• Wed. Sep 21st, 2022

Lorraine explains: don’t just automatically renew your car insurance

ByElla E. Kidwell

Apr 4, 2022

Buy a better rate and make sure you have adequate coverage

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If your auto insurance renewal shows up in your mailbox, don’t just drop it and forget it. Although there’s a good chance your fare has gone down if you’re in certain parts of the country like Ontariobuyers have seen substantial changes almost everywhere. Declines have resulted from lower than usual payouts on less traveled COVID roads, but don’t get used to it – nothing gold can stay.

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However, you need to do more than guarantee the best price. It’s imperative that you make sure you get the right cover, which means diving into the fine print. Things to consider when renewing your policy or a new policy:

  • Does it accurately reflect your driving habits, including continuing to work from home or returning to a commute?
  • If you’ve had an attributable loss in the past six years, it’s probably best to stay with your current insurer.
  • If you are buying a new car, check the insurance rates first.
  • Students moving to a residence away from home may entitle you to reduced rates.
  • Combine your car insurance and your home insurance (also directed upwards) for additional savings. Consider putting multiple vehicles in the household with the same carrier for greater savings.
  • When possible, raise your limits. The bare minimum, especially in Ontario, is not enough.

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  1. Take Advantage of These Cheaper Car Insurance Rates While They Last

    Take Advantage of These Cheaper Car Insurance Rates While They Last

  2. Changes to car insurance in Canada in 2021

    Changes to car insurance in Canada in 2021

If you started working from home in 2020, you may have contacted your insurer to let them know about the change in your driving habits. This could have triggered a one-time refund or a drop in your rate. If you have started moving again, you must report it.

According to broker Debbie Arnold of Sound Insurance, “Most companies have removed the COVID cap and rebates, so if you haven’t had a billable loss in the past six years, always shop around the market to make sure you’re safe.” ‘get the best value for money’. Brokers have access to multiple markets and can do the work for you. These six years are important; any potential insurer will run your summary and it takes that long to settle old claims. If you have complaints, wait until they disappear. It’s also a good time to talk to a household about the impact of traffic violations: if someone on the police took a speeding ticket and didn’t tell the insured (mom or dad, cough), this will be revealed if the insured leaves to shop the policy.

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Be careful if you have children of driving age who have returned to college residence. Although some companies give you a discount on the underage driver’s premium if you prove your child lives far away (they’re all different, check with your provider) and doesn’t drive your vehicles regularly, never remove them from your vehicle entirely. ‘assurance. This will cause a break in coverage which will cost them much more later on.

If you are buying a new car, check your premiums before signing the contract. Insurance rates are based on more than your driving record, and often on factors beyond your control. High theft rates affect everyone, and if you buy a vehicle that thieves like or find easy to steal, you’ll pay more. Online price comparison Lowest fares publishes a breakdown of the cheapest – and most – expensive brands to insure. According to their statistics, Ontarians will pay more to insure a Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota, Honda or Mazda, but will pay less to insure a GMC, Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Ram or Acura. Talk to your broker before buying.

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Signature of insurance
Signature of insurance Photo by Getty

Combine your policies to maximize savings. “Property insurance is increasing by 10, 20, and 30 percent, so buying both lines together can save you hundreds in overall household premiums,” says Arnold. “It’s also a good idea to have all vehicles in the household insured with the same carrier. Even though they are separate policies, multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts can be significant. We have many children in the household who don’t want to be associated with their parents’ policies as a sign of independence, but it can cost them 10-30% in premium dollars.

Basic blankets are really just that – basic. In places like Ontario with multiple carriers, be careful what you choose. “With supply chain issues [continuing to delay repair part deliveries, retain] adequate coverage in the event of loss of use [for a protracted repair visit]“, explains Arnold. “Buy the maximum amount available. On the accident benefits side, it is important to have adequate medical and rehabilitation limits. I am also increasing medical, rehabilitation and attendant care for non-catastrophic and catastrophic coverage to the maximum available. For retirees and/or people living alone, I also add housekeeping and housekeeping for all injuries.

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Keep in mind that keeping a secret is almost impossible. That parking lot fender bender you chose not to save? It could always be pointed out by the other party, or even a body shop giving you a quote. Even if there was no payment, you could still face higher premiums. “Many consumers mistakenly assume that if they had the ‘forgiveness’ of a crash with their current carrier, it would be transferred to a new carrier; it’s not,” says Arnold. “With ‘superstar’ ratings allowing 7, 8, 9, 10 and up to 20 years of clean driving record, a claim 10 years ago can affect premiums with some carriers. Consumers should not “take the leap” and cancel their current policy until the records are removed and the quote is confirmed.

You must have insurance. Look for the best rates, but make sure there will be enough coverage if you need to access it.

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