How to Renew Your Auto Insurance Policy in Ontario
By law, every driver in Ontario is required to carry insurance, with severe penalties – such as a minimum fine of $5,000 – for driving without it. But, how do you ensure that your insurance is current, and that it didn’t expire without you noticing?
Making sure you renew your auto insurance policy
In most cases, this is not an issue – the majority of insurance policies automatically renew at the end of their term, with cancellation of the policy only occurring at the client’s request. However, there are circumstances where a policy may not automatically renew. For example, some insurance companies will not renew a policy with a driver who has had three or more convictions under the Highway Traffic Act. Likewise, a driver who has become too high risk, such as one who has experienced multiple at-fault accidents, may also find that their insurance company is unwilling to renew the policy. In most cases where the policy is not going to automatically renew, the insurance company is required to send you a letter informing you of the situation – in a worst case scenario, however, if you have not received your renewal package at the expected time, you should contact your insurance company to find out why it has been delayed.
If you are looking for a new insurance company or a better rate, there are a few ways to approach it – one is to contact a licensed insurance broker, who can get a number of estimates from different insurance companies. Another is to contact the insurance companies directly for estimates yourself. Both approaches have their merits and drawbacks – the insurance broker may have greater negotiating power on your behalf, but may be limited to the insurance companies they represent, leaving you without quotes from insurers who might suit you better.
When looking at alternate insurance companies, there are a number of things you should be looking for. While annual rates are important, you also need to look at what optional benefits are being included with the rate quote. If you have a newer or classic car, you may need a greater level of coverage than if you are driving an inexpensive used car. You also need to know the amount of the deductible – the amount that you must pay towards repairs before the insurance company will cover the rest – and how much it will cost to lower it if it is too high. You may also want to know if the insurance company has an accident forgiveness program, protecting your rates from increasing after a single accident. Finally, you will want to check into the insurance company itself – an insurance provider that is easy to reach and has a history of treating their clients well is better than one that has treated its clients poorly, or is difficult to contact.
So long as you are a safe driver, remaining insured is not generally going to be a problem. Ensuring that you have the insurance that is right for you, on the other hand, can be harder, and knowing who to talk to and what to look for can make all the difference.