How Long Does it Usually Take to Get Car Insurance in Ontario?

Whether you’re a new driver or you are trying to get coverage from a new insurance provider, you have likely wondered how long it would take to get auto insurance in Ontario. You are in luck. It wasn’t all that long ago when policyholders needed to sit down with an insurance agent to buy a car insurance policy. These days, you can purchase auto insurance from the comfort of your home.

In this article, we will cover the details of what car insurance in Ontario is, why you need car insurance, the documents and information you require to purchase car insurance, and answer the question, “how long does it take to get car insurance in Canada?”.  

Before getting started, if you’re looking for quotes from the top car insurance provider in Ottawa, be sure to reach out to a reputable brokerage, like Surex. Insurance brokerages work with several insurance companies, allowing them to offer an array of quotes.

What is car insurance?

A car insurance policy, also called an auto insurance policy, is a contract you enter into with an insurance company to protect you from financial loss in the event of an accident or theft involving your vehicle. The insurance company agrees to compensate your losses on the condition of a regular premium. Auto insurance may also provide coverage for events such as natural disasters, vandalism, or any kind of event that causes physical damage to the vehicle. 

These policies are usually priced individually and you can customize your coverage to fit your needs and budget. They are often issued on a 6-month or 12-month basis and can be renewed. You are often notified by the insurance company when your policy is due to be renewed.

Why do I need car insurance?

Quite simply, it’s the law. The province of Ontario mandates automobile insurance. In other words, every vehicle registered in the province has to be insured.

Proof of insurance coverage must be shown every time you register a vehicle or wish to renew your registration. New residents of Ontario must register their vehicles within 30 days of moving to the province.

Obtaining auto insurance is important because you can be fined heavily if you do not have one. First offenders are liable to pay nothing less than $5,000 and up to as much as $25,0000 in fines. Repeat offenders are liable to a fine of not less than $10,000 and could pay as much as $50,000. You could also face penalties such as license suspension and vehicle impoundment.

Getting into a collision without insurance coverage is not a situation you want to be in. Regardless of who’s responsible for the accident, you’re legally required to pay for all damages to your own vehicle as well as any other vehicle(s) involved. You can also face multiple lawsuits and are likely to be liable for the medical rehabilitation bills.

You should never drive without having authentic proof of auto insurance handy. Luckily, it’s possible to have a digital copy of your auto insurance pink slip on your phone so you literally have it on your person everywhere you go. 

You can visit the Financial Services Commission of Ontario’s website for more information on auto insurance. 

What information do you need to apply for car insurance?

To apply for car insurance in Ontario, you need to make the following information and documents available: 

  • Driver’s license number
  • Vehicle year, model, and maker
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Vehicle Identification Number
  • Claims’ History
  • Banking Information

How do you get car insurance in Ontario?

There are several ways you can get a car insurance policy and they include:

  • Getting an online quote

A lot of car insurance companies allow you to get your auto insurance online. It’s one of the fastest options you have for getting your auto insurance. 

Shopping online for quotes allows you to compare offerings and prices from different companies. All you need to provide is some of your personal information, your ZIP code, your vehicle maker and model, the amount of coverage you want, the policy limits, and the deductible you want to pay.

After making a policy agreement, you will receive a copy in your email. This method takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Using an app: Another option is using the mobile app of an insurance provider to shop for auto insurance. Just like a website, apps allow you to purchase insurance easily and conveniently without needing to physically meet an agent. 
  • Phone conversation: A phone call will also do if you’re strapped for time or you just would prefer to buy auto insurance physically.

A conversation over the phone allows you to ask for more detailed information about the policy you’re interested in. Most insurance providers have a list of phone numbers you can call to talk to an agent.

This method might take around twenty to thirty minutes.

  • Meeting an agent in person: This method takes more time than any other option on the list but it can be particularly useful if you’re most interested in finding out and buying an insurance policy from a particular provider. 

However, if you are most concerned about saving time, it would make sense to go another route. The process might take close to an hour, if not more.

Now you know the answer to the question — how long does it take to get car insurance Ontario.

How long before you can drive your vehicle legally?

Ontario law states that you can drive as soon as your first car insurance payment is confirmed. Luckily, getting car insurance is a pretty fast and easy process, unlike other types of insurance. 

You can either have your pink slip sent via email or mail, as soon as the payment is confirmed. 

How can you speed up the process?

Here are some tips to get your car insurance faster:

  • Have all the information and documents you need at the ready. You’ll need all the information for all the drivers on the policy.
  • Contact a brokerage online or over the phone, using either of these methods allows you to be done in less than 30 minutes.
  • Determine the amount of coverage you need. You should check the FSCO website to find out the amount of coverage you’re legally required to have.


Getting auto insurance is easy, straightforward and most importantly, mandatory. It is important to have insurance since accidents are, by definition, unpredictable. You never can tell when one will happen so it’s best to have adequate coverage for yourself and your family.

There are several options you can choose to purchase an insurance policy. You’ll need to consider the positions and decide the one that suits you best.