Selecting insurance coverage for you and your family is among the most important decisions you can make as a consumer.
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This rings true, whether you are in the market for:
- motor vehicle insurance;
- long-term disability insurance;
- health insurance; or
- any other category of coverage.
Enrolling in the right insurance program or purchasing the right coverage may provide financial protection in the event of an unexpected event, such as an accident or injury.
Below are 8 tips to help you choose the right insurance for you and your loved ones.
1. Determine your budget – Calculate your absolute monthly or annual budget for insurance coverage well before you begin shopping for coverage
2. Work only with a licensed company – Secure insurance coverage only through a broker, agent or company licensed to do business in Ontario. Coverage purchased through an unlicensed party may be invalid. The Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario’s website allows you to search for licensed agents in your area.
3. Shop around for the best value – Prices for similar coverage can vary from company to company and agent to agent. Contact several agencies to secure several different quotes. This allows you to compare prices and coverage limits.
4. Don’t automatically opt for the cheapest coverage – Insurance quickly can become expensive, and it’s tempting to go with the lowest bidder. However, carrying the “cheapest” plan may wind up costing you far more in the long run. This is true in cases where you incur serious economic damages in an accident, and your insurance policy does not have the available coverage to meet your needs.
5. Ask lots of questions – Ask your insurance broker many questions before you commit to your level of coverage. Ensure you understand all limitations, waiting periods and other factors of the policy. This includes knowing who you can contact in the event of a claim dispute or the timeline for payment on an accepted claim.
6. Consider your family’s unique needs – Make a list of any special considerations for your family that may impact your coverage needs. For instance, is one member of the household the sole earner? If so, it may benefit you to purchase additional Income Replacement Benefits on that person’s auto insurance policy.
7. Increase your liability coverage only when appropriate – Save costs by avoiding optional coverage not applicable to your family. For instance, it likely is not necessary to purchase additional Dependant Caregiver Benefits if there are no minor children in the household.
8. Consider how insurance policies “work” together – Purchase coverage that will complement your existing coverage. For instance, in addition to OHIP, you may wish to purchase optional or additional Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care Benefits above and beyond the standard minimums provider under a basic automobile policy of insurance.
Understanding your available coverage limits after an accident or illness can be confusing and complicated – even if you did your homework at the time of purchase. A lawyer can help you determine the benefits to which you are entitled and initiate a claim on your behalf. If you’re ever in an accident, remember to call the Preszler Law Firm for help: 1-800-JUSTICE®.
In the meantime, check out our blog for other helpful tips and explanations regarding Accident Benefits and insurance coverage.