The last time you shopped around for car insurance, you were probably presented with a long list of questions. Your age, the make and model of your car, and even the neighborhood you live in can make a difference in your premiums and policy. But when was the last time you asked your insurance provider a few questions? Not all policies are created equal, and as a consumer, you should make an effort to research what you are paying for.
How much will my premium be? The amount you pay each month, or annually if you prefer, is determined based on your preserved risk as a policy holder. Insurance companies look at your driving record and consider demographic data to predict how likely you are to make a claim. Although the premium is a very important factor, the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy.
How much will my deductible be? In the event of a claim, your insurance provider will most likely require you to pay a deductible toward the repairs or replacement of the vehicle. Typically, the higher the deductible, the lower the rate. Many consumers forget to ask about their options. Unfortunately, a higher deductible usually hits your wallet at the worst possible time, but it can offer significant savings over the course of your coverage if there are no claims.
Ask if the insurance provider offers special discounts. Sometimes being a member of a professional association or a graduate of a local collage can put money back in your pocket. These discounts aren’t normally offered unless a consumer goes out of their way to ask. These special deals may also come in handy if you choose to bundle your home, life and auto insurance. Additional savings might be available if you park your car indoors, use an anti-theft device, or move closer to work. Find out what your provider is willing to offer, and be sure to inform them if you qualify.
Are there different types of coverage available? In Ontario, all drivers must have auto insurance, but not all policies are the same. Basic coverage will provide third party liability protection, basic accident benefits, and direct compensation for property damage, provided someone else was at fault. For most drives, this just isn’t enough and there are additional options that you should consider. Ask your insurance provider specifically what you are getting, and request that they use real life examples. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the terminology without truly understanding your policy.
Found yourself puzzled over your insurance policy? Need to make a claim but aren’t sure about your options? Speak to a personal injury lawyer to discuss the best course of action.