An excellent resource for answering your insurance questions has been created and published by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, titled "Understanding Insurance Basics".
What is a deductible?
A deductible is the portion of the claim that you are responsible for based on the percentage of fault that is attributed to you for the accident. A deductible is also charged for comprehensive claims such as vandalism or theft. For example, if your deductible is $300 and the total claim is worth $1,500, we would pay $1,200 to you.
What is "no fault" Insurance?
"No fault" is an often misunderstood term and it does not mean that no one is at fault in a motor vehicle accident.
"No fault" insurance is a term that describes Accident Benefits coverage that is paid for injuries or death sustained in a motor vehicle accident regardless as to who was at fault for the accident. It also refers to the fact that whether or not you were at fault in the accident, you claim your damages through your own insurance company if the accident takes place in Ontario (certain regulations apply).
How is fault determined in a motor vehicle accident?
In Ontario, all insurers licensed to write in the province, abide by the "Fault Determination Rules". The chart sets out common accident scenarios and apportions fault wholly or partially based on the facts of the loss. The Rules also provide direction for the resolution of liability in scenarios that are not covered within the examples, as well as for resolving disputes regarding your insurer’s assessment of liability based upon application of the Rules. The link below describes the "Fault Determination Rules" in detail: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_900668_e.htm
What is an endorsement?
An endorsement is a document which details a change, addition or deletion to your insurance policy.
What are the main sections of my insurance policy?
Your insurance policy is a legal contract and you should ensure that you read through the policy carefully before signing. The majority of insurance policies contain the following sections:
- Declarations Page – This is the introduction to your policy and will include your name, the name of your insurer, a brief description of coverage and coverage limits, your premium, your policy term and relevant address information.
- Insuring Agreements – These pages describe in more detail what is covered under the policy. These pages will also provide details as to what you are insured against (perils) such as fire, theft, etc, and under what situations you are eligible to file a claim.
- Exclusions – This section is important as it will outline what items or risks may not be covered by the insurance policy.
- Statutory Conditions – Many insurance contracts may also include a section listing Statutory Conditions as required by law. These conditions may cover issues such as a Material Change in Circumstances (eg. If you are aware of changes that could increase or decrease the risk to your contract, you are responsible for reporting such changes to your insurance company), or Termination (e.g. Informing you of your right to cancel your policy according to stated terms and conditions).