Firstly there is one rule to this thread:
No posting “I pay $XXXX in premium”, or “How much do you pay in premium?”
For that you can post here:
I’ve tried to limit the FAQ to questions commonly asked on the board. If there is anything else you would like added, please let me know. Also, please feel free to point out any corrections that need to be made. This didn't take me very long to write up, so I'm sure I missed something. This is a work in progress.
OK. Now some light reading:
This is a publication issued by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). It gives very good general outline of Ontario Automobile Insurance:
This is the Ontario Automobile Policy 1 (OAP1). It outlines all the statutory conditions and responsibilities of you and your insurance company:
Ontario Auto Insurance FAQ
How is my premium calculated?
FSCO’s website has an excellent tutorial on how insurance companies come up with your premium here:
How can I tell who is at-fault in an accident?
In Ontario, the Fault Determination Rules apply. You can find them here:
The police say that I am not at-fault but the insurance company says I am. Which is correct?
These are two different things. For the police, they determine fault to see if you will get charged. For the insurance company, fault is determined per the Fault Determination Rules to determine if you are liable for the accident under the Insurance Act.
What happens after I get into an accident?
FSCO has a good publication on this process:
If I am found not at-fault, will my premium go up?
No. It is illegal for the insurance company to increase your premium for not at-fault claims.
What is no-fault insurance?
Firstly no-fault insurance does NOT mean that no one is at-fault.
With no-fault insurance, you always claim against your own insurance company if you are involved in an accident with another Ontario vehicle or a vehicle in a jurisdiction with a no-fault reciprocal agreement with Ontario. It is designed to eliminate much of the court costs associated with people suing insurance third party insurance companies and visa versa. In theory, this reduces the overall costs to insurance companies and keeps our premiums lower.
Although you claim against your own insurance company, your rates will not go up if you are found to be not at-fault.
What modifications will the insurance company allow me to do to my car?
Appearance mods are ok. Electronics are covered up to a standard limit of $1,500 normally. Be sure to inform the insurance company of any electronics over the standard $1,500 limit so that they can insure them appropriately. Note – some insurance companies may have a different standard limit. Check with your insurance company to be sure.
What modifications are not allowed?
Most insurance companies have filed rules against performance and lowering modifications. For example, you fitting the vehicle with an aftermarket intake enhances the performance. The insurance company can use this information to cancel you and/or deny a claim. In general, if your car is not 15 years old or more, you can only insure your vehicle with Facility Association insurance.
What is the Facility Association?
(Taken from their website):
The Facility Association is an entity established by the automobile insurance industry to ensure that automobile insurance is available to all owners and licensed drivers of motor vehicles where such owners or drivers are unable to obtain automobile insurance through the voluntary insurance market.
Is racing at a track ok?
No. One of the statutory conditions in the OAP1 states:
1.4.6 You agree not to use or allow anyone to use the automobile in a race or speed test or for any illegal trade or transportation.
If your insurance company finds out that you race the vehicle at a track or anywhere else, they will cancel your policy and/or deny claims.
Can I let others drive my car without informing the insurance company?
Yes. However, you must inform the insurance company of all people in your household who hold valid driver's licences.
Also, as the owner, it is up to you to ensure that the vehicle is driven by someone trustworthy. Any claims would count against the owner's policy.
What happens if I hit an animal (i.e. moose, deer, etc.)?
There are two scenarios to consider. If the animal was in motion and ran into you or you ran into it, then this is a Comprehensive claim. You are not at-fault, but must pay your Comprehensive deductible.
If you hit a stationary animal (i.e., roadkill), then this could be considered a Collision claim. You would likely be deemed at-fault as if you hit a stationary object on the road.
Will my premium drop when I turn 25?
In general, your rate will go down with respect to your age with most insurance companies. So if all other factors remain the same, your premium will go down. However, some things like general rate increases or getting a speeding conviction can offset your savings.
How does an at-fault accident affect my premium?
(copied from FSCO's website)
In many cases, if you have your first at-fault accident after six or more years of claims-free and conviction-free driving, your premium may not change or may increase by a relatively small amount. Some insurance companies offer endorsements to drivers that will allow them to maintain their driving record or premium after a first at-fault accident. Most companies will change your driving record to reflect the accident and increase your premium by a small amount. You will need to regain your six years of accident-free driving before you return to lower premiums. If this is your second at-fault accident in the last six years, you can expect your premiums to increase quite significantly.
If you have any convictions or cancellations of a policy, in addition to an at-fault accident, or are an inexperienced driver with an at-fault accident, you may be considered to be a high-risk driver and be placed with an insurer that specializes in these types of risks.
What is "Full Coverage"?
There's no such thing. No Ontario Automobile Insurance policy comes without exceptions.
CORRESPONDING THREAD: MODIFICATIONS AND YOUR INSURANCE