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Facility Association: high-risk auto insurance in Canada

As a high-risk driver, you may need to opt for a facility insurance policy while you improve your driving record. So here's everything you need to know about Facility Association in Canada.

What is facility insurance in Canada?

If you’re going to drive a car in Canada, you need car insurance. Sometimes drivers are classified as being too high risk for conventional auto insurance. This can be for a number of reasons:

  • You have no experience driving
  • Your driving record is poor
  • You own or drive a vehicle that is deemed high risk
  • You have an extensive claims history
  • You use your vehicle in a risky way
  • Your payment history is problematic
  • You’ve committed insurance fraud

Because conventional insurance providers may deny coverage, the Facility Association was established. This association ensures that every eligible individual is able to obtain auto insurance and also helps to stabilize the insurance market.

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How does facility car insurance work?

It should be noted that Facility Association uses other insurance providers to implement high-risk policies. While every licensed insurer that operates in a province or territory with facility insurance becomes a member of the association by law, the companies that provide the high-risk car insurance are RSA, Nordic (Intact), The Co-operators, and Novex. These insurers administer the coverage and handle claims adjustments, but the policy is backed by Facility Association. 

Where is facility insurance available in Canada?

If you are deemed a high-risk driver, you can obtain facility insurance in the following provinces and territories:

  • Alberta
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Yukon

In British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the government provides auto insurance and therefore facility insurance is not available. Additionally, Facility Association doesn’t operate in Quebec.

The average cost of facility insurance

If your only option as a driver is to get facility insurance, you can expect to pay 2 to 3 times more for car insurance. The average cost of facility insurance is around $8,000 to $10,000 per year, with costs reaching over $20,000 per year in certain cases.

how rates are calculated

Facility car insurance vs. regular car insurance

If you’re required to get facility insurance, know that you’re still covered to drive on the road under the same terms of your license. That said, there are a couple of key differences between facility insurance and regular auto insurance.

When you buy regular insurance, the market is competitive, so you’re able to shop around for the best car insurance quotes. You find a company with the cheapest price, and usually, that’s the provider you’ll go with. With facility insurance, however, you don’t have that option.

Facility insurance is bought through the “facility association residual market” (FARM). Because it’s a standardized market, there’s no competition, and therefore, you have no options of who to buy your insurance through.

The second key difference is that facility insurance costs a lot more than conventional auto insurance. If you have to buy facility insurance, you can expect to pay two to three times more than a regular policy.

Alternatives to facility auto insurance

If you are a high-risk driver, and you speak with an insurance company, you might be told that your only option is facility insurance. This isn’t necessarily the case – there are insurance providers that will cover high-risk drivers. 

Coachman, Echelon, Economical, Jevco and Pafco all provide insurance for high-risk drivers. These five companies typically offer cheaper insurance rates than the Facility Association, so you should speak to an insurance broker about them before purchasing car insurance.

If none of these companies will provide coverage for you, then you may be required to go with facility insurance as your last option.

Do you qualify for regular car insurance?

Facility insurance might not be your only option. By providing us with a few details, we can show you customized car insurance rates from other providers, so you can make sure you're getting the best rate possible.

FAQ: Facility Association in Canada

How do you avoid facility insurance?

Is facility insurance my only option?

Can you get regular insurance after you’ve had facility insurance?

Can you bundle facility insurance for a discount?

Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance

With 6+ years of experience at, Matt’s focus has been on growing its newest business unit, Insurance. He is a thought leader and a valuable resource to respected publications across Canada. read full bio

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