What is the Best Car Insurance in British Columbia for 2024?

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Alexandre Desoutter updated on 20 March 2023

Do you want to know how much is car insurance in British Columbia and what are the mandatory car insurance coverages in British Columbia? You've come to the right place!

In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about car insurance in British Columbia: cover features, tips to save money as well as cheapest car insurance companies for your car in British Columbia.

Let's dive in!

How does car insurance work in British Columbia?

In British Columbia, public insurance is required by British Columbia government. Basic auto insurance coverage is provided by public insurance. Third Party Liability is mandatory trough the ICBC, the British Columbia Government. You can upgrade you car insurance to be best protected trough private insurance. So in BC, you need to have the ICBC Basic Autoplan.

BC mandatory car insurance covers:

Medical costs, wage loss (up to $300,000 in medical and rehabilitation costs)
Third party Liability
Underinsured Motorist Protection
Hit-and-run damage and injuries​.

You are about to apply for a car insurance to drive in your area? Never forget to compare best car insurance plans in Canada upfront, and weight pros and cons of what each car insurer offers:

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How to get car insurance quotes in British Columbia?

Try the comparison tool above to compare rates and purchase car insurance. Drivers in British Columbia can get car insurance through a broker, agent or directly from an insurer. There are many options.

When you request a car insurance quote, you will need:

  • The vehicle’s make and model
  • Your VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • Your Social Insurance Number
  • Driver’s license
  • Your previous insurance (if any)

Good to know

Your insurer in British Columbia may ask you who else will drive the vehicle, where you’ll regularly drive and how much. They will look at your driving record. Demerit points, speeding tickets, previous accidents and insurance gaps will mean higher quotes.

When purchasing insurance it is important to compare because companies sometimes give very different rates. You should consider if you want to add collision or upset and comprehensive coverage in addition to the mandatory insurance. Beyond that, there are many endorsements to enhance your car insurance policy. If you have a new vehicle you might like a waiver of depreciation which reimburses you for the purchase value of your new vehicle if it is declared a total loss in the first 24 months you have it.

How much is car insurance in British Columbia?

According to a report from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) from 2019, British Columbia drivers pay $1,830 on average for their car insurance coverage per year. This is much more than other regions in Canada, and it is due to lack of competition in British Columbia, as car insurance is mainly public.

Good to know

On average, car insurance in BC is more expensive than other region in Canada.

In British Columbia, there are a number of factors to consider when determining the price of your car insurance. The price of car insurance in British Columbia is based on several factors such as:

  • Your age and sex.
  • Your driving record (i.e. your driving history).
  • Your permanent address: it won't be the same price if you live in a crowded city or in the countryside.
  • The type of vehicle you drive: depending on the vehicle you drive, your premium will increase or not. If it is a really a model that can be easily stolen, your premium will get higher. If you drive one of the most stolen cars, it is quite sure that your premium will tend to be higher.
  • The use you make of your vehicle: are your journeys to and from work daily, for example? Do you use your vehicle for business purposes?
  • The number of people insured on your car insurance and their driving level.
  • The date you obtained your driver's license.
  • Third party liability: did you choose $1,000,000 third party liability? More? Less? This changes your premium a lot.
  • The optional coverage: did you add accident forgiveness for example? Roadside assistance? Same, this impacts your premium.

Before subscribing any car insurance plan in British Columbia, do not forget to compare best car insurance plans and pick the best option for you:

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What is the mandatory car insurance coverage in British Columbia?

In British Columbia, there are several car coverages that are mandatory by law:

Third-party liability

This insurance is compulsory and covers you for:

  • Material damage and bodily injury caused to others by your fault
  • The minimum mandatory amount is 200 000 $

As seen before, third party liability is offered by British Columbia Government.

Statutory accident benefits coverage

This insurance provides protection for bodily injury and:

  • Covers you if you are injured in an accident regardless of who is at fault.
  • Covers the medical staff involved in the accident: medical care, rehabilitation and auxiliary care services.
  • Covers income replacement.

Uninsured automobile insurance

This insurance applies if you or someone in your vehicle is either injured or killed by an uninsured driver, or by a hit-and-run driver.

The table below recapitulates which car insurance coverage is mandatory in British Columbia:

Car insurance coveragesMandatory or not
Public insurance
Third-party liability
Accident benefits
Direct Compensation Property Damage
Uninsured automobilist
Mandatory car insurance coverages in British Columbia

What are the optional car insurance coverages in British Columbia?

Here are all the options you can add to your car insurance to be best protected:

  • Collision car insurance in British Columbia:

This auto insurance protects you in the event of a collision of your vehicle with an object, which can also be the rollover of your vehicle. This insurance covers property damage caused by this accident. For example, if you hit a traffic sign, you will be covered by collision insurance. This coverage is not mandatory.

  • Comprehensive car insurance in British Columbia:

This insurance protects you for anything that is not collision or upset, as the name suggests, therefore for anything that is vandalism, glass breakage, theft, fire. If you park your vehicle on the street and when you come back, one of the windows has been broken, you will be able to use this insurance if you have subscribed to it. It is possible to make car insurance estimates to see how much you want to be insured up to.

  • Specified Perils Auto Insurance in British Columbia:

It covers you for risks that you have specified in the contract. For example, you can mention glass breakage but not include vandalism, theft but not include fire.

  • All-risk car insurance in British Columbia

This insurance is a combination of all other insurances: collision, payout and collision free. The deductible is the same for all damages. You will thus be protected for all incidents beyond your control (vandalism, theft, fire) but also for incidents resulting from a road accident, collision with an object, or the overturning of your vehicle.

What other options can you add to your car insurance in British Columbia?

Here are some other options you could add to your car insurance in British Columbia, most of the car insurance companies propose this:

Car insurance optionsDetailsAvailability in British Columbia
Leased vehicule
Your rental vehicle will be insured in the same manner as your insured vehicle(s).
Accident Forgiveness
Your first accident won't increase your car insurance premium
Replacement value for total loss
Also known as replacement value, your insurer will compensate you based on the purchase value of the vehicle without taking depreciation into account.
Alternate Transportation Benefits
Also known as loss of use of the vehicle, this covers the cost of rentals, transportation, cabs that you had to take during the period when you were unable to use your vehicle.
Emergency roadside
if you are out of gas, stuck, have a cracked wheel, the road assistance is there for it.
Options you can add to your car inusurance

What are the best discounts offered by car insurances in British Columbia?

British Columbia car insurers offer many discounts to save money on your insurance. Here are some of the best discounts known:

  • Young driver discounts: Many insurers offer discounts for young drivers because the insurance premium for young people is quite high.
  • Group discount: You can benefit from a discount if you are part of a group, this can be members of an association, employees of the same company etc.
  • Discount for experienced drivers: You can get a discount if you have a good driving record and are over 50 years old.
  • Discount for combined policies: You can get a discount by combining your car and home insurance for example, the discount is often between 5% and 15%.
  • Discount for winter tires: It's snowing in British Columbia! That's why insurers often offer a discount if you add snow tires to your vehicle.
  • Retiree discount: You may be eligible for a 15% discount on Accident Benefits
  • Renewal Discount: Your loyalty can be rewarded by some insurers, if for example you have been with them for many years without having caused any accidents. You may also be eligible for other discounts depending on the car insurers in British Columbia.
  • Low mileage: Adding security to your vehicle

8 ways to get cheap car insurance in British Columbia

Here 8 tips so save on your car insurance in British Columbia:

  1. Bundle your policies: you could easily get a discount if you buy car and home insurance at the same insurer.
  2. Shop and compare to get the best deal. Never auto renew.
  3. Choose the right amount of deductible: if you choose a low deductible, your car insurance premium will go high. So choose high deductible if you want to lower your car insurance premium.
  4. Choose the coverage you need. For example, if you drive a really old car, maybe you should't have a very complete car insurance.
  5. Pay annually: this will avoid to pay the rate fees to pay monthly.
  6. Security-device: you should install safety devices on your car, you could enjoy discounts!
  7. Have a good driving record: the best you drive, the lower you'll pay.
  8. Install a telematic device: this tool will register your driving behavior and your car insurance premium will be adapt to your kind of driving. So, if you're a safe driver, and you want to save money on your car insurance, go for it!


Start saving today! Get a free car insurance quote

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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.