26 Jul Auto Insurance Primer Part 1: What Does the Jargon Mean?
Car owners receive their auto insurance renewal papers every year. Some navigate the details easily. Many struggle to make sense of the terms and figures. Over the next few weeks, we will be providing a quick 101 class on the basics of auto insurance coverages. Anticipating your needs and selecting the right type and level of benefits is vital – and also a wise investment for the future.
What Coverage is Required By Law?
If you drive on Ontario roads, you must be insured. It doesn’t matter whether you own your own car or you rent one occasionally. Whenever you drive, insurance is mandatory. Every policy comes with four standard coverages. These are:
- Third-Party Liability: Covers you if sued for an accident in which another party is injured or killed, or their property is damaged.
- Statutory Accident Benefits: Covers you if you are injured in an accident and you incur expenses for medical treatment, rehabilitation, income replacement, caregiving or attendant care.
- Uninsured Automobile: Applies most commonly in hit-and-run accidents where the driver is unidentifiable or where an at-fault driver is uninsured. Covers you and your family for expenses arising from injury, death or damage to your vehicle.
- Direct Compensation – Property Damage: Covers costs arising from damage to your vehicle or loss of use after an accident.
Standard Policies Provide Only the Minimum
All policyholders are required to carry minimum amounts for the coverages above. However, policyholders like yourself should also consider options and extras to expand your protection.
This can include purchasing types of coverage outside of standard policies (such as indexation). It may also encompass options to increase the amounts or the terms and conditions for mandatory coverages (such as third-party liability) or additional benefits (such as indexing).
All policies contain standard coverages, but that does not mean that every policy has all of your needs covered and protected. Beyond the minimum, each company has its own limits, deductibles and options. Each year, assess your needs, compare them against coverage you have in other policies (such as through an employer), and shop around for the most suitable protection and best rates.
Our next two posts will look at some of the options that motorists may consider when buying or renewing an auto policy.
We would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts about insurance benefits in “Leave a Comment” found below.