By Sherene Cole
September 10th, 2014 Edition
5 USEFUL TIPS
Tip #1 – Adding the OPCF 27 Endorsement to your existing automobile policy (often referred to as the Rental Vehicle Insurance Endorsement) is a cost effective alternative to purchasing the insurance offered by a car rental company when renting a car in North America. Note: The OPCF 27 only applies to the drivers listed on your policy, so if drivers other than those actually listed on your policy will be operating the rental vehicle, then the OPCF 27 will not be sufficient and you should consider purchasing the insurance offered by the rental company.
Tip #2 – Tickets received outside of the province will show up on your motor vehicle record (MVR). Ontario has a reciprocating agreement with many US jurisdictions to report infractions. Also, tickets stay on your record for 3 years from the date of conviction. For example, if you got a speeding ticket in June 2012, and went to court in May of 2013 and charges were reduced, rather than thrown out, then it will be May of 2016 before the ticket comes off your record.
Tip #3 – If your car is hit while parked and the responsible party is not identified (hit and run), then the cost of repairs will only be covered if you have collision coverage. A hit and run incident is considered a collision claim and is subject to your collision deductible. Why does the deductible apply if it’s not your fault? Well, one of the requirements of waiving the deductible is that the responsible party can be identified, which unfortunately isn’t the case here. Note: You must report a hit and run incident to police in order to avoid the claim being recorded as ‘at-fault’.
Tip #4 – Accidents must be reported to the nearest Collision Reporting Centre (CRC) – Report accidents as soon as possible to police local to the area of the accident. For example, if you live in Toronto but got in an accident in Hamilton, you must report the incident to the police in Hamilton and not Toronto. If you don’t know where the closest reporting center is located, ask the police during your initial call to them.
Tip #5 – Accidents that occur with a rented vehicle often show up on your auto insurance history (autoplus) report. While your current insurance company may not even be involved in the claims process, the accident itself does become part of your insurance history as it follows your driver’s license number.
DISPEL SOME MYTHS
Myth#1 – Red cars cost more to insure: Wrong, but sometimes specific models within a model line-up may be more expensive to insure (the two door version versus its four door counterpart).
Myth#2 – Leased or financed vehicles cost more to insure: Not true: type of financing on a vehicle has no bearing on the premium. What does matter includes but is not limited to: Where you live, the make and model of the vehicle, your use and the kilometers driven, coverages purchased and the license and insurance history of all persons assigned as drivers to the vehicle.
Myth #3 – Tickets have no impact on your insurance as long as no demerit points were applied. Wrong again! Nearly any ticket you receive relating to your use or operation of the vehicle (other than parking tickets) will have an impact, regardless of whether or not it came with demerit points.