(NC) Changes coming to the auto insurance system in Ontario will give you the chance to save money. But in order to do so without compromising your individual coverage needs, you have to understand how your auto insurance would cover you in the event of an automobile accident.
Auto insurance is regulated in the province by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). FSCO has identified three pieces of the auto insurance puzzle you should pay close attention to as you make your choices:
Know what’s in a standard auto insurance policy
If you own a vehicle in Ontario you are required to, at the very least, purchase standard coverage including:
• Third-Party Liability protecting you if someone else is killed or injured or if their property is damaged;
• Statutory Accident Benefits to protect you with pre-set goods and services regardless of who caused the accident plus options to increase compensation;
• Direct Compensation – Property Damage to cover loss or damage to your vehicle or its contents if another person was at fault; and
• Uninsured Automobile Coverage protects you if you or passengers are injured or killed by a hit-and-run driver or by an uninsured motorist. It also covers damage to your vehicle.
Understand how insurance rates are set
The premium is decided by a combination of several factors like the insurance company you choose, the amount of coverage you purchase, the deductibles you select, and more. Your personal profile plays a primary role as well, such as where you live, your age, driving record, and the type of vehicle you drive. It’s important also to know the factors that cannot be considered, like credit history, employment status, certain aspects of past accidents, and other restrictions.
Shop around to get the best price
Be sure to shop around because the exact same coverage can vary in price substantially from one insurance company to another – and since rates change, the company you chose last time may not be the most competitive now. When considering quotes make sure the coverages are comparable and ask about deductibles and potential discounts. A policy with higher deductibles means you’ll contribute more towards the loss (if you have an accident), but could give you a lower premium. Discounts on snow tires, multiple vehicles, or on good driving records may also save you money. Be a comparison shopper but also weigh the policy cost against the coverage provided. Get enough coverage to protect you at a price you can afford.
Additional information and tips on automobile insurance is available at www.fsco.gov.on.ca.