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Why do I need car insurance?In Canada, it is mandatory for all car owners and drivers to have vehicle insurance. This is coverage that protects you financially in case of an accident, in exchange for monthly payments referred to as premiums.br>
Car insurance protects you from liabilities caused by accidents including:
- Medical coverage for any injuries as a result of an accident, including ongoing rehabilitation
- Income replacement if you are unable to work due to an accident
- Your legal responsibilities for damage caused to another vehicle, injury or death of another person
You must keep proof of your car insurance with you whenever in your vehicle. Driving without car insurance is a major violation that can result in suspension of your licence or losing your car.
Why should I compare car insurance quotes?
Before you commit to anything, make sure you shop around. It's best to compare car insurance quotes offered by insurers and brokers (it's best to get a minimum of 3 quotes). You should make your final purchase with the company or person who provided you with the best service and a competitive rate. The insurance representative should take the time to answer all of your questions and make you feel comfortable about the purchase.
How does car insurance work?
Car insurance is a contract that must be renewed by the driver on a yearly basis, with premiums paid monthly. Insurance providers and minimum requirements differ between provinces. In some provinces, coverage is only available through government-run car insurance, while drivers in other provinces can choose from a number of private insurers.
In addition to mandatory vehicle insurance, other types of optional coverage can be purchased from your insurance provider. This includes collision insurance, which covers damage resulting from an accident, and comprehensive insurance, which covers car theft and vandalism.
How are car insurance premiums calculated?
Car insurance premiums are calculated based on a number of factors that determine the risk of you getting into an accident, and how likely it is that you'll make a claim. These risk factors include your driving and accident history, as well as statistical information such as your age, location and number of years driving. The amount and distance you drive, the type of car you own and whether you live in an urban or rural setting can also affect your premiums.
How can I lower my insurance premiums?
A great way to pay less on your car insurance is to find the best premiums available in your area by comparing all of the available options in your province. You can also ensure your premiums stay low by maintaining a good driving record free of convictions and accidents.
If you're looking to reduce your premiums further, there are additional steps you can take:
- Reduce the amount you drive. The less your car is on the road, the smaller the probability is of you getting into an accident. Less use also means your car will remain in better condition for longer - a factor considered when determining driver risk.
- Increase your deductible. This is the amount you agree to pay out of pocket in case of an accident. If the cost of damage incurred exceeds the deductible, then you may file a claim with your insurance provider to cover the expenses.
- Purchase a car with lower cost-insurance rating. These cars have scored highly in accident simulation, and are proven to be safer structurally by their manufacturer. For a list of low cost-insurance rated cars, visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
- Make your car less susceptible to theft by installing a theft deterrent device, or additional car alarms.
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MoneyWise is the official news magazine of RateSupermarket.ca. Looking to learn about Canadian finances? You've come to the right place.
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