Auto insurance in Ontario is changing.
Depending on your insurance company, you may see:
- Reduction in insurance premiums
- Reduction in coverage
- A change in your coverage and/or benefits
- New options available in your coverage and/or benefits
Why is this change happening?
In an effort to comply with the promise to make auto insurance premiums more affordable, the Ontario government is lowering the mandatory medical coverage you have to carry on your auto insurance policy, and in return you may see a reduction in your rates.
What does this mean?
Most of the changes are related to accident benefits you would receive if you were injured in a collision: some benefit limits have been reduced, and some options for increased coverage have been changed or eliminated.
What else do I need to know?
While this change in coverage will affect all Ontario insurance policies, people without an employer sponsored insurance plan may want to pay special attention to these changes.
When will it affect me?
Although the new initiative began June 1st, the changes won’ t affect individual policy holders until the automobile insurance policy is due for renewal or if a new policy is purchased.
Your best bet is to speak directly with your insurance professional to fully understand the potential impact of these changes.
If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us: 519-736-8228
Ways motorists can improve bicycle safety:
- Respect bicyclists as legal road users with the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Drive courteously and with tolerance. That cyclist is your neighbor and you are sharing the same road.
- Obey the posted speed limit, and don’t drive too fast for conditions.
- Come to a complete stop at each stop sign and red light.
- Check over your shoulder, and always check your blind spot. A bicyclist could be there.
- Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the bicycle in front of you.
- Use low-beam headlights when driving in low-visibility conditions.
- Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists in and entering crosswalks.
- If you plan to turn right or pull into a parking space shortly ahead of a bicycle in front of you, do not pass.
- Signal all turns and lane changes 30 meters (100 feet) in advance.
- Pass bicyclists only it is safe to do so. Exercise patience.
This is an excerpt from Share the Road Cycling Coalition, for more information on safe driving and cycling practices, please visit their website.
One of the principles of auto insurance is always trying to charge the ‘right’ premium for the ‘right’ risk. Traditionally, this has been done by studying the behaviour of large groups of similar people and figuring out if those groups tend to cost more or less to insure. So this has resulted in insurance companies charging higher rates for 18 year olds and lower rates for 30 year olds; or charging higher rates for city drivers and lower rates for country drivers; or even charging higher rates for people with more tickets and accidents and lower rates for people with less tickets and accidents.
This is the way that auto insurance has been priced for many years. The only problem with this method is, as we all know, many times there are individuals that can behave much differently than the ‘group’ they are assigned to. We all know 18 year old drivers who are better drivers than some 30 year old drivers; or ‘bad’ drivers in the country that get better rates than ‘good’ drivers in the city. We have never had a tool that could assess an individual’s risk and therefore charge a fair price to that specific individual.
Usage based insurance may finally provide us with that tool.
Today’s automobiles are so technologically advanced that we can now plug a ‘black box’ into the car and see exactly how that vehicle is driven and then charge a price that is matched as close to possible to that risk. Similar to the way they use a flight data recorder on an airplane, the black box can record all types of data on how a vehicle is being used and then upload that data to the insurance company. They can then analyse the data and give discounts for ‘good’ behavior or charge extra for ‘bad’ behavior.
Not only is this data being looked at to help with insurance pricing but many companies feel that they will be able to help drivers improve their habits by giving them a score card that will help improve their rates.
If you are interested in looking into an insurance company that offers usage based insurance, please give us a call – 519-736-8228
Here are some tips to have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day:
We have all had it happen before, you are driving along and suddenly you hear that loud bang. A stone has hit your windshield with, what sounds like, the force of a bullet and left a nasty little chip. Stone chips and glass repair are all part of owning a vehicle and while these chips usually look minor they cannot be neglected and should never be ignored.
Minor stone chips are one of those things that are very easy to repair if attended to quickly but if you wait too long, that chip can turn into an expensive repair. Chips grow into large cracks from all type of forces, the simple vibration of driving your car; taking the car through a car wash; even changes in temperature can cause them to become cracks.
Once that chip becomes a crack, the windshield cannot be repaired, it must be replaced.
Most insurers recognize that repairing chips early can lead to a huge savings if they prevent having to pay the cost to replace a windshield. That is why most insurers will cover the cost of the repair without any cost to the vehicle owner.
By acting fast and repairing the chip the insurer and customer can both save a significant amount of money. The repair may cost in the range of $150 while the cost to replace an entire windshield can run as high as $1,500 on some vehicles. Fast action can save you from paying your deductible and save your insurer from paying the rest.
Another reason to act fast when you discover a crack is that a cracked windshield is also a safety hazard. Most people don’t realize that your windshield makes up an important structural part of your vehicle. It is also the only thing between your face and the next rock that may be flying at you at any time.
Be proactive and if you notice a chip, get it repaired right away. You’ll save money, be safer in your vehicle, and only have to go through a minor repair job rather than a full replacement.
I’m getting a great deal on insurance. Last time I switched agents, I saved hundreds.
That’s great, possibly true and something we occasionally hear at Gibb Insurance Brokers, however, it’s always a good idea to get a quote when renewing your car insurance.
- Are you working with an insurance broker who has the ability to find the best rate for you from many companies? When you work with only an insurance company rather than a broker, you are limited to only their product.
- Have your driving habits changed since your last renewal? Have you moved? Do you work closer to home? Have your young drivers been insured for a few years now? These are all factors that can lower your insurance premiums.
- What is your deductible? You can save money by upping your deductible from $500 to $1000.
- Did you have a ticket or accident that might be off your driving record? A clean driving record can easily save you money.
- You can also save money by bundling together your home, boat, snowmobile, etc. policies.
My insurance renewal isn’t for several months, but I’m interested in saving money, what should I do?
- In general, renewal notices are sent out 60-45 days before renewal and that’s the perfect time to give us a call for a quote – 519-736-8228.
- If you’re renewal date is a few months off, send us a quick email now with your contact information and renewal date. We’ll send you an email reminder once your renewal is approaching and arrange for a quote then – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions on your car insurance policy or renewal questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us: email@example.com
My new car costs less to insure? You’ve got to be kidding.
You drive a 2003 Honda Civic and you neighbour drives a 2013 Ford F150 pickup. You both have clean driving records and travel the same distance to work. You know his truck is worth twice as much as your Civic and then the shock comes – you are paying more for auto insurance than he is. How can this be?
Every vehicle available today in Canada is rated according to the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) system. What this system does is assess and compare each and every vehicle based on its individual expected claims frequency and cost.
Vehicles that are more likely to be stolen will cost more to insure than those less likely to be a target. Vehicles whose replacement parts are more expensive will be rated higher than those with less expensive replacement parts. Vehicles with safety features that help the driver avoid accidents will have a better rating than those without advanced features. Most importantly, vehicles that provide better driver safety when they do get into an accident will lower the amount of injuries and thus the cost of medical treatment for the driver.
So let’s revisit your neighbour and his new truck. Why would it cost him less to insure his $45,000 vehicle than it costs you to insure your $3000 car?
The Honda Civic is generally one of the most frequently stolen vehicles in Canada; this drives the cost for theft coverage up quite a bit. Replacement parts for vehicles such as the Honda Civic are generally much more expensive than most other vehicles on the road; this will impact the cost of repairs after a collision. Finally, and most importantly, a 2013 Ford pickup will be equipped with the latest in accident avoidance and passenger safety technology which will allow it to avoid more accidents than the Civic and better protect the driver if the accident cannot be avoided.
So what are you to do? The choice is CLEAR. When the time comes to replace your vehicle be sure to talk to your insurance broker to compare your make and model and ensure you’re not paying more than you have to.
If you have any questions, we’d be pleased to take take your call: 519-736-8228
When a teen receives their drivers’ license and are itching to hit the open road, it’s time for parents to talk about responsibilities and safety.
Here’s a link to download our Gibb Insurance – Parent – Teen Driving Contract.
We feel that this contract will help open the lines of communication and assist in helping young drivers make good decisions.
If you have a new or upcoming young driver, please give us a call for a quote, 519-736-2882.
If you’re struggling to give the perfect gift this holiday season, consider offering to be the designated driver to friends or family. They’ll be able to enjoy a night out and you’ll truly understand that the gift is in the giving.
Enjoy the season and be safe.
I’m going on vacation and will be renting a car; do I have to buy extra coverage?
With the cold winter descending upon Essex County and families heading south for a vacation, this is a question I am asked a lot.
It’s actually a much more complicated question that most people realize. When someone rents a vehicle from a rental car agency they become responsible for any accident damage to that vehicle upon its return. Usually you have two choices for covering any damage to the rental car, you can purchase coverage from the rental agency or you can have coverage provided by your auto insurance policy. There are pros and cons to both choices so I will try to give you an overview of your options.
If you choose the insurance provided by the rental company it is usually more expensive that the cost of adding this coverage to your personal auto policy. In many cases damage insurance from the rental company can be as high as $25 to $30 dollars per day; this can be very expensive in the event of a 7 to 10 day rental period. Another issue to contend with is that the insurance from the rental agency may only cover specific, pre-approved drivers, if you were to lend the rental to someone not listed on the policy, and they have an accident, you may not be covered. On the other hand, while the rental company insurance may be expensive, if you have an accident it does not involve your personal policy. In other words, what happens on vacation stays on vacation. Also, many rental agencies offer $0 deductibles which would help minimize the tension in the event you were to have an accident while on vacation.
The other choice is to insure the damage to the rental under your personal auto insurance policy. The cost of this extra coverage is generally quite inexpensive, as low as $25 to $50 per year; and many companies may even include it at no cost. While the cost is very low there are also quite a bit of exceptions to think of. First, you can only cover a vehicle driven in continental North America under this rider so if you are going to Europe or Mexico for example, there is no coverage under your policy. Also, the vehicle you rent must be a ‘private passenger’ type vehicle; so if you are renting a moving truck you cannot cover it under your personal policy.
The last and most important point to remember is that if you insure the rental vehicle under your personal policy and you have to put in a claim for that rented vehicle then the claim is paid by your personal policy and any premium increases will follow you home.
If you’re one of the lucky ones leaving Essex County for warmer weather this winter and have an auto insurance questions, please don’t hesitate to give Gibb Insurance Brokers a call – 519-736-8228.