Automobile insurance contracts all look the same, whichever insurer you deal with. However in order to fulfill your particular needs, we have developed a range of coverages that can be added to your automobile insurance policy.
With Sogedent you enjoy…
Substantial premium reductions
Why you need umbrella liability insurance
Determination of the insurance premium
Essential riders to add to your basic coverage
What do I have to check when renewing my automobile insurance?
- $2,000,000 civil liability.
- All risks insurances, collision or accident without collision or upset, with a choice of deductible, even for sportscars and up-market cars.
- Optional value as new for a period up to five years.
- Rapid claim settlements and emergency service (day and night) in the event of an accident.
- Evaluation service of damages made to your car at the time and location of your choice.
- If your car is equipped with an anti-theft system, such as a stolen vehicle tracking system.
- If you insure all your vehicles under the same insurance policy.
- If you take out your automobile and residential insurance with the same insurer.
- If you increase your deductibles.
1. Civil liability
With this component, the insurer protects insured persons, their legal representatives and their estate against the financial consequences of civil liability for which the insured may be liable from owning, using or operating the insured’s vehicle and due to bodily or material injury suffered by third parties.
How much coverage do I need?
The minimum amount prescribed by the Quebec Automobile Insurance Act is $50,000 for motorvehicles and $500,000 for off-road vehicles. However, it makes a lot more sense to take out $2,000,000.
See for yourself:
Example: After losing control of his car, John hits a building and at impact, the car catches fire which destroys the building.
Example: Louise parks her car in the underground parking lot of the building where she works. After an electrical malfunction, the car catches fire and the smoke spreads throughout the ventilation system. The occupants’ property must be cleaned and they must be compensated for the loss of income resulting from closing the shops.
2. Umbrella liability
Thanks to the public automobile insurance plan, all citizens of Quebec are covered for injuries suffered in an automobile accident, whether they are responsible or not for the accident.
However, in the United States, for example, you will be responsible for the financial consequences of bodily inujury caused to others. Also, when you plan to travel outside Quebec, it is worth it to increase the basic coverage limit of your automobile insurance through supplementary insurance (from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 over the basic coverage of $2,000,000). It should be noted that this supplementary insurance is valid around the world, while the basic amount of your automobile policy covers you only Canada and the United States.
Example: On his way to a golf tournament in New York State, Jack hits a car whose driver is a 30 year-old American dentist who is going to the same tournament. Unfortunately, the American dentist loses the use of his right hand in the accident for which Jack is held responsible. The American dentist will claim, among other things, his lost income from his remaining 35 years of practice, in addition to his pain, suffering and inconvenience. Assuming that he has a net annual salary of US$100,000, his lost income will come to US$3,500,000 (35 times $100,000) which, when converted into Canadian dollars, can add up to $5 million.
1. Damage caused to the insured’s vehicle
A whole series of factors affect the premium:
- The brand, model, age and value of the car: every car belongs to a group (e.g.: 45) according to the frequency and the average cost of the losses that have affected this type of vehicle in Quebec or Canada. The higher the frequency and the cost, the higher the group and the premium. Some insurers set themselves apart by offering excellent premiums to higher groups, whereas the others avoid them by withdrawing their discounts when the group attains a certain level (e.g.: above 40).
- Age, sex, profession, civil status, experience and history of the driver or drivers: it all is based on statistics, and each insurer targets a market where the best premium-loss ration can be achieved in order to attract clientele that will be profitable. That is why premiums vary so much from one insurer to the next, depending on whether you belong to their targeted market or not.
- The use of your car (driving only or recreation and business), as well as the annual kilometrage. You can assume that the more the car is on the road, the more it is likely to be involved in accidents or other damage.
2. Impact on the premium of damage caused to others or a collision
that involves only your vehicle
Accidents you are responsible for, or collision involving only you, have a major effect on your premiums. For insurance purposes, your driving record is analyzed according to the number of years you’ve driven without an accident you were responsible for or collision. For example, a “5” record refers to five years of driving without an accident you were responsible for or a collision. If you have a 5 or more on your record, most insurers will excuse an accident you were responsible for or a collision, which means that, despite this accident, you will keep this record number. However, a second accident you were responsible for or a collision will get you a 0 record, the equivalent of a record for someone who just began to drive.
The premium for a 0 record is increased substantially (example: $1,500 versus $1,000). Since the effect of this increase will continue for five years, while dwindling from year to year, the cumulative effect over five years is already considerable (in our example, you will have paid $6,500 over five years instead of $5,000).
That’s why we suggest that you make a mutual agreement with the owner of the car that you have damaged or pay for your damage from the collision if it is minimal. In this way, you will keep a clean record and benefit from better long-term premiums.
3. Other factors to consider that could affect your premium in the long term
Remember that preventive driving reduces the risk of an accident and that a driving course can even help an experienced driver.
Think about slowing down when you are tired or stressed or whenever the weather conditions are not good.
Try leaving earlier than necessary because that will help you stay calm in case of surprise events while on the road.
As soon as your children are old enough to drive, have them take a driving course and obtain their license as soon as possible. That way they will accumulate years of experience (even though they do not drive often) and will be entitled to better premiums.
Avoid using your cell phone when driving. In fact, a recent study conducted in England reveals that at a speed of 70 m/h :
- You can stop in 102 ft2 when driving normally;
- You can stop in 115 ft2 when driving with impaired faculties;
- You can stop in 128 ft2 when driving with a hands-free cell phone;
- You can stop in 148 ft2 when driving with a cell phone in your free hand.
The choice of a deductible, which will be deducted in case of a claim, depends on your long term strategy. The lowest deductibles ($100 or $250) are more expensive, whereas a deductible of $500 or more lets you take advantage of substantial discounts. In the long term, it is worth it to pay the first $500 or $1,000 in case of a claim, rather than see your record affected for many years.
There are approximately 38 riders (endorsements) that can change your basic contract, including the Q.P.F. No. 1 "Owner’s form", which is the automobile insurance policy used by all insurers in Quebec to meet specific situations.
It is up to insureds to inform their insurer or insurance broker of their needs so that they can add the appropriate rider that will provide the coverage they require.
Below is a short description of the riders that may be useful to you:
- Q.E.F. No. 2: This rider is used to add designated drivers (children, parents who live with you, etc.) so that their liability is covered when they drive vehicles that do not belong to you. It completes rider Q.E.F. No. 27a, which covers damage to vehicles that do not belong to you (especially short-term rental vehicles).
- Q.E.F. No. 16: This rider is used to notify the insurer that a vehicle is in storage, which will result in premium credit according to the length of time of the storage. The insured’s civil liability coverage remains in effect, except as regards operation and use of the insured vehicle.
- Q.E.F. No. 17: This rider confirms the reinstatement of the insurance at the end of the storage period.
- Q.E.F. No. 19: This rider is used by the insurer to limit the amount that it will pay for damage to the insured’s car, whichever is lower between its real value and the amount stipulated in the policy.
- Q.E.F. No. 20: This rider is used to add loss of use coverage for the vehicle according to determined amounts.
- Q.E.F. No. 27a: This rider covers civil liability in case of damage caused to a vehicle that does not belong to the insured, except for vehicles provided by the employer.
It is important to note that the insurer covers only the designated insureds, their spouse and anyone indicated in rider Q.E.F. No. 2. Accordingly, if you rent a car for short-term use, it is essential that you let only designated people drive it. Otherwise, the driver not covered by the insurance will have in case of an accident, to pay for the damage caused to the car.
Example: You are on a trip to Florida. You rent a car and after a hearty meal in a restaurant, you notice that you are no longer in a condition to drive the car. You ask Luke, a friend, to drive the car to the hotel while you take a nap in the back seat. Luke burns a red light and the car receives $20,000 in damage. Unless Luke has personal insurance covering it, he will have to pay the damage to the car out of his own pocket since he isn’t covered by your rider Q.E.F. No. 27a.
Other considerations on short-term rental cars:
- Many credit cards offer protection equivalent to Q.E.F. No. 27a if you use it to pay for your rental. However, check the territories covered.
- The protection offered by the Q.E.F. No. 27a rider is only valid in Canada and the U.S. Elsewhere in the world, you have to take out insurance offered by the rental company.
- Rider Q.E.F. No. 27a coverage is for CAN$35,000 or CAN$50,000, depending on the insurers. Higher amounts can be negotiated as needed.
- If you rent a car in the United States and you also intend to go to Mexico, you must absolutely notify the rental company. They will provide you with protection at an additional cost.
- If you rent a car in Europe and you opt for a European purchase-repurchase plan, you will usually receive the coverage you need. However, in case of a single rental, you should take out the insurance offered.
Q.E.F. No. 43 (A to E) Change to loss payment endorsement:
- 43A - Waiver of depreciation in the event of a partial loss.
- 43B - Waiver of depreciation in the event of a partial loss and when used parts are unavailable.
- 43C - Agreed amount in the event of a total loss.
- 43D - Waiver of depreciation in the event of a total loss.
- This is the price paid at the purchase of the vehicle.
- 43E - Replacement cost in the event of a total loss :
- This rider offers compensation based on the replacement value of the vehicle in the event of total loss.
- The coverage corresponds to the cost of a new vehicle with the same specifications, equipment and accessories or, if no such automobile is available, a new vehicle of like kind and quality with similar equipment and accessories.
- The period of coverage varies from 2 to 4 years depending on the insurers and the premium is often a percentage of the total premium for the vehicle or of the damaged section of the insured vehicle. Accordingly, you can cancel this coverage at any time and stop paying for it.
- New vehicle dealers offer similar coverage (in the form of coverage guaranteed by an insurer) which varies from 2 to 5 years. With the dealers, you agree to pay for this coverage when you purchase the vehicle and for that reason, you cannot cancel 6 months later. They will often improve the coverage by paying $250 for a claim, which totally or partially covers the deductible. Most of the time, the coverage is not transferable to a new vehicle. You will therefore lose the unused period, even if you have paid for all of it for the previous vehicle.
The renewal of your automobile insurance policy is an opportunity for you to reevaluate your insurance needs and notify your insurer of any changes affecting the use of your vehicle(s).
We would like to draw your attention to the following points which can be of help in our reevaluation:
- You must inform us of any changes in annual kilometrage or the distance you drive to work.
- You must indicate new drivers of any of your vehicles. Among other things, you must inform us if an occasional driver becomes a primary driver, failing which you may be penalized should you submit a claim.
- Do you use your vehicle outside Quebec on a regular basis? Because bodily injuries suffered outside Quebec are not covered by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, but by your insurance company, you should keep us informed.
- Did you know that you can purchase umbrella liability insurance to complement basic coverage of $2,000,000? Doing so is recommended for those who travel regularly outside Quebec.
- Protection for theft benefits everyone. The impact of car theft on the premiums charged to dentists is considerable. By installing an effective antitheft device, such as the Boomerang tracking system, you can help lower premiums for all policyholders in your group.
- All drivers of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, pit bikes or dune buggies must be at least 16 years old. Drivers under 18 must hold a certificate, obtained from an officer authorized by the Government, attesting that the operator has the competence and knowledge required to operate an off-highway vehicle. This rule applies even to those under 18 who already have a driver's license. It is your responsibility to make sure that any driver of your vehicle has the appropriate certificate or license.
- When they change insurer, insureds often mistakenly believe that the fact that they do not pay the premium or contact their previous insurer indicates that they don’t wish to renew their insurance policy. However, to avoid having to pay for two contracts during a certain period of time, the procedure to follow is to return the renewal form to us, with a signed note confirming that you do not wish to renew your insurance.
- Any other changes that may affect your rates should be brought to our attention.