Everyone on the Cheep Insurance Team is a die-hard Nova Scotian – we love this province! We understand the urge to want to plant roots here. Over the past few months, we’ve noticed a trend in people moving to NS to do just that – especially from Ontario.
There is one thing that many new-to-province drivers are surprised to learn when they start to settle in Nova Scotia and go to get car insurance. They find that transportation management and insurance regulations vary province-to-province. Due to this, you need to provide proof of your driving and insurance history from Ontario to get an accurate insurance quote and set up a policy.
At Cheep Insurance we understand that the whole insurance-buying process can be painful. This is why we’ve built a simple three-step quote & policy set-up process. It’s also why we’re writing this new blog series about setting up insurance in Nova Scotia after moving from out-of-province. Unfortunately, if you’re moving from out-of-province, there is one extra step you need to complete to get an insurance policy. It’s quite simple, and if you complete it in Ontario before moving, the process is that much easier.
1) Before Moving from Ontario to Nova Scotia
Nova Scotian insurance companies and brokerages will need to review your driving and insurance history from Ontario to provide an accurate insurance quote and set up a policy. This is because driving and insurance history plays a big role in policy pricing.
Obtaining your driving and insurance history before leaving Ontario is your best bet. Service Ontario and your current insurer will have the easiest access to your history while you’re still in Ontario. That said, if you don’t complete this step before moving to Nova Scotia, it’s not the end of the world – you can do it from here.
What you’re going to need is a driver’s abstract and a letter of experience from your insurer.
Obtaining Your Driver’s Abstract
Your driver’s abstract shows your driving record from the province of Ontario, including:
- Your driver’s license number (also referred to as a “master number”)
- Your license class
- Your license status
- Your license expiry date
- The date your full license (G class license) was first obtained
- Your date of birth
- Your address
- Any conditions or restrictions you may have on your license
- A list of all driving convictions. (eg: speeding tickets, no insurance tickets, driving under the influence, etc.) and your demerit point total
The Government of Ontario makes the process of ordering a driver’s abstract quite simple. Everything is outlined on the Service Ontario website.
What you’ll need for insurance purposes is a “3-year uncertified driver’s record”. You’ll be able to follow the prompts on the Service Ontario website to order a report online. Once finished, you’ll be able to save a PDF version of the driver’s record, which you can then email to your insurance broker or agent in Nova Scotia so they can complete your quote for you.
Obtaining Your Letter(s) of Experience
Letters of experience show your insurance history for the period of time you were insured with a particular company. You will need a letter of experience from each insurance company you were insured with over the past 6 years. These letters of experience need to show the following:
- Your policy number
- The effective and expiry dates of the policy (or the dates you were listed as a driver on the policy if the policy was in someone else’s name)
- An overview of any claims against the policy while you were insured (including claim descriptions, dates, and payouts)
- An overview of any policy cancellations/cancellations for non-payment
To obtain a letter of experience, you simply need to reach out to your insurance company or broker in Ontario and request one. As mentioned above, you will need a letter of experience from each company you were insured with in Ontario over the last six years.
2) When You Arrive in Nova Scotia
When you arrive in Nova Scotia there are a few things you’ll need to do with regards to your driver’s licence and insurance (on top of all the unpacking/nesting fun!). You’ll need to get a Nova Scotian driver’s licence, switch your car’s provincial registration and licence plates, and set up a Nova Scotian insurance policy.
Obtaining a Nova Scotian Driver’s Licence, Registration & Plates
All the information you’ll need to get a Nova Scotian driver’s license, vehicle registration and license plates can be found on the Service Nova Scotia website. You will need to go into the DMV, or as they’re called here, “Access Nova Scotia”, to get your new license, registration, and license plate. When you are there, they will take your Ontario driver’s license and destroy it.
If you haven’t already obtained your Ontario driver’s abstract or letter(s) of experience when you get your licence switched over, make sure you take a picture of your Ontario driver’s license or write down your license number before they take it! You will need your license number to order your Ontario driver’s abstract if you haven’t already, and they don’t warn you that you’ll need this before taking your Ontario license at Access Nova Scotia.
3) Setting Up Insurance After You Arrive in Nova Scotia
Setting up an insurance policy in Nova Scotia is simple once you have your Ontario driver’s abstract and letter(s) of experience. There are a number of different insurance companies to choose from in Nova Scotia, so you’ll need to shop around and compare prices to find the deal that’s best for you.
That’s where we come in. We’ll do all of the tedious, hard work for you!
We have the largest selection of car insurance partners in Atlantic Canada. We compare rates from 10+ companies to find you the best price for your insurance needs. No matter what your history is, we will get you covered AND hook you up with a monthly payment plan.
If you’re just looking to get an idea of what your insurance will cost, check out our free online quoting tool. This is a great tool for comparing rates/shopping around. Keep in mind your quote will only be as accurate as the information you enter into the system.
If you’re looking to purchase a policy in the near future and want an accurate quote based on your driving and insurance history, your best bet is to call us at 902.463.1675 or toll-free at 1.866.92.CHEEP. One of our licensed insurance brokers would be happy to review your Ontario driver’s abstract and letter(s) of insurance and provide a final quote for you.
Note that we’re only able to honour quotes for 30 days, so if you’re not looking to set up a Nova Scotian insurance policy for a month or more, the online quoting tool is the way to go until you’re within that 30-day window.