Car Insurance in Canada
Free Canadian Auto Insurance Quotes and Saving Tips
Car insurance in Canada is very expensive and sometimes tricky, but there are a few things you can do to reduce your rates. Use the calculator below to compare insruance rates by participating companies to find the cheapest insurance, or continue reading the information about insruance.
You can get your Canadian car insurance online quotes right here. This widget compares quotes by all Canadian car insurance companies and finds you the cheapest Canadian car insurance prices.
Auto insurance in Canada is mandatory for everyone. The premiums you pay for your insurance go into the common pool of money, from which insurance companies pay for claims of those who suffered losses or damages in accidents.
As there are more people contributing money, insurance companies almost always have enough money to pay for claims.
Your insurance policy is good for one year, and must be renewed every year, whether with the same company, or another one of your choice.
There are many factors affecting your insurance premiums. Basically, insurance companies consider how likely you are to make an insurance claim and get funds from the common pool of money. They base the estimate on criteria such as your age, location, type of car, previous driving history. More info may be found at Toronto car insurance quote: how is it calculated.
Your insurance premiums may go up from time to time (which might be a good reason to start shopping around again). This might happen if insurance companies did not get much profit from investments (see below), and need to collect more money for adjustments of claims. But, generally, they are supposed to go down every year as you get more driving experience and no claims.
Car insurance in Canada (and any other type of insurance) is closely monitored by the federal government to make sure insurance companies always have money to pay for claims. Normally, insurance companies invest part of the money they collect into government bonds, set part of the money aside to make immediate claims adjustments, and pay taxes, salaries and other expenses to their employees.
The reason why they invest your money is to be able to keep your insurance premiums low. If they didn't do that, they would have to charge insured people more to be able to pay salaries and claims. While if they invest the money they collect from consumers, they can use profits to cover their expenses on claims and salaries.
In case of sudden catastrophic events when they need to adjust many claims at once, insurance companies are able to quickly sell their bonds and get the necessary amount.
When you sign a contract, you should read it thoroughly. Your insurance will pay only for the damages described in the contract. Keep in mind that car insurance in Canada offers 3 types of coverage.
- Liability only covers bodily injury and property damages caused to the third party by the insured driver.
- Collision covers the insured car's damage which is a result of collision.
- Comprehensive covers all other incidents such as theft, fire, vandalism and so on.
Call police if:
- someone is hurt;
- there is a serious property damage
- you think the other driver might be drunk or be guilty of Criminal code offence
If no one is hurt:
- Move your car to the side of the road, if you can. Turn on your hazard lights or put your warning triangles or cones.
- Take pictures of the damage. Take as many pictures as you can of the other car, so you don't fall victim to a fraud (it does happen).
- Draw a sketch of the accident - the directions of the cars, and how they collided. Take pictures of the cars positions.
- Important! You don't have to, but you might want to take pictures of the other driver and his or her passengers and how they are after the collision. When I was in a collision (very minor), everyone was fine in the accident. The other driver, however, decided to go "the extra mile" and declared that everyone in his car had multiple injuries. Luckily, I had 2 passengers in my car who confirmed that no one was hurt.
- Exchange contact information with all the drivers involved in the accident. Get their driver's license and plate numbers, names of their insurance companies and brokers.
- Take contact information from the witnesses.
- Take note of the weather conditions, road conditions, time and exact location of the accident.
- Accidents are very stressful and you might not remember every single detail that car insurance in Canada requires you to. Therefore, IBC Canada has developed an accident report form . Print it out and always keep it in your glove box.
- If you and other drivers decided not to call police, but you did not settle the accident between the drivers and decided still to turn to the insurance company, take your car to your city's collision reporting centre where they will tell you what to do next.
If you had a minor accident, and no one was hurt, try to agree with the other drivers to avoid making claims to the insurance company. If the accident was your fault, offer to pay for the damages of both cars yourself. Remember: your insurance premiums will go up after the next policy renewal simply for notifying your insurance company, and even if you did not make any claim.
Do not, however, assume liability and offer to pay expenses if you believe the accident was not your fault. Rear-ending is almost always considered at-fault accident by car insurance in Canada. (Sometimes, weather and road conditions might be to blame).
Usually insurance companies have a timeframe within which you must make a claim. This timeframe can be from within one week to 90 days, and it must be specifies in the policy. If don't make your claim within this timeframe, your insurance company will not honour it.
You have to notify the other driver involved in the accident, if you are making a claim against him or her. Also, notify his insurance company.
Do not repair your car (if you have collision or comprehensive coverage) until you hear from your insurance company whether or not they will honour your claim. You are obliged, however, to protect your car from further damage.
Once you notify your insurance company, a claims adjuster will work with you to determine the facts, the extent of responsibility of each party and the amount of the losses.
If the other driver was at fault during the accident, you can claim payment of your damages from him. In Ontario and Quebec, there is a Direct Compensation - Property Damage option, hen you would claim compensation from your own insurer. Check the policy and contact your insurance company.
If the accident was your fault, you are personally responsible for your damages.
Car insurance in Canada allows you to borrow a car insured by someone else's policy. You must obtain the permission of the policy holder to use the car. The condition is, however, that you do not borrow it on a regular basis, such as driving it once a week. If you do, you must be included in the policy as an occasional driver.
Remember: If you cause an accident while driving a borrowed car, the accident goes on the record of the policy-holder of the borrowed car.
And the other way round, if you lend your car, and that person causes an accident, the accident will go in your record.
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