The Basics of Buying Car Insurance
- Why you need auto insurance
- Before buying your Policy
- Information to have ready when you are asking for a quote
- Why an Insurance Broker is the Best Insurance
- How to save on insurance costs
- Money saving tips
Why you need auto insurance
In Ontario, the law requires that you have automobile insurance; without it, you can be heavily fined, have your license suspended, or your vehicle impounded. Additionally, if you are caught driving without auto insurance, insurance companies may then consider you a high risk driver—and charge you much higher premiums. If you're uninsured—and in an accident—you may not be eligible for income replacement or non-earner benefits; you may not even be able to sue the at-fault driver if you're injured. In the case of injury or death of another person, you'll most likely be held financially responsible for all losses and medical costs.
Before buying your Policy
In order to find an insurance package that best suits your needs, it's important to shop around before you buy; this will allow you to compare the variations in deductibles, limits, optional coverage policies, and the costs between different companies and brokers. Always balance the level of protection for you and your vehicle with a price you can afford to pay.
Information to have ready when you are asking for a quote
When you're receiving a quote on a premium or purchasing an insurance policy you'll need to provide basic information on:
- Your vehicle
- Your driving record
- Your current broker, agent or insurance company
- Any other drivers of said vehicle(s) (You're responsible for any activity your vehicle is involved in, no matter who's behind the wheel)
The information you provide has to be both accurate and complete because if it isn't, you may run the risk of having your rates hiked up or losing your coverage due to insurance fraud.
Why an Insurance Broker is the Best Insurance
You can buy car insurance from insurance brokers in your area, insurance agents, or direct writers. Just remember to make sure they're licensed in Ontario—otherwise your coverage won't be recognized in Mississauga or anywhere else in Ontario.
How to save on insurance costs
In order to save money, here are some things to avoid:
- Getting coverage you don't need.
- Buying a high risk car (one that has a high theft rate).
- Having a blood alcohol level of 80mg or higher when you drive (this will allow your claim to be denied in case of an accident).
- Switching to another insurance policy mid-term (you'll incur a penalty fee).
- Being late with your insurance payments (If your payments are late, your policy can be canceled—and if repeat late payments occur, your premiums can go up, as you will then be considered a high risk).
Ontarians are sometimes confused about what type of auto insurance coverage they should get. Understanding the different types of auto insurance will go a long way in clarifying what type of coverage to purchase.
Money saving tips:
- Ask your insurance broker about multi-policy discounts.
- Ask your employer about car insurance coverage.
- If you're a young driver, take a driver-training program recognized by your insurance company.
- Consider being named as an occasional driver—instead of the principal driver of your vehicle (if applicable).
For more specific questions and detailed information as to how each type of coverage impacts your individual situation, be sure to speak with a licensed insurance broker, as they will be best able to resolve your concerns.