simply short-term insurance for your vehicle. Different situations warrant needing temporary car insurance.

In Canada, you can’t legally drive a vehicle on the road without car insurance. The minimum amount of car insurance necessary differs from province to province, but the fact remains the same that you can’t drive without a minimum amount.

But sometimes we don’t need car insurance for long periods of time. What if you just need to drive a vehicle from point A to point B? In such a case, you can consider purchasing temporary car insurance.

What is Temporary Car Insurance?

Temporary Car Insurance is exactly what it sounds like – insurance coverage for your vehicle that is temporary. The length of coverage will differ depending on your needs and the plan you choose. Temporary car insurance can last anywhere from one day to several months.

Because temporary car insurance is not permanent, it’s obviously a much cheaper option over the long run than permanent car insurance. With that being said, it does work out to be more expensive on a day-to-day basis. 

Why would I need temporary car insurance?

There are lots of reasons that someone might need temporary car insurance. If you are just driving a vehicle from point A to point B, perhaps to sell it or dispose of it in some fashion, you will need to purchase temporary insurance for the day.

However, the majority of temporary car insurance is purchased for individuals who only drive their vehicles during certain parts of the year. Maybe you have a classic car that you only drive for road-shows, or a sports car that you only drive for summer months.

Whatever the reason, you can purchase temporary insurance to cover you for the short time you drive. 

Some people also purchase temporary insurance plans when purchasing a new car but are still shopping around for a good permanent plan. 

Where do I get temporary car insurance?

To purchase temporary car insurance, Google “temporary car insurance” in your area. In most cases all you will need to do is call an agency that offers temporary insurance, as most temporary plans can be secured over the phone. 

If you already have insurance for another vehicle, you can ask your current insurance provider if they offer temporary plans. It will not take them long to add a temporary plan to your account. 

Note that it’s easier to get temporary insurance in some provinces than in others. If you live in Ontario or Alberta, you may find it very difficult to find a provider that offers temporary insurance. If you live in Quebec, you should find it very easy. 

Do I need temporary insurance if I’m renting a car?

People often get very confused when they rent a vehicle – often because the rental company offers (and suggests) temporary insurance policies. But if you already have your own vehicle that is insured, you probably don’t need it.

Most insurance companies will cover you to drive rental vehicles if you have a plan with them. With that being said, it’s always better to check with your insurance company before renting a vehicle to ensure that you are covered.

If you are not covered by your current insurance plan or do not have a vehicle that is already insured, then yes, you will need to purchase a temporary insurance policy. This policy will help to protect you against damage, theft, liability, and other financial risks that come along with driving a vehicle. 

Do I need temporary insurance if I’m borrowing a vehicle?

This is a question that is asked all the time. In short, the answer is no. Insurance covers the vehicle that is insured – not who is driving it. So whether it’s the owner driving the vehicle or someone borrowing it, that vehicle is covered by insurance if it is ever in an accident. 

With that being said, the vehicle owner does take all responsibility when they lend it out. This means that if the borrower is in an accident, it’s the lender’s insurance that will be affected in the long run. 

For this reason, if you are lending out your vehicle, we suggest that you add a temporary driver to your plan. This doesn’t cost much and can be done over the phone.

In conclusion, temporary car insurance can keep you protected for short periods. With that being said, it can be difficult to obtain depending on where you are in Canada.

Check with your local insurance companies to see if they can make any suggestions as to where you can purchase your temporary insurance if needed. 

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.