Rental car insurance: Who’s got you covered?

Rental car insurance: Who’s got you covered?

Some car rental deals seem too good to be true.

Factor in the cost of insurance, up to $40 per day depending on the coverage, fees for additional drivers, fuel, extra mileage charges and roadside assistance expenses, and it can cost way more than double the advertised rental price.

As insurance alone can turn a $99 weekend getaway package into less of a sweet deal, it’s wise to look at your options before you hit the car rental counter.

Rental agency coverage

Check the extent of the coverage. Policies vary with lower rates carrying higher deductible costs, while premium plans may offer zero deductibles.

Rental car damage protection insurance (collision damage waiver) covers the value of the vehicle, but doesn’t carry personal coverage for injury or loss of property. Some agencies offer additional policies, with a range of fees, for liability, medical costs and coverage of personal effects.

There are also exclusions to the coverage, such as in the event of an accident or damage done due to driving on unpaved roads, if the car is taken out of the province, state or country not specified in the contract, or if the vehicle is overloaded or used to tow a trailer.

Your credit card may also be dinged a daily rental fee for the period the car is being repaired, and the policy likely won’t offer protection in the event of a lawsuit if you are found to be at fault in an accident. It’s all in the fine print.

Personal car insurance coverage

Most auto insurers offer a special rider (add-on) providing accident and liability coverage on car rentals, and while it can be valid across Canada it may have restrictions when driving in the U.S. Also, it very likely won’t extend to Mexico.

Coverage can cost from $15 to $50 extra per year, but be aware that if you are at fault in a rental car accident your insurance rate will increase. If you have a rental car accident on a trip and your own car is stolen at home while you are travelling the insurance may only cover one claim.

As the car must be rented in the name of the person insured on the personal policy, it may not cover another driver of the rental car as well.

Although your collision and comprehensive auto insurance coverage may extend to cars you rent, it’s likely limited to the value of your own car and not a higher end vehicle.

Your auto policy may only cover a rental car while on a vacation but not for commercial or business use, and it won’t include the loss of personal property. That’s usually covered on your homeowner/renter insurance plan. Review your contract or ask your insurance broker for details.

Credit card coverage

If your credit card provides insurance coverage on rental cars, that $99 weekend getaway deal may be a bargain after all, but once again; certain conditions apply.

Premium cards at “gold” or “platinum” levels, which come with an annual fee, generally provide rental car insurance coverage.

You have to rent it on that specific card and sometimes with specified rental firms — a good reason to have more than one credit card. A rental agency with your card info can charge the cost of repair to your account, leaving you to hash it out with the card company later.

Contact the credit card company and ask for coverage details and limitations before you rent and go with the one that offers the best protection.

Most credit cards won’t insure luxury or exotic vehicle rentals.

Canada: Insurance Institute releases report on automated vehicles

Canada: Insurance Institute releases report on automated vehicles

As semi-automated and fully-autonomous vehicles make their way to Canadian roads, accountability is something more and more people are beginning to question.

If a driver is not really driving, then who is held at fault in an accident? Over the next 10 years, the insurance industry will be asking itself this question along with many more.

The Insurance Institute’s recently released report, Automated Vehicles: Implications for the Insurance Industry in Canada, assesses the future of automated vehicles in Canada over the next 5-10 years and asks questions just like this.

It’s clear that as technology progresses, it is not the physical capabilities of autonomous vehicles that will be open for debate. Rather, it will be the legislation that goes along with them.

The Insurance Institute of Canada says the report is a “call to action for Canada’s insurance industry to become engaged in discussions with automakers, regulators, and others who will influence the introduction of semi-automated and self-driving vehicles in Canada, and to become a champion for the expected reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries.”

The report looks into how autonomous vehicles will impact road safety, road infrastructure, as well as insurance premiums and policy coverage. It also discusses how autonomous vehicles will lower traffic injuries and fatalities in what the report calls the greatest change in the automotive industry since the introduction of motor vehicles.

You can read more and download the full report here.

Source: AutoServiceWorld

Auto insurance: a necessary evil for many Quebecers

While there are more than 5 million vehicles on the roads in Quebec, a new survey indicates many Quebecers still do not understand how their auto insurance works.

Claims settlement in particular is still a fuzzy concept for most drivers. A recent SOM survey conducted on behalf of the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA) clearly demonstrates this:

  • 23% of motorists believe the police must be called after an accident, even if nobody is injured.
  • 42% do not know that their insurer takes into account their responsibility in a collision in order to compensate them.
  • 44% think that they still have to pay the deductible specified in the contract, even in the event of a collision for which they are not at fault.

More importantly, 69% of Quebec drivers are unaware that their contract covers them following a collision for which they are not liable, even if they have no coverage for damage to their vehicle—a surprising fact that suggests some policyholders are not benefitting from their insurance when they need it.

“We know that insurance is not a favourite topic among consumers, but since motorists are required to be insured, it is in their best interest to know what their policy covers,” says Anne Morin, head of public affairs at the GAA.

Ms. Morin encourages policyholders to inquire about their coverage and to check to make sure their policy meets their needs. “A better understanding of why we pay a premium not only increases our level of satisfaction but also contributes to ensuring we have the right coverage,” she adds.

Persistent myths

While the public at large is familiar with the ratings criteria used by insurers, the myth that a red car costs more to insure persists. One in five policyholders (21%) still believes that the colour of their car affects the amount of their premium, when in reality this is not true.

As to the Joint Report, 60% of respondents assume it is used to establish liability following an accident, while its actual purpose is to report a new claim to a driver’s insurer. And finally, as for Quebec’s Fichier central des sinistres automobiles (automobile accident central registry), 59% of those surveyed are unaware that, when an accident occurs, the claim is registered on behalf of the custodian of the vehicle, in other words in the name of the person who was driving it at the time of the collision.

A tool to understand claims settlement

To help consumers navigate the process, the GAA has created a tool that explains the different steps involved in claims settlement. It is available on the site. It is also possible to obtain information on claims settlement and on insurance in general or through the Insurance Information Centre at 1 877 288-4321.

About the GAA

The mission of the Groupement des assureurs automobiles is to play an active role in developing the automobile insurance industry inQuebec and safeguard consumers’ interests, specifically by guaranteeing access to insurance, simplifying claims settlement, and promoting fair and equitable rates through the publication of statistical data.


SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

SGI: Police catch 359 impaired drivers in May

News Release


Police stopped more than 350 impaired drivers during May’s province-wide traffic safety spotlight on impaired driving.

In total, there were 359 impaired-driving related offences, including:

  • 3 zero Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) offences (applies to new drivers with any BAC level)
  • 5 low BAC offences (applies to experienced drivers with a BAC ranging from .04 to .08)
  • 351 Criminal Code charges such as high BAC (exceeding .08), impaired driving or refusing a breath test

In addition, there were 5,616 speeding/aggressive driving offences, 325 distracted driving offences (225 of those for cellphone use) and 450 seatbelt, car seat or booster seat violations throughout the month1.

SGI reminds motorists to always plan a safe ride home and never get into a vehicle with someone who has been drinking or using drugs.

#PracticeUp Saskatchewan – police continue to focus on new driver safety for the month of June.

View more information about impaired driving and its consequences. Follow SGI on Facebookand Twitter for safety tips to #TakeCareOutThere.

About SGI

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province’s self-sustaining auto insurance fund. SGI operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina. SGI also works with a network of nearly 400 motor licence issuers across the province. Customers can now do some transactions online. Look for the MySGI link underOnline Services on your motor licence issuer’s website or SGI’s website.

• • •


  1. Includes all traffic safety focus results for May submitted by police as of June 17, 2016. back

IBC commends Expert Panel recommendation to replace the Financial Services Commission of Ontario

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) today commented on the recommendations included in the final report from the Expert Panel reviewing the mandate of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO).  The panel’s final report builds on the recommendations in its preliminary report released in the fall of 2015 and favourably aligns with the P&C insurance industry’s input. The recommendations are also grounded in international regulatory principles and reflect recent innovations and best practices in financial services regulation.

In its report, the panel recommends that the Ontario government modernizes financial services regulation by replacing FSCO with a new independent regulatory agency – Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) – with the objective of creating a world-class regulatory system.

“Given the rapid pace of change in the financial world, we believe the new regulator needs to be nimble and foster a strong, vibrant and innovative financial services sector,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, for IBC. “The regulator must be an effective model for excellence for financial sector regulation in Ontario, with a mission to protect and promote a broad range of consumer interests in a manner that is proactively responsive to changing consumer needs, as well as adaptive to new and sometimes disruptive future technologies.”

IBC will encourage the government to move quickly to implement the recommendations through the necessary legislative and regulatory changes and to announce them as early as this fall’s economic statement.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Ontario or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC. If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Only 10 Per Cent of Ontario Drivers Know Policy Details

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