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Auto Insurance

Regardless of where you live in Canada, auto insurance is required by law. You are not authorized to drive without it. HMS Insurance can protect your family and your vehicles from harm with auto insurance that covers all your needs in Parkhill, Ailsa Craig, Grand Bend, Thedford, Strathroy, London, and the surrounding areas. 

Mandatory Coverage

Auto insurance policies in Ontario must include the following as mandatory coverages:

  • Liability − Your legal responsibility for use, operation or ownership of your vehicle to others on the road. Provincial minimum limits for Ontario is $200,000
  • Accident benefits − The medical limits that will cover you and the occupants of your car if you are in an accident involving an automobile. They include medical rehabilitation, income replacement benefits and more
  • Uninsured motorist − Protection if you are involved in an accident with a vehicle that is not insured
  • Direct compensation & property damage – Covers damage to – or loss of use of – an automobile or its contents, to the extent that the driver of another vehicle was at fault for the accident. It is called “direct compensation” because, even though someone else caused the damage, the insured person collects directly from his or her insurer instead of from the person who caused the accident.

A few optional coverage’s

  • Collision − Coverage for physical damage losses to the vehicle from impact with another vehicle, object or road surface from a rollover
  • Comprehensive − Coverage for losses resulting from theft, fire, vandalism, glass breakage, falling objects and more
  • Loss of use (OPCF20) − This covers you for losing access to your vehicle while it is being repaired due to a claim. Under this coverage, you can rent a car temporarily to replace your damaged vehicle
  • Coverage for physical damage to a rental car (OPCF27) – provides you with collision and comprehensive coverage, which is particularly useful for drivers who frequently rent cars in Canada and the United States.
  • Collision Forgiveness  protection –  keeps your premium from increasing in the event of your first at-fault collision.
  • Depreciation waiver coverage (OPCF43) – ensures you receive the full value of what you paid for your car – without depreciation – and is specifically designed for new cars.

Auto Insurance FAQs

Can anyone drive my vehicle?

As an owner of a vehicle, you can let anyone with a valid driver’s license operate your vehicle.  However, if they are involved in an accident, it is your responsibility should a claim occur and it will be your insurance policy and insurance history record that will be affected. If this driver lives in the same household, or is a regular or frequent driver, they should be added to your policy.

What does no-fault insurance mean?

No fault insurance means that, regardless of whose fault an accident is, it is the driver’s own insurance company that responds to the claim. In the event of injuries that require medical rehabilitation and other expenses, coverage would be available under the injured person’s own insurance policy. The person who is at-fault may see a rate increase due to the fault being assigned to them. Blog Post

My vehicle is older. Why have my rates gone up?

In general terms, only a portion of the insurance premium you pay has to do with the actual vehicle value. The other premiums relate to liability, accident benefits, and any coverages you choose, such as optional accident benefits, rental car coverage, and accident forgiveness. Increases in cost of claims related to such things as legal expenses, medical and rehabilitation of injured person, and fraud, along with the increases in expenses of repairs to vehicles are having a dramatic impact in the overall cost of claims. These costs will have a definitive impact on your rates. Blog Post

Is rental coverage included in my policy?

For not at-fault accidents, every driver in Ontario that has a valid insurance policy will have access to rental car coverage while their vehicle is being replaired or replaced. This coverage falls under the Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD) coverage. For at-fault accidents, in order to be eligible for a rental car you must purchase a specific endorsement called OPCF20, and select the coverage limit that best suits your needs. If you are simply renting a vehicle on vacation for example, there is another endorsement that can extend liability and physical damage coverage to the rented vehicle for a brief period of time, this endorsement is called OPCF27. Blog Post

Does am insurance cancellation for non-payment affect my rates?

Yes absolutely it does. Cancellations for non-payment can affect your rates as dramatically as an at-fault accident on your record. The underwriting rules vary from each insurance company, but there almost always is some sort of surcharge applied for this infraction. Insurance companies can also refuse to issue a new policy or renewal based on non-payments, they can also remove the option to pay in monthly installments.

Will there be a penalty if I cancel mid-term?

Almost certainly. The Statutory Conditions in the Ontario Automobile Policy (OAP 1) state that an insurer may use a short rate cancellation table when an insured requests a cancellation of the policy, and most companies follow that practice. This cancellation table takes into account administrative or handling costs involved with issuing the policy and cancelling it before the expiry of the term. Cancellation Calculator

If I register the vehicle in someone else's name will that make my rates cheaper?

No, the insurance company is more concerned with who will actually be driving the vehicle, rather than who’s name the vehicle is registered in.

How long do tickets and accident stay on my record?

In Ontario, any moving violation will stay on your driving record for a period of three years from the conviction date not the offence date. In respect to at-fault accidents, they will stay on your driving record indefinitely, but insurance companies typically stop rating for the accident after six years.

Can I become the primary driver of two cars to prevent my teenager from being made a primary driver?

The short answer is no. A single person who owns more than one vehicle can be the primary driver of multiple cars. But you lose that privilege when the number of cars matches the number of licensed drivers within the household. Under that scenario, every car needs to be matched with a primary drier. The only way around this available isn’t an appealing one. It involves asking an insurance company to exclude a driver from being on a policy (OPCF28A). It’s also an option that insurance companies rarely offer, especially when teenagers are involved.

Does my marital status impact my auto insurance premium?

It could. In certain provinces, namely Ontario, insurers are allowed to use your marital status to set your premium. But there’s no real way to determine how much weight your insurer puts into it. Some use it, while others don’t.