Nine misconceptions about car insurance

Some of the facts about auto insurance coverage tend to be urban myths rather than fact. To debunk fact from fiction, let’s take a look at the nine most common misconceptions about car insurance.

“An accident caused by sneezing isn’t covered.”

FALSE. If you purchased collision coverage (not just liability coverage), the damage caused to your vehicle is covered by your insurer, no matter how bad your cold.

“Some high-end vehicles are not insurable.”

FALSE. All car models are insurable. Obviously, premiums reflect the value of the vehicle. It’s up to you whether or not you insure your vehicle against damage. However, you’re required to have a minimum of $50,000 in liability coverage.

“A red vehicle costs more to insure.”

FALSE. While a number of criteria are used to calculate the insurance premium (model, driving record, where you live, what you use your car for, the coverage and deductible you chose), vehicle colour isn’t one of them.

“An accident caused running a red light is not covered.”

FALSE. If you purchased collision coverage (not just liability coverage), any damage caused to your vehicle is covered by your insurer.

“I’m not covered for an accident caused by swerving to avoid an animal on the road.”

FALSE. If you have collision coverage, your insurer will cover material damage, even in this case.

“My insurance premium will go up if I have an accident.”

NOT NECESSARILY. Some insurers forgive a first accident. However, the impact of a claim on your premium varies from insurer to insurer, depending on their policies and your level of responsibility for the accident.

“I’ll no longer be covered if I forget to make a payment to my insurer.”

FALSE. You’ll receive a payment reminder, but will continue to be insured. However, the insurer may cancel your policy of the situation persists. You’ll receive prior notice in writing about the date the policy will end.

“I can save money by not having winter tires.”

FALSE. In Quebec, winter tires are mandatory. They must be installed on your vehicle no later than December 15 and kept on until at least March 15.

“Quebec’s no-fault insurance system exempts me from all liability if I have a car accident.”

FALSE. Liability for material damage is always established by the insurer. The no-fault system only covers physical injury. The SAAQ compensates you for physical injury, regardless of liability, while the insurer compensates you for material damage after establishing liability.