FAQs

CAR INSURANCE

1. Can I get a quote if I am planning to get a car?
2. Do I need to provide evidence of my no claim discount?
3. Can one insurance policy cover two cars?
4. Am I covered when I drive my vehicle to other provinces & states?
5. How do I cancel my policy?
6. Can I renew my policy if I haven’t yet received my renewal invitation?

1. Can I get a quote if I am planning to get a car?
Yes. We could provide you with an estimate from ICBC if you have the Make, Model, Year and your Driver Licence Number.

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2. Do I need to provide evidence of my no claim discount?
If you are new to the province or returning to live here, you’ll need to provide evidence of your no claim discount, which must have been earned on a car insurance policy or policies. This document from your insurer must show the number of years’ no claim discount you’ve earned, the expiry date of your last insurance policy and any claims you’ve made. Please note that we ONLY accept original documents from insurers (Direct facsimile) relating to a no claim discount which has been earned on car insurance policy. We don’t accept photocopies or documents from brokers or intermediaries. The expiry date of your last insurance must be no more than 6 months ago. Unfortunately, we can’t return your evidence of no claim discount once it has been used for your policy.

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3. Can one insurance policy cover two cars?
No, in this province all vehicles require to carry a current ICBC insurance policy and licence plate(s) while on the road. Your insurance policy can only provide coverage on one specific car. The only exception is when you have gotten rid of your old car and have purchased a new one. In this situation, you are allowed 10 days grace to transfer (complete the official paperwork) the old insurance onto the new car.

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4. Am I covered when I drive my vehicle to other provinces or states?
Your coverage is good for the US and Canada, except Mexico. However, if you intend to stay outside of BC for an extended period of time, you may require making changes to your coverage. Please consult your broker.

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5. How do I cancel my policy?
ICBC requires you to surrender the licence plate and the insurance certificate when cancelling coverage mid-term. A $30 cancellation charge applies unless you purchase a Vehicle in Storage policy. If you do not want to renew on the proposed renewal date, you my keep the plates and make sure the vehicle is off public roads.

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6. Can I renew my policy if I haven’t yet received my renewal notice?
About 4 weeks before your policy is due for renewal, ICBC provides you with the details of the terms on which your policy may be renewed. However, you can renew your policy before the receipt of the notice if you anticipate being out of country at the time of renewal. Please bring the current original policy and attend one of our offices in person.

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HOME INSURANCE

1. What does building coverage include?
2. How much should I insure my contents for?
3. What factors affect premium rating?
4. Can I get a no claim discount on home insurance?
5. Do I qualify for any premium discounts?
6. What do I pay if I make a claim?
8. Do I have coverage away from my home?
7. What am I covered for?
9. Are my contents covered for business use?
10. Do you cover bicycles?
11. Do you cover jewelry items & cash?
12. What must I do if my circumstances change during the period of the insurance?
13. How do I cancel my policy?
14. How can I renew my policy?
15. If I have a claim, will my insurance premium go up?
16. Why do I pay more for my policy than someone who has similar amount of coverage?

1. What does building coverage include?
Your house and the fixtures and fittings, sheds, summerhouses, garages and greenhouses, which are all designed and used for domestic purposes only. Your buildings also include swimming pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, terraces, patios, driveways, footpaths, walls, gates, hedges and fences all within the same site as the insured address shown in your policy declaration page.

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2. How much should I insure my contents for?
You should insure your contents for the amount it would cost you to replace them as new. Some items or categories may have limited coverage. You may want to take inventory by completing an inventory booklet.

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3. What factors affect premium rating?
Many factors do: For example, Location of the residence, Age of the residence, Construction type, Premises Protection, Loss history & insurance history of the policy holder, Coverage required, just to name a few.

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4. Can I get a no claim discount on home insurance?
Yes – Insurance companies in general offer such discount. The discounts vary between companies. It could be as high as 20%.

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5. Do I qualify for any premium discount?
Most Insurance Companies offer premium discount for: Approved Alarm System, senior, Newer Homes, Mortgage Free Houses.

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6. What do I pay if I make a claim?
If you make a claim, the insurance company will deduct your policy deductible from the claim settlement. Your deductible(s) is shown on your policy declaration page.

7.What am I covered for?

The following cause of accident resulting in direct damage to your possession is usually covered by packaged policies: Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Smoke, Impact by Vehicle, Riot, Vandalism, Water Escape (rupture of pipe), Windstorm, Hail, Theft.

8.Do I have coverage away from my home?

Your possessions while they are temporarily away from your premises anywhere in the world are covered. The usual policy limits apply. Students who are dependents of the policy holder may also have some coverage while studying away from home.

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9. Are my contents covered for business use?
Insurance companies will cover any office furniture and computer equipment owned by you and used for business purposes that are kept in your home, subject to special limit.

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10. Do you cover bicycles?
Yes, the policy will give you basic coverage, but may have a per bike and aggregate limit.

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11. Do you cover jewelry items & cash?
Yes, the policy will give you some coverage, but may not be enough in some circumstances. Similarly, most policies also contain limit of liability on Pets, Fur Coats, Watches, Coin or Stamp Collections.

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12. What must I do if my circumstances change during the period of insurance?
You must tell your broker as soon as possible when any of your information changes once you have bought a policy. The broker may then re-assess your coverage and premium. It may not be possible to transfer coverage to the new home if it is outside of the province.

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13. How do I cancel my policy?
Once the policy is effective, all Named Insured and interested parties (for example, the mortgagees) would have to sign off from the policy before the policy could be officially canceled. Companies charge administration fees if you cancel during the term of the policy. However, if you choose to cancel on renewal date, just return the original policy to the broker. If you are paying by installments and you miss a payment, you will be given time to respond and repay. However, generally, an account that has two NSFs would no longer qualify for installment plans. The insurance company has the right to cancel your policy at any time by giving you fifteen days’ notice in writing by registered mail. The letter will be sent to the last postal address on records. If the policy is cancelled mid-term, any unused premium will be returned.

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14. How can I renew my policy?
Approximately 4 weeks before your policy expires, you will receive a renewal notice by post which will show details of how to renew and what your new premium is. If you do not wish to renew your policy, you should advise us before the renewal date. If you do not tell us and your policy is renewed, the insurance company will continue to make deductions from your bank account for the new premium or send you reminder notices.

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15. If I have a claim, will my insurance premium go up?
One claim, in most situations, will not usually mean an increase in your insurance rate. A series of losses of a claim of an unusually high amount might mean your rating category will change. However, if you are enjoying a claims free discount on your policy, it will be removed on renewal after a claim.

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16. Why do I pay more for my policy than someone who has a similar amount of coverage?
There are many variables and coverage differences between policies. For example, the presence of various discounts (claims free, mature homeowner, alarms) or surcharges (wood burning heat stove, multiple family, claims.); the perils insured (different level of protection by different packages.); the optional coverage chosen (like earthquake damage, personal floaters).

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TRAVEL AND MEDICAL INSURANCE

1. Why do I need travel insurance? Won’t our government health plan pay for my medical expenses?
2. Should I buy an annual or single trip travel policy?
3. When should I purchase my travel insurance?
4. Do I need medical travel insurance when I travel within Canada?
5. Why should I need Trip Cancellation & Interruption insurance?
6. Do I need baggage and money cover?
7. I am currently suffering from a medical problem. Will this be covered under my travel policy?
8. What should I do if I have to be hospitalized?
9. When & how should I submit my claim?

1. Why do I need travel insurance? Won’t our government health plan pay for my medical expenses?
Provincial health insurance plans provide only limited coverage for medical treatment and hospital costs outside of Canada. If you are injured or become ill while out of country, the government plans pay only a portion of your medical bills. You might have to pay substantial medical bills out of your own pocket that could amount to thousands of dollars.

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2. Should I buy an annual or single trip travel policy?
The coverage offered for an annual and single trip policy is almost identical. An annual policy is more suitable for someone who is likely to travel more frequently.

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3. When should I purchase my travel insurance?
You must purchase your Trip Cancellation & Interruption travel insurance when you book your trip. Most travel agencies can sell you this insurance. You can purchase other coverage before you leave on your trip. Remember to purchase insurance for your entire trip, which includes the day you leave and the day you return.

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4. Do I need medical travel insurance when I travel within Canada?
Yes, sometimes the Government health plans do have limits on the reimbursement of the emergency medical expenses incurred while you are in another province. For example, the ambulance, emergency dental treatment and prescription drugs might not be covered by some plans.

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5. Why should I need Trip Cancellation & Interruption insurance?
Emergencies happen when you least expect it. You could become sick, lose your job or a family member could have a medical emergency. Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance covers you for those circumstances and protects the financial investment you’ve made in your trip. It also protects you if you need to go back home because of an emergency such as a family member becoming seriously ill at home, while you are away.

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6. Do I need baggage and money cover?
There is the option to add baggage cover if you’re certain that it’s not covered by your home insurance. Please check your household insurance policy to ensure coverage will be in place for the duration of your trip.

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7. I am currently suffering from a medical problem. Will this be covered under my travel policy?
There are certain exclusions in the policy that may restrict coverage on injury or sickness resulting from a medical condition previously known to exist. Please contact our office for further details.

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8. What should I do if I have to be hospitalized?
Generally, you, or your representative, are required to contact the Claims Department within 48 hours in order for the Insurance Company to confirm coverage with the hospital and see that unnecessary procedures are not performed.

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9. When & how should I submit my claim?
Generally, you are required to submit all completed forms and original receipts within 30 days of the accident/ date of emergency. Forms are available from the Claims Department or Company’s website.

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