Maintaining Ontario auto insurance when traveling outside Canada

Published: March 10, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Some Ontarians do not leave the province and Canada in an airplane, with some opting to drive to the United States and Mexico in their own vehicles. One consistent question asked by these drivers is whether their auto insurance policy will cover them for such journey’s.

In Ontario, most basic auto insurance coverage will protect drivers when they are involved in a collision outside of the province, including in the United States. A Standard Ontario Motor Vehicle Policy includes no-fault benefits that can be added to a policy to protect traveling drivers.

The Star points out the following benefits:

  • Income replacement benefits, non-earner or caregiver benefits
  • Medical/rehabilitation benefits
  • Attendant care benefits
  • Lost educational benefits
  • Death and funeral benefits
  • Expenses of visitors
  • Reimbursement for damaged clothing, glasses and medical devices
  • Depending on the severity of the injury, potential benefits for housekeeping and home maintenance expenses

Ontario drivers receive a minimum $200,000 liability by default on all auto insurance policies. However, because the United States does not have such a minimum requirement, drivers from Ontario are advised to increase their liability coverage.

Mexico is a different scenario because separate Mexican auto insurance is needed for all people visiting the country. The moment a driver enters the country, their Canadian insurance policy becomes void.

This means drivers must purchase coverage at the Mexican border. Alternatively, the coverage can be bought online before making the journey. The latter of these options is the most affordable.