Frequently Asked Questions

For your convenience, we have assembled the answers to many frequently asked questions. If you are unable to find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact our office and one of our Professional Insurance Advisors will be pleased to assist you. Comments or suggestions on how we can continually improve the content of our website are welcome. Please e-mail us with your comments.

Automobile Insurance

What do I do if I'm in a car accident?
When should I call the police?
Are the contents in my car covered?
Is my vehicle covered if someone else is driving?
Are all anti-theft devices treated equally?
Why do I have to pay my deductible if I wasn’t at fault for the car accident?
The policy on my home is on a replacement cost basis. Why isn't my car?
What does "wear and tear" mean?
What is a "Loss of Use" endorsement?
Is there additional coverage I should consider on my auto policy?
What happens to my auto insurance after an accident?
Does my car insurance extend to rental cars over seas?
Do traffic tickets affect my insurance premiums?
My child is getting their licence. Do they need to be added to my policy and how does that affect my premiums?

What do I do if I'm in a car accident?

In the event you are involved in a vehicle accident, you should:

  • Ensure you and your passengers have not suffered an injury. If there is an injury, call an ambulance and take appropriate action.
  • Move your vehicle safely out of traffic, if you can. If this is not possible, lock all doors and protect your belongings.
  • Call the police (if appropriate).
  • Report the claim as soon as possible to your insurer.
  • Exchange information with other drivers involved in the accident, such as name, address, phone number, drivers license number, etc.
  • Obtain any witness contact information.
  • Do not assume responsibility for the loss until you speak to your professional insurance advisor.

When should I call the police?

You should call the police if there is anyone injured and/or when you believe the damages will exceed $1,000. You may be asked to attend a Collision Reporting Centre to report the accident. In this case, ensure you bring your drivers license, ownership and insurance information as well as any details of other drivers or witnesses.

Are the contents in my car covered?

Any contents that are permanently attached or whose purpose is for the use and operation of the vehicle will be covered. Any other contents not permanently attached may be covered under your Homeowners Policy.

Is my vehicle covered if someone else is driving?

Yes – providing the person driving:

  • Is legally entitled to operate a motor vehicle
  • Receives permission from you to use your vehicle
  • Is not using the automobile for illegal activities, in a race or a speed test

Note: Should any legal operator of your vehicle be involved in an at fault accident, your insurance premium and rating will be affected.

Are all anti-theft devices treated equally?

No. There are many different types, styles and qualities of anti-theft devices available. They can range from those that will sound an alarm if someone breaks into your car to those that will render your vehicle inoperable if the proper key is not used. Refer to the Vehicle Information Centre for further information or speak to your professional insurance advisor.

Why do I have to pay my deductible if I wasn’t at fault for the car accident?

A deductible is a manner in which you have to control your premium - the higher the deductible, the smaller the premium. When you have an accident and you have collision coverage on your vehicle, a deductible may apply. If you are not at fault, and the third party can be identified with existing insurance and is an Ontario driver, your deductible will not apply. Your deductible will apply when:

  • You are deemed responsible for the accident by your insurance company.
  • The operator or vehicle involved is not an Ontario driver or is not insured.
  • Your vehicle is involved in a hit and run.

The policy on my home is on a replacement cost basis. Why isn't my car?

A basic automobile policy is on an actual cash value (ACV) basis. What that means is that the insurance company will look at how much your vehicle is worth at the time of the accident, taking into account depreciation. Eg: if your vehicle is five years old, has some rust and dents, the tires are worn and you have driven 100,000 kms, its value will be less than a five year old vehicle with 50,000 kms and in excellent condition. If your vehicle is brand new and you are the first owner, you can purchase an endorsement that waives the depreciation for up to 36 months (this will vary from company to company). Then, if you should happen to have an accident that renders your vehicle "totalled", the insurance company will either pay you out the purchase price or find you another new car, just like the one lost. This endorsement is called the "Removing Depreciation Deduction."

What does "wear and tear" mean?

"Wear and tear" refers to the damage that gradually occurs to something as it gets used. Eg. Tires on your vehicle – they don't last forever. Periodically we have to buy new tires because the old ones get worn out. When you replace the worn out tires with new ones, you can't claim the old ones on your automobile policy, because the damage comes from wear and tear and is not an accident. Maintenance costs to discourage wear and tear on your vehicle is not covered by your automobile insurance policy.

What is a "Loss of Use" endorsement?

A "Loss of Use" endorsement is insurance protection that will cover the cost of a rental car when your own vehicle is being repaired due to an insured loss. The endorsement will typically have a daily maximum and an overall maximum, i.e. $40 per day with a $1,500 maximum.

Is there additional coverage I should consider on my auto policy?

There are a number of options that can enhance your auto coverage

Options Description
Increased liability limits Up to a maximum of $2,000,000.
Collision coverage Covers damage to your vehicle in the event of an insured loss.
Comprehensive coverage Provides coverage for theft, fire, vandalism, cracked windshield and other perils.
Loss of use coverage Provides coverage for a rental vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired after an insured loss.
Rental vehicle coverage Extends physical damage coverage to rented vehicles in Canada and the Continental United States.
Claims Protection This endorsement protects your driving record from penalty for at fault accidents for insured vehicles with a six year claims and conviction free rating.
Limited Waiver of Depreciation This endorsement waives depreciation if the Insured is the original owner of the automobile and if the loss or damage occurs within 24 months of the original delivery date. This coverage is available for private passenger vehicles only.

Optional Benefits:

  • Income Replacement
  • Medical, Rehabilitation & Attendant Care
  • Caregiver and Dependant Care
  • Death and Funeral
  • Indexation of Benefits
You can increase the maximum levels of accident benefits coverage on your policy. In addition, you can choose to index your accident benefits coverage to ensure it stays in line with the Consumer Price Index. If you have benefits available through your employer or elsewhere, you may not need to buy optional benefits. We can help you decide which optional benefits, if any, are appropriate for you.

What happens to my auto insurance after an accident?

After every loss, your insurance policy will be reviewed. If it is determined the loss is not your fault you will not receive a rate increase as a result of the accident. However, if you are deemed to be responsible, your policy may be re-rated at renewal with a higher rate. Depending on your claims and conviction history, the insurance company may choose to discontinue your insurance.

Does my car insurance extend to rental cars over seas?

No. If your policy has an OPCF#27 – Legal Liability for Damage to Non Owned Automobile endorsement, your policy will extend to protect you in Canada and Continental United States only. You may wish to contact your credit card carrier and confirm what territories and limits your credit card extends to. When over seas, typically you must purchase the insurance protection from the rental Car Company.

Do traffic tickets affect my insurance premiums?

All tickets except parking tickets have a detrimental impact on your insurance premium. Typically, with 2 minor tickets you will see a change in rating and with 3 or more tickets your insurance carrier may decline to offer insurance protection at all.

My child is getting their licence. Do they need to be added to my policy and how does that affect my premiums?

Once your child has a G1 (1st level) licence, your insurance carrier should be informed. An additional premium is not charged for the G1 level. Typically 8 months after a G1 is completed, the 2nd level licence status (G2) is obtained. Upon completion of G2, a premium is rated and charged. Upon successfully obtaining the final level (G) often times a reduced premium or discount may be applied. Many insurance companies offer different ratings and discounts for children being away at university, good grade discounts and driver training discounts. Please speak with a Professional Insurance Advisor to discuss your options.