Answers to common insurance questions.
What is “No-Fault” insurance?
How long do tickets stay on my driving record?
Can I let my friend or relative drive my car?
In Ontario, we have a “No-Fault” Auto Insurance system. Although the term itself can be a little confusing, it simply refers to how your claim is paid. In a No-Fault system, you will always deal with your own insurance company following an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This type of system ensures that claims are paid out quickly and without unnecessary delays waiting for fault determination, allowing you to get your vehicle repaired and back on the road as soon as possible.
As it relates to Auto Insurance, tickets stay on your record for 3 years from the conviction date. (That is the day you actually pay the fine, not the day the ticket was issued)
And in case you were wondering, parking tickets do not appear on your driver abstract and do not affect your car insurance premium or eligibility for insurance.
The short answer is yes; as long as your friend or relative is legally licensed to drive, they are not an excluded driver on your policy, and you give them permission to use your vehicle.
However, it is important to keep in mind that you are not only lending your car, you’re also lending your car insurance! That’s right; contrary to popular belief, in the case of an accident in this scenario, insurance follows the car, not the driver. Which means, when you lend your car you are also putting your good insurance history on the line. So be careful who you decide to lend your car to, and make sure they understand the impact on you if they are involved in an accident.
Will taking a drivers training course lower my son/daughter’s rate?
Do I get a discount if I combine my auto and property insurance?
Do I get a discount if I have more than one car?
Yes. Taking a certified drivers training course can save you up to 10% on your car insurance premium. A Driver Training Discount is offered to drivers who have been licensed within the past 3 years and completed a certified driver training course within that 3 year period. In some cases, completing an approved driver training course will even make you eligible to receive a better driving record, which could lower your rates significantly.
Yes. Combining your car insurance with your home, condo or tenant insurance will save you up to an extra 17% on each policy!
Yes. If you insure more than one vehicle owned and operated by yourself, your spouse or another family member within your household all vehicles will qualify for a Multi-Vehicle Discount. Depending on which company you are insured with, your discount could be as much as 10% on each car!
What is accident forgiveness?
Do I have to buy car insurance?
I’m renting, do I really need tenant insurance?
Accident Forgiveness is an optional coverage that prevents your car insurance premium from increasing as a result of an at-fault or partially at-fault accident. Here are 4 things to keep in mind regarding accident forgiveness:
- Some insurers charge a premium for this coverage, while others include it automatically based on your driving record.
- Not every driver qualifies for Accident Forgiveness; eligibility is based on your driving record and varies between companies.
- Although your rate will not increase, all accidents will still be visible on your driving record and may affect your rates if you decide to switch insurance companies.
- Accident Forgiveness does not protect you from being charged under the Highway Traffic Act.
Yes. Automobile Insurance in Ontario is required by law; fines for driving without valid insurance range from $5,000 to $50,000. The mandatory auto insurance coverage consists of Third-Party Liability, Direct Compensation-Property Damage, Uninsured Automobile, and Accident Benefits. It is also important to note that if you lease your vehicle, you are often required to carry additional coverage, such as collision and comprehensive with specific deductibles, based on the terms of your lease agreement.
Yes. Although tenant insurance is not mandatory in Ontario, it is recommended. Whether you live in an apartment building or lease a house, there are a few things you should understand when considering tenant insurance:
- Your landlord’s insurance does not cover your belongings or your liability.
Most landlords will have a property insurance policy to protect the building or house and their own liability, but this coverage does not extend to you. In the event of an incident such as a fire, theft, etc. you will be responsible for expenses out of your own pocket. This could include replacing everything you own, renting a new place during repairs, legal costs for damage caused to others, etc.
- You have more to protect than you may think.
We have a tendency to drastically underestimate the value of our personal belongings. A good way to think about it is to visualize your home as a box; now turn that box over and shake it, anything that falls out would be your contents. Everything from clothing, TV, computer, furniture, appliances, sporting equipment, barbecue, etc. would be covered within the limit of your tenant insurance policy.
Will a speeding ticket from another province affect my license in Ontario?
Do demerit points affect my insurance?
How do insurance companies determine fault in a car accident?
Yes. All convictions from traffic tickets in other provinces or territories will be recorded on your Ontario driving record. The same applies for violations from the State of Michigan and the State of New York.
The short answer is no. Insurance companies do not look specifically at the number of demerit points you accumulate on your driver’s license. However, demerit points are directly related to tickets and can result in license suspensions, both of which can affect your insurance rate and eligibility for insurance. For this reason, it is important to understand how demerit points work.
After an accident is reported to your insurer, adjusters from each driver’s insurance company will investigate the circumstances of the accident and make a fault decision using the Ontario Fault Determination Rules.
It does not mean your policy covers everything! A policy that includes all of the standard coverage, plus collision and comprehensive is often referred to as “full coverage” car insurance. However, the term is rarely used by insurance professionals because it is inaccurate and misleading. There are many additional coverage options outside those listed above that can be included on your policy based on your individual needs, such as accident forgiveness, loss of use, waiver of depreciation, etc. It is always best to review your individual needs to determine the proper coverage and limits for your policy.
“Liability Only” is a term often misused to describe the minimum amount of insurance required to legally drive your vehicle. However, the minimum insurance requirement actually includes Third-Party Liability, Direct Compensation-Property Damage, Uninsured Automobile, and Accident Benefits.
In Ontario, everyone who owns and operates a vehicle must have insurance coverage for Third-Party Liability, Direct Compensation-Property Damage, Uninsured Automobile, and Accident Benefits. It is also important to note that if you lease your vehicle, you are often required to carry additional coverage, such as collision and comprehensive with specific deductibles, based on the terms of your lease agreement.
Will increasing my deductibles save me money?
Do parking tickets affect my car insurance rate?
What is a deductible?
Increasing your deductibles on your car and/or home insurance will most often result in a lower monthly or annual premium. However, whether or not you will actually save money in the long run depends on your premium, how much you increase your deductibles by, and whether or not you have a claim. Before increasing your deductible, it is important to understand that a deductible is the portion of a covered loss that you are responsible to pay. To help decide the right deductible for your needs ask yourself, “How much am I willing and able to cover out of my pocket in the event of a loss?”
No. Parking tickets are not listed on your driving record and do not impact your car insurance rate.
A deductible is the amount you are responsible to pay in the event of an insured loss. For example, if you have a $1000 deductible on your home insurance policy and you have claim that results in $10,000 damage to your home, the insurance company would cover $9000. ($10,000 minus your deductible)
Does my car insurance cover me when driving out of province?
Will a not at-fault accident cause my rate to increase?
What is a Backwater Valve?
Yes. Most companies will allow you to drive your vehicle anywhere in Canada or the continental United States for a period up to six months. If you are planning to be out of province longer than six months, check with your broker.
No. If you are deemed not at-fault in an accident based on the Fault Determination Rules, your insurance rates will not increase as a result of the claim.
No. Just like collisions on highways and city streets, parking lot claims follow a set of basic rules to help determine who is at fault when a claim is filed. For more info, check out our post, who’s at-fault in a parking lot accident.