Anyone who has ever tried to shop for auto insurance knows that it can be like going to the dentist. Ask about the “special features” offered by major insurance companies next time you’re looking for insurance. This is what most people don’t realize:
1. Although your car is insured the contents inside may not.
Your vehicle(s) insured is/are covered in the event that an accident occurs. Whatmay surprise you is that your personal possessions are not considered part of the automobile’s value and are therefore outside the coverage of the policy. This annoying aspect of your car insurance policy can be avoided by purchasing additional coverage through your home insurance.
If you are traveling with your laptop or cell phone, it is a good idea to bring it along. You may not even consider the possibility of them being replaced. This stipulation applies to items that most people consider “parts of the car”, such as the GPS unit. You might be thankful that TomTom was the only one who was hurt in an accident. However, your insurance may not cover TomTom’s replacement.
2. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Nowadays, it is common to receive a report on a vehicle’s past history at the time of purchase. This is a great deal for the buyer but it might not work out as well for the seller. The reason? If the owner has been in any sort of accident, the vehicle will lose value even though it was not their fault.
This can translate into a loss at time of sale… Although you may not realize it, if you are in an accident that results in a dent in your fender or total destruction of your vehicle, your insurance company can help you. They will pay for your repairs and you can ask for reimbursement for future losses. This is known as a diminished value claim. While it may not be available or the amount you receive depending on your policy, it is worth asking. A buck in your hand is worth two in a bank.
3. Fluffy and Fido are ready to go
Yes, all passengers and the driver are covered in an accident. What about pet owners who treat their pets as family members? You can squeal with delight, as some insurance policies even cover vet bills for injuries sustained in a collision. Like other features, coverage amounts and availability will vary depending on where you live and what policy you choose.
4. Reduce costs by reducing your payments
Did you know that you can treat your policy as a credit card balance and save money? That’s right! You can avoid a large chunk of fees by agreeing to pay your entire premium in one lump payment (or sometimes two). Ask your agent whether your policy can be paid this way.
5. The taxman comes… But not for YOU!
Did you know that your insurance may pay any taxes and fees if your vehicle is totaled? You are right! Right! Although it isn’t an option in every policy or available in every province and territory, it’s something worth knowing. Let’s face facts, the last thing that you should worry about is whether you are liable for HST.
Your agent is not just another bill collector, but can be your friend. You now have a better understanding of your policy. Take it to your agent and save a lot of money!