How To Get Car Insurance

How To Get Car Insurance

When determining how to get car insurance, there are several routes you can follow. Remember, though, that if you want to own a vehicle in Canada, it is mandatory to have vehicle insurance.

Most dealerships will require proof of vehicle insurance before selling you a car. Therefore, knowing how to get car insurance is not only important, but also the law.

What is car insurance?

Auto insurance protects you from financial losses incurred when involved in a car accident. It also protects you if your car has been stolen and may cover losses experienced if items are stolen from your vehicle.

When investigating how to get car insurance, remember that your monthly premiums are dependent upon several factors. These include the estimated cost of replacing the insured vehicle, the risk assigned to a particular driver, and the crime rate in your area.

The value of the vehicle insurance cover represents the amount an insurance company will pay you when you put in a claim related to damage or theft. 

Why do I need car insurance?

When finding out how to get car insurance, you might be asking yourself why you need it in the first place. 

Vehicle insurance protects you from having to pay out of your pocket for damages and other losses experienced as a result of a car accident.

If caught driving without the proper car insurance in place, you may be heading for a hefty fine. You may also have your licence suspended, your car impounded and could be refused auto insurance altogether in the future. 

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What is the difference between public and private car insurance?

In Canada, car insurance is regulated on a provincial level, with the local government in each province determining requirements. 

There are, essentially, two primary categories you should be aware of when it comes to knowing how to get car insurance. One is the option of public insurance, which is run solely by the government. The other is private insurance, offered by private for-profit companies. 

Provinces such as British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba only offer public vehicle insurance to cover your minimum insurance needs. Additional insurance, beyond this mandatory insurance, must be obtained from a private insurance broker.

All other provinces allow you to sign-up for car insurance through a private insurer, except for Quebec, where a hybrid system is in place. Here, you will have to obtain part of your cover from the public insurer and the rest from a private insurer to meet the minimum auto insurance requirements.

Where can I get car insurance?

There are three different kinds of insurance providers you can approach to gather more information about how to get car insurance.

Getting your vehicle insurance via a bank or credit union is probably the most common. These institutions usually offer vehicle insurance on behalf of larger global insurance firms. 

However, when investigating how to get car insurance, you should know that there are companies offering vehicle insurance directly to the public. 

Finally, there is the option of obtaining your auto insurance through a licensed insurance broker. An insurance broker is usually not affiliated with a specific insurance company and can offer various options from different insurers.

When deciding on how to get car insurance, you have the option of purchasing in person or online. But, before signing any policy documents, make sure that the insurance provider is legitimately licensed and registered with the governing body for insurance in your region. 

It is important to note that, after you have determined how to get car insurance, you will be required to submit information and documentation to apply. You will need to provide your driver’s license and contact details, as well as information about your vehicle and your driving history. 

Ensure that you provide the insurer with all the correct information they require and that you remain honest when doing so. Should you fail to mention any crucial details or provide false information, your insurer may refuse to process a claim or even cancel your policy.

What are the different types of car insurance coverage?

The term ‘insurance coverage’ refers to the maximum monetary amount an insurance company will pay you when you put in a claim for damage or loss covered in your policy.

Understanding the minimum requirements for your province is an essential step to knowing how to get car insurance in Canada.

Mandatory car insurance coverage

Two types of insurance coverage make up the minimum mandatory requirements. 

Third-party liability insurance

Liability or third-party insurance covers losses associated with the injury or death of another person inflicted through your vehicle. It also covers the cost of repairing the damage your car does to other vehicles when in an accident. 

Liability insurance does not cover the cost of repairing damages to your car, however. 

Accident benefits

Accident benefits, or bodily injury insurance, covers the cost of your medical expenses and loss of income brought about by a car accident.

When investigating how to get car insurance in Quebec, however, you should note that you will automatically be signed up for bodily injury insurance. Premiums are paid as part of your registration for a driver’s license. 

Direct Compensation Property Damage

Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD) cover is mandatory in Quebec, PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. 

If you are involved in an accident through no fault of your own, your DCPD cover will ensure that any repairs required to your vehicle are covered. That said, should you have been at fault, you will be liable for the repairs unless you have additional coverage in place.

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Optional car insurance coverage

While the above mandatory coverage forms the foundation of every Canadian car owner’s insurance policy, many opt to add to the following. 

Collision insurance

One of the most common additions is collision insurance, which covers the cost of repairs or replacement of your car if your car collides with another or an object.

Comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive insurance is another common form of additional cover. This type of insurance covers the repair or replacement of your car in the event of damage or loss caused by vandalism or theft. It does not, however, cover loss or damage to your car associated with a collision.

Many Canadians also opt to increase their liability coverage to ensure optimum cover should an accident occur.

When examining how to get car insurance, there are other insurance coverage options that you can ask your broker or insurer about. 

Ensure that your policy covers the principal driver, additional drivers, passengers, and any other individuals who may be involved.

How to get the best car insurance rates

Depending on what type of coverage you opt for, certain factors will determine your auto insurance rates. These include age, gender, your neighbourhood, your driving and claim history, how often you use your car, and more.

You can, however, adapt your approach to ensure that you end up paying the best possible rates for your insurance coverage needs. The following illustrates a few actions you can take to get yourself a better rate.

  1. Drive safely and responsibly to reduce the risk of causing collisions and other offences. Any convictions received will remain on record for insurers to see and will impact your rates.
  2. Choose usage-based insurance (UBI) to receive cash incentives when driving responsibly. With UBI you will receive monthly cashback or discounts for maintaining a good driving record.
  3. Ask the insurer or broker whether they offer any discounts. Discounts are sometimes available to members of organizations or groups.
  4. You might be able to reduce your overall monthly premiums if you bundle your vehicle insurance together with another insurance policy. For instance, it is common for one’s home and vehicle insurance to fall under one policy through an insurer.
  5. A deductible is an amount you are liable to pay from your pocket when you submit a claim. It is possible to reduce your monthly premiums by increasing your deductible.
  6. Insurance premiums are usually paid monthly. However, if you choose to pay them annually upfront, you will likely pay less overall.
  7. The make and model of the car you own can have a massive influence on your premiums. Some cars are considered a higher risk because they are more desirable to thieves or have poor crash test scores. Selecting a safe, low-theft car to save on your premiums.
  8. After taking an advanced driving course, insurers are likely to see you as less of a risk on the road and could offer you a discount on your premiums. 
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Final thoughts on how to get car insurance

It is advisable to obtain quotes from as many insurance companies as you can before selecting the one to go with. That way you will be able to analyze what each one offers and find the one that best suits your pocket and needs.

When investigating how to get car insurance, ensure that you obtain a full and clear explanation of how the car insurance works and what exactly it will cover.

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FAQs about Car Insurance

What is car insurance?

Car insurance protects you from financial losses when you get involved in a car accident, car theft and if items are taken from your vehicle. The value of your vehicle’s insurance represents the cost the insurance company will give to you when you put in a claim.

Do I need car insurance?

Getting car insurance can protect you from paying out of your own pocket for accidental car damages. Not only that, if you get caught driving without proper car insurance, you might receive a hefty fine.

Should I get public or private car insurance?

The difference between public insurance is that it is run by the government while private insurance is run by private companies that focus on profit. The ones that offer public vehicle insurance to cover your minimum insurance needs are provinces such as British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. All other provinces allow you to sign-up for car insurance through a private insurer, except for Quebec.

Where can I get car insurance from?

There are many ways you can access car insurance, mainly from banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. There are companies that offer vehicle insurance directly to the public and there is also an option of obtaining your auto insurance through a licensed insurance broker.

How do I get the best car insurance rate?

It all depends on what type you would like covered, it also depends on your age, gender, residence and driving history. Therefore, you should do a thorough research and see which is the most suitable for you.

June 19, 2021
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