Most of us who live in Ontario think about Auto Insurance before purchasing a vehicle. The reason is obvious – Cost of Car Insurance. As per driving.ca residents of Ontario pay the highest in Auto Insurance in Canada. Changing a province of residence is not the best way to reduce your car insurance premium. So the other alternative is to look in to options to reduce the auto insurance rates.
Here are 5 main tips to Save money, when it comes to your Auto Insurance:
Maintain a Good Driving Record
Insurance companies want every driver with a good driving history/record. If you maintain a good driving record free of accidents, convictions, license suspensions, non-pay cancellation then you will be eligible for some of the best rates. Convictions/tickets, non-pay cancellations affect your insurance for 3 years and accident affects your insurance for 6 years.
Discounts and Deductibles
There are number of discounts available to Auto Insurance customers. They all have some eligibility criteria but there is no harm in talking about them with your broker. Some of the most common discounts are Multi vehicle discount, multi lines discounts (for having home and auto insurance with same company), Good student discount, Graduated licensing discount, Driver training discount, Retiree discount, winter tire discount, conviction free discount.
Increasing deductibles reduces your premium too but you have to be very careful with it. Deductible is the amount you pay first in the event of a loss or claim. You need to have this amount handy all the time. Your broker will advise you based on your individual situation the amount of deductible you should choose.
Telematics – Usage based Insurance
This is a new development in the Auto Insurance sector. Some companies are offering it with an initial start up discount and you can build on it by practicing safe driving. You are given a small device to plug in your vehicle or asked to download an app. Typically it measures how you accelerate, how you apply brakes, time of day/night you drive the vehicle and mileage.
Hire a Broker
An Insurance Broker is an insurance professional who provides unbiased advice at no cost. He / She will shop the market for you. It is in the interest of the broker to provide the best coverage, at the best cost to you as he / she is paid commission by the insurance company. Also, a broker will advise you about selecting the best coverage. Sometimes it’s not worth buying full coverage for an older vehicle. Your best cost-effective insurance is always with an Insurance Broker.
What affects my Car(Auto) Insurance Premiums?
There are 4 main factors that affect your Auto Insurance In Ontario:
1) The vehicle your drive (Year, make and Model)
2) The area you live (postal code)
3) Your driving record (years licensed, at fault accidents, moving violations, non payment cancellations, license suspensions, years continuously insured, cancellation of the policy due to misrepresentation/non disclosure)
4) The use of the vehicle -commute, pleasure, business or commercial
You can always talk to your Broker about Insurance discounts that help manage the prices if its too expensive but not at the cost of getting a substandard product.
Some common auto insurance discounts are:
- Home and Auto Discount ( combine them to save in the long run)
- Winter tire discount (always have installation receipts of the winter tires. It is a requirement of most companies to have them installed before November 1 to April 31)
-Conviction free discount
- Loyalty discount
- Now a days a popular one is telematics (Usage based insurance - install a device in your car and get your use tracked).
- Good student Discount and Graduated License Discount ( for under 25 year old drivers)
Fun Fact- Color of the Car has no effect on your Auto Insurance.
When you have an accident in most cases we are not thinking right. it happens to the best of us. As Humans we panic, get angry, upset etc. We all agree being in a Car accident is not the best feeling no matter how small the accident is. It shakes us up to the core.
We all also agree that we cannot do much once the accident has occurred. Now the important question is who is at fault and who is not. The following scenarios can play out:
-The driver of the car with whom you had the accident stays at the scene
-The driver of the car with whom you had the accident flees the scene
-The driver of the car with whom you had the accident tries to make a deal as he/she has no insurance.
-The driver of the car with whom you had the accident tries to make a deal thinking he/she is at fault
-It is a hit and run. Driver who hit your car is nowhere to be found- In this case you should call the police as soon as you can. Also call your insurance company or broker to notify of the damage.
What ever happens you should collect some valuable information which will help.
The most important thing -DONOT SAY SORRY OR ADMIT ITS YOUR FAULT TO ANYONE AT THE SCENE.
Make sure everyone is ok, call the police and start exchanging information. Now a days most of us have smartphones so the best thing you can do is take pictures of 3 items- the ownership document, insurance document and license of the driver who was involved in the accident. If the police comes to the scene and makes a report take a picture of the police report. Collect names and phone numbers of any witnesses who saw what happened.
REMEMBER- passenger sitting in the vehicle involved in the accident is not considered a witness in most cases.
Call for a tow truck and ambulance if required. If a tow truck comes you should always remember you do have an option to the vehicle to the car yard / body shop of your choice.
One last thing take pictures of the surroundings, the damage to your vehicle and damage to the other vehicle(s) or the property involved.
The information you need in order to set up a claim:
Date of the Accident:
Time of the Accident:
Name of the Owner of the Vehicle:
Name of the Driver of the Vehicle:
Year + Make + Model of the vehicle:
Body type (pick up, sedan, suv etc):
License Plate of the Vehicle:
Insurance Company name:
Insurance Policy Number:
Address of the Driver:
Phone numbers of the Driver:
Address of the owner:
Driver's License number of the Driver:
Witness' Phone Number:
Did any one get a ticket? If yes who?
Police Officer's name:
Police officer's Badge Number:
Police officer's Phone number:
Location of the Accident (nearest intersection):
Address of the Accident (if possible):
You can buy insurance through several sources, but your best insurance is through an insurance broker. There are many advantages to you and your community when you use the services of your local broker. We have listed a just a few below:
Personal Insurance Adviser – An Insurance Broker works for you and not the insurance company. An Insurance broker provides advise, guidance, expertise to you so you can make an educated choice about your personal and business insurance matters. An Insurance broker will always provide unbiased advice.
Choice - There are many insurance companies in Ontario and each company has its own unique characteristics. An Insurance Broker typically represents a few insurance companies. Hence you always have choice. An insurance broker will always analyze your situation and advise you why you should choose a company over other. The choice is yours but at least you have been offered one unlike insurance companies who can only offer a product through one insurance provider. On a side note – some of the best insurance companies do not even sell directly to public but instead sell through brokers.
Confident Purchase – An insurance broker will put the needs of your family or business above anything else and hence you can be rest assured that the insurance product you purchase will always work for you. The broker provides advise, expertise, knowledge, experience and guidance in purchasing an insurance product.
Comfort of Home – You can meet a broker in the comfort of your own home or in the office or at a coffee shop or the phone, wherever you want. A broker will work according to your schedule.
Claims Advise – In the unfortunate event of a claim the broker will guide you through the process, advocate for you, help you gather necessary evidence if necessary and talk to claims adjuster on your behalf. If you buy from a direct writer or an insurance company directly, in the event of claim you will deal with the insurance adjuster directly.
Risk Assessment – When it comes to knowledge and risk assessment you have no choice but choose an Insurance Broker. Brokers must pass an exam to get a license and in order to maintain the license in good standing they must continue studying every year. Hence Brokers are knowledgeable and well versed with today’s insurance market. Broker will use all their knowledge and risk assessment skills to provide unbiased, independent insurance advise to you.
Free Service – You do not pay any fees to the insurance broker. When you pay your insurance premiums the insurance broker makes a commission from that premium. There is no additional cost to you. You can ask for the commission statement which provides the details on how much commission a broker makes from the sale of the policy. A broker will gladly show you the details. This is a very transparent transaction. Hence it is in the broker’s best interest to provide sound advise and excellent customer service to you.
All the above-mentioned benefits prove that your best insurance is an Insurance Broker. You get free advice, unparalleled customer service, lots of options, amazing knowledge and the list goes on when you decide to hire a broker to help you with your personal or business insurance needs.
When it comes to Auto Insurance convictions have a huge impact. Some Insurance companies provide discounts for being conviction free in past 3 years, some surcharge every conviction you get. Now a days there is a coverage at an additional cost that will make sure your rates don’t go up due to minor conviction(s), depending on the insurance company. Every insurance company does not offer this protection. A broker can tell which companies offer the conviction protection coverage and which do not.
All convictions under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA) and the Highway Traffic Act are divided in 3 categories – Minor, Major and Serious (or Criminal). They all have various degree of impact on your Auto Insurance in Ontario.
Minor tickets usually do not have any impact on your auto insurance policy unless you are under the age of 25 or G1 driver or there are more than 1 minor convictions within past 3 years. Some insurance companies will add a surcharge distinctly while some will include the additional cost in the premiums. Only convictions within 3 years are penalised by the insurance company. Most companies will refuse to renew your policy if you have 3 or more minor convictions in past 3 years. At that point a high-risk insurance company will be able to help you.
Major conviction is serious as you have violated a condition of license, insurance or been negligent while operating your vehicle. One of the most common major violation is driving the vehicle which has no insurance. The second one is G1 driver unaccompanied by a qualified driver. These convictions may result in a license suspension. One major conviction will make you a high-risk driver.
Serious conviction is also called criminal conviction as you have violated the law of the land. This accompanies a severe license suspension, prison time etc. A very common one is Driving Under Influence. Second is driving with a suspended driver’s license. One serious conviction makes you a high-risk driver.
If you have demerits on your license it does not affect your insurance unless your license is suspended, and you drive the vehicle. The resulting conviction of driving while suspended is a serious conviction. These two suspensions – License suspension due to demerit points and driving with a suspended license will affect your insurance rates and eligibility.
For a full list please see the link - http://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/how-do-i/set-fines/set-fines-i/schedule-43/
Remember a moving violation affects your insurance for 3 years and license suspensions will affect your insurance for 6 years, with most insurance companies. It is important to disclose the accurate information to your broker when are shopping for insurance.
Tip-Parking tickets do not affect your insurance rates.
Am I a high-risk driver?
Do I need high Risk Auto Insurance? What is high Risk Insurance?
If you have these questions, then you are not alone. A high percentage of Ontario drivers are high risk due to several reasons. In general, High-Risk Auto Insurance is a term used for high risk drivers or high-risk automobiles. Yes, you read that right High-Risk Automobiles. If your vehicle is modified to enhance the performance, you need high risk auto insurance. Since the vehicle is modified, regular auto insurance companies do not have a method to rate it appropriately. Hence, they will ask you to insure it with high risk carrier. Such vehicles are insured through the facility association in Ontario. Obtaining insurance for a modified vehicle can be tricky but its not impossible. Your local insurance broker can help you with it. It is important to know that you should inform your insurance provider that your vehicle is modified, customized in any shape or form. If such information is withheld from the insurance company and a claim arises there is high chance that the claim will be denied, and your policy will be cancelled for misrepresentation.
Now let us look at a High-Risk driver. If you are looking for High Risk Auto Insurance, then it means you are aware you have some issues with your Auto Insurance in the past. At a driver level it is due to your driving record. The 3 factors that determine your Insurance Premiums is your Driving Record, Type of Automobile and Your Postal Code. A driving record comprises of Accidents, Convictions, License Suspensions, Non-pay cancellations. Please see below how the driving record make you a high-risk driver.
· Accidents- Only At fault accidents within past 6 years (for some companies 5 years) are penalized against you. If you have 2 or more at fault accidents in the past 6 years (for some companies 5 years) then you are a high-risk driver. If you want to find out when you are at fault please see the link - www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900668
· Suspensions – Driver License suspension can result from an unpaid fine, Driving under influence, medical reasons etc. Only those suspension that are a result of a driving offence are rateable or penalized. Typically one suspension will make you high risk or regular insurance companies will not provide favorable rates.
· Convictions- The big one yet the most complicated one. There are 3 categories of tickets-Minor Convictions, Major Convictions and Serious/Criminal Convictions. I will make it simple to understand. Within past 3 years If you have ONE major conviction or One Serious/Criminal Conviction you are considered high risk. Within past 3 years if you have 4 (for some companies it 3 minor convictions) or more convictions then you are classified a high-risk driver.
· Non-Payment Cancellation- This is a unique one as it is not due to any driving issues, however two or more non pay cancellations can result in you being a high risk driver.
Sometimes you have 2 minor conviction in past 3 years and a small at fault parking lot accident in past 6 (for some companies 5 years) years. This classifies you as a high-risk driver too. Such combinations exist for all the above-mentioned issues. Hence only a knowledgeable broker can help you get auto insurance at a reasonable cost.
At Aaxel Insurance Brokers we provide a plan to help you come back to the regular auto insurance companies. Our plan is customized according your personal circumstances. So call us at 289 274 4807 for a quote for your High-Risk Auto Insurance.
Spring and summer usually bring the idea of the Antique or Classic vehicle in your mind. With the car comes car insurance. While Auto Insurance costs are going through the roof we cannot say the same about Classic Car Insurance or Antique Car Insurance. In the insurance world sometimes we refer to such vehicles as the ice cream car as it is used to drive family or grand children to the ice cream shop on a hot summer day for ice cream. These vehicles are your pride and joy. They need special care.
These vehicles can be insured in 2 ways. One with your current auto insurance provider or through a specialty insurance provider. Always make sure you get a product that caters to your Vehicle. The insurance is usually not very expensive in most cases, but the insurance providers also have a different set of rules for the drivers of such Vehicles.
The classics and antiques need special towing needs. Hence your auto insurance provider should be able to provide such coverages. The insurance companies have very strict rules about such vehicles and their drivers. They also need to make sure whether the vehicle is stock or modified or restored.
If you are looking for insurance a classic car or antique automobile, please get an appraisal as the insurance companies will ask for it. The appraisal must be current, or it must be completed within past 12 months.
At Aaxel Insurance Brokers Ltd, Durham Branch we will take time to explain the coverages, rules and regulations about your Classic Car Insurance. We will help you get it right the first time. Please call us at 289 274 4807.
Life is Uncertain. It delivers both ups and downs. One moment life is unfolding exactly as you have planned and the next is an unexpected life changing event. You can’t control the future, no one can. However you can take steps to safeguard your family and the things you have built. The sole reason you buy Life Insurance is the protect the financial future of your family in case of your unexpected or expected demise. We have out lined 5 reasons why you need a life insurance policy.
• A quick and cost effective way to protect your family’s way of life if you die.
If you are an income earner with dependents then Life insurance is must in your financial portfolio. The reason is simple- if you die today who will take care of your family or dependent. Do you want to leave some financial burden to the survivors, kids, spouse, elderly parents?
Do you want them to pay for YOUR funeral?
Do you want them to pay YOUR creditors?
Do you want them to cut corners, sell their home, compromise with the way of life?
If the answer is NO to all of the above speak to a Life Insurance Broker NOW.
The Only one way to save on Life Insurance- Buy it when you are young or TODAY. Longer you wait it will be more and more expensive
• Can be used to cover final expenses, funerals costs
As mentioned, Life insurance is necessary at the time of death. Generally, the cost of a Funeral is about $30,000 (average). If you have at least $100,000 of Life Insurance, then it should cover the cost of the funeral. Simple Math. If you know when you are going to die, then maybe you can start saving now and hopefully your spouse or family will not have any financial burdens. If you don’t know when you are going to die then Life Insurance is Important for you.
• Protects your estate
Once you die everything you own will become part of your estate and creditors will be all over it. Have to satisfy government taxes, credit cards, other loans, debts. Adequate life insurance will help cover these costs and leave some cash for the family or the survivors. If you have a mortgage a life insurance policy can be used to pay off the house. Remember in case of Life Insurance the beneficiary is the one appointed by you. In case of the Mortgage Insurance the beneficiary is the Mortgagee.
• You don’t have to wait years for savings and investments to build up
If you wish to leave a small or large fortune for the family or a favorite nephew / niece or charity or your choice or grand kids, then life insurance is an easy way to do it. You don’t have to save. Just pay the premiums and if you die anytime the Life insurance Company will send the check.
• Helps replace lost income so the family can continue to pay for life’s necessities
A well-planned life insurance policy will make sure your family does have enough funds to continue to live with the same standard of living after your untimely demise. It does not replace you, but it does help replace your income.
Buying life insurance is the ultimate act of enduring love. It lets loved ones know that you care so much that you’ve made plans to provide for their well-being even after you’re gone.
s buying Insurance Online worth it?
Purchasing Insurance online is a good option but not for everyone. When you purchase any product or service online, you are on your own. It means you understand and agree with the terms and conditions of the purchase agreement. The difference between Insurance and any other product or service is that you need on going advise and guidance on a day to day basis. You cannot buy insurance and return or cancel the service as and when you need.
If you buy Insurance Online you don’t have the expert opinion, guidance and advise. You are the insurance professional for your own Insurance Policy. What ever data you have input in the buying portal is time stamped and captured. It can be used against you if a claim is denied and you end up the court system. If a policy is purchased with incorrect information or insufficient information, it can be extremely dangerous for you and your family.
Insurance companies use very advanced quoting programs to provide a quote. If you miss a gap in your insurance, provide inaccurate date for a minor conviction, forget about an accident seven years ago you don’t get accurate quote. This means online quoting is almost never accurate. Once you get price and you are happy, you still must call and provide almost the same information again and get surprised with a quote that is not the same as what you got online. This is a waste of time. Isn’t it? Instead call your local broker and let the broker ask the right questions and help you get the right quote.
If you buy insurance online you donot have the luxury to speak to a person who can help you with policy changes like changing a vehicle, changing address, adding and removing drivers etc. If you click something interpreting it incorrectly you may have to bear the consequences of a claim being denied. You lack some important advice during the transaction.
Finally, the third most important reason, is that you have no one to speak to in case of claim. When you are involved in a loss you need an expert to guide you through the process, use his/her knowledge of the claim process, hold your hand and calm you and your emotions down. You need someone to tell you “its ok, you are in good hands, I will make sure the claim is handled properly and if you need anything please let me know”.
When you are looking for insurance policy you are looking for protection of your assets, peace of mind and advise. Only an Insurance Broker can provide the peace of mind and assurance that you are in good hands. A broker can shop for you and provide customised quotes as per your needs.
All in all, buying insurance is great if you know the service, Insurance Act, claims processes, consequences of your actions etc. In other words, you need to be an Insurance Professional to take the decision. Why not pass all the worries to your trusted Local Licenced Insurance Broker in Durham at Aaxel Insurance Brokers Ltd.? We will be there for you when you have that loss.
Claims forgiveness is a feature provided in your property insurance policy and auto insurance policy. The definition and conditions vary based on the insurance company. It is important to speak to a broker to understand the claims forgiveness that you have on your policy. In short it means your first claim will be forgiven and forgotten and never used against you.
Auto Insurance - This only applies to AT FAULT accident. If you are involved in an accident and you are at fault the insurance company will forgive the accident. It cannot be used to raise your insurance rates the following renewal term or any term if you are insured with the same insurance provider. However, if you have a second at fault loss within a certain time frame (usually 6 years) then the second accident can be penalized. There are terms and conditions you need to fulfill to be eligible for claims forgiveness or accident forgiveness.
Home Insurance - In home insurance all claims are at fault. Hence it becomes very important to speak to your broker before reporting a claim to your insurance company. Just Like Auto Insurance, claims forgiveness, forgives and forgets the first claim. You need to be claim free to 3 to 5 years in most cases to be eligible for claims forgiveness in case of the property or home insurance. Your broker should make you aware if you are eligible for claim forgiveness and you should pick a company that provides the coverage.
In both Home Insurance and Auto Insurance the claims forgiveness needs to be purchased as an additional coverage and you should be eligible for it. Speak to a broker and ask for it before you purchase your home and auto insurance.
Remember Claims forgiveness or accident protection or accident waiver are not additional costs. These features protect you from Insurance Premiums increases and gives your family the peace of mind.
When your policy comes up for renewal please call the Durham branch of Aaxel Insurance Brokers ltd at 289 274 4807 to get a no obligation quote and verify if you are eligible for Claims forgiveness.