Auto insurance myths debunked - Part 2
It’s important to separate fact from fiction.
Auto insurance is no exception. That’s why we’re tackling some of the most common misconceptions below:
MYTH: Where I live in Canada doesn’t affect my auto insurance premium.
FACT: Your insurance premium will differ depending on whether you live in an urban, suburban, or rural area. Urban areas tend to have higher insurance rates because there are more cars on the road, therefore there is a higher frequency of accidents. And, if you live somewhere with a high auto theft rate, you will likely be paying more.
RELATED READING: Surprise! Moving just a few blocks can affect your insurance
MYTH: If I am involved in an accident but don’t file a claim, my insurance premiums stay the same.
FACT: Maybe not. Anytime that you are involved in an accident where there is damage to another driver’s car or property, you must tell your insurer. There is always the probability of the accident being reported (either by a third party or police), even if you don’t make a claim for damage to your vehicle. If your insurer finds out, they could view this as fraud or failure to disclose. In that case, your rates might not just increase, your policy might get cancelled.
MYTH: Your insurance will cover you if your car is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by falling tree limbs, hail, flood, or fire.
FACT: Only if you opt for comprehensive and collision coverage along with your standard policy. You need both collision and comprehensive to fully protect your vehicle from all types of damage.
MYTH: My insurance rates go up if I get a parking ticket.
FACT: A parking ticket is not going to affect your insurance rates since it’s not a moving violation. But if you have too many unpaid parking tickets and your licence gets suspended it will show up on your driving record and that will increase your rates.
MYTH: If valuables are stolen from inside my car, they are covered by my car insurance policy.
FACT: Any personal belongings and valuables not permanently attached to your vehicle (such as your phone, laptop, jewellery, wallet, portable GPS devices) and other items stolen from your car are not covered by your auto policy. They are typically protected under property insurance (homeowners/tenant insurance).
MYTH: Males pay more than females for car insurance.
FACT: Males under 25 tend to pay a lot more than female drivers of the same age. However, once a driver turns 25, gender is usually no longer a factor.
MYTH: If I’m injured in an accident, my medical expenses are paid for by the provincial or territorial government’s health care plan.
FACT: Auto insurers pay more for medical rehabilitation costs in Canada than government health insurance plans, workers’ compensation plans, and private healthcare plans combined. Every year, insurers pay at least $2 billion for the medical rehabilitation of injured Canadians. Insurers pay through the accident benefits portion of auto insurance policies, the tort system, and health care levies.
MYTH: Insurance companies keep changing the rules on what is and isn’t covered.
FACT: Auto insurance is highly regulated by provincial and territorial governments that set minimum coverage levels. Insurance companies cannot change basic coverage or premiums without government approval.
MYTH: Being caught driving without wearing a seatbelt doesn’t make me a dangerous driver, so my insurance premiums shouldn’t go up.
FACT: While you don’t pose a danger to other drivers when you don’t wear a seatbelt, you do pose a serious hazard to yourself. If you are in an accident and are not wearing a seatbelt, you are much more likely to sustain injuries. Your insurance company pays your medical expenses. This is why your insurance premiums may increase if you are convicted of driving without a seatbelt.
RELATED READING: Auto insurance myths debunked - Part 1