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Automobile Insurance Notes
Automobile rates are affected by many things. Consider, for instance:
Various Premium Discounts Available
If your car is not used in winter, you can suspend third-party liability and collision coverage while the vehicle is stored. But do maintain accident benefits coverage.
If You Are Thinking of Changing Insurers
Ask what happens to your classification if you have an at-fault or partially at-fault accident. Many companies allow partial forgiveness of the first at-fault accident and re-classify at the next rating category. Others do not, and this results in a substantially increased premium.
The Effect of Claims on Premiums
Published with permission from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
What kind of home, tenant, condo and mobile home insurance coverage do I have?
What's not covered in my home insurance policy?
This is very specific to you. Only your broker or agent will be able to answer this question.
Are there certain risks or potential hazards to my home for which I can't buy insurance?
No policy covers everything that could go wrong. And if it did, the premiums would cost too much to be useful. Insurance is intended for unforeseeable events. Flooding, for example, generally cannot be insured against, usually because such damage is inevitable. After all, a house built in an area which can be flooded…eventually will be flooded. That's what Mother Nature does on flood plains!
Is optional coverage available for hazards/risks that are not normally included in my homeowner's policy?
Yes. For example, if you live in an earthquake zone, you might want to consider buying earthquake coverage or if you are worried about water damage from a blocked drain, you might want sewer back-up coverage. Discuss which options you may need with your insurance representative.
What things could happen to my property that won't be covered, unless I make special arrangements?
Here's one example. Damage arising from the freezing of indoor plumbing is seen as preventable. So, if you are away from home for more than four days during the normal heating season, you must drain the plumbing or arrange to have your home checked daily by a competent person to ensure that heat is maintained. If you do not make these arrangements and your pipes burst, you may end up holding the clean-up bill along with a mop and pail. Ask your insurance representative about other conditions that may apply to you.
What are some belongings that might require additional insurance?
* There are no limits on bicycles or card collections in policies in Quebec.
What is the deductible? Give me the price of my home insurance coverage with some different deductibles.
The higher the deductible (the portion of a claim that you have to pay), the lower the premium. Compare the premium with different deductibles, and then decide whether the lower premium is worth the higher amount you would have to pay out of pocket if you had a claim.
Am I entitled to any discounts and/or is there anything I can do to get a discount?
Many insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who have newer homes, who have installed safety features like smoke detectors and burglar alarms, and who have made no claims for a certain period of time. Some are even giving discounts to non-smokers. So you can quit smoking or install a burglar alarm! Whatever the case, make sure you get all the discounts to which you are entitled.
On what basis are claims going to be paid?
Most claims on home policies are paid on a replacement-cost basis, meaning that the insurance pays the cost of replacing the damaged or lost belonging with a new one that is as close to the original as possible in functionality and quality. However, some policies may pay only actual cash value, which means replacement cost LESS depreciation. Ask your insurance representative what you have. Of course, you have to actually replace the belonging in order to receive replacement cost for it.
What kind of liability coverage do I have and how much?
You are covered for unintentional property damage, bodily injuries for which you are legally responsible anywhere in the world, and legal costs if you are sued. A minimum limit of $1 million is recommended. Ask your insurance representative about the specific coverage in your policy.
I'm going on sabbatical for a year and renting out my home. Does my home insurance cover any damage that the tenants may cause? Will my home insurance protect me if they end up stealing my TV, stereo, and bedroom furniture? Do I need special insurance?
First, whenever you have a lifestyle change like this, tell your insurance representative, because there will usually be restrictions on such things as theft and damage by tenants. They can outline these restrictions, so that you can take precautionary measures. Other lifestyle changes that warrant a phone call to your broker include: home renovations, home exchange programs, running a small business from your home, installing a home security system, purchasing a cottage/boat, etc.
For more information about home or tenant insurance in your region, contact Tailor Made Insurance, or call the Insurance Bureau of Canada and ask for the booklet: Home Insurance Explained. You can also visit IBC on the Internet at www.ibc.ca. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) represents the private (non-government) insurance companies that protect your car, home, and business. If you want more information about these topics or if you have any questions about insurance other than life insurance, please call your regional IBC office.