In Ontario, vehicles are required to be insured by their owners before being driven. The traffic violation “Operate Motor Vehicle – No Insurance” falls under Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA) section 2(1)(a). Automobile insurance protects both the driver as well as anyone else impacted by their driving due to property damage, injury, or death. Not only could failing to have proper insurance result in devastating financial hardship should you be sued in the event of an accident, but it could also lead to being charged by the police and facing severe court penalties.
What Is "Operate Motor Vehicle – No Insurance?"
Operating a motor vehicle without insurance falls under section 2(1)(a) of the CAIA:
"2 (1) Subject to the regulations, no owner or lessee of a motor vehicle shall,
- operate the motor vehicle; or
- cause or permit the motor vehicle to be operated,
on a highway unless the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance."
Section 2(1)(a) alleges that the owner or lessee of the vehicle has driven without proper insurance coverage, whereas section 2(1)(b) alleges that the owner or lessee of the uninsured vehicle permitted the vehicle to be driven by another person.
“Automobile insurance” means insurance against liability arising out of bodily injury to or the death of a person or loss of or damage to property caused by a motor vehicle or the use or operation thereof, and which,
“Contract of automobile insurance” is defined as a contract of automobile insurance made with an insurer.
“Motor vehicle” has the same meaning as in the Highway Traffic Act and includes trailers and accessories and equipment of a motor vehicle
The owner of a non-insured vehicle can also be charged with providing false evidence of insurance to the police under CAIA s.2(3)(b): surrenders an insurance card for inspection to a police officer, when requested to do so, purporting to show that the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance when the motor vehicle is not so insured.
If the driver of a motor vehicle simply does not provide their proof of insurance to the police when requested to do so, they may be charged under CAIA s.3(1):
"3 (1) An operator of a motor vehicle on a highway shall have in the motor vehicle at all times,
- an insurance card for the motor vehicle; or
- an insurance card evidencing that the operator is insured under a contract of automobile insurance,
and the operator shall surrender the insurance card for reasonable inspection upon the demand of a police officer. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.25, s. 3 (1)."
These four sections of insurance-related charges are generally referred to as:
- 2(1)(a) Owner Operate Motor Vehicle – No Insurance
- 2(1)(b) Permit Operate Motor Vehicle – No Insurance
- 2(3)(b) Produce False Proof of Insurance
- 3(1) Fail to Surrender Insurance Card