Car Insurance FAQs & Answers
Shopping for Car Insurance
Usually, one-way means you're only insured with basic coverage, meaning you only have Liability and Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD) coverage. The Liability coverage would cover you if you were ever to get sued after an accident. The DCPD would cover damage to your vehicle if you're in an accident with another vehicle insured by a licenced insurer, when you are not or partially not at-fault. When you have two-way insurance, this usually means that your car is covered as well as the damage you cause to others.
Usually, one-way means you're only insured with basic coverage, meaning you only have Civil Liability. This covers any bodily or material damage you cause to others. When you have two-way insurance, this usually means that your car is covered as well as the damage you cause to others.
The choice is really up to you. The $2,000,000 option is mainly used by people who often travel outside the province or in the USA, where the insurance laws are not always the same. With $ 2,000,000, you would be better protected in case you get sued after an accident.
The choice is really up to you other than the mandatory $200,000 Third Party Liability coverage you must obtain through ICBC. Though belairdirect, you can purchase Excess Third Party Liability starting at $800,000. The other options include $1,800,000, $2,800,000, $3,800,000 and $4,8000,000. Higher liability options are sometimes used by people who often travel outside the province or in the USA, where the insurance laws are not always the same. With higher limits you would be better protected in case you get sued after an accident.
Your belongings are covered under your home insurance policy. So if you make a claim only for your belongings, it will be listed on your home insurance. If you make a claim for both your car and your belongings and you're insured with belairdirect for both lines of insurance, you only pay one deductible (the higher one).
To be covered for hit and run, you need to have Collision CoverageCollision and upset Coverage. Keep in mind that for an event to be considered a hit and run, a police report must be filed within 24 hours. However, if you’re not covered, you can request compensation from SAAQ. Please keep in mind that this doesn’t replace coverage offered by insurance companies.
Yes, in Canada and the U.S. But if you're planning to use it for a trip that's six months or longer, you'll need to contact us so we can have a look at your situation and see if you have the best coverage for you.
Yes, in Canada and the U.S. But if you're planning to use it for a trip that's three weeks or longer, you'll need to contact us so we can have a look at your situation and see if you have the best coverage for you
Yes. You're still the owner of this vehicle and are still responsible for it, even if it's in storage. Any damage that happens to your vehicle during that time wouldn't be covered if you don't have insurance.
Everybody that's listed as a driver on your vehicle or policy. Someone who already has insurance as a primary driver on another vehicle can drive your car as well. If someone is not insured anywhere and drives your vehicle, you should tell your insurance company so that person can be mentioned (and covered) on your policy.
There are several factors we take into consideration when we calculate your car insurance premium. The two main factors are the cost of parts (which don't always decrease, like the value of the vehicle), and the cost of the repairs (we need to pay the mechanics who repair your vehicle). We also take the type of vehicle into consideration (if it had a high rate of claims for vehicle damage over the past year).
Yes. If you ever need to file a claim, damages won't be covered if your son/daughter isn't mentioned on the policy. It's important to insure any new driver, even if they don't drive often and only have a learner's permit.
We do take your age into consideration when we calculate your premium. Statistically, drivers who are 25 or older are less at risk. But there are many other factors that affect your premium, too, such as: the type of car you drive, your claims record, how you use your vehicle, where you live, and many other factors. So although your premium won't automatically change once you turn 25, your age will be taken into consideration when it's time for your renewal.
When we calculate your premium, we look at a lot of things, including:
- Your age and driving experience
- Whether your vehicle is for business, commuting or leisure
- The year, make, model and type of vehicle
- Claims you've made in the past
- The driving history of any other people who will be behind the wheel
Everyone's situation is different, so everyone's premium will be too. It's important to get the right amount of coverage for your unique situation so you're not overpaying or underinsured.
Every insurance company is different, but most will offer you ways to save on your insurance premium. When you're insured with belairdirect, you've got many ways to save:
- Insuring your car and home together
- Insuring more than one car on the same policy
- Increasing your deductible
- Being a good driver
- Paying your premium in one lump sum
- Taking steps to decrease your risk
Yes. If you own a car, you must have a minimum amount of insurance. It's the law.
Yes. If you want to drive a car in Quebec, you need to have civil liability insurance. If you don't have civil liability insurance, you could have to pay huge expenses if you injure someone or damage someone's property. Rest assured that with belairdirect, you're covered in case these things happen, up to your maximum insurance coverage.
If you want to drive a car, there's a minimum amount of insurance you need to have. This minimum amount of insurance is outlined in our standard coverage chart. You'll also see options for increasing the amount of coverage you have or buying more coverage.
If you want to drive a car in Quebec, there's a minimum civil liability insurance you need to have. This minimum is $50,000 in Civil Liability, however, if you finance or lease your car, the financing company usually asks you to get complete coverage. This includes Liability, Collision and upset and All perils other than collision or upset. Have a look at our easy-to-read coverage chart that outlines these sections and minimum coverage. You'll also see options for increasing the amount of coverage you have.
If you want to drive a car, there's a minimum amount of insurance you need to have. This minimum amount of insurance you must purchase through ICBC. Their mandatory basic Autoplan insurance includes $200,000 Third Party Liability, Autoplan Accident Benefits and Underinsured Motorist Protection.
Yes, it absolutely does. Insurance companies have a ton of statistics that show, in general, which vehicles have the most and least claims attached to them by make, model and year. More claims generally equal higher risk to insure and vice versa. Some vehicles are harder to repair, or may not have parts readily available. These also affect premiums.
Some medical conditions may affect the safe operation of a vehicle. You do not need to tell us which driver has any particular medical condition stated in the Declaration – or what that condition is. If there has been a recent change, simply answer “Yes” and we will follow up with you directly to obtain further information. Please be assured that this information will be kept completely confidential.
Unless there has been a recent change in medical conditions, which may affect the safe operation of your vehicle, you may simply respond “No” to these questions.
Making a Claim
Only at-fault claims affect your insurance premium, but you should report all of your claims to your insurance company. But if you have The Accident Forgiveness from belairdirect, your insurance premium won't go up as a direct result of your first at-fault accident. Interested in adding The Accident Forgiveness to your coverage? It's easy.
Generally, most claims will affect your insurance premium, especially an at-fault claim. But if you have The Accident Forgiveness from belairdirect, your insurance premium won't go up at renewal as a direct result of your first two at-fault accidents. Interested in adding The Accident Forgiveness to your coverage? It's easy.
In Ontario, we follow a set of rules known as ‘Fault Determination Rules.' These rules look at all kinds of possible accident scenarios, without factoring in visibility, road conditions, weather, or pedestrian actions. If these rules aren’t applicable, we look at the ordinary rules of law.
A deductible is the part of a claim that you need to pay yourself. In other words, it's the amount that's deducted from the total you get from us. Deductibles are different depending on the type of claim (whether it’s for Collision or Upset, All Perils or Comprehensive).
A deductible is the sum deducted from part of a claim that you need to pay yourself. In other words, it's the amount that's deducted from the total you could get from us. Deductibles are different depending on the type of claim (whether it's for Collision and upset or All perils other than collision or upset). For Collision and upset coverage, you can usually choose between $250 and $500, and for All perils other than collision or upset coverage, you can choose $50, $100, $250 or $500. Please keep in mind that with every different situation, conditions may apply.
Ultimately, you can go anywhere you'd like, but we're more than happy to recommend one of the certified repair shops in our Rely Network®. We trust these shops to get the job done right, and the repairs are guaranteed for as long as you own your car. Also, you can rest easy knowing your belairdirect coverage gives you priority treatment in these shops.
You have coverage for a rental vehicle if you have the Loss of Use Endorsement on your policy.
It depends. You'll qualify for a rental vehicle in these cases:
- If you've got a rental car option on your policy (whether or not you're at fault)
- If you've got belairdirect's AutoComfort® coverage (whether or not you're at fault)
- If you only have standard coverage, and you're not at-fault
This means that it would cost more to repair it than what the car is actually worth. You might be offered a settlement based on the car's cash value, depending on your coverage.
We'll bring in an appraiser who will look up the going rate for cars like yours in your area. They'll also look at the condition of your car before the accident, paying attention to things like mileage, options, and any damage that was there before the accident.
It depends. If a claim settlement gets the green light, the payment can go either to you (if you own the vehicle), or to the lessor company (if your vehicle is leased), or jointly to you and to the finance company (if your vehicle is financed).
A fresh coat of paint, a hardtop, or wheel cover will definitely affect the value of your vehicle. If you're interested in exactly how, you can ask a claims adjuster. Regular maintenance checks – oil changes, sparkplug changes and mechanical work – will help keep your vehicle in good working order, but won't increase its value.
We strongly recommend that you let your insurance companies settle your claims. We've seen private settlements end badly in the past, because problems can definitely come up. You could be left to foot the bill and you'd have no way of then claiming it through your insurance company. Your best bet is to let us deal with everything in a fair and equitable way.
We do take your age into consideration when we calculate your premium. Statistically, drivers who are 25 or older are less at risk. But there are many other factors that affect your premium, too: the type of car you drive, your claims record, how you use your vehicle, where you live, and many other factors. So although your premium won't automatically change once you turn 25, your age will be taken into consideration when it's time for your renewal.
It's totally up to you. There are good reasons for or against each option. For instance, if you stay on your parents' policy, they can take advantage of multi-car discounts and possibly get better rates because of their life stage and stability.For instance, if you stay on your parents' policy, they possibly can get better rates because of their life stage and stability. On the other hand, if your parents have an expensive car, their rates could go up because you're now driving it. If you get your own policy, you're in total control of your coverage options and payment terms. On the other hand, your rates may be higher because you can't take advantage of your parents' pricing.
As you may already have noticed, student insurance premiums are usually some of the highest around. Generally speaking, this is because most students fall into an age group that has a pretty high accident rate. Many of you are new to driving and are still gaining experience behind the wheel, so there's a higher risk of being involved in an accident. This higher risk leads to higher premiums.
We've got good news. If you're under the age of 25 and are a full-time student at a recognized College or University, you're eligible to save up to 10% on your car insurance with belairdirect. You can also consider adding The Accident Forgiveness to your coverage to protect against your car insurance premium going up as a result of your first at-fault accident. You can also consider raising your deductible. And it goes without saying that being a good driver is always the best way to keep your premium from going up.
We've got good news. If you're under the age of 25 and are a full-time student at a recognized College or University in Quebec, you're eligible to save up to 10% on your car insurance with belairdirect. You can also consider adding The Accident Forgiveness to your coverage to protect against your car insurance premium going up as a result of your two first at-fault accidents. You can also consider raising your deductible. And it goes without saying that being a good driver is always the best way to keep your premium from going up.
Everybody that's listed as a driver on another vehicle or policy can drive your vehicle. Someone who already has insurance as a primary driver on another vehicle can drive your car as well. If someone is not insured anywhere and drives your vehicle, you should tell your insurance company so that person can be mentioned on your policy.
With belairdirect, you get a discount when you insure two or more cars on the same policy. It's our Multi-vehicle Discount.
Your premium will increase when you insure another car. But by insuring more than one vehicle with belairdirect, you can take advantage of our Multi-vehicle Discount.
Potentially. When you move, we will need to take a look at the changes in your situation. Things like the distance you drive to work every day and where you live will affect your premium.
If you're driving a lot less now that you're not going to work every day, you should have a chat with one of our certified insurance agents to see if you're eligible for a reduction in your premium.
A: If you insure your house and your car with belairdirect, you're eligible for our Car + Home Discount.
If he/she takes driving lessons at a school that's approved by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), she may be eligible for a lower insurance rate. Also, if she's under the age of 25 and a full-time student at a recognized college or university in Ontario, she's eligible to save up to 10%.
When your son or daughter starts to drive and gets insured as a primary driver, he or she will start getting insurance experience that can affect his/her premium when he/she has his/her own car. Also, he or she may be eligible for our occasional driver discount if he/she has his/her learner's permit and is under the age of 25.
This depends on a lot of things, like where you're going and how long you'll be gone. It's a good idea to have a chat with one of our licenced insurance agents. They can assess the situation and let you know whether your car insurance coverage is good as it is or whether you need to make some changes.
automerit® - Program
automerit is our insurance program that gives you a personalized discount based on your driving habits (hard braking, rapid acceleration and the time of day you drive, all in relation to the total number of kilometres driven) and on the information in your insurance file you provided us with (e.g. postal code, age) (collectively the "automerit Discount Data"). The better you drive, the more you could save.
Not only could you save up to 25% on your car insurance premium once you complete your assessment period, but you'll also receive valuable information about your driving habits. at renewal, but you'll also receive valuable information about your driving habits.
No, your premium will not increase as a result of the automerit program.
No. Enrolling in the automerit program is entirely free.
You can sign up for the automerit program when you get a quote and purchase a car insurance policy with belairdirect either online or over the phone (subject to meeting the eligibility criteria).
To be eligible to the automerit program, you need to have an iPhone 5S, an iPhone 6/6 Plus, or a more recent model, with iOS 8.2 or later, or an Android device with version 4.3 or later. You also need to have a data plan with your cellular service provider in order to generate accurate location information collect and transfer the driving data.
Don't have a compatible smartphone? We also offer the automerit program using a device you can plug into your car's OBD (On-Board Diagnostic system) port. Simply contact us for more details.
Of course. In fact, you can cancel at any time during your assessment period if you decide automerit isn't for you. However, you will lose the enrolment discount and not be eligible for any further discounts related to the program.
Yes, if you are the principal driver named on the policy, and if you meet the eligibility requirements of the program. You'll only need to install and use the mobile application and we'll apply your personalized discount on all the other cars for which you are the principal driver.
Your assessment period is 180 days from when you use the application and start driving. If the assessment period cannot be completed prior to when your renewal is issued, then the renewal will be issued with your enrolment discount. Once the assessment period is completed (after 180 days), it will be replaced, if applicable, by the automerit Discount for the remainder of your insurance policy term if the automerit Discount is equal or greater than the enrollment discount. The automerit Discount is not static and is subject to change upon each renewal of your policy.
If the enrolment discount is greater than the automerit Discount, the enrolment discount will continue to apply until the end of your current policy term. At your next policy renewal, you will no longer be eligible to receive an enrolment discount or the automerit Discount.
Your assessment period can last up to approximately nine months from when you use the application and start driving. If the assessment period cannot be completed prior to the start of our renewal notification process, then the renewal will be issued with your enrolment discount. The personalized discount will be applied on the subsequent renewal.
In order to be eligible for a potential discount, you must drive a minimum of 1,000km during your assessment period as the driver of an eligible vehicle.
We will send you an email, to the email address associated with your insurance policy, containing a link to download the app onto your smartphone and all the information you need to log in to the app. Once installed and set up, simply drive as usual. You can view your driving profile and potential discount in the app.
During your assessment period, the app will record all trips where it believes you may be driving a car. You will have to go into the app and confirm whether you were the driver or not. If you do not do so, or if you confirm you were not the driver without confirming your mode of transportation, the app will consider you the driver by default after 7 days. Once your assessment period is completed, the app will no longer record any trips.
You will need to confirm that you were the driver in all trips where you were driving a car, whether it's your car or not. If you were driving a motorcycle, a recreational vehicle, or any other vehicle that isn't a car, you need to confirm that you were not the driver and confirm your mode of transportation. Please note your selection is final.
Once you receive your confirmation email that you've completed the program, the app will no longer record any trips. You can review your past trip information for a limited time. However, you will no longer be able to confirm your mode of transportation for any trips. You may delete the app from your smartphone as well.
automerit - Saving
Following completion of the assessment period, your enrolment discount may be replaced by a personalized final discount (the automerit Discount) that takes into account (based on a minimum of 1,000 kilometres driven as the driver of an eligible vehicle):
Following completion of the assessment period, and at the applicable renewal, your enrolment discount may be replaced by a personalized final discount (the automerit Discount) that takes into account (based on a minimum of 1,000 kilometres driven as the driver of an eligible vehicle):
Hard braking increases the risk of being involved in an accident. The app therefore calculates the ratio of hard braking events on total km driven to determine your personalized hard braking factor.
Rapid accelerations increase the risk of being involved in an accident. The app therefore calculates the ratio of rapid acceleration events on total km driven to determine your personalized rapid acceleration factor.
Time of day
Driving between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. increases the risk of being involved in an accident. Many elements, such as reduced visibility and fatigue, make this time of day the riskiest. The program therefore evaluates the time of day that you're driving to determine your personalized high-risk period factor. The less often you drive during risky periods, the more you could save.
Information in your insurance file
The information in your insurance file you have provided us with (e.g., postal code, age).
The automerit Discount is not static and is subject to change upon each renewal of your policy.
If you have your cellular data on, they are both updated right after you confirm your status as a driver for each of your trips. You have 7 days to identify if you were the driver of the vehicle or not. If you were not, you must also confirm your mode of transportation. If you do not tag a trip within 7 days of the end of that trip, the application will automatically tag you as the driver of the vehicle and the potential discount will be updated.
Drive safely by avoiding rapid acceleration and hard braking and you are on your way to savings. Time of day is also a factor (since accident risks are generally higher between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m.).
We look for the frequency of events and regular driving behaviours. We know that even the best drivers have to brake hard occasionally. So it doesn't necessarily mean that if you brake hard once, it will have a negative impact on your discount. The most important thing is to keep you and your passengers safe. So, if you need to hit the brakes to avoid an accident, don't think twice!
With belairdirect, there are many ways to save. We offer discounts such as the Car + Home discount and Multi-vehicle discount. Call us to see if you're eligible for these savings.
By checking your dashboard in the app, you'll be able to see your potential discount. You need at least one trip recorded with you as the driver for your potential discount to appear.
First, you get an automatic discount of 5% just for enrolling. Then, if eligible at your next renewal, you could save up to 25% on your car insurance premium once your assessment period is completed.
The principal driver named on the insurance policy is eligible to receive discounts on all eligible cars for which they are listed as the principal driver.
Once you've completed your the assessment period is completed (after 180 days) , your enrolment discount will be replaced, if applicable, by the automerit Discount for the remainder of your insurance policy term if the automerit Discount is equal or greater than the enrolment discount. The automerit Discount is not static and is subject to change upon each renewal of your policy. on your next renewal, if eligible, by the automerit Discount.
If the enrolment discount is greater than the automerit Discount, the enrolment discount will continue to apply until the end of your current policy term. At your next policy renewal, you will no longer be eligible to receive an enrolment discount or the automerit Discount.
Once you've completed your assessment period, your enrolment discount will be replaced on your next renewal, if eligible, by the automerit Discount.
You can request a new assessment one year after the successful completion of your last assessment, provided you continue to be eligible for the program. Once you complete your new assessment, your new automerit Discount will replace your old discount at your next renewal, whether it is higher or lower.
After the completion of your first assessment and before a year has passed, if there are changes in your lifestyle that may affect your driving behaviour, please call us. You may be eligible for a new assessment right away.
If eligible, you could get the Accident Forgiveness or Autocomfort® coverage. Start a quote today to view all our coverage options.
automerit - App set up
After you sign up, you will need to download the mobile application onto your smartphone. Your login details will be sent to you at the email address associated with your insurance policy. Once logged in, just start driving. Your driving data is automatically recorded and the app will determine your potential discount.
- You must have a compatible smartphone.
- Location services in your app settings and phone settings must be turned on to record trips.
- Motion and fitness must also be turned on in your app settings, in order to record trips (on iOS).
- You must connect through cellular data to have your driving data uploaded so we can update your potential discount. Your trips will always be saved whether or not you are connected.
- To ensure your driving data is collected, make sure your phone battery is charged.
- Once a trip has been recorded, confirm whether or not you were the driver, as the app will consider you the driver by default after 7 days. Confirming the mode of transport of a trip will allow you to see any events you had if you were the driver. Please note that you cannot change the mode of transport once you have chosen one. Your selection is final.
If you need to change phones after you have already started your assessment period, you can just download the app on your new phone and continue your assessment from where you left off. You simply need to login using the same username and password you already have.
Make sure location service is turned on in your app settings and phone settings. It is mandatory for your trips to be recorded and displayed on your dashboard. Should the issue persist, please contact us for more information.
Yes it does and this will vary from one telephone to another. That's why it's important to have your phone charged, as you will not be able to record any trips without battery power.
Yes. Downloading the app will use your cellular and/or wireless data and the app itself will use your cellular data. The app transfers data to calculate your potential discount. While roaming, unless your data is turned off on your smartphone, data will continue to be transferred.
It may occasionally happen that the app does not record a trip because of interference with the phone's GPS, or in areas with low cellular phone signal. If you notice that this is happening regularly, please contact us.
automerit - Device Set up
We will send you your automerit device by mail. Just plug it in your OBD port (On-Board Diagnostic system) and drive as usual. Once installed, we will send you an email containing all the information you need to log in to your dashboard so that you can view your driving profile and your potential discount.
Yes. Every principal driver on the policy can enroll if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Yes, if you are the principal driver named on the policy, and if you meet the eligibility requirements of the program. You'll only need to plug in the automerit device on the car that you use the most and we'll apply your discount on all the other cars for which you are the principal driver.
After you sign up, you'll receive the automerit device by mail. You simply plug the device into your OBD (On-Board Diagnostic system) port in your car and start driving. Your driving data is automatically sent to us so we can assess your driving habits. You will also be able to login to your dashboard to track how you're doing.
The automerit device plugs into your car's OBD (On-Board Diagnostic system) port. An installation guide is sent to you along with your device. If you have trouble plugging in your device, please refer to the installation guide or call us for assistance if it still doesn't work.
It can usually be found underneath your steering column, but when in doubt, check your owner's manual.
The automerit device has a blinking light that lights up once you've started your car. If you don't see one, unplug it, review the installation details, and then plug it back in.
Don't worry. If your device stops working, simply contact us and we'll send you a new one.
If we do not receive any data from your car for 30 days or more, you may be removed from the automerit program and you would not be eligible for any further discounts. We suggest you advise us if you would like to remove the device from your car.
If the vehicle is in a service shop, the device can be temporarily removed but should be plugged back in when service is complete. If it will be removed for more than 30 days, please advise us.
At the end of the automerit assessment period, we'll send you a pre-paid envelope. Simply insert the device in the package and drop it in the mailbox and you're done.
If I've just enrolled in the automerit program, but I'll be out of town. Can you hold my automerit device or send it to another address?
If you have just signed up for the program, the device will be sent to your mailing address, we cannot deliver it to a different address. If you are out of town please call us to arrange for a different delivery date.
The device is designed to fit most OBD ports on cars built after 1998. In the event that it is physically impossible to plug the device into your car, we will not be able to capture your driving data and therefore we won't be able to provide feedback or calculate a discount. You will not be eligible for the automerit program. In that case, please call us and we'll send you a pre-paid envelope so that you can send back the device free of charge.
Data can take up to several hours to appear in your dashboard. Also, make sure you have properly plugged the device into your OBD port and that you have subsequently started your engine. Should the issue persist, please contact us for more information.
Yes. Therefore, if your vehicle will not be used for a long period of time, you can remove the device but please call us before doing so.
automerit - Privacy
We use care and strict security safeguards when storing or destroying your personal information in order to prevent unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, disposal or similar risks. In the event that we transfer your personal information to a third party in Canada or across borders, we contractually require such third party to protect your personal information in a manner consistent with our privacy safeguarding measures, subject to the laws in the third party jurisdiction.
The driving data will be used to detect when you have taken a trip and to record the driving events (e.g. hard braking, rapid acceleration, and time of day driving events) which will be used to determine your eligibility and yourthe personalized discount that you may be eligible for , if applicable, following your assessment period.
We may also analyze the driving data to ensure that the information in your insurance file is consistent with the information you provided to us (e.g., the number of kilometres driven, etc.) and adjust your premium accordingly.
The driving data will also be used to give you feedback about your driving behaviour through the Application.
Additionally, the driving data will be used to help us refine and improve the automerit program.
As a general rule, your information shall be kept as long as it is reasonable to do so for a legal or business purpose.
belairdirect and OCTO will only use and disclose your information in accordance with the automerit program, unless otherwise required by law, and will never sell your information to third parties
Contact us if there is an error in the driving data or if you have technical problems.
Please note that if you enrolled in the program before October 17th, 2016, the terms that apply to you are the ones you received by mail with your device. Contact us to get a copy, if need be