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Everything You Need To Know About High Risk Auto Insurance
Watch our video covering everything you need to know about high risk auto insurance in Ontario
What Makes You a High Risk Driver?
A poor driving record can affect your ability to qualify for regular auto insurance in Ontario. There are certain factors that can deem you as a person requiring high risk auto insurance and boost your insurance rates. Here are some of the most common factors that result in a driver being classified as a high risk
Speeding tickets are a common reason Ontarians deem themselves as high risk drivers. If you have multiple speeding tickets/a major speeding ticket, it’s enough for insurance companies to view you as a high risk driver.
Accidents happen! Although an at-fault accident can result in an increase in insurance rates, a single at fault accident does not deem you a high risk driver. However, a consistent pattern of accidents can disqualify you from obtaining insurance from general insurance companies.
Any impaired driving infraction will automatically deem you as a high risk driver in Ontario. Not only will your license be suspended, you will also lose your ability to qualify for preferred insurance rates.
Careless Driving Or Stunt Driving
Careless driving automatically deems you as a high risk driver with most Ontario insurance companies. The good news is you can still obtain auto insurance by reaching out to a high risk auto insurance broker.
If you’ve had a policy canceled due to non-payment, other insurance companies may view this as a red flag. Certain companies may allow a limited number of non payments prior to cancelling your policy. However, some companies have a strict non payment cancellation policy.
High Risk Vehicle
Insurance companies use vehicle rating information to determine which cars are safer than others. They can also use this information to determine which vehicles are statistically more likely to be involved in a higher frequency of claims. High valued vehicles can also require you to obtain specialty high risk insurance.
No Prior Insurance
Having no prior insurance experience is sort of like having no credit score. You’re seen as a higher risk as a result of having no prior track record. This may not automatically deem you as a high risk driver but will result in higher insurance premiums. The good news is as you obtain insurance experience, you may see a savings in your insurance.
Lapse In Insurance
Insurance companies prefer drivers who have a history of claims free driving. If you had a lapse in insurance, your new insurer will take a closer look at why that happened. Certain causes for lapses in insurance can deem you a high risk driver (ie. non payment cancellations, license suspensions, etc).
High Risk Insurance Providers
Coachman Insurance Company
Coachman Insurance Company has provided coverage to drivers turned away by other companies since 1979. In fact, they focus on non-standard auto insurance, which means they can help you find a policy that works for you at competitive high risk rates.
Pafco Insurance is also a great option for people shopping around in the non standard auto insurance market. They pride themselves on offering an unparalleled client experience.
Echelon specializes in auto insurance for drivers who cannot obtain insurance from other carriers due to inexperience or a poor driving record. They have been known to offer competitive premiums for drivers in this category.
Perth has been protecting Canadians (including high-risk drivers) since 1871. One thing has stayed consistent through 145 years of service: a customer-first mindset. Perth has a 92% satisfaction score in post-claim surveys. It’s clear that their customers agree Perth has their back.
Jevco Insurance Company has been a proud provider of non-standard auto insurance for the past 30 years. They became a part of the Intact Financial Corporation (IFC) in 2012, and have remained focused on providing great coverages and premiums to these markets.
Factors That Affect Your Premiums
Prior to shopping around for auto insurance quotes, it’s important to understand what factors affect your premiums. This will help you understand why your premiums look a certain way. Common factors affecting insurance rates include
Certain vehicles are considered safer to insure than others. Factors that go into determining this can be vehicle safety rating, vehicle value, and theft and/or claims frequency.
Most traffic accidents occur close to home, so if you live in a densely populated area with high traffic, you may have a higher rate.
Young drivers (teenagers through young adults aged 25) don’t need to do anything wrong to be considered higher risk. As a result of them being newer drivers, thus more likely to be involved in claims, they are generally higher to insure compared to the experienced driver.
This one is pretty straightforward: if you engage in risky driving behavior (traffic violations, at-fault accidents, DUIs, etc.) you’re going to have higher premiums because insurance companies will consider you riskier to insure.
Drivers Auto Insurance Experience
Your insurance experience is like your credit score. The longer history you have, the easier it is for your insurance company to assess how risky you are. People with many years of claims free insurance experience are rewarded with preferred rates.
Ways To Save On Auto Insurance
When you speak to your insurance broker, make sure to ask about ways you can save on auto insurance.
As a high-risk driver, the unfortunate truth is that you’ll probably face higher premiums than your peers. Here are some ways drivers can save on auto insurance. *Note* These savings may not be available to high risk drivers. Please contact us to be connected to a licensed insurance broker for a quote.
Insure more than one vehicle with the same company.
Multi-line of Business
You can lower your overall cost by bundling different types of insurance products with a single insurance provider. An example of this can be bundling your home and auto insurance with the same insurance company.
Cancel Collision Or Comprehensive Coverage
you can save money by removing coverages you may not need. Depending on the value of your vehicle, it may be in your best interest to remove collision or comprehensive coverage. This should be discussed in further detail with your insurance broker prior to making any decision.
if you don’t want to ditch your collision or comprehensive coverage, you can save money by raising your deductible (the amount your insurance company doesn’t cover when paying for repairs).
Choose Your Vehicle Wisely
Some vehicles are more expensive to insure than others. As a result, we recommend obtaining multiple quotes for different vehicle options during your car buying journey. This can be done with one of our insurance brokers directly over the phone.
Many insurance companies offer Canadian drivers with winter tires preferred rates. People driving with winter tires definitely give themselves an edge when it comes to safe driving during harsh Canadian winters.
If you’re planning on moving, it may be beneficial to take a moment and reach out to your insurance broker. They can provide you a quote using different postal codes allowing you to make an informed decision from an insurance perspective on where your next home should be.
This is a device that connects to your vehicle. It allows insurance companies record good driving behavior and rewarding them by offering preferred insurance rates.
Types Of Coverage’s
Before you speak with a broker, though, it is still a good idea to understand what types of coverage you are obligated to have in the province of Ontario
No matter what you drive, your insurance policy must include some coverage to protect you financially against major risks.
No matter what you drive your vehicle must be insured for third-party liability coverage. This coverage is standard in Ontario but can be increased if additional coverage is required.
Protection Against Liability Claims
Liability Coverage protects your financial well being in the event you are liable for injuring someone or causing damage to another person’s property or automobile. This coverage protects you if the damage was caused during your operation of a motor vehicle
Minimum required: $200,000 in Ontario
Recommended: Most Ontario insurance companies require you to carry at least $1,000,000 of third party liability coverage. Given the current high frequency of claims and increased average cost per claim, it is not uncommon for people to obtain $2,000,000 of third party liability coverage.
Physical Damage Coverage
Physical damage coverage is an optional coverage in Ontario that protects exactly what the name implies, physical damage. Physical damage could be caused by a number of factors including fire, theft, vandalism or collision.
Collision coverage helps pay to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object (ie. tree, lamp post, etc). If you’re leasing or financing your car, collision coverage is typically required by the lender. If your car is paid off, collision is an optional coverage which may be added to your insurance policy.
Comprehensive insurance protects your car against damage not resulting from a collision. It covers a wide array of perils that can damage your vehicle, including fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, flooding, etc.
You can add other coverages on to your auto insurance policy if required. These coverages are generally added on as something called an endorsement or insurance rider..
Coverage for Transportation Replacement
Coverage for transportation replacement or OPCF 20 will cover the cost for a rental vehicle if your vehicle is being repaired or replaced for damage caused by an insured peril.
Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile(s)
Liability for damage to non-owned automobiles or OPCF 27 provides you with physical damage coverage in the event of loss or damage to all rented or non-owned vehicles.
A waiver of depreciation or OPCF 43 is an optional coverage for drivers who have leased or purchased a brand new vehicle. It removes the insurers ability to deduct depreciation from the value of the vehicle when settling a claim payout.
Accident protection will help protect your good driving record in the event of your first at-fault accident. It helps keep your premiums low and only experienced drivers with a good driving record qualify for this coverage.
No matter what you drive, your insurance policy must include some coverage to protect you financially against major risks.
Benefits Of Using An Insurance Broker (www.ibac.ca)
Brokers have access to a wide selection of some of the best insurers in the country, most of whom do not sell directly to the public. Once a broker has properly assessed your individual insurance needs they do the shopping for you, to find you the right coverage at a competitive price.
Brokers are licensed professionals. They bring their experience and judgment to their role as your personal insurance advisor. Most important, they are free to make impartial recommendations. Their first and only responsibility is to serve your interests, so it’s advice you can trust.
Most people prefer to have a face-to-face conversation with a broker to discuss coverage, at least at the outset. For most of your dealings with a broker you can communicate in whatever way you are most comfortable with, or that fits into your busy life, such as telephone or email.
Insurance brokers work to a principle of utmost good faith. Your insurance broker puts your interests first, before those of the insurance companies they deal with. Buying from a broker means you can buy with confidence knowing that the recommended coverage is right for your particular needs.
If you have to make a claim, your broker is there to ensure that you receive fair and prompt payment, to get you back to normal. In the event of a dispute, your broker will act as your advocate with the insurance company. Experience has shown that a broker’s knowledge and contacts can often help settle a disputed claim.
Brokers are a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of insurance and other preparedness. They know how to ensure that you get all applicable discounts on the insurance you buy. They are experts at risk assessment and how to properly protect you and your family’s interests with respect to Auto, Home and Business coverage.
It doesn’t cost you any extra to use the services of a broker. Brokers are paid a commission by any insurance company they place your business with, there is no financial incentive for them to pick one over another. What’s more, they are completely open about their transactions and encourage you to ask them about their remuneration.
Brokers act as a local resource centre for safety information and crime prevention. Brokers are part of your community’s emergency response team. They will be among the first to respond to your needs in the event of a catastrophe in your community. Buying from a broker means you are investing in your own community.
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