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Five Common Car Insurance Questions Answered

October 1, 2012

Common Insurance QuestionsWhen it comes to insurance, everyone has questions, and often the same ones come up again and again. These common insurance questions have straightforward answers in most cases, and getting these answers can make handling your insurance policies a lot easier. Take a look at these five common insurance questions – and their answers.

  1. How Do I File a Claim After an Accident? In the moments immediately following an accident, many people find themselves confused and unsure what to do next. At the scene, it’s important to focus on the immediate, such as potential injuries and reporting to the police if necessary. It’s not necessary to call in a claim from the scene, but you should do so as soon as possible afterwards.

    Most car insurance companies offer a toll-free claims line you can call to report an accident. Provide your policy number and name to the claims representative, and they will walk you through the process of getting the claim filed. Remember that you can file a claim with your insurance company no matter who is at fault in the accident. In fact, in a no-fault insurance province, you should file with your own insurance company.

  2. Is it Worth Going Through Insurance for a Windshield Repair? Repairing a cracked or chipped windshield right away is important – it can affect visibility when you are driving. The comprehensive portion of your insurance policy will provide coverage for such repairs. It’s important to note, however, that you will be required to pay your deductible for the repair, which may render it pointless to go through insurance.

    Before you file a claim, get a quote on the repair or replacement of the windshield. This will tell you whether it’s high enough to be worth paying the deductible. Some insurance companies offer a reduced deductible or will even waive it for a windshield repair or replacement, so check with your insurance company. Most insurance companies will not charge you an increase in premiums for filing a windshield claim, but you should verify with your company before you file.

  3. How Long Do I Have to Report Buying a New Car? Most insurance companies offer a grace period during which you can drive a new car and be automatically covered. The common misconception about this grace period is that it’s “free coverage”. There is no free coverage – the policy on the new car will be backdated when you notify the insurance company and you will pay for that time period. There’s no reason to delay, and many reasons to call right away.

    Grace periods range from 2 weeks to 30 days. If you do not notify the insurance company within that time, you will be driving uninsured. The grace period is designed to allow you to buy a car during non-business hours for the insurance company and still be insured for the same coverages on your current car while driving your new car home. You should call your insurance company as soon as it re-opens for business and provide the information.

  4. What Happens to My Car After a Write-Off? A car is written off when the cost to repair it is higher than the current value of the car. In most cases, the car will be sold at auction and you will be given a payment for the calculated value of the car to allow you to buy a replacement.

    There is a little-known option, however, in the event of a write-off that allows you to get your car back. Most auto insurance companies will allow you buy the car back from them at a much reduced price. The car will then carry a mark on the title indicated it was a write-off. Some people choose to do this in order to obtain parts from the car. Some choose to repair or sell the vehicle themselves.

  5. Does My Insurance Cover Me in Another Car? This is an area that can get very tricky, but the bottom line is that an insurance policy follows the car, and not the driver. Thus if you drive a friend’s car, it’s their insurance policy that will cover the car – and you as the driver. A good reason to be careful about lending your car.

    If you are driving a rental car and have added rental car coverage to your policy, then your policy is extended to cover that vehicle. Without that coverage you will need to purchase the policy from the rental car company to protect you.

    In the event that you are involved in an accident in someone else’s vehicle and find out later that it wasn’t insured, there may be some coverage available on your policy. It’s always best to make sure ahead of time that there is coverage on a vehicle before you get behind the wheel.

  • Lynne

    No comment; just another question.

    I’d like to only drive my vehicle for the six ‘winter’ months of the year, and ride a bicycle for the balance of the year. Can I correspondingly purchase vehicle insurance for only six months of the year and is there such a thing as bicycle insurance to cover injuries, damage repairs, etc.

    Lynne.

  • Nick – InsuranceHotline.com

    Hello Lynne,

    Thank you for your question. Unfortunately not many insurance companies offer a six month policy term. You can check with State Farm. They may offer it.

    You can also speak with them about the possibility of insurance for your bicycle.

    Hope this helps!

  • Brenda

    Hi I am in a bit of a situation. I live in Alberta and I recently pulled my two cars from another insurance company and insured them thru a different agent. Now my cars were both stolen and now the original insurance company never cancelled my insurance and so I have two policies out on the same two cars. Neither one of the companies want to cover the 85,000.00 in cars! I am quite sure I emailed the original company and told them to cancel it as I was going thru a different comapny! Can you please help me with this! I dont know what to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Brenda

  • Nick – InsuranceHotline.com

    Hello,

    You can contact the ombudsperson for the insurance company to see what your options are.

  • justin

    hi i was just wondering im over 25 so can i drive my girl friends car once and a while not being listed as a secondary driver. will the insurance company cover the car if i was driving and not her since its her policy and i get in to an accident

  • Nick – InsuranceHotline.com

    Hello Justin,

    As long as you have a valid driver’s licence you should be covered on your girlfriend’s policy.

    Thank you.

  • kay

    Hi,

    When an insurance company reviewes a driver’s abstract – how far back do they go?
    For example if I had a ticket for speeding – 30 over the limit, on June 18, 2010 – would this conviction come up if the review is done on Feb 22nd, 2013

    Kay

  • Nick – InsuranceHotline.com

    Hello Kay,

    Tickets stay on your driving record for three years from the date of conviction; and accidents for six years.

    Hope this helps.

  • Doris

    Hi,

    I accidentally back in to my husband’s car and caused quite a bit of damage to the driver’s corner. My question is I have a “free” accident on our insurance policy but he does not. If I report this as a claim, would my “free” accident cover this entirely or does it affect my husband. Since we have “no fault” insurance in Ontario, and we are on the same policy, someone said that if we report this, it will definitely affect our premium! He already has a speeding ticket on his record. I think the damage is going to be in the thousands and if I could, I would like to claim it but without affecting his record or premium.

    Doris

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    Hello Doris,

    Thank you for your question.

    Typically, since his car was parked it would likely be a “no fault” accident, which would not raise his premium. Your policy should cover you without an increase because you will be using your “free” accident. However, each situation is different and you should call to speak with your insurance professional (broker/agent) directly.

    I hope this helps.

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    Hello Doris,

    Thank you for your question.

    Typically, since his car was parked it would likely be a “no fault” accident, which would not raise his premium. Your policy should cover you without an increase because you will be using your “free” accident. However, each situation is different and you should call to speak with your insurance professional (broker/agent) directly.

    I hope this helps.

  • James Brown

    Thus all my questions have been answered
    and all my queries cleared concerned with getting my car insured.

  • Marg

    I would like to know if you can insure a vehicle in Alberta if you don’t have a drivers license

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    Hello
    If you are the registered owner of the vehicle, you can insure it as long as you provide the insurance company with the driving information of the person who will be driving it. The premium will be based on their driving record.
    Thank you

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    Hello

    It is likely that you will see an increase in your insurance as a result of an accident that someone else had while driving your car.
    A good rule to remember is that -if you lend your car, you are lending your car insurance also.

    Thank you

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    Hello

    Yes. these accidents will be reflected in your new policy.

    thanks

  • kim

    I know that. I am trying to figure out when we get seperate insurance who’s insurance would be effected by the two accidents. With our insurance together yes but which one will it affect separately

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    The accidents will usually follow the driver’s policy.
    When you get your new policy, if you were the driver then those accidents will be on your record and reflected in your premium.

    Thanks

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