In Ontario, all motorists are legally required to have auto insurance.
Fines for vehicle owners, lessees and drivers who do not carry valid auto insurance can range from $5,000 to $50,000. Your driver’s licence can be suspended and your vehicle impounded if you drive without valid auto insurance.
Suppose you are convicted of driving without valid auto insurance. In that case, your insurance company may consider you a "high-risk" driver and charge you higher premiums or refuse to insure you. If you are injured in an accident while driving or occupying an uninsured vehicle, you may not be:
Entitled to receive non-earner benefits
Entitled to receive income replacement
Allowed to sue the at-fault driver for compensation as a result of injuries received in the accident
If you are at fault for an accident, causing injury or death, you may be held personally responsible for medical costs and other losses.
Here are six things you should know when considering whether to opt to receive electronic proof of auto insurance:
You must provide consent to your insurance provider to use an electronic insurance card.
Your mobile device is your responsibility. You are responsible for any risks that may arise, such as damage to your mobile device, including during inspections of the electronic insurance card.
Insurance providers offering electronic insurance cards must include lock screen capability by design or by consumer activation. This may reduce the risk of other people viewing the electronic insurance card from gaining access to other information on the electronic mobile device. It is your responsibility to activate privacy settings, such as lock screen functionality.
It is your responsibility to show proof of auto insurance regardless of potential issues with your mobile device, such as diminished cellular service, drained batteries or damaged screens. Consider receiving a paper version as a backup.
5. Be aware that when driving outside of Ontario, the requirements for showing proof of auto insurance could be different than when in Ontario. This could mean that you may need a paper version of your proof of insurance outside of Ontario. Contact your insurance provider with any questions about using your proof of auto insurance when thinking about driving outside of Ontario.
If someone is using your vehicle with your consent, the law requires that you still have proof of auto insurance in the vehicle at all times. If someone borrows your vehicle, that person must have an emailed or transferred version of the electronic insurance card or a paper version of the card in the vehicle.