Tag: insurance policy

Spotlight on Special Limits of Insurance

stamp collection

All property insurance policies have certain limitations or exclusions that policyholders need to be aware of. Unfortunately, most policyholders simply skim over their policy and tuck it away in a drawer somewhere.

Now that the holidays are fast approaching, we wanted to bring the “special limits” commonly found in personal property insurance policies to your attention.

What are “Special Limits”?

A “special limit” is the maximum amount that an insurance company will pay in the event of a loss for a specific type of property. Though not an exhaustive list, below are some examples of the types of property that commonly carry special limits are:

  • Jewelry, watches, gems, fur garments and garments trimmed with fur
  • Collections of coins, money, tokens, or stamps
  • Collectibles such as sports cards, sports memorabilia, comic books, etc
  • Silverware, silver-plated ware, gold ware, gold-plated ware and pewter ware
  • Books, tools and instruments pertaining to a business
  • Securities, books of account, deeds, evidences of debt or title, letters of credit, notes other than bank notes, manuscripts, passports, tickets and documents or other evidence to establish ownership or the right to claim a benefit
  • Money, bullion, or cash cards
  • Golf carts, lawn and/or garden tractors including their attachments and accessories
  • Watercraft, their furnishings, equipment, accessories and motors
  • Computer software
  • Antiques
  • Bicycles and related equipment
  • Spare automobile parts

Reviewing your Policy

Each insurer is different. It’s important that you take the time to read through your policy including the actual company wordings. This may seem like a daunting task. The wordings are long with very small print, but its an important exercise that will give you a better understanding of what coverages you have – and you may even discover some coverages you’re missing.

If you do review your policy and find that you want to insure any of the “special limit” items for more than the specified amount, be sure to ask your broker if you can purchase a higher limit by scheduling the item onto your property policy.

As always, if you’re unsure, contact your broker today to find out about the limitation and exclusions on your policy. Don’t wait until there’s been a loss to find out you don’t have the coverage you need.

How are auto insurance premiums calculated?

car insurance

A common question we get from our clients is: how is my insurance premium calculated?

Insurers use a variety of information to determine what premium you pay for car insurance, but we can break it down into four general criteria:

  • Your vehicle
  • Driver information
  • Where you live
  • Your coverages

The Vehicle You Drive

The year, make, model and safety features of your vehicle all help determine the premium you pay because different vehicles represent different levels exposure. For example, a four door sedan is less likely to be stolen than a two door sedan. Also, vehicles with additional features such as anti-lock brakes are less likely to be involved in an accident than vehicles without anti-lock brakes.

Driver Information

Your age, gender, driver’s license level and driver history all matter because insurers use statistical data to determine the likely hood of an accident. Drivers are grouped based on same characteristics such as age, gender and driving record history. For example, a driver who has been driving for 10+ years with no accidents is statistically less likely to have a collision than a brand new driver holding only a G2 license.

Where You Live

If you’re in a densely populated area like Toronto, theft and collisions are much more likely to occur. This means potentially higher premiums for city dwellers versus those that live in the countryside.

Your Level of Coverage

Aside from the mandatory coverages such as basic accident benefits and third party liability, there are also a variety of optional coverages you can purchase to protect both you and your vehicle. These include the new increased optional accident benefits coverages as well as physical damage coverages for your car such as collision, comprehensive, specified perils, and all perils.

While some of these factors may be beyond your control, careful driving and staying collision and conviction-free are sure fire ways to keep your premium low.