Whether you’re shopping around for auto insurance, your policy is about to expire, or you're looking to save money on your current policy, it is important to understand how your policy works.

The following information is designed to help you understand your auto insurance policy and all the various parts that make up your coverage, and to help you to purchase the insurance coverage that meets your needs.

This is not a legal document and does not in any way modify or replace your auto insurance policy. For more detailed information, make sure to read your Ontario Auto Policy.

If you do not have a copy of your Ontario Auto Policy, you may ask your insurance agent, broker, or company representative for a copy, or download a copy of the standard policy.

Your Auto Insurance Policy

Your insurance company is responsible for providing you with the insurance coverage summarized on the Certificate of Automobile Insurance you receive each year on renewal or when you purchase insurance, and for which you pay a premium. 

Your Certificate of Automobile Insurance:

  • lists the vehicles that are insured
  • lists the coverages purchased, including any optional coverages you have selected
  • provides a description of how you were rated for the premiums charged, and
  • indicates the period during which you are covered by insurance.

It is important that you read this certificate. You only have insurance coverage for a vehicle if your Certificate of Automobile Insurance shows a premium for that vehicle or shows that the coverage is provided at no cost.

Your Proof of Auto Insurance

You are responsible for ensuring you have proof of auto insurance (sometimes called a “pink card” or “pink slip”) while driving in Ontario. Insurance companies are responsible for providing you with proof of auto insurance.

Some insurance companies may now provide an option for you to receive your proof of auto insurance electronically. If you choose, you can opt in to receiving electronic proof of auto insurance from your insurer.

If you choose to opt in to receiving your proof of auto insurance electronically, you can display it on a mobile device in Ontario. Here are six things you should know when considering whether to opt in to receiving electronic proof of auto insurance:

  1. Proof of auto insurance options can vary depending on the insurance provider. Check with your insurance provider for options available to you. If you choose to opt in to receiving electronic proof of insurance, you must provide consent to your insurance provider. 
  2. Your mobile device is your responsibility. If you use an electronic insurance card on your mobile device to show proof of insurance, you’re responsible for any risks that may arise such as damage to your mobile device. This includes during inspections of the electronic insurance card.
  3. Insurance providers offering electronic insurance cards must include lock screen capability by design or by consumer activation. This may reduce the risk of other persons viewing the electronic insurance card from gaining access to other information on the electronic mobile device. However, it’s still your responsibility to activate any privacy settings on your phone and ensure your mobile device is capable of using privacy settings such as lock screen functionality.
  4. It’s your responsibility to ensure you can show proof of auto insurance regardless of potential issues with your mobile device such as diminished cellular service, drained batteries or damaged screens. You may want to 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 considering driving outside of Ontario.
  6. If someone is using your vehicle with your consent, you are still required by law to have proof of auto insurance in the vehicle at all times. So, if someone borrows your vehicle, that person must have an emailed or transferred version of the electronic insurance card, or else a paper version of the card, in the vehicle.