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Many people don't give enough thought to their auto policy. It's mandatory to have auto coverage in order to legally drive a vehicle in Canada. Many people purchase the first policy they see and forget about it. Oftentimes, people will renew without much thought. These are instances where you could be overpaying on your auto insurance by hundreds of dollars a year!
The Financial and Consumer Services Commission oversees auto insurance licensing and regulation in New Brunswick, ensuring that insurers and insurance intermediaries are legal and compliant. The New Brunswick Insurance Board (NBIB), on the other hand, oversees rate regulation and processes all rate change requests.
NBIB's website reminds consumers that "you're in the driver's seat" when it comes to your auto insurance. With more options than ever before, drivers should shop regularly to take advantage of lower rates.
Real rates for real customers.
Auto insurance coverage in New Brunswick
In New Brunswick, it is mandatory for drivers to have at minimum the following coverage:
- Third party liability: Covers you if you are responsible for injuring someone or damaging someone's property with your car. Minimum required coverage is $200,000, but most drivers in New Brunswick opt for more.
- Direct compensation - Property damage (DC-PD): Covers damage to or loss of your vehicle or its contents when another person is at fault in a collision. Even though you're not responsible, you still collect compensation directly from your own insurer. Certain conditions apply.
- Accident benefits: Covers medical and rehabilitation costs, funeral benefits, death benefits, and loss of income if you or your passengers are injured in a collision. As a "no-fault" coverage, you are protected even if you are at fault.
- Uninsured and unidentified insurance: Covers you in the event you are injured in a collision by an uninsured drive, or if you are involved in a hit-and-run and the vehicle or driver cannot be identified. Damage to your vehicle is also covered, subject to a deductible.
The following optional coverage is also available:
- Collision (or upset) coverage: Pays for losses related to a collision with another object (including another vehicle) or rolls over. May be subject to a deductible.
- Comprehensive coverage: Covers damage to your vehicle resulting from theft, vandalism or file. May be subject to a deductible.
- Depreciation waiver coverage: Covers the full value of your car without depreciation-even if you haven't fully paid it off yet-if it is written-off in an accident within the first 24 months of the original delivery date. If your car can be safely repaired, this insurance covers that too.
As for your personal possessions, those are typically covered under your home or tenants insurance policy rather than your auto policy. As with any insurance policy, always check with your provider to ensure you know exactly what you are and are not covered for.
In addition to the type of vehicle you drive, your rates are also calculated based on the following:
- Your personal driving record and history including any tickets, collisions, convictions, suspensions, or lapses in coverage
- Past claims
- Number of years licensed
- How much coverage you have (more on that below)
- If you have elected for optional additional coverage
- Eligible discounts
- If you have an occasional operator on your policy
- Vehicle use - the time of day you drive, how often you drive it and where
- Your insurance provider's claims history
- Where you live (different territories have different claims experience)
Comparing quotes is the easiest way to immediately save money on your car premiums, but there are other ways to keep costs low as well. Of course, the best way to keep your rates low in the long run is to maintain a clean driving record.
The following articles provide additional tips and insights into how you can get cheaper rates right now and avoid premium increases.
Renewal is the perfect opportunity to compare rates and save money. Just because your current company gave you a good rate last year doesn't mean they'll give you the best rate this time around. Insurance rates often change, so it's important to do your due diligence and shop around for a better deal.
Renewal time isn't the only time you should compare your rates. Other times you should do this include:
- When you move
- When you're adding a new driver to a policy
- When you get divorced
- When you change jobs
- When you retire
- When you buy a new car
In fact, this last point is one of the best times to compare rates. The type of vehicle you drive has a big influence on how much your premium will be. While there are other variables, the make and model of your vehicle can especially influence your rates if you drive a model that is more susceptible to auto theft.
The following articles will help you make a more informed car buying decision so you can minimize the cost of your auto premiums.
If you are debating between a few models, Kanetix.ca's car comparison tool lets you compare average insurance costs for multiple vehicles simultaneously.
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