1. Understand the different types of coverage
There are different types of insurance coverage, including liability, collision and comprehensive:
- Liability insurance is mandatory and provides coverage if you have an at-fault accident that damages someone else’s property or injures someone
- Collision coverage protects you against damage caused to your vehicle if you have an at-fault accident
- Comprehensive insurance will cover the cost of replacing or repairing your vehicle if it is stolen, destroyed in a fire, or damaged during an adverse weather event
It's important to get familiar with all of your coverages by reading your complete policy, and if there is anything you don't understand, ask your insurer!
2. Choose the right coverage limits
It's essential to have enough coverage to protect yourself financially. While it's tempting to choose the minimum coverage to save money, it might not be enough to fully cover you in the event of a significant accident, which means you could be on the hook for additional out of pocket costs.
3. Choose your deductible wisely
Your auto insurance deductible is the amount you're responsible for paying prior to your insurance company covering the rest of your claim. Choosing a higher deductible can lower your premium but it also means you'll pay more in the event of a claim. For example, if you have an accident and cause $5,000 worth of damage to your vehicle and you have a $1,000 deductible, you will need to pay the $1,000 before your insurance company pays the remaining $4,000.
4. Make sure you’re added to your parents’ insurance policy
If you plan to use your parents’ vehicle, they will need to add you to their insurance as a driver. If you use the car more often than your parents, you may need to be listed as a primary driver. This is because, if you drive the vehicle but aren’t properly listed on the policy, you may not be fully protected if you’re involved in an accident. Keep in mind that once you decide to buy your own vehicle or move out of your parents' home, you’ll need your own insurance policy instead.
If you plan to use your parents’ vehicle, they will need to add you as a driver on their insurance policy as soon as you get your learner’s permit – and, if you drive your parents’ car more than they do, you may need to be listed as a principal operator to ensure you’re properly protected in the event of an accident.
It’s also important to note that – if you move away temporarily for work or study and bring your parents’ car with you – you can still be listed on their policy, but you need to inform your insurer of your temporary address.
Once you decide to buy your own vehicle, or move out of your parents' home permanently, you'll need your own policy instead.
5. Choose your car wisely
The type of vehicle you drive affects your insurance rates. If you decide to buy a newer vehicle model, you may pay more for insurance because they are more expensive to repair or replace, and if you own an older or more inexpensive vehicle, you could save more by choosing mandatory insurance coverage only.
6. Ask about ways to save
You may assume that you don’t qualify for any savings or discounts if you’re a new driver, but that’s not always the case. Here are a few common ways you can save:
Bundle multiple policies
If you live on your own and currently have renter's or homeowners’ coverage, your insurer may offer you additional savings if you insure your vehicle with them, too.
Maintain a good driving record
Insurance companies assess risk when determining how much to charge for coverage. A clean driving record typically indicates that you are a lower-risk driver, which means you are less likely to be involved in an accident or file a claim. As a result, insurance companies are more likely to offer you a lower premium.
Use a telematics program
Some insurance companies offer telematics apps you can use on your smartphone to monitor your driving habits. If the app demonstrates that you're a safe and conscientious driver, you may qualify for a lower insurance rate. If you’re insured with The Personal, you can track your safe driving (and save 10% automatically for the first six months!) when you sign up for Ajusto®.
7. Know what to do if you’re involved in an accident
It’s not fun to think about, but it’s important to know your next steps if you’re ever involved in an accident. First things first, ensure your safety by moving your car off the roadway (if you can) and staying off to the side of the road to avoid oncoming traffic. From there, contact the authorities, exchange contact information with the other driver (if applicable) and seek medical attention if required. After that, give your insurer a call or go online to file your claim.
8. Review your policy annually
As your driving record improves and your circumstances change, your insurance needs may change too. Review your policy annually to ensure it still meets your needs.
Remember, insurance is a crucial financial tool that provides protection when you need it most. Take the time to understand your policy, make informed decisions, and notify your insurer of any milestones or important changes that could affect your coverage.
Auto insurance: 8 tips every young driver should know
Congratulations, you’ve got your driver’s licence! Before you gear up to hit the road, it’s important to understand a few key things about auto insurance and motor vehicle accidents, so you can secure the right coverage, minimize your financial risks and be prepared for the unexpected. Here are 8 insurance tips every young driver should know.
The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories of Canada.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and The Personal cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
Some conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply. Savings are based on each client’s individual profile. Savings and discounts are subject to eligibility conditions. Rates and discounts are subject to change without notice. The conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails.
Auto Insurance is not available in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia due to government-run plans.
Ajusto® is a registered trademark of Desjardins General Insurance Inc., used under licence. The discount does not apply to certain endorsements or additional coverages. Subject to the terms and conditions in effect on the date you enrol in the program. The 10% discount is an enrollment discount. After 6 months, it will be replaced with a personalized premium, which can go up or down depending on your driving behaviours and habits.