Emily Chung: Mummy Mechanic


Auto Insurance Clarity

Misconceptions about Ontario auto insurance

There are some people in my life who think that talking about insurance is taboo. To talk about insurance is to say with certainty that something bad is going to happen. Well, I like to be prepared and let’s face it, insurance is important to cover the ‘what ifs’ in life. I sat down with Fraser Wilkinson, Insurance Broker with Deeks Insurance, to talk auto insurance in Ontario and here are some interesting things I found out.

There are many misconceptions about Ontario auto insurance. Many people believe that if they stay with one insurance company, they’ll get the lowest rate as a reward for their past business.  That’s not the case and year after year insurance rates fluctuate. It’s always a good idea to shop for rates. You can either do that directly or have your insurance broker shop for you.
Another misconception: Any claim I submit will increase my premium. Some types of claims will not affect your premium including: 
  • ‘Not at fault’ accident claim 
  • Comprehensive claims such as vandalism, fire, theft, collision with animal
  • Windshield repair or replacement—keep in mind that insurance companies would rather pay for small stone chip repairs before the crack gets larger because by that point, the only option left is to replace the entire windshield
Did you know? If you have child car seats and your car is in a collision (big or small), your insurance company will likely cover the cost of replacing the car seat. Even if there’s no visual damage to the child car seat and/or your child wasn’t sitting in the seat at the time of the collision, Transport Canada still recommends that the car seat be replaced as a precaution. 
Other notes about Ontario insurance that you may not know:
  • While standard liability insurance is $1 million, $2 million is a smart consideration particularly because our society is becoming more litigious. Liability insurance is there in case you get sued for the negligent use of your vehicle. 
  • Accident premium protector is an option you can choose to protect your rates when you have your first ‘at fault’ accident, given that you haven’t had one in the last 6 years.  Typically the cost of this protection is insignificant compared to the cost of a rate increase as a result of your ‘at fault’ collision. Link to YMC at fault
  • How many tickets does it take to make you a ‘high risk’ driver? 1 ‘at fault’ ticket in 5 years or more than 1 traffic ticket conviction in 3 years.
Whether or not you live in Ontario, take the time to get to know your insurance policy. If you have questions about it, ask your agent. The time to do this is now before an emergency comes up.  For details on your province's insurance structure, visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Image via www.msn.ca