Auto Insurance and the Long Weekend. Be safe!
The long weekend is practically the reason you get cottage insurance, auto insurance and motorcycle insurance. It’s a wonderful time where you get to relax with those you care about, and go out and play with your grown-up toys. Unfortunately, it’s also a time where way more accidents happen, and where mistakes can set your finances back for a lifetime. Thankfully, with insurance, much of that risk shouldn’t ever effect you. So we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks that you can use with your auto insurance and cottage insurance to help you for the long weekend! Have a good one!
Auto Insurance: Don’t be Aggressive
On the long weekend last year, 5 people died in motor vehicle collisions within Ontario Provincial Police jurisdiction, and the OPP aren’t keen to let that happen again. Now of course, driving safe is it’s own reward – you really don’t want to become another statistic.
But there are also financial incentives for not driving aggressively. Expect the OPP to be out in force – not just on the roads, but also on off-road trails and the water – to punish people who are driving against the law. The chances of you getting a ticket grow pretty quickly with the number of officers actively looking for wrongdoers.
You’ll want to watch your speed, but also your signalling and breaking habits. And please, don’t drive while distracted or under the influence of alcohol. We’ve seen enough accidents in the insurance industry to know that these two activities are deadly while driving.
A ticket while driving will absolutely increase your auto insurance rates, and collecting a few may cause your insurance provide cancel your policy altogether! It’s not worth the risk to speed, so go slow and take it easy.
Cottage Insurance: Frozen Foods
It’s been a stormy summer in Canada so far this year, and there is the potential for rain this long weekend as well. Wind and rain do more then just ruin beautiful days in the sun, they can also damage power infrastructure.
Interrupted power can be an annoyance at best, but if it becomes drawn out it can do a lot of damage – especially to all the food you’ve got in your fridge in preparation for the long weekend! Thankfully, most home policies have coverage in place to replace your frozen food in the event of a power failure. You probably won’t want to invoke this coverage unless you’ve lost a substantial amount of food – but the option is there.
We recommend checking with your broker to see if your home policy has frozen foods coverage! The more you know, right?
Auto Insurance: Lending Your Vehicle
You will probably be doing some driving on the long weekend, and potentially consuming alcohol, and there might come a point where you will have someone else drive your vehicle – either for you, or because they need to use it for some reason or other.
It’s a common misconception in insurance that only you are protected by your insurance policy while driving your car, but that’s not the case. Anyone that is legally allowed to drive a vehicle, and who drives the vehicle with your permission, is protected by your insurance policy (provided they do not regularly drive the vehicle, at which point they need to be added to your insurance policy as an occasional driver). So that friend that really needs to use your car? It’s not the end of the world to lend it to him/her.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to lending your vehicle and insurance. If the person who is using it gets into an accident, the claim will go onto your driving record, and you will have to pay increased insurance rates because of it. Maybe letting that friend drive isn’t the best idea after all? It’s ultimately your call.
Cottage Insurance: Watersports
Watersports are great, watersports are fun and watersports are social. Watersports can also be very dangerous, and can be the cause for extensive liability claims. Think about what happens if you are operating a boat and drive a waterskiier into land? Or a submerged rock you couldn’t see?
Instant lawsuit, and probably a lifetime of guilt. There is insurance available to help you with the lawsuit, but there is no protection from the guilt. So take extreme caution when performing watersports, always have someone to drive and someone to watch the person being towed, and only do it in waters in which you are extremely familiar.
Additionally, if you own a boat, it probably isn’t included in your home or cottage insurance policies, and you might not have watersports liability coverage. Talk to your broker and make sure your boats are properly covered – this is one gap in coverage you really don’t want to have.