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Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance in Ottawa and Nepean

Auto Insurance

How can I lower my insurance cost?

To lower your premium, ask us about any of the following options:

  • Increasing your deductible (i.e., your share of the cost of a claim). By increasing the amount you are willing to pay, you will decrease your premium

  • Dropping collision coverage on an older car

  • Bundling your car and home insurance

  • Buying a car with a lower-cost insurance rating

Is my car covered if someone else is driving it?

Yes, provided the person who is driving it is:

  • Legally entitled by law to operate a motor vehicle,

  • Is using it with your permission,

  • Has not committed an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada while operating your vehicle, and

  • Has not contravened the prohibited uses clause as outlined in your policy (such as racing).

What is a deductible?

A deductible is the portion you are responsible for paying in the event of a claim. For example, if your car insurance policy has a $1,000 deductible for collision and there is $5,000 in damages, you will pay the first $1,000 and the insurance company will pay the remaining $4,000.

How is fault determined in an accident?

In Ontario, fault is determined according to Fault Determination Rules which are part of the Insurance Act. Fault Determination Rules outline different accident scenarios. Fault and degree of fault is allocated to each driver based on which scenario most closely fits the accident.

Once you have reported the circumstances of an accident to your insurance adjuster, he or she will speak to the adjuster representing the other party and agree on the fault allocation. Extenuating circumstances, such as slippery road conditions, don't enter into the decision.

In other provinces, fault may be determined by settlement charts or fault may be determined based on common law and the existing rules of the road.

Homeowners Insurance

What does home insurance cover? Why do I need it?

Home insurance provides protection against loss or damage to your home and personal belongings. It also helps protect your financial assets against financial loss in the event of a lawsuit against you. For example, if someone is injured in your home, your home insurance (which includes liability protection) will provide you with legal defence in the event of legal action brought against you. There are exclusions and limitations that may eliminate or restrict coverage provided by your policy.

Home insurance is often necessary to secure mortgage financing - your bank will want to ensure they will be reimbursed in the event of loss or damage to the property. Even if you don't have a mortgage, home insurance ensures that your assets are protected from loss. For example, if you don't carry insurance and your home is destroyed by fire, most people can't afford to rebuild their home.

How much insurance do I need?

Your broker will help you determine the amount of home insurance that's right to protect your home and personal belongings. The replacement value (this is the cost to rebuild your home, not the market value) of your house and the value of your personal property will be key to determining your insurance needs. Your broker will also assist you in selecting the type of coverage and deductible (the amount you are responsible for paying before we will begin to pay for a loss or damage) best suited to you.

What is replacement cost?

Replacement cost is the total cost that your insurance company would pay to fully reconstruct your home if it were destroyed. Replacement costs include things that may not be included in the resale value, like the cost and availability of skilled labour, debris removal, extra expense due to more stringent building codes, and more. If you made upgrades or did renovations, talk to your broker to make sure you have the right coverage.

Should I make a claim with every loss?

This is a very personal decision. Before making a home insurance claim, you should consider the cost of the damage compared to your deductible. The deductible is the initial amount of a claim that you've agreed to pay.

If the difference is negligible, you may choose not to make a claim as it may mean losing your "no-claim discount" which would result in a premium increase. In determining the rates an insurance company charges, consideration is given to the claims in the last five years. Your broker can help you in making your decision.

Commercial Insurance

What is business insurance?

Business insurance is not a single type of insurance coverage – it’s different insurance policies tailored for businesses based on their exposures to risk.

Do I need specialized insurance coverage?

Every business has unique risks. A business insurance broker with experience in your industry can determine whether or not your business risks justify specialized insurance coverage (for example crime, professional liability or sewer back-up).

Why is my insurance premium increasing?

Business insurance premiums may increase for a number of reasons. Increased property values or increased sales will cause a premium increase because the exposure to loss has increased. General Liability and Professional Liability premiums reflect your business’s sales. As sales increase, premiums typically increase even if rates stay the same.

If I buy business insurance, will it prevent lawsuits?

No—nothing can prevent your business from being sued. Good business practices reduce the probability of a lawsuit but a person or organization can sue your business for almost anything – frivolous or justified. Your business insurance coverage can help you pay to defend allegations or actions against your business.

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