Consideration of your prior driving experience: Some companies will treat your former driving experience with respect and consideration when offering you an insurance policy and will give you a cheap insurance quote.Personal experience – when I moved to Canada, TD Insurance acknowledged my driving experience in Germany, and my rates were similar to those of other Canadians even though I was new to the country. That situation can constantly change – so check with a few companies on how they would treat your case, or speak with an insurance broker.
If you live in Quebec, the provincial public automobile insurance plan covers you for injury or death due to an automobile accident, no matter who is at fault or where in the world the accident happened. However, under the Automobile Insurance Act, you also have to have third-party liability insurance of at least $50,000 for property damage. This protection, available from private insurers such as The Co-operators, covers any property damage caused to another party.
Each quarter, insurers can apply to have their rates increased or decreased. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), which oversees insurance regulation in the province, approves or denies these requests. Most of the time, insurers request rate increases due to changes in a particular coverage. For example, an insurer experiencing an increased prevalence in payouts resulting from car accidents might apply to have rates increased to help offset the costs of increased claims.
Third-party liability: In all provinces and territories in Canada, Third-Party Liability is mandatory. This coverage will pay for the outcome of a lawsuit if you are sued because a collision you caused resulted in the injury or death of another, or resulted in damage to their property. Generally, the minimum required amount of coverage you need to have is $200,000, although typically most drivers have at least $1 million.
You can save a bit of money by paying for your insurance once per year rather than once per month. This helps the insurance company save on the administrative costs of billing you every month and a lot of the time they will pass the cost savings on to you. It means you will have to pay a larger amount all at once, but in the long run it can help you save as long as you have that money up front.
Other discounts can include vehicle amenities, such as using snow tires for winter driving or adding approved anti-theft devices. Usage-based insurance programs are on offer from some insurers. These track how your vehicle operates. Factors such as acceleration and braking report through a smart phone or diagnostic device. Participating insurance companies offer a discount when you sign up for the program and good driving habits potentially generate further savings.
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Because you indicated you occasionally have non-family members as passengers in your car, we recommend Additional Third Party Liability for you. The more passengers you have in your car, the more damages you can be liable for in the event of an accident – not only are non-family members not covered by most standard insurance, they are also more likely to file law suits.
Other insurance conditions may arise depending on the type of vehicle, its use, and any customizations or modifications made to the vehicle. For example, if you have altered your vehicle to enhance its performance or appearance, most insurance companies would need to assess the vehicle to determine if they could insure it. If you plan on modifying your vehicle, call us first! We will let you know if the changes you plan on making could have an impact on your policy.