To quote you a premium or sell you an automobile insurance policy, your broker, agent or insurance company will require some basic information about:
Your driving record
Any other drivers
Your current broker, agent or insurance company
It is a good idea to have all this information on hand before you contact your insurance representative. Use this printable version of the table below to help you.
You must be accurate and honest and update your insurance representative if your circumstances change. The information you have given to your broker, agent or insurance company determines your auto insurance rates. An insurance company has the right to cancel your policy if the information you have given is not correct or complete. Non-disclosure or misrepresentation on your part of any of these facts could cause your rates to go up. Furthermore, it could render your policy null and void, and leave you without protection in the event of a claim.
Note: Auto insurance companies and their agents/brokers are prohibited from requiring that you consent to the collection and use of your credit information before providing an insurance quote or offering to renew a policy. They are also prohibited from using credit information when they respond to requests for quotes, or process applications for automobile insurance or renewals of policies.
It is not only the driver but also the owner of the vehicle who is liable when an accident is caused with their vehicle. This puts a heavy onus on owners to ensure that they give only licensed and competent drivers permission to operate their vehicle!
Be prepared to ask some questions of your own so that you can compare quotes:
- How do I reach you if I need to ask a question or file a claim?
- Are there any optional coverages I should consider?
- Please break down the premium costs for each optional coverage I have selected or receive as part of my standard auto policy.
- How will my premium be affected if I am in an accident?
- What discounts does the insurance company offer?
Other important facts to remember when dealing with your insurance company include:
- If you want to change insurance companies and cancel your existing policy before it expires, you may have to pay a penalty. You may instead want to have the new policy start once your existing policy expires.
- You should receive your policy renewal from your insurance company approximately 30 days before it expires. This allows you to change your policy, examine policy changes or shop around.
- If you do not want to renew your policy, you should notify your broker, agent or insurance company immediately. Do not stop making payments: that will result in cancellation of your policy because of non-payment and possibly put you in a higher risk category.
- Your insurer can cancel your policy for non-payment of premiums, so long as it follows certain procedures. An insurer cannot terminate the contract if the insurer receives the outstanding payment, plus any applicable administration fee, before the end of the notice period (no less than 30 days if the insurer gives notice by registered mail and no less than 10 days if the notice is given by personal delivery). If the amount is not paid by the time and in the manner specified in the regulation, then the contract is deemed to be terminated at the end of the notice period. If, in a given policy term, an insured person has received two notices of non-payment but has paid the amount owing in time to avoid termination, then on the third non-payment notice, the insurer may proceed to cancel the policy whether or not the insured person tenders the late payment. The third notice acts as a termination notice and the policy terminates no earlier than the 15th day after the notice is given by registered mail, or no earlier than the fifth day after the notice is given by personal delivery.
- If there is a lapse in your coverage due to the cancellation of your policy because of non-payment of premiums, insurance companies may then charge you higher premiums for a future policy.
- Your auto insurance policy requires that any accident involving injury or property damage be reported to your insurance company within seven days, regardless of who is at fault. If you cannot report within seven days, you must report it as soon as possible after the accident.