Choosing the right car insurance... and car insurer!
Just because your brother-in-law does business with a certain car insurer doesn’t mean you should do the same. When it comes to auto insurance, every case is unique. That’s why shopping around is important!
Automobile insurance is compulsory
There’s no getting around it: you need car insurance. You can’t take to the road if you don’t have at least $50,000 in civil liability coverage. In addition, if your vehicle is worth anything at all, you need more than basic coverage. What if your vehicle is new? In that case, all-risk insurance is a smart choice. Regardless of your situation, you should carefully assess your needs and determine which coverage is right for you.
Then, go shopping. That’s right! Even though insurance is not a typical consumer item, it’s worth your while to compare what’s available on the market. Why, you ask? Because there can be major (even huge!) differences between products. Premiums, coverage, deductibles and civil liability amounts should all be examined closely, as prices can vary from 30% to even 40% for the same coverage between insurance companies. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) recommends that you get at least three quotes from different car insurers before making your choice. Be sure to give the same information to each company, so that the price comparisons are fair. It’s essential to compare apples to apples! Keep in mind that you can ask for quotes from either brokers or agents. Brokers work with many companies, while agents represent a single car insurer. You'll never know who has the best offer if you don’t ask for quotes!
Take your time when reviewing offers
Insurer X has the best rate? Did you take the time to check the deductibles? A low annual premium often translates into a higher deductible. If you need to make a claim, will you be able to pay the required deductible?
Before making a commitment, read each quote carefully, line by line. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions whenever you’re not sure about anything. Watch out if it sounds too good to be true. If you have any doubts about a representative, confirm that he/she is registered with the relevant authorities. In Quebec, anyone who sells or gives advice about financial products must be registered with the Autorité des marchés financiers.
Having trouble getting insured?
It’s a fact: if you don’t have insurance for your vehicle, you can’t drive. What can you do if you can’t find a company to insure you even though you’ve shopped around? Insurers may refuse you for a number of reasons: you previously didn’t pay a premium, you’ve had a number of accidents resulting in several claims, etc. If you need help, contact the Insurance Information Centre at 1-877-288-4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the names and contact information of five car insurers who refused you coverage. The Centre will take the necessary steps to find you insurance that meets your needs.