AUTO INSURANCE

HOME INSURANCE


AUTO INSURANCE

What is “Collision” coverage?

Collision coverage covers accidental loss or the cost of repairing your vehicle if involved in a collision with another object or tips over. Collision coverage is optional to purchase but usually required if your vehicle is financed or leased.


What is “Comprehensive” coverage?

Comprehensive coverage covers accidental loss or the cost of repairing your vehicle if damaged by fire; theft; attempted theft; vandalism; lightning; windstorm; hail or rising water; earthquake; explosion; riot or civil disturbance; falling or flying objects and missiles.


What is “Drivers Training”?

Insurance companies offer a better driving record to drivers who have completed an accredited drivers training course within the last 3 years. We may ask for a copy of your driver’s training certificate.


How do you qualify for a “Retiree Discount”?

You may qualify for a retiree discount if you meet the following criteria:
• You do not earn or receive income from any office or employment.
• You are not engaged in any professional occupation.
• You do not operate a business and have not been employed for 26 weeks or more in the last 52 weeks and
• You are 65 or older or you receive a pension under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or the Quebec Pension Plan or receive a pension registered under the Income Tax of Canada.


What is an “At-Fault Accident?”

If involved in a car accident, your insurance company is required to assign the percentage of fault for each of the drivers involved in the accident. Insurance companies determine responsibility for an automobile accident according to the “Fault Determination Rules” located in the Insurance Act. These rules allow insurance companies to fairly assign fault in accidents resulting in fair compensation for everyone involved.


What are Pleasure and Business use?

Pleasure use includes driving to and from work. Business use means that you use your vehicle either full time or part time for your work; e.g., sales calls, etc.


What is Third Party Liability coverage?

Provides coverage if you are legally responsible for an automobile accident that causes bodily injury or death to another person or damages to property.


Driving experience outside of Canada & USA

Driving experience outside of Canada & the continental USA is not recognized by most insurance companies. The majority of insurance companies will consider these drivers as “new drivers” until driving experience is gained in Canada.


What is a “Lapse in Insurance?

A lapse of insurance coverage will impact your driving record if:
• The lapse was due to a policy canceled for non-payment of premium.
• The driver was convicted of driving without insurance during the lapse in coverage.
• The lapse was due to a drivers license suspension.
• The lapse was due to a policy canceled for misrepresentation or non-disclosure.


How much money will I save if I increase my deductible?

It depends on how much you increase them. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.


By law, what coverages must I have?

To drive a vehicle, you must have the following, minimum insurance coverage:

Third party liability

This coverage protects you if you’re involved in an accident and you damage someone’s property, or if you injure or kill someone. According to provincial law, you must have at least $200,000 in third party liability coverage, but most people choose a limit of $1,000,000 or $2,000,000.

Accident Benefits

This coverage protects you if you or someone in your family is injured or killed in an accident, whether it’s your fault or not. It includes supplementary medical, rehabilitation, attendant care, caregiver, non-earner, and income replacement benefits. This covers you as a driver, passenger or pedestrian.

Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD)

This coverage protects you for damage to your car in an accident that’s entirely not your fault. It’s called Direct Compensation because instead of recovering damages from someone else’s insurance company, you deal directly with us.

For example, if you’re at fault for 50% of an accident, the DCPD covers you for half of the repairs. The other half is covered by the optional Collision portion of your policy if you bought this coverage. In such an accident, you would also have to pay for half of your deductible.

Uninsured Motorist

This coverage protects you and your family if you’re injured or killed by a hit-and-run driver, or by the driver of an uninsured or unidentified automobile.

It also covers your automobile for damage caused by an identified, uninsured motorist, and it is subject to a deductible.


Is it true that where I live affects my premium?

Where you live is one factor that affects the cost of your auto insurance.

Generally speaking, drivers who live in a city pay higher auto insurance premiums than those who live in the suburbs. There are several reasons for this:

·         More traffic increases the risk of accidents.

·         There’s a higher risk of vehicle theft.

Vandalism is more common.


Is a rental car provided to me if I have an accident?

In Ontario, if you are involved in an accident in which another driver is determined to be 100% at fault, your own insurance company, under the Direct Compensation Agreement (DCA), will supply you with a rental vehicle while yours is being repaired.

If fault for an accident is determined to be shared by both yourself and another driver and you have not purchased coverage under the Loss of Use Endorsement (see Additional Coverages section on your own policy), you will only receive partial coverage for the total cost of a rental vehicle in the proportion that the other driver is determined to be at fault.

If you are involved in an accident where either you are 100% at fault or fault is shared by both yourself and another driver and you have purchased coverage under the Loss of Use Endorsement (see Additional Coverages section on your own policy), your insurer will provide you with a rental vehicle while yours is being repaired.


Are the contents of my car covered?

The contents of your vehicle that are permanently attached to, or whose purpose is for, the usual use and operation of the actual vehicle, are covered. The contents of your vehicle that are not permanently attached may be covered under your homeowners or tenants insurance policy.


Is my car covered if someone else is driving it?

Yes, provided the person who is driving it is:

·      legally entitled by law to operate a motor vehicle,

·      is using it with your permission,

·      has not committed an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada while operating your vehicle, and

·      has not contravened the prohibited uses clause as outlined in your policy (eg. Racing)


 

HOME INSURANCE

Home insurance provides protection against loss or damage to your home and personal belongings. It also helps protect your financial assets against financial loss in the event of a lawsuit against you. For example, if someone is injured in your home, your home insurance (which includes liability protection) will provide you with legal defence in the event of legal action brought against you. There are exclusions and limitations that may eliminate or restrict coverage provided by your policy. We have a number of Optional Additional Coverages that are available to meet your needs. Be sure to discuss your needs with us.

Who is covered?

Your property insurance policy covers the person who is named in the policy and the following individuals provided they live in the same household

·      Your spouse

·      Relatives of both you and your spouse

·      Any person under 21 in your care

·      Dependent student temporarily residing away from home to attend a school, college or university


How much insurance do I need?

Your broker will help you determine the amount of home insurance that’s right to protect your home and personal belongings. The replacement value (this is the cost to rebuild your home, not the market value) of your house and the value of your personal property will be key to determining your insurance needs. Your broker will also assist you in selecting the type of coverage and deductible (the amount you are responsible for paying before we will begin to pay for a loss or damage) best suited to you.


Does my home insurance provide enough coverage on all of my home’s contents?

No. Home insurance policies provide a level of coverage that is sufficient for most people. Certain items such as jewelry, furs, coin collections and bicycles are subject to Special Limits, which limit the amount of insurance coverage included in the policy. If you require limits higher than your policy provides for such items, you can purchase additional optional coverage for those items. Your broker can help you develop the best policy package for your specific needs.


Do I need to have home insurance on a house that is under construction?

A home under construction is also subject to loss or damage. In addition, it creates an additional exposure to injury. Depending on the arrangement, you may be required to insure the home. You should check with us and your builder regarding this.

If you are renovating, you will need to inform your broker of this change in risk in order to ensure adequate coverage is maintained.


Does my home insurance policy cover me for sewer backups?

Coverage for losses due to sewer backup is available in most areas. Some of our policies include this coverage and provide an option to purchase additional coverage.  There is more coverage available now from most insurers for different water losses, including overland water.  Ask your broker about this additional coverage.


If I am a renter, why would I get home insurance?

Although there’s no law about having tenants insurance, there sure are a lot of compelling reasons. So many unexpected things can happen, like a fire or a break-in. If either of these happened, it could cost you thousands to replace your belongings, things like furniture, electronics, appliances, bedding, and clothes.  Your tenants insurance would cover these things, and the cost of temporary accommodation if you need to move out when repairs are being done. What’s more, if you accidentally injure someone or damage another person’s property anywhere in the world, your liability coverage will protect you, up to the amount of your insurance coverage. Most importantly, you can be legally liable for some losses which the landlord can come back on you for.


If I am doing renovations, do I need to tell my broker?

Yes. It’s important to let us know before you begin renovations because we may need to revise the value of your home. You’ll need to have enough insurance coverage to cover the value of your home or the cost to rebuild it. You may also need extra coverage for the materials you use and for your own liability when performing renovations.


Do you know where your shut off valve is in the home?

In most Canadian homes, the meter and main shutoff valves are located inside, usually in a basement or other warm area to prevent freezing. Find it before an emergency occurs so that you know where it is when you’re in a pinch. The main shutoff valve allows a full flow of water through the pipe when it’s open. Turning off this valve (by turning it clockwise) cuts off the water supply to the entire house.


What’s a deductible?

A deductible is the amount that you’ve agreed to pay, when you purchased your insurance policy, in the event of a claim. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and it costs $5,000 to replace your property after a break-in, your insurance company would pay $4,500 after confirming your coverage and you would pay $500. You’ll generally need to pay the deductible every time you make a claim.


What if I have a loss?

If you have suffered a loss for which you are insured, you should inform us or your insurer directly of your loss. If there has been a burglary or theft, the police must also be informed. You will be required to supply information about the loss.

You should take reasonable steps to protect against additional damage. For example, if a pipe has burst, shut off the water supply.

Do not dispose of damaged goods without first getting our approval. Depending upon your circumstances, we may arrange assistance for temporary repairs, such as covering a damaged roof or boarding over a broken picture window.


Should I make a claim with every loss?

This is a very personal decision. Before making a home insurance claim, you should consider the cost of the damage compared to your deductible. The deductible is the initial amount of a claim that you’ve agreed to pay.

If the difference is negligible, you may choose not to make a claim as it may mean losing your “no-claim discount” which would result in a premium increase. In determining the rates we charge, consideration is given to the claims in the last five years. Your broker can help you in making your decision.


Do I need photos or receipts for all major items in my home?

In the event of a loss, you will be asked to supply a list of your possessions and a record of their value. Original sales receipts for major items are the best way to show ownership and the cost of these items. Taking photos of your personal belongings in your home is also helpful and can speed up the time it takes to settle your claim. Service or maintenance records can also be relevant.

It is often difficult to remember all the details of your personal belongings, therefore, we suggest that you videotape or take pictures your belongings and keep a detailed inventory list. This information should be kept in another location to ensure it is available in the event of a loss. Many people store this information in a safety-deposit box or another secure location.


If I go on a trip, are the things that I take with me covered by my insurance?

Yes. Any personal property you take with you while you’re temporarily away from home are covered by your home insurance policy. Keep in mind that there are some exceptions, so please have a look at your policy or talk with one of our certified, licensed insurance agents in case you’re not sure.


What is guaranteed replacement cost?

Guaranteed replacement cost coverage means that if anything happens to your home (the actual residential building) the full cost to replace it (including construction costs) will be covered. For example: if your home is insured for $150,000 and there is a fire that destroys your entire home and costs $160,000 to rebuild it, you won’t have to pay the difference out of your own pocket. We guarantee to rebuild the home.


What is the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value?

Replacement cost is the cost of replacing something with a comparable new item or of repairing it (if it’s the less expensive option) without an amount taken away for depreciation. If repairs are being done, only new materials of the same kind and quality will be used.

Actual cash value is the actual value of something on the day the claim is made, not the value of it when it was new. This is calculated by taking the replacement cost then taking away an amount for depreciation, which is usually figured out by the condition of an item, its resale value, and its normal life expectancy.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you bought a brand new TV for $1,500 in 2012 and it gets stolen one year later. Calculations show that the TV was worth $1,000 when it was stolen. With Replacement Cost on your policy, you would get a new TV that’s identical or equivalent to the original. Without Replacement Cost, you would get $1,000 cash.