Car Insurance Application

Your guide to the information required for an auto insurance application and how to buy insurance

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Personal auto insurance

With the all the unforeseen probabilities in life, it's a wise endeavour to take the appropriate measures to protect your family and your investments. This holds true when it comes to one of the most significant investments that you will make at any given point - the purchase of a vehicle. With such a significant investment it makes sense to purchase an insurance policy to cover the cost of your investment in the case of loss. Personal auto insurance also will protect you against liability in the case of an accident in which you may be held at fault.

Plus, it's mandatory for every registered car in Ontario to have car insurance.

Car insurance application

Filling out an insurance application is a key step in obtaining auto insurance coverage. An insurance broker, agent or insurance company can do it on your behalf. It is important to understand what information is required for the application so you can be prepared to speak with a licenced insurance representative. You can also provide the information on RATESDOTCA and get access to several auto insurance quotes at once. Honesty is key when providing answers to the questions in the insurance application. Inaccurate information can result in an increase in rates or even make your policy void. The insurance representative will tend to verify the accuracy of the information you provide through a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) to ensure there are no discrepancies. Most of the information for an insurance application can be broken down into two categories: vehicle information and driver information, including insurance history.

What do you need to apply for car insurance?

Vehicle Information:

  • Vehicle make, model and year
  • Main use of the vehicle
  • Expected usage (mileage)

Driver Information:

  • Name
  • Postal code
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Marital status
  • Licence information
  • Licence type
  • Date G1/G2/G was obtained
  • Licence suspensions
  • Completion of a Canadian Driver Training Course
  • Accident/ticket/claims history

Insurance history:

  • Current insurance status
  • Years of continuous insurance coverage
  • Years insured
  • Previous insurance cancellations

You are also asked for additional information to see if you quality for any discounts (i.e. retiree discount, multi-vehicle discount, multi-policy discount etc.). Finally, you have to choose your coverage type and deductibles, both of which have an effect on the insurance premium.

Buying car insurance

If you're looking to purchase auto insurance in Canada you'll be happy to know that you have options. Auto insurance can be purchased through:

Insurance brokers: individuals who sell insurance on behalf of several insurance companies

Insurance agents: individuals who sell insurance on behalf of one company

Direct writers: insurance companies that sell insurance directly to the consumer, usually online or through a call centre

Each one of the channels through which car insurance can be purchased has its benefits (summarized in the table below). What's important is that you shop around before you commit to a rate. This is the only way to ensure that you're getting the best possible price.

Insurance brokers

  • Access to several companies' rates
  • Can help you choose the best coverage and rate
  • Experienced with claims
  • Personable approach
  • Transparency regarding commission rates

Direct writers and insurance agents

  • Convenience
  • Technology
  • Discounts not available to brokers

We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about buying car insurance

Should I shop around?

Absolutely! As with any type of personal insurance product, shopping around online for car insurance helps you to gather all your choices in one spot. Seeing your options together makes it easy to compare offers and identify the best deal. You’ll also get to compare your current rate with new offers and decide whether you want to stay with your current insurance provider or switch to a new one.

Does the policy cover others driving my vehicle?

The short answer is yes. In Ontario, your insurance covers your car, not the driver. That means if someone borrows your car and gets into an accident, your insurance will cover it.

However, someone else driving your car comes with caveats. If the driver doesn’t have a license or the car is being used for an illegal activity, your policy will likely be voided in the case of an accident.

You should also know that if someone borrows your car and crashes it, your premium will likely increase, so be careful who you let borrow your car.

Is there additional coverage I can buy?

Yes, but the options vary by province. In Ontario, for example, mandatory insurance coverage includes:

  • Third party liability: a $200,000 minimum is required.
  • Statutory accident benefits: provides benefits if you were injured, even if you’re at fault.
  • Uninsured automobile insurance: protects you if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, or are the victim of a hit-and-run.
  • Direct compensation and property damage: your insurer pays the repair costs if your vehicle is damaged.

Beyond what constitutes mandatory minimum coverage, you may choose to increase the liability of existing protections or purchase additional types of insurance.

For example, you could increase your third party liability coverage from $200,000 to $2 Million. Or, you could increase your benefits, which include any or all of the following:

  • Income replacement: if you can’t work due to an auto injury, you could be eligible for weekly basic income equivalent to 70% of your gross income – up to $400.
  • Medical, rehabilitation and care attendant: covers fees associated with recovery from injury. The standard amount for medical, rehabilitation and care attendant expenses is $65,000.
  • Caregiver benefits: You may be eligible for this benefit if you’re unemployed and caring full-time for dependents, and an accident leaves you unable to care for your dependents.
  • Housekeeping and home maintenance benefits: You may be eligible for this benefit if you’re unable to perform housekeeping and maintenance duties. The maximum benefit payment is $100 per week.
  • Death and funeral benefits: If you die in a car accident, the standard amount given to your spouse is $25,000. An additional $10,000 is provided to each dependent, as well as a maximum of $6,000 in funeral expenses.

This is just a brief overview of what’s available, so check with your provider to see which benefits you can add on.

How are car insurance premiums calculated?

An insurance premium is the monthly or annual sum you pay for an insurance policy.

When determining what your premium will be, companies consider numerous variables, such as:

  • Age: anyone under 25 years old is considered a young driver and is deemed to be a higher risk than a mature driver by insurance providers.
  • Driving history: companies look at your driving record to determine your premium. They consider when you received your full license, how many at fault accidents you’ve been in and the number of driving convictions (like speeding or impaired driving) you’ve incurred. Accidents and tickets typically raise your premium, but too many of either will make you a high-risk driver , and you might have trouble even getting insurance.
  • Location: if you live in a densely populated area, like downtown Toronto, your premiums will likely be higher than those of someone living in a rural area. That’s because there’s a higher risk of an accident or your car being stolen, and this is reflected in the premiums you pay.
  • Type of car: some types of cars are riskier to insure than others. Companies keep a database of statistics from claims. The Insurance Bureau of Canada also releases an annual list of claims associated with vehicle makes and models. If your vehicle is prone to theft or accident, or if it’s particularly expensive to repair, you will be charged higher premiums for insurance coverage. If, for example, you have an exotic car or modified car, your premium will likely be higher than if you drive a normal vehicle.
  • How much you drive: the more you drive the greater the risk of an accident. This means drivers who use their car sparingly will pay cheaper premiums than those who commute long distances on a daily basis.

For a more detailed description of how car insurance premiums are determined, check out our car insurance calculator.

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