One of the factors insurers take into consideration when calculating your premium is your insurance history. Specifically, they will look for previous cancellations, accidents, claims made, and the length of time you have been insured. As a result, prospective insurance agents or brokers may ask for verification from your previous insurer to confirm the information you have provided is correct and up-to-date. This written confirmation is generally known as a Letter of Experience.
When might I be asked to provide a Letter of Experience?
The following are the more common situations when a broker or agent will ask you to provide a Letter of Experience. Giving this information will likely help you get the lowest car insurance rates possible.
If you have recently moved provinces or moved to Canada from another country, you will likely need to provide a Letter of Experience from your insurer who provided you coverage in your former province or country. You should be aware that experience from certain countries will not be accepted by some insurance companies. If you don't already have a letter in your possession, you will want to contact your previous broker or agent so they can assist you in getting one. Most insurance companies will need to confirm any insurance history you want to account for, and they do this through a Letter of Experience.
Commercial driving history?
If you have been insured on a company car insurance policy (often referred to as a Fleet Policy), this may not show up on your personal insurance information. You may need to get a Letter of Experience from your fleet car insurance policy insurer so your new company can review the history and use that experience when calculating your premiums.
Problems or discrepancies?
If the driving history you provide is not consistent with what is recorded in your insurance history, you may be required to provide a Letter of Experience. Sometimes insurance companies make mistakes, and these mistakes could get recorded in your insurance history. If you are aware of any discrepancies that exist on your driving abstract with what has really occurred, you will require a Letter of Experience.
What is typically included in a Letter of Experience?
A Letter of Experience is a common request, and as such, most insurers know what to include. The letter will be on the insurance company's letterhead, and will typically include the following details of your current, or previous policy:
- The policy number
- The start date and end date (if applicable)
- The names of all the drivers listed on the policy
- The claims, if any, made during the term of the policy
Who can provide me with a Letter of Experience?
Only the insurance company that provided you coverage can provide you with a Letter of Experience. While your previous broker can assist you in getting the letter from your insurer, they cannot write the letter. The letter needs to come from the insurance company directly.