Road Today - - Consumer Protection -

Most auto ac­ci­dents hap­pen in Canada dur­ing the sea­son of ice and snow, so right now is a crit­i­cal time to make sure your auto in­sur­ance pol­icy has you cov­ered.

This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant this win­ter be­cause to help re­duce costs, ma­jor changes to auto in­sur­ance came into ef­fect on June 1, 2016. Some ben­e­fits have been re­duced and some options for in­creased cov­er­age have been elim­i­nated or changed. If your pol­icy is com­ing up for re­newal this win­ter, the changes will im­pact you.

Au­to­mo­bile in­sur­ance is reg­u­lated by the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­mis­sion of On­tario. FSCO rec­om­mends four steps to make sure you know what you are get­ting, and get what you need to help pro­tect you all win­ter long:

1. Read the “Im­por­tant Changes To

Your Pol­icy!” doc­u­ment that you’ll get with the re­newal pack­age from your in­surer. It will help you bet­ter un­der­stand the changes and will help you as­sess if they re­duce or elim­i­nate some­thing that was im­por­tant to you. 2. Com­pare the new pol­icy with your cur­rent pol­icy to pin­point changes in cov­er­age. This will help you de­cide whether you need to add options. Re­mem­ber, if you have ben­e­fits from your em­ployer or an­other pol­icy, you may al­ready have some level of cov­er­age for some or all of the changes made. You should con­sider these ben­e­fits as you re­view your cov­er­age options. 3. Un­der­stand your pol­icy. Dis­cuss ex­act cov­er­age in the event of an ac­ci­dent and get clar­ity from your in­sur­ance rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Ask about options to in­crease the ben­e­fits – and ways to re­duce the costs, such as discounts that may be avail­able to you. Drivers who use win­ter tires, for ex­am­ple, are el­i­gi­ble for a dis­count. 4. Shop around. There are many in­sur­ance com­pa­nies com­pet­ing on price and ser­vice in On­tario, so be sure to com­pare at least three quotes for the same cov­er­ages be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion.

Talk with your agent or bro­ker to get more de­tails about the changes and how they im­pact you. Visit www.fsco.gov. on.ca/auto for more in­for­ma­tion.

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