Auto Insurance FAQs
- What exactly is "no-fault" insurance?
- I've sold my vehicle and don't plan on getting a new one right away. Will I be penalized for lapsing my insurance coverage?
- How much liability should I purchase?
- What basic coverage must I have legally?
- I'm considering buying a new car and would like to keep my insurance costs down. Do certain models of cars cost less to insure than others?
- How can I save money on car insurance without sacrificing thorough coverage?
- Does my car insurance policy cover me anywhere in the world?
- What happens if I get a new car over the weekend, and my insurance company is closed until Monday morning...can I drive it / is it covered?
- How do traffic tickets affect my insurance rates?
- If I lend my car to a friend and they get in an accident, do my rates go up?
What exactly is "no-fault" insurance?
"No-fault" means that your insurance company will pay benefits to you, the driver, and to anyone else injured in your vehicle who doesn't have his or her own Ontario automobile policy, no matter who caused the accident. Their insurance company pays for injuries sustained by persons in the other vehicle.
(click here for a more details about no-fault insurance)
I've sold my vehicle and don't plan on getting a new one right away. Will I be penalized for lapsing my insurance coverage?
A person cannot be penalized for a lapse in insurance coverage unless:
- the driver's licence was suspended because of a conviction related to the use or operation of the automobile such as impaired driving;
- an accident or conviction happened that would result in higher premiums and the individual did not notify the insurance company;
- the insurance policy was cancelled for non-payment of an insurance premium.
How much liability should I purchase?
As much as the insurer is willing to sell you. Most companies will sell up to $2,000,000 on an auto policy. The difference in premium is usually only around $25.00 or less to go from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000. At Mitchell and Abbott Group we strongly recommend that all of our clients purchase $2,000,000 liability.
What basic coverage must I have legally?
You can choose how much insurance coverage you want to have. But, at the very least, you must have the following to operate a vehicle on Ontario roads:
Statutory Accident Benefits
This covers your medical expenses and provides you with income replacement benefits if you are injured in a car accident, no matter who is at fault in the accident.
Third-Party Liability of at least $200,000
This protects you if you are sued because you or anyone else driving your car injures someone else or damages someone else's property.
Direct Compensation-Property Damage
This protects you if someone else causes damage to your car and its contents. It is called direct compensation because you collect directly from your insurer.
Uninsured Automobile Coverage
This covers you if you are injured or killed by an uninsured motorist or by a hit-and-run driver. It also protects you if an identified uninsured motorist causes damage to your car or its contents.
While the above coverages are what you must buy at the very least, you can choose to buy extra coverage to get extra protection. (click here for information about optional coverages and for additional coverages you can purchase).
I'm considering buying a new car and would like to keep my insurance costs down. Do certain models of cars cost less to insure than others?
The Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating system (known as CLEAR) is the system that most insurers now use in calculating automobile insurance rates. This system bases rates on each vehicle model's claims experience, including cost of repairs, frequency and severity of injury claims, and frequency of theft. But the kind of vehicle you drive is only one factor insurers take into account when calculating your premium. Others factors include your driving record, your location, and how far you drive on a regular basis.
How can I save money on car insurance without sacrificing thorough coverage?
Of course, as a client of Believer Plus, our staff will help you find the best way to save money on your auto insurance. The following explanations are some key examples of how to reduce your premiums.
Higher Deductibles: One of the best ways to save money on car insurance is to choose a higher deductible. The deductible is the portion of the claim that you agree to pay. In most cases, the higher the deductible the lower the premium.
Minimize Claims: Another way to save is not to make a lot of small claims. The more claims you put through, the more you will be seen as a risk to insure.
Discounts: Some insurance companies will offer discounts for placing more than one line of business with their organization. Others will give discounts if you have installed protection devices into your auto. There are also group discounts or rates available from some companies to members of an eligible organized group.
(click here for more details on saving money on your insurance)
Does my car insurance policy cover me anywhere in the world?
No. Your car policy covers you for incidents occurring in Canada, the US and on a vessel travelling between ports of those countries.
What happens if I get a new car over the weekend, and my insurance company is closed until Monday morning-can I drive it / is it covered?
A newly acquired automobile is automatically covered for up to 14 days, but be careful because the new car is only covered for what your existing car/cars are presently covered for.
How do traffic tickets affect my insurance rates?
Most insurance companies will excuse one minor conviction such as being charged for running a red light, but they may not overlook more than one in a three year period. A driver with a flawed record is considered a higher risk on the road and is charged accordingly.
If I lend my car to a friend and they get in an accident, do my rates go up?
If you've given another person permission to use your vehicle, and they get into an accident that deems it necessary to make a claim, it will be your insurance rates that are affected.