Not knowing how the automobile insurance system works can cost you money. Here are a few Tips to watch out for!

1) Have all drivers listed!

Check your policy carefully on each renewal to make sure that all licensed operators of your vehicle are listed and shown on the policy.

For example – The vehicle and insurance are shown in the husband’s name yet nowhere on the policy is the wife’s name even mentioned though she has driven for 20 years accident-free. What if another car was bought for her and she has no previous insurance experience to confirm? Underage drivers (25 yrs old) might be another area of concern. People might believe they are saving money by not showing them as operators? But what happens when they do get their own vehicle and can’t provide accident-free insurance experience. And they will get their own auto- it’s just a matter of time.

2) NSF Payment Cancellations.

Be responsible for payments for your auto insurance. Cancellations for non-payment, non- sufficient fund cancellations can be very negative and costly to you. It may even limit what insurance company you can place your insurance with! Be responsible and if a cancellation problem arises deal immediately with your broker to resolve it. Don’t ignore it!

3) Depreciation – what may happen on a claim?

Being prepared and knowledgeable can make a big difference with the results of an auto claim.

For example- if your car tires are stolen and you report a loss under your comprehensive coverage would your tires be replaced at full value? Not likely!

Such factors as age, condition, usage, wear and tear come into play. It only makes sense! Your tires might have 20,000 miles on them and yet you would be getting new tires. But how do you protect yourself so the claim is fair for you and the insurance company? A tip- keep the original bill of sale and have written on it the actual mileage of the vehicle at the time of installation by the tire installer!

4) What can I do to keep the cost of insurance down?

Contact your protection coach and discuss how your use of the vehicle(s) at present is rated and how your insurance company classes are determined. A potential problem could arise at the time of loss if your use is not properly classified. Also, you could be paying extra money by being wrongly rated.

Are you rated properly as your circumstances are today… not in the past!

People Withholding Information!

Figures released by the Insurance Advisory Organization (IAO) suggest that a significant percentage of both personal and commercial policyholders are not disclosing past claims to their insurers when arranging insurance. The I.A.O. commercial based Claims Tracking System shows non-disclosed claims on more than 50% of inquiries while about 20% of the 150,000 monthly inquiries made to the Habituation Tracking System (home, etc.) uncover omissions. What that means is even if these figures are only half accurate then too many people are withholding insurance claims information and not disclosing it when arranging insurance.

In fact, statistics revealed, “seven to eight cases a day show up as suspicious”. I can think of three possible reasons perhaps for this outcome.

1) One would be that some people simply don’t give the information, as they believe they can hide it.

2) The second possible reason is that people simply forget to mention a particular claim or incident.

3) The third possible reason is the insurance broker did not ask the right questions.

But, whether the non-disclosure occurring is due to genuine errors, insufficient information being requested, or deliberately omitted, the real problem might end up with the insurance companies basing their rates on inaccurate data. Thus, someone might enjoy lower rates for car insurance as having no claims when in fact they had at- fault claims and should be paying a rate based on that actual record.

While there might be the odd company which does not check the database for each and every new application for any past claims experience, the simple fact is most do! Most do it with no exceptions.

To combat fraud and misrepresentation, the Insurance Crime Prevention Bureau’s (ICPB) Aspect system is linked to the U.S. National Crime Intelligence Branch, recording all vehicle movement across the border. ICPB’s advises that false stolen vehicle claims have been uncovered utilizing the system

Warning! Is Your Driver’s License Still Valid!

In Ontario (Canada) all new drivers, regardless of age, must complete a two-level “Graduated Licensing” program before they qualify for full license privileges. These drivers have a maximum of five (5) years from the start date of their Level One License to earn full license privileges. If they do not receive their Class G license (full license) within this 5-year period, they must reapply and start the licensing process over again.

According to information provided by the Ministry of Transportation, an estimated 125,000 Ontario drivers will see their Level One and Level Two licenses automatically expire this year. If you received your Level One or Level Two license in 1994/95 and have not “graduated” to a Class G License, your license may have already expired. This means you could unwittingly end up driving without a license. Please check your license and with the local registration licensing office.