Accident Benefits: With the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, Accident Benefits are mandatory across the country. Accident Benefits will pay for things like medical treatments, income replacement and funeral expenses if you are injured or killed in a car accident. Additionally, some areas of the country require that your auto insurance policy include Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD) and/or Uninsured Automobile coverage. DCPD covers damage to your vehicle or its contents when someone else causes a collision you’re involved in. Uninsured Automobile coverage also offers protection to you if you’re involved in a collision where the other driver, who is at fault for the accident, does not have auto insurance.
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.
Although rural backroads and small-towns in Ontario do have their own unique hazards, owning and driving a car in an urban area, like Toronto or Ottawa, carries significantly higher risks for everything from traffic accidents to theft to minor fender benders. Due to the higher risk associated with cars in the city, car insurance is generally more expensive in city centres.
Rental car insurance and credit cards: Many Canadian credit cards include rental car insurance coverage, but there is something very important to know about this. It DOES NOT cover 3rd party liability, meaning that if you damage somebody’s else property, it is not covered. This type of insurance is called a damage/collision wavier, and, as opposed to a real car insurance policy, it is only good for covering scratches/damages on the rental car itself.
Insurance is funny, in a weird sort of way, because rates can vary wildly between insurance companies. Also, premiums often change so the insurance provider who offered you the best rate two years ago, or even last year, may not be the insurer who offers you the best car insurance rate today. That’s why it’s so important to shop around, because the quote you get from one company can be significantly higher (or lower) than the quote you get from another.