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Review your insurance at renewal time

February 16th, 2021  |  Insurance

Shopping around can pay off at renewal time.

When your auto insurance policy period is almost up, you may find the cost of your policy has risen. You don’t have to automatically accept higher rates.

Renewal information is typically mailed or emailed to you well in advance of your renewal date. You will receive a summary of your coverage along with other details of your policy. It will include personal information, your driver's licence number, vehicle, and lender information. It will outline your coverage, discounts, and premiums. A new proof of insurance card (pink slip) is usually enclosed with the coverage summary. Most auto and home policies are for a full year.

An insurance renewal is when you opt to continue an insurance policy. You may, however, depending on several variables, notice a rate increase. Such factors could include a move, an accident, traffic violation or if you’ve done something illegal.

What should I do when I receive my renewal?

Your renewal is a good time to review your policy to verify discounts or make changes to coverage. With the help of your insurance broker, you can go over your policy. You may want to discuss possible changes to your coverage if your situation has changed such as if you are driving fewer kilometres than in the past.

When talking to your broker ask the following questions:

  • Has the insurer made any changes in coverage since last year?
  • Should the deductible be raised to save money?
  • Are all available discounts being applied?
  • Do I need to raise the amount of coverage for liability purposes?
  • Is it worth comparison shopping for cheaper rate?

If you are satisfied with your coverage, continue making your payments. That notifies your insurer that you want to continue the policy. It's equally important to cancel your insurance policy if you don't intend to keep the same insurer.

If you notice a rate increase – especially if nothing has changed – ask your broker to shop the market on your behalf. A good insurance broker is in the client’s corner – they have your best interests in mind because they want to earn a repeat customer. They work for you and not for an individual insurer. Even better, there’s no fee for this service and they are a wealth of information about other things – including possible discounts and whether to make a claim if the need arises.

At renewal time – even if you’re just curious whether you can beat your current insurance costs – a broker will do all the legwork to compare rates from multiple insurance companies and present you with the best options, including even better coverage for your needs.

Why did my insurance premium go up at renewal?

It's possible for every person insured with a given carrier to have a rate increase. Even good drivers with no accidents or tickets can find their rate higher. It's also possible that increased driver risk can influence the rate, including if you’ve received a moving violation or were involved in an accident.

Insurance rates may also increase or decrease based on industry trends. If more people are driving, there are likely more accidents and rates go up. If there are fewer people on the roads, rates may drop. Where you live also has an impact.

The bottom line? It pays to review your insurance policies. Either by having your broker find a more competitive rate or improving your personalized coverage. While it doesn’t necessarily have to be done every year, it should be considered part of your review of annual expenses.

RELATED READING:What you need to know about cancelling your car insurance early

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