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Every year thousands of students migrate to different countries for better educational opportunities. Uprooting your life from your own country and settling down in a foreign land comes with a considerable amount of legalities. If you are planning to buy a new car or drive your old one in Canada (as an international student), you would be required to buy insurance for your car as per the law.

As an international student, the procedure that you will need to follow to get auto insurance is comparatively stricter. However, if you follow this guide to the hilt, the process would seem much easier.

Also, if you are looking for car insurance in Ottawa, make sure you stick to reputed companies like Surex for a seamless experience.

Things To Know About Driving In Canada As An International Student

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Here are a few things that one must keep in mind when it comes to insuring a car in Canada.

  • Driving laws in Canada are regulated at the provincial level. This means that every province has its own set of rules which you have to abide by.
  • Students are generally assessed as higher-risk parties which makes auto-insurance premiums costlier for them.
  • As an international student, your insurance premiums would be higher. The reason behind this is that the information available about your history is limited when you are in a foreign land. Hence insurance companies regard international students as a higher-risk investment.

Step-By-Step Guide To Get Auto-Insurance In Canada As An International Student

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Here are the steps you would need to follow as an international student to buy insurance in Canada.

1. Essential Documents

Apart from your personal information, there are two more important documents that you require to get car insurance as an international student.

  • A driving license from your own country
  • A clean driving record. Your driving record would have a huge impact on the premium rates that you will be offered by different insurers.

Speaking about your driving license, you would either have to switch to an International Driving Permit (IDP) or you would need to apply for a driving license in that province, once the grace period is over. The exact procedure will depend on the province you are from.

If you are applying for an IDP, then, you cannot do it from Canada as an international student. You will need to complete the entire process and get the IDP before you leave your home country. Hence, it is important to do thorough research on the auto insurance guidelines of the country you are moving to beforehand.

Calculating The Minimum Insurance Coverage Required By Law

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Before you begin, it is important for you to check out the minimum insurance coverage required by law. The minimum amount of liability insurance required legally in all Canadian provinces is $2,000,000 except Quebec where the minimum coverage is $50,000.

In addition to this, you can also get add-ons or other policies like comprehensive coverage and collision coverage for better protection. There is no binding upper limit but the lower limit has to be met without fail.

Compare Quotes Online

With all the information that you have, you would have to check out auto insurance quotes online provided by different companies and compare them. But before that, you should do a little research on the company’s background as well.

Being new in the country, it is natural that you would not know which are the well-known insurance providers there. Hence, quick research will help you with that. You can also take advice from your native college mates to get an insight into their first-hand experience.

Negotiate To Get A Better Deal

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As an international student, you do not have much leverage on the company to negotiate the premiums to a better price. But there are certain insurance hacks that will help you get a better deal.

You can consider raising your deductible. A deductible is the percentage of your claim you agree to pay in case of an accident while the rest of the bill is taken care of by your company. When you opt for a higher deductible, the risk on your insurance provider reduces, and in return, they agree to reduce your premium.

Other things like having a clean driving record, installing anti-theft devices, and maintaining a good credit score can also help you land cheaper deals without compromising on the benefits.

Select A Plan And Complete The Documentation Process

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If you are a student, it’s possible that this is the first time you are getting auto insurance without a guardian’s help. So, knowing what type of insurance available is a crucial part.

There are 5 types of insurance policies:

  • Liability Insurance: This covers the expense for property damage and bodily injuries for the other party in an accident in case you were at fault
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Under this policy, your car will be covered against any causes of damage including natural disasters, vandalism, fire, or even theft.
  • Collision Coverage: Collision coverage takes care of your expenses in case you get into an accident on the road irrespective of who was at fault.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): PIP takes care of the medical expense for you and the passengers in your car irrespective of who was at fault.
  • Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Sometimes people do not have enough liability insurance to cover your expense. This policy would come in handy in a situation like that. It will also cover damages incurred from hit-and-run cases.

You need to select the one that suits your needs the best and see if you need any additional add-on for extra protection. Once you are done with this, read the terms and conditions of the agreement carefully before signing it.


Creating life from scratch in a foreign country is overwhelming and car insurance is a huge part of settling down. But following this detailed guide will simplify the process for you.

Make sure you shop wisely and also abide by the various legal requirements you need to fulfill as an international student in Canada.