Mandatory vs. optional auto insurance coverage in Ontario

At a glance: In Ontario, if you want to drive, you’ve got to have the basic auto insurance that the province requires. But while there’s a bare minimum you need, it’s often a smart move to go beyond that. There are extra coverage options out there, and picking a few can give you better peace of mind on the road.

Minimum auto insurance required in Ontario:

To legally drive a vehicle in Ontario, your car insurance policy must include the following:

  • Third-Party Liability coverage
  • Accident Benefits coverage
  • Uninsured Automobile coverage
  • Direct Compensation-Property Damage coverage

Optional auto insurance coverage in Ontario:

You’ll likely want to extend your policy beyond the mandatory coverage to increase your protection and benefits. The main optional car insurance coverages in Ontario include:

  • Collision or upset coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage

Your insurance broker will help you understand and decide on the best level of protection for your needs. The table below describes both mandatory and optional coverage available to Ontario drivers.

= Mandatory car insurance coverage in Ontario.
CoverageMandatory CoverageOptional Coverage
Liability Coverage
Third-Party Liability$200,000 in coverage for property damage, injury, or death due to an accident that you are responsible for.Coverage may be increased to $500,000, $1 million or $2 million.
Recommended limit is $2 million
Accident Benefits
Income Replacement BenefitsWeekly income replacement benefits of 70% of your gross income up to $400/weekWeekly benefits maybe be increased to $600, $800 or $1,000
Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care Benefits
  • Non-Catastrophic Injuries (E.g., sprains, broken bones, whiplash): $65,000
  • Catastrophic Injuries (E.g., loss of limb, quadra/paraplegia): $1 million
Non-Catastrophic Injuries: May be increased to $130,000


  • Increase $1 Million for all injuries, for a total of $2 million for Catastrophic Injuries
  • Increase combined all injury benefit to $1 Million and Increase Catastrophic Injuries to $2 million*

Recommend to at least increase to $1 million for all injuries

Caregiver BenefitsCatastrophic injuries only: If you provide full-time care to dependants, and can no longer do so as the result of an automobile accident:


  • A maximum of $250/week for the first dependant, and
  • $50 per week for each additional dependant
Benefits may be extended to include all injuries.
Housekeeping and Home Maintenance ExpensesFor catastrophic injuries only: If you need to hire someone to carry out your housekeeping or home maintenance responsibilities. Up to $100/week.Benefits may be extended to include all injuries.
Death and Funeral BenefitsA payment of:


  • $25,000 to your spouse
  • $10,000 to each of your dependants
  • A maximum of $6,000 for funeral expenses
Benefits may be increased to:


  • $50,000 to your spouse
  • $20,000 to each of your dependants
  • $8,000 for funeral expenses
Dependant Care BenefitsNot CoveredCovers care for your dependants if you’re employed and injured in an auto accident.


  • Up to $75/week for the first dependant
  • $25/week for each additional dependant
IndexationNot CoveredProvides for an annual adjustment of your benefits to account for inflation. Adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index of Canada
Coverage for Loss or Damage to Your Vehicle
Direct Compensation – Property Damage CoverageCovers damage to your vehicle and its contents in the case of an accident for which you are not responsible.
Learn more
No further options
Collision or Upset CoverageNot CoveredCovers damages to an insured vehicle that is involved in a collision with another vehicle, trailer, or other object, including the ground, and any object in or on the ground.
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Specified Perils CoverageNot CoveredCovers losses caused by a specific event, such as fire; theft or attempted theft; certain natural disasters; explosion; civil disturbance; and various other perils.
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Comprehensive CoverageNot CoveredCovers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle from damage not caused by collision. Includes incidents listed under Specified Perils coverage, such as fire, theft, natural disasters, and more.
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All-Risk (All Perils) CoverageNot CoveredCombines Collision or Upset and Comprehensive coverages. Also covers loss or damage caused by theft by someone who lives in your home or has access to your vehicle.
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Coverage Against Uninsured Drivers and Hit & Runs
Uninsured Automobile CoverageCovers you and your family against injury or death by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, and against damage to your vehicle by identified, uninsured drivers.
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No further options

*If you purchase the additional Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care benefit for both catastrophic injuries and for all injuries, the total eligible benefit amount for a catastrophic impairment would be $3,000,000

The table above should help you better understand the car insurance options available to you in Ontario; however, remember to speak with your broker before making any final decision on the protection you need. At Mitch, we work with 70 of the best insurance companies in Canada in order to find you the broadest coverage in Ontario, and at the best rates available.

Call today to see how our brokers can help.

Frequently asked questions about Ontario auto insurance requirements:

All Ontario drivers must carry the following coverages:

  • Third Party Liability coverage (minimum $200,000 if you’re at fault for someone else’s losses, although most drivers opt for at least $1 million);
  • Accident Benefits coverage (to pay for treatment, income replacement and other benefits if you’re injured, regardless of fault);
  • Uninsured Automobile coverage (to pay for your injuries and damage to your car if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, or if the at-fault driver has no insurance); and
  • Direct Compensation-Property Damage coverage (to fix your car if someone else is at fault for an accident).

In Ontario, the types of car insurance you need to have by law are:

  • Liability
  • Accident Benefits
  • Direct Compensation – Property Damage
  • Uninsured Automobile Coverage

Any damage to your vehicle due to the following is not covered under a standard auto insurance policy: war, civil war, mutiny, rebellion, hostilities, terror attack, invasion, foreign enemy action, radiation or nuclear material/weapons.

Automobile insurance became mandatory in Ontario in 1979, with a modest package of benefits available to accident victims regardless of who was at fault.