American drivers in Canada and Canadian drivers in the USA

American drivers in Canada and Canadian drivers in the USA

The United States of America and Canada share a mutual agreement in which drivers licenses are valid under the grounds of being a tourist for a period of six months.

As far as Canada and the USA is concerned, any full license issued in any jurisdiction is instantly accepted in every state and province. Also, since the two countries are so integrated in a lot of ways, traffic violations in one country will reflect on your home country’s drivers license for demerit points. You are responsible for knowing local driving laws and to adjust for conditions.

Liability limits are significantly lower in the USA than they are in Canada, thus Americans are not required to have as much coverage for liability claims. Fortunately, Canadians will often be able to access insurance benefits through their own insurance company, even for car accidents that occurred in the USA. In addition to obtaining accident benefits or disability insurance payments from your Canadian insurer, you may also be able to claim against the insurance company for the other vehicle/driver in the USA.

Often times, the insurance policy on the USA vehicle that caused the accident will have low coverage limits in comparison to Canadian insurance policies. Most of the Ontario policies we see have coverage of $1,000,000.00 or more. Policy limits that high are exceptionally rare in the USA for personal vehicles. In fact, many of the USA insurance policies we see are well under $100,000.00, and commonly as low as $10,000.00 or $20,000.00.

Fortunately, if you are an Ontario resident, you likely have protection in the event of an underinsured or even uninsured motorist causing an accident. That is, the other driver's insurance limits may not be sufficient to pay for your claim. The Ontario insurance policy will cover your losses in excess of the policy limits available from the at-fault driver's insurance.

When an Ontario resident is injured in a car accident in the USAs, they have the right to elect between Ontario benefits or those of the jurisdiction (State) where the car or motorcycle accident occurred. The election is final, so it is important to make an informed decision. In many cases, the choice can have major consequences to your ability to access benefits for healthcare and income loss.

The team at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LL.P. strongly encourages all road users to engage in safe practices when out on the road.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a collision, you may be entitled to receive the help you deserve. Contact us at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LL.P. and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.


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