Whether you’re buying auto insurance for the first time, shopping around for the best rate and coverage, or seeking a policy for an additional vehicle, your broker will need some information about you and your driving record, and that of all other members of your household. It’s a good idea to have the following information on hand to speed up the process and secure the most accurate rate. (Remember, any deliberate misinformation or omission of information aimed at securing a cheaper rate constitutes fraud, so be honest and upfront about your driving history.)
Ontario’s graduated licencing program, which takes at least 20 months to complete, is designed to allow drivers to gradually acquire the skills and experience needed to become safe and responsible drivers. The licencing stage you are at and the date you achieved that level tells insurers what your level of skill is, and is used to calculate your insurance rate. To learn more about Ontario’s graduated licencing program, visit the Ministry of Transportation site.
Driver training course:
Many insurers offer discounts to those who have successfully completed a driver training course. Be sure to have your certificate of completion available, and provide a copy to your broker if requested.
Primary Driver date:
If you are the principle or primary driver on an insurance policy, be sure to let your broker know when this designation took place.
Lengthy of time insured:
If you are already insured, the amount of time you have had uninterrupted continuous coverage will play a part in the calculation of your premium. The longer the coverage, the better. Your broker will ask about your policy and insurer.
Past accidents and claims:
Operating on the assumption that your previous actions are a good predictor of future actions, your broker and insurer will need to know about any claims or accidents you’ve had. Some insurers only require your claim history for the previous 3 years, while others will want to know about anything that has happened in the past 10 years. Be sure you have this information available, and be prepared to indicate whether the incidents were ‘at fault’, and/or your degree of fault. NOTE: Be honest. Any attempt at falsifying information could result in denial or cancellation of coverage.
If you have had any licence suspensions, you’ll need to share this information with your broker. Don’t lie or omit anything – your broker can and will run a driver’s abstract that will reveal any suspensions.
You will need to provide your broker with information about any moving violations, such as speed tickets, not wearing a seatbelt, or careless driving. Again, your broker has ways to get this information, so be upfront and honest for the best chance at an accurate quote.
Vehicle(s) to be insured:
Obviously, the make, model and year of the car you are insuring are critical in calculating an insurance rate. Other details your broker will need include whether your vehicle is leased or purchased, whether there is a loan in place, where your vehicle will be driven, how far (estimated daily mileage to work and back), and for what purpose (pleasure vs. business). All of these factors will have a direct impact on your coverage and rate.
Lastly, your coverage:
Liability coverage is mandatory in the province of Ontario. Other forms of coverage as well as additional increased liability are optional, and should be discussed at length with your broker. Don’t be afraid to ask your broker for a few difference pricing/coverage scenarios and rate schedules. Your broker is your greatest asset when it comes to finding the coverage you need at the right price. They have several insurers ready to compete for your business.