Questions on automobile insurance

If I have a car accident, what kind of coverage does my automobile insurance give me?

  • a) Civil liability insurance (if you injure someone or cause damage to the property of third parties with your car and are prosecuted in court)
  • b) Accident coverage (covers your medical expenses and gives you a replacement income)

What optional coverages are available and which ones do I have?

Insurance covering the damage to your vehicle is optional. The most common are :

  • a) Collision insurance (pays for the repair or replacement of your car if it is damaged).
  • b) Accident insurance without collision or rollover or multi- risk insurance (pays for the repair or replacement of your car if it is damaged otherwise than by collision or rollover).

Do I need collision insurance if I have an old car without any real value?

Collision insurance is optional in most provinces. For an old car, you might want to dispense with collision insurance, especially if it would cost more to repair your car than it is worth, even for minor damage. You must also consider whether you are able to absorb financially the loss of your car.

Who is covered by my auto insurance?

In addition to you, the principal driver, all persons living with you who hold a valid driver’s license must be declared on your contract. Keep in mind that the insurance follows the car, so if you lend your car, you also lend your insurance.

What is the amount of my deductible? What do you recommend?

Collision and comprehensive coverages have deductibles. Ask yourself to what extent a higher or lower deductible will affect the amount of your premium. You should avoid choosing a deductible that is too high, one that you would be unable to pay in the event of an accident.

If I buy a new car, does the type of vehicle I choose affect my insurance premium?

Insurers set their rates based on a vehicle’s rate of accidents and its cost of repair or replacement. Please find out about the CLEAR system. You could benefit from lower premiums if your vehicle is among those less likely to be stolen and less severely damaged.

Should I take a different insurance depending on whether I buy a new or a used car?

There is a special coverage available called Adjustment to compensation. It is a renunciation of depreciation. The moment a new vehicle leaves the dealer, it begins to lose value. However, you can purchase coverage that will compensate you, for a certain period, as if the car was new.

When renting a car while travelling, must I take the insurance offered by the rental company?

If you often rent cars in Canada or the United States, it’s in your interest to obtain additional coverage from your insurer. Otherwise, you should take the insurance offered by the rental company.

What insurance companies have you contacted for me?

Each insurer is unique and rates may therefore vary significantly. It is good to compare prices, but it is also necessary to compare the proposed service. It all depends on what you need.

How can I lower my premiums?

The amount of automobile insurance premiums varies according to the probability that you will have an accident or that your car will be stolen. In addition, some insurers offer reductions for older persons, those who have more than one vehicle, those who have made no claim over a certain period of time, and new drivers who have followed an accredited driving course.

Reproduced with the permission of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Talk with your insurance broker to make sure that you get the best combination of price, coverage and service.

Questions on home insurance

What kind of home insurance do I have?

  • a) Certain contracts only cover “designated risks” therefore, if the cause of the damage is not mentioned in the contract, it is not covered.
  • b) Other contracts cover “designated risks” for the contents of your home and “all risks” that can affect the building itself. This contract sets out everything that is not covered.

Are there still other risks for which I cannot get insurance?

No contract can cover everything that could happen. Insurance is designed for unforeseen events. For example, it is usually impossible to get insurance against floods, because most of the time, this kind of disaster is inevitable.

Are there optional coverages for the risks which are not normally covered by my home insurance?

Yes. For example, if you live in a region where earthquakes occur, you might want to get insurance against earthquakes.

What kind of disaster could damage my house and not be covered unless I had made special provisions?

Here’s an example. Damages resulting from the freezing of indoor sanitation facilities are regarded as preventable. Therefore, if you are absent for more than four consecutive days during the normal heating season, you must drain the facilities or have a qualified person check every day to see that your house is heated. If you do not take these preventive measures and your pipes do erupt, you risk having to clean up the mess yourself in addition to paying for the repairs.

Are there other belongings which may require additional protection?

The insured amounts provided for replacing stolen money, garden tractors, boats or software are relatively low. Cover limitations may also apply in the case of theft of bicycles, jewelry, watches, furs and collections of coins, stamps and maps (there is no limitation for bicycles and map collections in Quebec contracts). The additional coverages are usually offered at affordable rates. Often called amendments, they extend the insurance to those specific goods, often anywhere in the world, and generally carry no deductible.

What is a deductible?

The higher your deductible (the portion of the damages that you must pay yourself), the lower your premium. Comparing your premium with different deductibles will tell you whether the reduction in premium is worth the higher amount that you would have to pay if you made a claim.

Am I entitled to certain reductions, or what can I do to get a reduction?

Many insurers grant reductions to insured persons who have new homes, who have installed security systems, who have made no claims over a certain time, and even for non-smokers.

On what basis are claims resolved?

Most claims are settled on a replacement-cost basis. Some contracts may however only grant the value on the day of the loss.

What kind of civil liability protection do I have, and for what amount?

You are covered for property damage and/or involuntary bodily harm for which you are legally responsible, everywhere in the world, as well as legal costs if you are sued. A minimum coverage of a million dollars is recommended.

What kinds of changes should I tell my insurance broker about?

It is important to notify your broker for any major change relating to your house since some restrictions or advantages may have to be considered.

  • a) Rental of your house over the long term
  • b) Major renovation
  • c) Temporary exchange of home with someone else
  • d) Work at home
  • e) Installation of a security system
  • f) Purchase of a secondary residence, office, etc.

Reproduced with permission of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Talk with your insurance broker to make sure that you get the best combination of price, coverage and service.

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