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HomeCar Insurance ResourcesDoes car insurance go up if you move to a city?

Your car insurance premium can indeed be influenced by the place where you live, including whether it’s in a city or a rural area. In general, urban areas typically have higher car insurance rates because the risk of accidents, theft, and vandalism is higher.

In Canada, car insurance is regulated on a provincial basis. Below is a general overview of how your location can impact your premiums across the provinces:

  1. British Columbia (BC): Insurance rates in BC are determined by ICBC, a government-operated insurance company. Rates will vary based on the region where you live. More populous areas like Vancouver might have higher rates than more rural locations.
  2. Alberta: In Alberta, car insurance rates are competitive and privatized. Premiums may be higher in larger cities like Edmonton and Calgary compared to rural areas.
  3. Saskatchewan: Most of Saskatchewan operates on a government insurance model, but residents have the option to purchase additional coverage from private insurers. Rates can vary based on location.
  4. Manitoba: Like Saskatchewan, Manitoba primarily has government-operated insurance. MPI determines rates, and they can vary based on location.
  5. Ontario: Ontario has a highly competitive, private insurance system. Rates in densely populated cities like Toronto can be significantly higher than in rural areas.
  6. Quebec: Quebec uses a hybrid insurance system. The government provides injury coverage, while private insurers cover property damage. Location can affect the property damage portion of your premium.
  7. Newfoundland and Labrador: Car insurance in this province is privatized, and rates can vary widely based on location, driving history, and other factors.
  8. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia: In these provinces, car insurance is privatized and competitive. Premiums may be higher in cities compared to rural areas.
  9. Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut: These territories have fewer residents and less traffic, which can lead to lower rates, but they are still regulated by private insurers who may adjust rates based on location and other factors.

Will my car insurance go up if I move to another province?

Car insurance rates vary significantly from province to province due to differing regulations, accident rates, and levels of urbanization. If you move from one province to another, you can expect your rates to change to reflect the new provincial averages and conditions.

  1. British Columbia: The average car insurance premium in BC is high, around $1,832 annually. This is due to a government-run insurance system, high population density in areas like Vancouver, and high accident rates.
  2. Alberta: Alberta’s premiums are somewhat lower than BC’s but still high compared to many other provinces. The average annual cost is around $1,316.
  3. Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan has a government-run insurance system, but also allows additional private insurance. The average cost is relatively low, around $1,235 annually.
  4. Manitoba: Manitoba also has a government-run insurance system. The average annual premium is similar to Saskatchewan’s, at approximately $1,080.
  5. Ontario: Ontario has the highest car insurance premiums in Canada on average, largely due to its high population density and accident rates. The average annual cost is around $1,505.
  6. Quebec: Quebec has the lowest car insurance premiums in Canada, largely due to its unique insurance system where the government covers injury while private insurers cover property damage. The average annual cost is around $717.
  7. Newfoundland and Labrador: Car insurance premiums in this province are moderate, with an average annual cost of about $1,168.
  8. New Brunswick: New Brunswick has relatively low premiums, with the average annual cost being around $867.
  9. Prince Edward Island: PEI has one of the lowest averages in the country, with an annual cost of around $816.
  10. Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia’s premiums are relatively low compared to the national average. Expect to pay around $842 per year.
  11. Yukon: The average annual premium in Yukon is approximately $978.
  12. Northwest Territories: The average annual premium in the Northwest Territories is around $974.
  13. Nunavut: Nunavut has the least data available due to its low population, but the estimated average annual premium is around $963.

Do you have to update your insurance if you move?

Yes, you are generally required to inform your insurance company if you move. This applies even if you’re moving within the same city or province. Your insurance premium is partially based on your address, as certain areas carry different levels of risk. This could be due to factors like traffic density, crime rates, and likelihood of natural disasters.

If you move to a different province or territory, you will likely need to get a new insurance policy that complies with the rules and regulations of your new location. Insurance requirements can vary significantly between provinces and territories in Canada. In most cases, you will also need to get a new driver’s license and re-register your vehicle.

Not informing your insurance company of a move could potentially lead to complications. If your insurer is not informed of your move and you file a claim, your claim could be denied because the risk was not accurately assessed at your new location. In some cases, your policy could even be cancelled for misrepresentation.

Therefore, it’s always best to inform your insurance company as soon as you know that you’ll be moving. They can help adjust your policy as necessary and provide guidance on the process.

How long can I drive my car in another province?

Here’s a general guideline of how long you have before you need to update your insurance and vehicle registration when you move to another province in Canada:

  1. British Columbia: You need to register, license, and insure your vehicle within 30 days of your move.
  2. Alberta: You have 90 days to register your vehicle after you move or become a resident of Alberta.
  3. Saskatchewan: A new resident has 90 days to register their vehicle in Saskatchewan.
  4. Manitoba: You have 30 days to register your vehicle in Manitoba once becoming a resident.
  5. Ontario: New residents in Ontario have 30 days to register their vehicle.
  6. Quebec: You have 90 days to register your vehicle upon becoming a resident of Quebec.
  7. Newfoundland and Labrador: In this province, you have 90 days to register your vehicle after becoming a resident.
  8. New Brunswick: New Brunswick requires vehicle registration within 10 days of becoming a resident.
  9. Prince Edward Island: You have 4 months to register your vehicle when you become a resident of PEI.
  10. Nova Scotia: New residents have 30 days to register their vehicle in Nova Scotia.
  11. Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut: In these territories, you generally have 90 days to register your vehicle.

Please note that these are general guidelines and the exact rules can change, and exceptions may apply in some circumstances.

Can I drive in Alberta with Ontario insurance?

Yes, you can drive in Alberta with Ontario car insurance for a short period of time. If you are simply visiting Alberta or passing through, your Ontario car insurance will cover you. Canadian car insurance is generally valid across all provinces and territories for tourism or short visits.

However, if you are moving to Alberta permanently, you will need to switch to Alberta car insurance and register your vehicle in Alberta. The typical timeframe for doing so is 90 days after establishing residency, but it’s always good to check the latest regulations with the local vehicle registration and insurance authorities in Alberta.

If you’re planning to stay in Alberta for a longer period without becoming a resident (for example, if you’re a student or a temporary worker), you may still need to inform your insurance company in Ontario. They will be able to tell you how long you can be away without changing your insurance and what steps, if any, you need to take to ensure your coverage remains valid.

When you’re traveling or moving to a different province in Canada, it’s crucial to know how long you can drive with your existing insurance before needing to switch. Below is a list of typical time frames given by each province for new residents to register their vehicle and update their insurance.

  1. British Columbia: 30 days
  2. Alberta: 90 days
  3. Saskatchewan: 90 days
  4. Manitoba: 30 days
  5. Ontario: 30 days
  6. Quebec: 90 days
  7. Newfoundland and Labrador: 90 days
  8. New Brunswick: 10 days
  9. Prince Edward Island: 4 months
  10. Nova Scotia: 30 days
  11. Yukon: 90 days
  12. Northwest Territories: 90 days
  13. Nunavut: 90 days

For temporary stays, like tourism or short visits, your car insurance should generally cover you in any Canadian province or territory. However, if you’re planning to stay in another province for an extended period without becoming a resident (such as for work or school), you should inform your insurance company to ensure your coverage remains valid. Always check with your insurance provider for their specific guidelines.

About the Author: Valerie D. Hahn

Valerie is an insurance editor, journalist, and business professional at RateLab. She has more than 15 years of experience in personal financial products. She strives to educate readers and ensure that they are properly protected.

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