Five Car Insurance Myths Debunked
- No-fault insurance, which is the default policy in most Canadian provinces, means that no one is found to be at fault when an accident occurs. This is incorrect. No-fault simply means that insurance companies cover their own clients’ damages, regardless of who caused an accident. It does not imply that no responsibility is assigned. If you cause an accident, you can expect your premiums to rise (Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2014). Depending on the severity of the accident, you may even face criminal charges.
- Almost half of all Canadians believe that their auto insurance premiums will not increase if they refrain from claiming after an accident. This is not true. Accidents affect your driving record, and your driving record is one factor that determines the size of your premiums. An accident is difficult to hide. If you do not report it to the police or to your insurer, the other involved party will (Citopbroker, 2011).
- If you believe you can lend your car to a friend without suffering insurance consequences in case of an accident, you are wrong. Many Canadians believe that auto insurance follows the driver, but it actually follows the vehicle. If a friend crashes your car, your insurer will cover the damage and your future premiums will be affected. The same holds if you drive a friend’s car, so make sure it is insured before you drive it (Autoblog Canada, 2014).
- Many Canadians believe that all insurers rate drivers and vehicles approximately similarly. In other words, there is no point to shop around for the best policy, because insurers do not differ much. This is untrue. Each insurer calculates the risk to itself by calculating the collective risk that its unique client base poses. For example, if most of its current clients are infrequent drivers who use public transportation, the overall risk posed by frequent drivers is manageable, and frequent drivers will not be charged as heavily as they are by other companies (ComparaSave, 2012).
- Many Canadians believe that their government health plan covers their injuries after a car accident. In fact, auto insurance providers compensate the government for treatment costs. Costly medical expenses contribute to insurance premiums.
These are just 5 of the many insurance truths many Canadians learn the hard way. Do you have any truths to add?