Renting a car can come in handy for family vacations, business trips or those inopportune times when your car is out of commission. While personal auto insurance policies and credit cards offer some degree of coverage, getting caught short on coverage can be a costly lesson to learn. Knowing the ins and outs of rental car insurance can help you avoid costly mishaps when traveling across Canada or into the United States.
Rental Car Insurance Options
In general, drivers have three coverage options available when renting a car –
- Buy a temporary policy from the rental car agency
- Add a “rental car rider” to their personal auto insurance policy
- Rely on their credit card insurance benefit
While any one of these options will work, there are certain limitations and restrictions attached to each one. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s always a good idea to have a clear understanding of what a particular policy covers.
Personal Insurance Conditions
When purchasing a rental car rider on a personal policy, you’re actually transferring whatever coverage exists on your personal car to a rental car. This means the family car becomes “uninsured” and should remain parked for as long as you’re renting a car.
As any existing coverages will transfer to a rental car, a policy’s coverage limits may be something to consider; especially if the rental car is newer than your personal vehicle. The circumstances surrounding an accident claim may also affect how existing policy coverages are applied. This means you may be paying a higher deductible or actually have lower coverage limits than expected.
If your current policy falls short, it never hurts to shop around for coverage that meets you car rental needs.
Credit Card Conditions
Not unlike the various protections offered through a car insurance policy, different credit cards can place various conditions on your car insurance coverage. Some companies may only include insurance protection for their gold or platinum members while all other cardholders have to pay an extra monthly charge for insurance coverage.
Credit card-based coverage typically offers liability and collision protections but may provide little to no third party liability coverage. This means drivers who get sued must cover these costs out-of-pocket or hope their personal auto policies pick up the slack.
Rental car agencies may also charge “loss of use” fees in the event of an accident. Not all credit card companies cover these additional fees.
Rental Car Agency Coverage
While buying car insurance from a rental car agency is often the most expensive option, you may be better off with it than without it; even if you already have coverage through a credit card and/or personal car policy. Many car insurance and credit card companies don’t extend insurance protections for cars rented in another country.Another situation to consider is if you’re renting a truck or cargo van. Since trucks can cause way more damage than cars, insurers and credit card companies alike won’t cover these types of rentals. Whether travelling abroad or renting a truck, it’s better to pay the extra money to the rental car agency than risk not being insured at all.Considering all the circumstances and conditions at play, it’s important to fully understand what is and isn’t covered by the protections you already have. It never hurts to take a second look at your existing policies and plans to ensure no unexpected gaps will leave you hanging in the event of an accident with a rental car.
In previous years, Ontario had some of the highest car insurance rates in all of Canada. However, this is going to change because the government has proposed cutting auto insurance costs. If passed, this decision will come in the form of a 15 percent car insurance rate cut.
The chances that this insurance rate reduction will come soon is high. This is because it is part of the government effort to lower insurance rates for drivers residing in Ontario. At the same time, the government is putting effort into making roads safer and cracking down on insurance fraud.
A New Hope
With this news, Ontario residents are hoping that this plan will be implemented immediately. They also expressed hope that this proposal will be able to maintain some sort of flexibility. This is very important so they can achieve these targets in a short period of time.
At the same time, they stated the need to ensure that people work collaboratively. This is vital in order to find ways to reach these goals as soon as possible. Some people also stated that oversight is needed. This is very important so that guidelines for the responsibilities of claimants and insurers will be laid out.
Aside from lowering the premium rates, a package of measures is set to be introduced. These measures will further lower insurance premium rates. This will reduce the premiums that people pay to insure a vehicle.
This will ultimately result in a reduction of overall premiums paid in Ontario by about $1.5 billion per year. It means every person who has a car insurance policy will see a reduction of about $225 on their premium yearly. At the same time, insurers will be forced to lower their rates for drivers who have proven safety records.
Some Guarded Optimism
However, some people have expressed guarded optimism about this plan. This is because conditions in some regions in Ontario have more of an effect on car insurance premiums than others. Politicians also expressed that the risks in these areas must be reduced. This will ensure that rate reductions occur in places that have higher risk.
High risk areas are places where accidents tend to happen frequently. Frequent accidents mean higher insurance rates. This is one of the reasons why auto insurance is more expensive for people residing in these areas.
Insurance companies have expressed their worries about this plan. This is because reducing insurance premium rates without balancing out possible expenses could force them to take drastic measures. This includes taking more profits from their other insurance products. This will be used to fill in the hole that was caused by a reduction in car insurance premium rates.
Although these changes are not perfect, they could pave the way for a reduction in insurance rates. This can only be done if the government will allow insurers to obtain their goals. This is done by implementing measures that combat insurance fraud. If this is successful, people living in Ontario will get the relief that they have wanted for a very long time.
April 17th, 2013 · 1 Comment
As a responsible driver in Ontario, it is important to understand that there are different restrictions and requirements for every type of license that you obtain. Each one is specially designed to keep you safe in the particular vehicle that you are operating. The G1 license varies from other licenses in several different ways. It is important to understand these variations in order to obtain the license and keep it validated over time. Failure to do so can easily result in losing your license completely.
One Step Towards Freedom
The G1 license is an intermediate step to acquiring a full license. These are common for first-time drivers or drivers who have not had a license for an extended period of time. The G1 has six basic requirements that restrict the type of driving that individuals can perform during the waiting period between their G1 and G2 certification. This waiting period is typically an average of 12 months. However, some drivers are able to shorten this time to eight months by successfully completing provincial driving courses from state-accredited institutions.
Freedom Requires Boundaries
G1 licenses do not allow drivers to operate a vehicle between the hours of midnight and five in the morning, and they are restricted from driving on any 400-series highway. As with most licenses, a G1 driver cannot carry passengers that exceed the number of safety belts present in the vehicle. Without exception, G1 drivers must maintain a zero blood-alcohol level. A fully licensed driver who has a minimum of four years driving experience must always be in the car with the G1 participant. Additionally, the more experienced driver must have a blood-alcohol level below .05. The older, experienced driver must always be the only passenger seated in the front of the vehicle as well.
What To Expect
Before anyone is granted a G1 license, they must first pass a vision and written knowledge test in order to ensure they can adhere to the rules of the road. Although this license gives you the ability to drive a car under supervision, this does not allow you to purchase insurance because you are yet to be fully licensed. However, there is no law restricting an individual from purchasing a vehicle while holding a G1 license, insured or not. Another common question to arise regarding this license is related to the point system. Drivers holding a G1 certification are still subject to this system. They can have six points applied against them before the license will be put under suspension. Any points that are applied to your license will also remain on your permanent license for a total of two years after the offense. These points have the ability to dramatically increase the insurance costs of any new driver.
Parents and guardians of people operating with a G1 license need to notify their insurance company of the situation. In general, there is no additional charge for extending coverage to this driver. However, the moment the driver graduates to a G2 license, they will need to be independently insured, meaning that they will need to be added to the existing policy or take out their own personal policy in order to drive legally.
In most states, people must purchase at least bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. Drivers who follow the laws of their state and purchase this coverage have a sum of money that will be designated toward paying medical bills and property repair bills of those that they hit. Liability coverage only applies toward third party bills and not the person who caused the collision. What about when the law-abiding policyholder is not at fault?
In tort states, the person who caused the collision will be determined so that person and his or her insurance company can take financial responsibility for the injured parties’ bills. If the at-fault driver has purchased the coverage that the state mandated in at least the minimum amounts, he or she will be prepared to meet these expenses. Sometimes, people do not follow their states’ laws.
When people are struggling financially, they decide to make a fatal decision: They decrease their auto insurance coverage, or they decide to let it lapse. The result may be that they do not have enough insurance to cover the bills after they have caused a collision. If they no longer have insurance, they may not be able to contribute to the bills at all.
Why Underinsured Motorist Coverage Is Critical
Uninsured-Underinsured Motorist coverage is critical because there are a certain number of people driving uninsured in every state. If a driver is hit by someone who purchased the required coverage, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay the medical bills in the required limits. For example, a state may require that every driver purchase bodily injury liability in the amount of $25,000. This means that one person will file a claim for the bodily injury liability insurance, and the policy must have at least $25,000 to cover this person’s medical bills.
It may be the case that one person obtained such devastating injuries that it requires more than $25,000 to cover these bills. However, the auto insurance company would not be required to pay after the $25,000 limit has been reached. The injured party would have no choice but to go to the at-fault driver for payment, but this driver may be unable to cover the extra expenses.
After the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company is relieved of its duty of paying the injured party’s medical bills, this person will file a claim with his or her own insurance company for the Underinsured Motorist coverage.
It can also be the case that more than one person is injured in a car crash. Auto insurance packages are required to have a particular sum of money for everyone who was hurt in the collision. For example, if the amount required for one person is $25,000, the package must have at least $50,000 for everyone hurt in the crash. If there are three injured people, one scenario could be that the first two people will receive the entire $50,000 for their injuries.
A third, fourth or fifth person who was also injured will not be able to receive any money for medical bills because the insurance company was only required to pay medical expenses in the amount of $50,000. The third, fourth and fifth injured parties can all look to the at-fault driver for payment, but this option may not offer them any relief.
Underinsured Motorist coverage applies in this scenario as well. Once the underinsured motorist’s coverage runs out, those with Underinsured Motorist coverage will have the money they need to pay their medical bills.
Why Uninsured Motorist Coverage Is Critical
A policyholder who is hit by someone without auto insurance or a hit-and-run driver will not be able to go to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The injured parties can sue the at-fault, but this may or may not result in their medical bills being paid. Those who purchase Uninsured Motorist coverage will file a claim with their own auto insurance companies and receive payment for their medical bills and their property repair bills.
The importance of Uninsured-Underinsured Motorist coverage is clear. After being hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, those who are hurt may be the only ones paying for their medical care and to have their vehicles repaired. This can amount to more money than these people can afford to pay, but their Uninsured-Underinsured Motorist coverage will be there to help them.
When it comes to preparing our cars for travel, we often ensure that we have manuals, relevant documents and items for dealing with ice and snow. In most cases, however, people neglect to include a first aid kit in their glove boxes. While the likelihood of needing a first aid kit is low, situations arrive every day where a first aid kit is able to help us deal with emergencies. Here are some the reasons why you will want to keep a first aid kit in your car.
– Help is not always close by
We often think that paramedics will arrive shortly after a crash. In reality, however, there are number of reasons why it might take emergency responders much longer to arrive than is ideal. Without a first aid kit, your options for dealing with injuries are minimal. In some cases, the first minutes after an injury are the most important; ensure that you are prepared to help yourself and your passengers.
– Parts of Canada are isolated
While cell phone coverage is improving every year, many long stretches of road in Canada are not covered. In addition, cell phone batteries sometimes fail, and an accident may render you unconscious for certain period of time. Having a first aid kit on hand will allow you to deal with injuries even if you cannot contact emergency responders.
– Be a good citizen
Almost all drivers will eventually come across an accident, and those who have a first aid kit will be prepared to offer assistance to anyone who has been injured. In remote regions of Canada, you may be the only person able to help in certain situations. Carrying a first aid kit allows you to be a good citizen and help your fellow drivers.
- Not all injuries are sustained on the road
When you have a first aid kit in your car, you can provide assistance as long as your car is nearby. Carrying a first aid kit on your person is unreasonable, but having one in your parked car allows you to help yourself or others who have been injured at an event. Again, it should be noted that first responders cannot always arrived promptly; first aid kits allow you to provide aid before professionals arrive.
– Minor injuries can be a nuisance
Not all injuries are particularly dangerous, but a simple cut can be a major nuisance if you do not have a bandage nearby. Further, allergies can strike at the most inopportune times; first aid kits often contain products that can help you deal with allergies while on the road. First aid kits are toolboxes, and they can help you with a wide variety of symptoms.
Unfortunately, accidents are still a leading cause of death in Canada and throughout the world. While cars have become safer through the years, many people die of injuries sustained in accidents. While a first aid kit may not be able to save a life, it does give you a chance to help yourself or others who have been involved in an accident. First aid kits are small and affordable, so ensure that you are prepared.