A checklist of what to have on hand when purchasing car insurance

Whether you have just purchased a new car or are simply switching insurance companies, purchasing auto insurance requires that you have a variety of documents readily available. To ensure you get through the application process easily and efficiently, we have put together a comprehensive checklist of what you’ll need on hand for your purchase.

The documents you may need include:

Vehicle ownership permit

In order to insure a vehicle, you need to provide the vehicle identification number (VIN) and prove that you’re the registered owner of the vehicle. Your vehicle permit will also include your licence plate number.

Lease or lienholder agreement

If you are leasing or financing your vehicle, you will need the name and address of the company providing the lease or loan, as well as the date of purchase. They will be listed on the policy.

Full name and driver's licence number of each driver in the household

Each person that has a driver's licence in the household should be listed on the vehicle insurance policy. Even if some drivers never end up driving the car, it’s best to cover your bases. If a driver in the household is not listed as a secondary driver and gets into a collision, your coverage or insurance rate may be affected.

Driver education certificate

If you have recently completed an accredited driver education course, it is a good idea to bring your certificate with you if you’re purchasing a policy in person. Some insurance companies will offer you a discount off your auto premium.

Current insurance policy

If you are changing insurance companies, you will need the name of your current provider, policy number, and expiry date of your policy.

Insurance claims from the past 10 years

As part of the application process, you will be asked questions about your claims history. For example, what type of claims you've made in the past, how much was paid on them, and the date of each claim.

Driving record of each driver

Your insurance professional will likely check your driving record with something called a driver’s abstract, which can include details like your traffic tickets, demerit points, and licence suspensions. However, your provider may also ask for your three-year driving record. To obtain one you can visit the Ministry of Transportation of your province. There may be a fee associated with this.

A void cheque or credit card number

If you will be paying monthly car insurance installments, you may be asked to provide a void cheque for withdrawal. Or you may be able to pay by credit card.

Down payment by way of cash, credit, or cheque

You will likely be asked to place a down payment on your auto insurance policy if you are going to be paying monthly.

But before you apply for a car insurance policy, make sure you shop around for the best car insurance rate. Premiums can vary significantly from one insurance company to another for the same car and driver, and no one insurance broker or agent can shop the entire market. Comparison sites like InsuranceHotline.com can help you compare the rates of more than 30 insurance companies — and it may save you money.

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