Auto Insurance - What other coverage should I think about?
As the leaves change, and the nights become colder, the start of fall is upon us. The colder weather can cause more accidents, as it stays dark longer, and the roads can become more slippery. Let's look at a few other options you have to protect yourself against the dangers of the road:
Waiver of Depreciation: If you buy a brand new car this should be on your policy. If your car becomes damaged, the insurance company will replace the parts with new ones, and they should use original quality parts. If your car was written off this will protect you from losing money - everyone has a friend who's had a car written off and still has to make payments for it. That situation is never fun; which is why this coverage is essential. The coverage will give you either what you paid for the car, the cost to buy the same car today or what the MSRP of the car was when you bought it. The one thing to be careful of is every company puts a time limit on how long they will offer this endorsement for - usually between 2-5 years depending on the company. Always ask how long the company offers it for AND how much it costs each year. A few companies increase the cost of the coverage each year as the car gets older.
Loss of Use: If you cause an accident you will want this coverage - it pays for your rental car while yours is being fixed. Between the time to assess the car, order the parts, find a time that works for you and the mechanic, and for the mechanic to fix your car it may be two weeks or more before your car is fixed. Renting a car can be expensive, and this coverage picks up the cost of the rental. It is very affordable, costing only a few dollars a month.
Rental Coverage: You are flying down to Florida for your yearly vacation with your family. Your kids are young and trying to get anywhere without a car will be a nightmare - so you rent a car while you are there. As you walk up to the counter you know the sales rep will ask you if you want physical damage coverage for the car you will rent...and it won't be cheap. You are trying to think of other options...does my credit card cover this? Well they might - but you would have to call them to find out all the terms and conditions. Your other option is to add rental coverage onto your insurance policy. This extends your policy to any car you rent in Canada or the Continental United States. It is usually only a few dollars a month, and well worth it if you rent a car even a few days a year. The only thing to be careful of is the limit on your policy - typically it is $40,000 or $50,000 - meaning you can't go renting a sports car or even a high end SUV. This coverage is also helpful if you are in an accident and need a rental vehicle - you don't have to worry about damaging that rental.
Family Protection: They say approximately one quarter of all drivers do not have insurance in Ontario. This means if they hit you, there technically is no coverage. What this endorsement does is it uses your policy instead of that other person who hit you. It pays up to your policy limits - which means even if that person has insurance but not enough, your insurance will chip in the difference. In Ontario this coverage is not really optional anymore, as it is only a few dollars a year and most insurance companies will not write a policy without it. At the end of the day it is in your best interest to have it on your policy.
Accident Waiver: You've been a wonderful driver all these years, dutifully paying insurance even though you have never had an accident. All of a sudden your front tire catches a piece of ice and before you know it you've hit into the car next to you. Thankfully everyone is OK, but the cars are a little worse for wear. You exchange insurance information with the third party - but keep on worrying about what this mishap might do to your insurance rates. You start to wonder if you can you afford to pay for the damage...but it looks like it might be expensive. It's for times like these that you will want Accident Waiver. This endorsement recognizes that accidents do happen to even the best drivers, and you shouldn't have to pay more for insurance due to one incident after a
ll those years. It protects your rates from increasing, as long as you are not charged with a major conviction. Only drivers with a few years of experience qualify for this coverage. The only downside is a different company won't honor the coverage - meaning if you look at switching insurance companies you'll most likely be paying a much higher rate somewhere else.
Conviction Protection: Much like Accident Waiver, this protects you against your rates going up from a minor ticket. We all make small mistakes like not noticing the speed limit dropped, or maybe not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. The rare mistake is forgiven with this coverage - protecting your rates against an increase.
There are always more options depending on your unique circumstances so please let one of our experienced staff help you choose the right coverage. Drop by or call our office 905-623-4406 if you would like to discuss any of your insurance needs.