Auto insurance can be a complex subject, and you aren't the only one with questions. Here are six of the most commonly asked questions about car insurance in Canada- and we have the answers for you:
1. Can you eat (legally) while driving in Ontario?
Surprisingly - yes, you can eat and drink (non-alcoholic beverages) while driving. This likely comes as a relief, since most drivers are guilty of eating and/or drinking while operating a motor vehicle. However, what you should know is that if you were to be involved in or cause an accident while eating or doing another "non-driving" activity, (adjusting the radio, etc) then you can be charged with reckless driving, which will increase your car insurance rates substantially.
2. Can you refuse a sobriety test in Canada?
The simple answer is no, you can't refuse a sobriety test. If you are asked to submit to a sobriety test by a police officer and you refuse, you will be charged with the equivalent of a drinking and driving offence. You are also likely be arrested and required to submit to the test eventually regardless. The best advice? Just don't drink and drive. You'll be making the roads safer for everyone, and you'll avoid the embarrassing and costly consequences that accompany drinking and driving convictions.
3. Do you have to report tickets to your insurance company?
You aren't required to report tickets to your insurance provider as an insured driver, but your auto insurance provider will find out about them regardless. Insurance companies can randomly check your driving history, and often do this at your renewal date. You are, however, required to disclose any and all convictions and accidents when you are applying for new Canadian auto insurance. If you're shopping around for better insurance rates, make sure that you disclose all infractions, as you could receive an unpleasant and expensive surprise when you obtain new insurance if you haven't been upfront in the quoting process by providing complete and correct information.
4. Do you need to report an accident to your insurance company if it's not your fault?
Any time you have an accident you should report it to your car insurance company, even it if isn't your fault. Claims resolution will go much more smoothly if both sides have all the information.
5. Do you need to report all types of accidents to your insurance company?
Absolutely. Accidents should be reported to your insurance company, as well as to the police if there are any injuries, potential for injuries, or if there is damage above $1,000. Failure to report an accident to your insurance company can result in a delay or non-payment of resulting claims.
6. Do you really need car insurance in Canada?
Every vehicle driven in Canada needs to be insured with a minimum of liability insurance. Liability insurance protects the public from damages caused by a driver in the event that a collision occurs. This includes personal injuries, property damage, and damage to public property. Driving without insurance can result in large fines, vehicle impoundment, and a suspended license, and having an accident without insurance can result in all of the aforementioned, as well as serious financial liability if you are at fault.
Many drivers have questions about car insurance - even if they've been driving for decades. Ensuring that you have the answers to your questions about premiums, coverage, traffic tickets, and other auto insurance topics will allow you to make the best decisions about your policies and your actions behind the wheel. Canadian car insurance doesn't have to be confusing - we have the answers.