The Ins and Outs of Car Insurance: A Guide for Beginners

Finally getting your driver’s licence is a major accomplishment. Passing your driving test demonstrates that you’re a competent, safe driver. The next step to securing your safety and that of others is by purchasing car insurance, which is a legal mandate everywhere in Canada. Getting insurance can sometimes feel overwhelming, but knowing why you need car insurance and where you can get it in BC makes the process much smoother.

Why Do I Need Car Insurance?

First of all, having car insurance is mandatory in BC – you need insurance because it’s the law! Second of all, insurance helps you in the event of an accident. When something goes wrong on the road, from a small fender bender to a big accident, it’s almost impossible to pay for the damage to your car, another driver’s car, or other damaged property out of pocket. Insurance helps pick up the slack so you don’t have to put your entire savings account on the line every time you go out for a spin. Insurance also helps cover personal injuries from a car accident. Having insurance protects you, your wallet, and your health, and gives you greater peace of mind when you’re on the road.

What Kind of Car Insurance Do I Need?
The type and amount of car insurance you should get varies depending on your individual circumstances. Details about your life are an important factor, including age, driving record and experience, and which province you live in. In BC, the ICBC Basic Autoplan is the place to start. Get in touch with an insurance agent to get the right coverage.

What is ICBC Basic Autoplan?
ICBC Basic Autoplan provides basic insurance coverage in the event of a crash, namely when you’re the at-fault driver and need to pay for someone else’s injuries or damaged vehicle. It also helps cover your own medical needs and work compensation even when you’re at fault. ICBC Basic Autoplan also helps cover you if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident or if you’re hit by someone who doesn’t have insurance.

You can add more coverage on top of the basics, including:

  • Extra vehicle coverage for collisions and specific types of accidents
  • Extra coverage for you and your family
  • Specialized coverage for off-road vehicles

Your specific situation, experience, and vehicle can help you decide what insurance coverage you need. The ICBC website ( is a great resource for determining what coverage you want for yourself and your vehicle and to examine your potential options. After you visit the North Shore Driving School and have your licence firmly in hand, take the next step and cover yourself and your car – your budget, your car, and other drivers on the road will thank you.

Don’t have your licence yet? Consider North Shore Driving School’s GLP driving courses in Vancouver.

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