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We highly recommend that you review your liability limits as Canada is becoming a more litigious society each day. The cost to increase from 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 would be less than $50.00 a year per vehicle. For limits and coverage beyond this policy you should consider a Personal Excess (Umbrella) Liability policy. Please contact our office for further details on the essential coverage.
The decision to report your accident to police and/or your insurer/broker is a balance among legal requirements, preservation of your insurance and recovery opportunities and controlling your accident experience picture with your insurer. You must report all hit and run accidents to the police within 24 hours, in order for the accident not to be charged against you, please contact us to discuss.
Claims protection coverage:
Some insurers offer this coverage for an additional premium of $35.00 to $60.00. It protects drivers with accident free driving records in the event of a first AT FAULT ACCIDENT. Please call to discuss if you are eligible for this coverage.
Speeding and other Highway Traffic Act violations are not only dangerous to your health; they can destroy your pocket book. Insurers are checking with the Ministry of Transportation on ALL situations. Even one violation with or without points can affect your premium. And yes, seatbelt violations do count.
Your policy automatically provides liability coverage for certain trailers while they are being towed behind your personal automobile. We must, however, be aware of the type of trailer that you have and specifically list it on your policy in order to be covered for liability when it is not being towed. For damage to the trailer itself, additional coverage must be purchased.
Recreational and Motorized Vehicles:
You may not be aware that you should insure your recreational and motorized vehicles, (e.g. snowmobiles, ATV's, tractors, golf carts, trailers and related equipment) for liability and damage to the vehicle. Please contact us to discuss this.
Classic and Antique Vehicles (OPCF 19A):
To avoid dispute, we suggest you pre-agree the value of the car with the insurer. To do this, Insurers require an up-to- date appraisal from a qualified vehicle appraiser.
Graduated Licenses (G1, G2, G):
The MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION mandates that you must obtain your full G license within 5 years of getting your G1. Obtaining your G license as soon as possible will help you get the best possible rates from insurers.
An Ontario auto insurance policy only provides coverage if the person operating the vehicle is authorized by law to drive. If they are not authorized by law the Ontario Auto Insurance Policy will not respond for their damages or injuries. The insurance company does not determine who is authorized by law. That job is left up to the Ministry of Transportation.
If you are here visiting Ontario for less than 3 months you can use a valid driver’s license from your own province, state, or country. If you are visiting longer than 3 months you will need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP). An (IDP) is a translation of your current valid license and when accompanied by that license legally allows you to drive for up to one year in other countries. The IDP is normally renewable for a one year period. These permits are not valid in all countries so check with the country you will be traveling to before leaving. International Driving Permits must be obtained in your home country. You will not be able to get one once you have left your home country. If you have moved here you are able to use your current license for 60 days.; After that you will need to exchange your license for an Ontario license or if that is not possible you should have already started the process to obtain your Ontario license.
The normal course of action for someone planning on residing in Canada would be for them to go through the process of obtaining their Ontario License. Be careful here. Once you have started the process and obtained your G1 your International Driving Permit is no longer valid. The G1 trumps the International Driving Permit and as a result you are subject to all the G1 rules. This can be quite frustrating for someone new to the country that already had their International Driving Permit since they could drive by themselves with the IDP but once they obtain their G1 they must now have a fully qualified driver in the passenger seat next to them. They must also abide by all the other G1 restrictions. For more information on the ins and outs of obtaining a license in Ontario go to Drive Test
While an insurance company cannot add a driver to a policy with a license from another country they are able to add a driver with an IDP. They are able to do it but may not be excited about doing it especially on a long term basis. Many insurance companies may have rules filed with the Financial Services Corporation of Ontario (FSCO) that determine if and when they can decline to cover someone with an IDP and may decline to offer a renewal if the person has not obtained their Ontario driver’s license within a reasonable time. So, around we go since the minute they obtain their G1 their IDP is no longer valid. What I have heard that some families will do is keep one person on their IDP while the others apply for their Ontario License. That way they can drive the car while the others go through the process. Once another family member has obtained their G2 they will be able to drive the car on their own subject to the G2 restrictions. But once again, be very careful here. A person with an IDP or a G2 is not considered to be a fully licensed driver by Ontario standards so the G1 driver could not operate the vehicle with the person with the IDP or G2 in the passenger seat. The person in the passenger seat must have had a full G for at least 4 years.
Some countries have reciprocal arrangements with Canada that allow you to exchange your license for a Canadian one. At the time of writing this they are U.S. States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, and Taiwan. Individuals from Countries without an exchange agreement must go through the full licensing process. The process may be shortened based on their driving history and available documentation. More information
The above deals with individuals from other countries driving in Canada. If you are a Canadian who would like to obtain an International Driving Permit to operate a vehicle in another country please contact the CAA.
The above is for descriptive purposes only. For licensing information please visit the MTO and Drive Test. For information pertaining to your insurance coverage please refer to you Ontario Auto Insurance Policy.
Children Away at School:
Children away at school may be eligible for a discount. Please contact us to discuss.
New or Additional Drivers:
To establish driving records and /or avoid claim difficulties, you must advise us of all drivers in your household. This includes those that have their own vehicle and maintain separate insurance.
Any change in the usage of your vehicle must be reported to your insurer. Classifications of usage include, pleasure only, pleasure and commuting to work and business use. Please verify the distance driven to work or school.
Your policy has territorial coverage limits of Canada and the United States. However for rating purposes we need to be advised if your vehicle will be operated in the USA for a period exceeding 30 days. Failure to do so may result in coverage problems.
Modifications & Customization:
Your Insurer must be advised in order for coverage to apply.
Driver Training Certificates:
In order for new drivers to obtain the driver training credit, they must provide a MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION OF ONTARIO APPROVED DRIVER EDUCATION CERTIFICATE. This is the only acceptable certificate.
Limited Waiver of Depreciation (OPCF43):
Waives depreciation if insured is original purchaser or lessee of the automobile and loss or damage occurs within a certain number of months from the original delivery date or beginning of lease.
Loss of Use (OPCF20):
If your car is out of use due to a loss covered under your policy, you can purchase coverage that will pay for the rental of a substitute vehicle.
Short Term Rental (OPCF27):
Coverage decisions for short-term rental car insurance have become incredibly complex. Factors such as location (North America or elsewhere), existence of your own automobile or personal umbrella coverage, credit card cover, third party liability or damage to vehicle, individual rental car company contract conditions, duration, usage, type of vehicle, existence of corporate procedures all contribute to the decision. OPCF 27 coverage can be of some assistance in specific circumstances. Please contact us to discuss.
A Personal Excess/Umbrella Liability policy provides coverage beyond the personal liability insurance covered in your Homeowner/Tenant/Condominium, Yacht and personal Automobile policies. For instance, if you have a $1,000,000 primary cover on your Property policy, a $5,000,000 Personal Excess policy would bring your liability coverage to a total of $6,000,000 per occurrence. In a few coverage areas it broadens your coverage beyond your primary policies. e.g.: Damage to a rented boat.
Depending upon your policy, coverage is world-wide and protects you, your spouse, relatives and dependents (up to age 21 or 25) living in the same household. However, in some cases, world-wide coverage does not apply to automobiles. For coverage to apply, primary policies must be specifically declared on the excess policy. It can be excess of foreign properties or exposure, if primary cover is declared.
Any active person should seriously consider this coverage. Social inflation has driven court awards up relentlessly. Hosts' liquor liability is an example of the widening of personal liability.
Limits up to $5,000,000 and more are available. Costs are very reasonable and depend upon the number of your exposures.
Please consider the importance of this coverage in the following cases:
* Injuries resulting from boating/personal watercraft accidents * Major automobile accident – you are at fault * Intoxicated guests * Libel & Slander * Coaching/managing sports team * Activity at your seasonal property starts large forest fire * Increasing time spent in USA * Director of Officer on a Board of Directors for a NOT-FOR-PROFIT organization