Because of all the variables, the jury is still out on whether Canadian car insurance is more expensive than American insurance. Certainly, in provinces such as Ontario and Alberta, finding cheap car insurance can be difficult. However, the same holds true for specific geographical regions in the United States where premiums are higher because more traffic accidents or vandalism occurs. Each country has some measures that a driver can adopt to take advantage of cheap car insurance rates.
Both Canada and the United States have similarities and differences in their approach to car insurance. For example, Canadian drivers must carry a mandatory 3rd party liability insurance that will cover the other person and property in case of an accident. The minimum amount of coverage in every territory and province except Quebec is $200,000. Quebec only requires $50,000 in liability coverage. Quebec also maintains a government injury program for car accidents that occur in-province, but insists on private insurer coverage outside of Quebec.
American drivers who have a lien (loan) on their car must carry full insurance. For those whose vehicles are debt free, individual states have different requirements. Most require at least bodily injury insurance for the other person. Americans can also pick up comprehensive insurance that includes protection against bodily injury and vehicle damage for themselves. Both Canada and the United States include protection against fire, theft or vandalism under comprehensive coverage.
Private Canadian car insurance is available in all the territories and provinces of Canada. Individual provincial governments may stipulate standard conditions and terms beyond what the government policies cover. In the United States there is no government-sponsored vehicle insurance coverage; all insurance is purchased through private companies that compete by offering special deals and incentives.
Canada has a form of no fault insurance for accident victims, but the conditions and qualifiers vary from province to province. In the United States, about 25 individual states offer a form of no fault car insurance. Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan do not allow victims to sue for pain and suffering unless the damage is severe and permanent. In the United States, suing is common-place regardless of the extent of the damages.
Cheap car insurance is available in both countries although the figures will be relative to the average charged per province or state. Choosing a high deductible, avoiding speeding tickets and traffic violations and limiting the filing of accident claims can all help to keep your premiums as low as possible. Whether you are an American driver or a Canadian, car insurance is a fact of life. Get the best deal you can and drive with peace of mind. Buying car insurance in Canada or the U.S. means work.