Dispels the Most Common Winter Insurance Myths

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Winter is here and with a higher probability of a car accident that can have an impact on insurance quotes, it's important to know the facts regarding insurance. wants to give Canadians the truth behind the most common winter insurance myths.

winter car insurance myths
Drivers must adjust their speed to account for road conditions, as they will still be held responsible for accidents as a result of their actions on the road.

Winter is the time of year when slippery roads, poor visibility and snow on the ground can all combine to make for dangerous conditions, and an increased chance of an accident. When it comes to being properly insured for winter, there are a few myths floating around that are important to wants you to know the truth so that you can be properly covered this winter.

Myth: Insurance rates won’t go up if road conditions are to blame for an accident.

Many people assume they will not face a rate increase if slippery roads or other road conditions are to blame for the ticket or accident they obtain. The truth is that drivers are required to adjust their speed and stopping distance to account for road conditions, and they will still be held responsible for whatever happens as a result of their actions on the road. Ontario’s Fault Determination Rules do not allow any changes to the rules of fault for road conditions. And the rules will be followed no matter what the road conditions are at the time of an accident.

While a police officer may be lenient and chooses not to issue a ticket when road conditions are to blame, if there is an accident and a driver is found at fault, his or her rates will likely increase regardless of the roads.

Myth: Insurance is not needed on a vehicle not being driven during the winter.

Many people choose to cancel their car insurance for the winter months on vehicles such as motorcycles or convertibles that they do not plan to drive during the winter. While it may be true that liability insurance is not required if the vehicle is not being used, consider having an insurance policy on every vehicle owned.

Firstly, without an insurance policy there will be no coverage if that vehicle is stolen or damaged even while parked in a garage. If there is a fire in the home and the motorcycle is destroyed, for example, there is little to no coverage for it under a home insurance policy. Most insurance companies make allowances in the premium for the fact that certain vehicles will not be driven in winter, so drivers are not saving any money by cancelling. In fact, there may be fees to start back up again. It is best to keep the policy in place. Some companies offer a comprehensive-only “in storage” policy that is very affordable and ensure the policy stays in force.

Myth: There is nothing a driver can do to lower rates in the winter.

Some insurance companies offer a discount to people who put winter tires on their car during the cold months. Proof to the insurance company of your purchase of the tires may be required, and they may not offer the discount automatically; ask the insurance company about it and make sure to provide the proof.

Also lower car insurance quotes and rates by shopping around for a new car insurance rate. Winter is a great time to review policies and make sure enough coverage is there. While reviewing the policy, take the time to get a few new quotes. Better coverage may be available while still paying less. That will offer more peace of mind during the more dangerous months of driving ahead.

Myth: Winter weather-related damage to a car is always covered.

Weather-related damage to your car will only be covered if comprehensive coverage was purchased. Comprehensive can be simply defined as any damage that results from something other than an accident. Damage to a car due to winter weather-related sources is covered under comprehensive.

Liability-only policies do not have coverage for damage that results from anything weather-related. Even if comprehensive was purchased, a deductible may need to be paid first, in order to use the coverage, and it may not cover everything. Check with the insurance company for exclusions.

Driving safe in the winter should be very driver’s top priority. Insurance is there for a reason - to keep Canadians protected in the event of an accident. Make sure to understand how insurance works in the winter and obtain all of the coverage to give the right protection all winter long.

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Tammy Ezer

Nick Hajicosti
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