Great question! The law says that everyone who drives in Ontario needs insurance. Whenever you get behind the wheel, you’re taking on some risks that come with operating an automobile. Even the most careful drivers can be in accidents, and everyone should protect themselves from the potential fallout of an accident whenever possible.
This is why driving responsibly and always wearing a seat-belt is so important, and it’s also why car insurance is a must. Car insurance won’t prevent an accident from happening, but it can protect drivers from the financial consequences of an accident if they’re in one.
Car insurance policies are generally written so that they offer multiple coverages which protect against a range of risks. Some of the included coverages are standard protections that everyone in Vaughan and the rest of Ontario are required to carry, and others are optional protections.
Every driver in Vaughan is required to purchase at least a standard car insurance policy. These policies are regulated by the provincial government, so they all offer the same basic four coverages with identical minimum limits.
First, third-party liability coverage provides legal protection in the event that a driver injures someone else, kills someone else or causes property damage to someone else’s property (e.g. another vehicle). The coverage will generally pay legal fees and settlements up to the coverage’s limit.
Second, statutory accident benefits coverage provides drivers with protection if they themselves are injured in an accident. Protection is offered regardless of fault, and it usually includes help with medical care costs, rehabilitation care costs, loss of income and some other expenses.
Third, direct compensation - property damage (DC-PD) coverage protects an insured vehicle and items inside it. If a vehicle is damaged in an accident where you are not at-fault, this coverage will likely provide direct payment for the repair or replacement of the vehicle. In order to qualify for the coverage, an accident must take place in Ontario, involve multiple vehicles and involve at least one other vehicle that participates in Ontario’s car insurance program. This type of coverage allows you to deal directly with the insurance coverage instead of dealing with a third party. We call it direct compensation because even though someone else causes the damage, you collect directly from your own insurance.
Fourth, uninsured automobile coverage ensures drivers and passengers against risks associated with hit-and-run accidents and accidents caused by improperly insured drivers. When such accidents occur, this insurance may cover injuries, lost wages, vehicle damage and more.
Other optional coverages aren’t required by law but are recommended in most situations. There are several additional coverages drivers can select. Here are some of the most popular additional coverages:
Collision Coverage: If you are at fault in an accident, collision coverage will cover damages to your vehicle.
Comprehensive Coverage: Covers you in the event of fire, theft, vandalism and falling objects.
Accident Forgiveness: Some insurance companies offer this coverage to drivers who have no at-fault accidents on their record. This coverage forgives your first at-fault accident and doesn’t impact your premiums.
Waiver of Depreciation: This coverage is available for new cars only. If you were to be involved in a total loss accident or theft, the insurance company will waive the depreciation of your car. (Depreciation is a fancy word for a decrease in value.) This coverage is available for up to 48 months, depending on the insurance company.
Minor Conviction Protection: Some insurance companies offer this type of coverage. It protects you for your first minor conviction such as a speeding ticket. You can only purchase this type of protection if you have had a clean record for at least six years.
Overwhelmed yet? Don’t worry. It’s a lot. A broker can walk you through everything and help you determine which coverages you need.
Car insurance premiums are based on many factors. Not all insurance companies consider each factor equally. Rates often vary as a result, and they can be different from one insurer to another.
There are some factors that affect price that drivers cannot control.
For example, location can have a large influence on how much premiums for a policy are. Car insurance in Vaughan won’t cost the same as what drivers pay for car insurance in Toronto, even though both places are in Ontario. In fact, even being located in different sections of Vaughan could result in different rates.
Some other factors that can influence rates are:
Drivers do, however, have control over many other factors that can influence rates. Depending on your particular situation, your rates might be affected by:
Traffic tickets normally remain on driving records for three years if they aren’t expunged by a court, and insurance companies usually increase premiums for all of those three years. Likewise, driving courses typically also stay on your record for three years and result in discounts for that amount of time.
One item that isn’t listed is the colour of your vehicle. Many people think the colour of a car or truck influences what insurers charge, but this is a myth. Year, make, model and safety features can impact rates, but colour does not.
Every coverage and premium should be carefully taken into consideration when buying car insurance in Vaughan. For help finding a car insurance policy that has the coverage that makes sense for you, at a rate that you can afford, talk with a well-known car insurance broker.
By shopping for car insurance in Vaughan with a broker, you don’t have to go through the process of buying insurance alone. You’ll have help selecting coverages that are right for you. A broker will also make sure you get every discount available to you. With a broker’s guidance, you can have confidence and peace of mind in the policy that you purchase.