Time to renew your policy? Before you sign a new agreement, there are several things you’ll want to do. Make sure you carefully review your policy, determine if your coverage adequately suits your needs and shop around for the best deals.
Delving into the nitty-gritty of car insurance may not be exactly a load of fun, but you’ll be able to rest easier knowing you’ve made informed, financially savvy choices that will provide for your needs adequately, should an accident ever occur.
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Tip #1: Understand Your Current Policy
Insurance terminology isn’t exactly easy to understand, but it’s important to know the mandatory minimums, how much coverage your currently have and what each type of coverage includes.
In Ontario, there are four types of mandatory coverage:
- Liability-Bodily Injury – this will pay for claims others make against you, should you accidentally injure someone or cause property damage. Minimum coverage. You must carry at least $200,000 of bodily injury liability insurance. You should purchase as much liability insurance protection as possible. Try to get at least $2 million.
- Accident Benefits – this type of insurance covers a wide range of damages for you, regardless of who caused the accident. It will cover income replacement or payments to non-earners who become disabled, attendant care benefits, medical and rehabilitation expenses, funeral expenses, and payments to survivors.
- Uninsured Automobile – this protects you if you are injured by an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver.
- Direct Compensation Property Damage – this covers damage to your vehicle if you are not at fault in the accident.
Read over your policy and see what your limits are. Are you happy with your deductibles? Do you think the coverage is adequate? This is a good time to schedule an appointment with your insurance agent to discuss your policy and determine what options would be best for you.
Tip #2: Consider Additional Endorsements
The above types of auto insurance are compulsory in Ontario, but it’s advisable to consider purchasing higher limits. You might also want to look into additional coverages and enhancements, referred to as endorsements.
Some of the optional coverages and endorsements you might consider include:
- enhanced or optional accident benefits;
- collision or upset;
- all perils;
- specified perils;
- rented or leased vehicles;
- loss of use;
- liability for damage to non-owned automobile;
- family protection coverage; and
- added coverage to offset tort deductibles.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada explains, “There are many other endorsements available that are less common but may be of benefit to you. Your insurance representative will be familiar with all of them and will advise you if any would be of benefit to you.”
Tip #3: Ask about Discounts
Finally, ask your insurance agent about any discounts that may be available to you.
A few discounts that you might be eligible for include:
- low mileage use;
- finishing a driver training course;
- having more than one vehicle in the house on the policy, or insuring your home and car with the same company;
- mature drivers over 55;
- retirees with no income;
- being a long-time customer;
- being claims-free; and
- installing a theft-proof device.
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Need help after an accident? Consult Our Auto Accident Attorneys
If you have any questions about auto liability or car accident claims in Ontario, feel free to call our attorneys at the Preszler Law Firm in Ontario. Contact us anytime for a free, no-obligation consultation: 1-800-JUSTICE®.