Which provinces allow credit checks?

If you live in Ontario or Newfoundland and Labrador, you can breathe easy. It’s against the law for auto insurance companies to use your credit score when coming up with an insurance quote.

The Maritimes

In Nova Scotia you can’t be denied insurance if you refuse a credit check before purchasing a policy. However, certain carriers offer a discount to individuals with a favourable credit score, including RSA Canada, Aviva, Traders and Co-operators.

The New Brunswick Insurance Board continues to allow new requests from auto insurance carriers to use credit scores to help set rates in the province. This is in opposition to the province’s Office of the Attorney General, Ted Hughes, who has openly questioned the fairness of the practice, since New Brunswick residents have the lowest credit ratings per capita than anywhere else in the country.

The province’s largest provider of auto insurance, Wawanessa, was the first to push for this pricing adjustment in September 2021, and has since been followed by Northbridge General Insurance and Zenith Insurance.

While Prince Edward Island may not have explicit rules forbidding the practice of checking a person’s credit to understand their risk profile, it is not common.

Western Canada

In Alberta, insurers have to ask for consent before taking a peek at your credit score, and are prohibited from using it if you only want the most basic plan.

In Manitoba and British Columbia, the provincial government regulates the insurance industry. Neither Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) nor the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) list credit scores among its criteria.

It’s the same for Saskatchewan and its Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). However, while drivers are required to get basic coverage through SGI, you may face a credit check if you want additional coverage through a private company.


Similar to Prince Edward Island, Quebec does not have any laws prohibiting the use of credit checks to influence auto insurance coverages, but it is rarely used as a determining factor in the final price.

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How much do I need to worry about my credit score affecting my auto insurance premium?

Since drivers with an A-plus score can get behind the wheel with the best deal, they’re probably happy to hand over their credit rating and save a few bucks on their premiums. If you don't know your score, you can check it for free.

But what if you’re a young adult, a newcomer to Canada, unemployed or barely getting by? If you haven’t been able to build or preserve a solid score, insurers could hit you with a higher premium, making it more expensive to get to work, school or a doctor’s appointment.

That said, insurance companies look at many other factors when sizing you up, including where you live, driving experience, accident history and the type of car you drive. (Unfortunately, many insurers also judge you on age and gender.)

We also have a consumer watchdog called the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The organization has published a voluntary code of conduct for credit checks and says 85% of Canada’s personal property and auto insurance companies have signed on. Some of the friendly ground rules include:

  • Asking for your consent before checking your credit score
  • Not cancelling or denying insurance when you don’t consent
  • Using other relevant info to calculate your premiums if you don’t have much credit history

You can consult a broker, insurance agent or go to a comparison site to be matched with carriers that don’t take credit scores into account or weigh them heavily in the decision making process.These resources can help you find the coverage that suits your needs at a price that is suitable to your budget.


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David Saric Associate Editor, Money.ca

A Toronto-based writer and editor with both in-house and freelance experience on a variety of topics, including art, fashion, pop culture, film, television, music, current affairs, breaking news, and managing and money and P&C insurance.

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