Our relationship with the road has shifted for the past two years, from pandemic restrictions requiring many to halt their daily commute, to the easing of pandemic restrictions allowing us to do more road trips, to rising gas prices that could change travel plans. Your relationship with the act of driving may seem to be all over the place.
That is why it is important to identify the factors in which you should review your car policy. Don’t know what they are? Then let this article be a guide to help you learn when you should review your car insurance policy.
Why Should You Review Your Car Insurance Policy?
Change in Travel Distance/Frequency of Travel
As mentioned, your commute may have changed in several ways during the past few years. If at the start of the pandemic you informed your insurance provider that you are planning to commute less, and that’s now changed, it’s important to notify your insurance company. Failure to report that your annual mileage has increased could invalidate your policy. If you’ve misrepresented your estimated annual mileage, your claim may also be denied.
Alternatively, if you have not informed your insurance provider that you are commuting less than before, you may be paying more than you need to be for your insurance policy.
Change of Home Address
One of the factors for determining the amount you pay in auto insurance premiums is where you live. This may be because of different factors, including the population density of the area you live in, traffic patterns, areas where vehicle collisions and thefts are more common, etc.
If you move, then you must inform your insurance provider. Just like misrepresenting the amount of kilometres driven in the year may result in a potential claim being denied, inaccuracies about where you live also has its share of consequences. Not only can your claim be denied, but your insurer may also choose to terminate your policy.
Therefore, it’s important to note a change of home address to your insurance provider to ensure that you receive the appropriate, continuous auto insurance coverage.
Purchasing a New Home or Adding a New Car
If you purchase your first home, you may not immediately consider informing your auto insurance provider. However, there are some advantages in doing so; for example, many insurance companies offer a discount to those who bundle their home and auto insurance together. Alternatively, discounts may be available to those who bundle their cars under a single policy as well. It’s worth speaking with your insurance provider to learn how you can save on your insurance.
Change in the Way in Which You Use Your Car
The way you use your car may have changed as well. In addition to reporting the estimated annual kilometres you’ll drive, if you plan on using your car outside of personal use (for example as a Lyft or Uber driver), there may be additional coverage you need to apply to your policy. This can help ensure that your coverage protects, not only you, but your occupants as well.
Change of Primary Driver
While it’s common knowledge that all drivers should be insured under a policy, some people may be listed as the primary driver (typically the title holder of the vehicle) or an occasional driver (someone who is not the primary owner of the vehicle but also uses the vehicle). There can be many reasons why an individual may change their role relating to a vehicle – whether it’s a teenager going away to college and leaving their car at home, or an otherwise occasional driver using a vehicle more often – regardless of the reason, it’s still important to let your insurance company know who is primarily driving a vehicle and who isn’t. Failure to do so may result in a future claim being denied or being re-rated a different premium.
How Often Should You Review Your Car Insurance Policy
Once a year
It’s recommended that you should check your car insurance policy at least once a year – typically around the time of renewal. At that point you should take the time to reflect on any changes in driving habits or usage of your car. If there are any changes, or you believe you require additional coverage, be sure to let your insurance provider know so that the changes are implemented ahead of your renewal.
Now, this is not an extensive list of things to consider when reviewing your car insurance policy, however it is a start. If any of the above applies to you, or you have questions regarding your policy, be sure to speak with your local agent to learn more and help ensure that you and your loved ones are protected.
Disclaimer: This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.