Skip to content
PC Insurance

Auto Insurance FAQs

FAQs Home Page


Auto Insurance

How do I reduce my insurance costs?

There are several things you can do to reduce your insurance premium costs:

Work on your driving record

Here's an easy, yet effective way to bring down your insurance costs: build a consistent accident and conviction-free track record with an insurance company.

Choose your automobile wisely

Do your research before you invest in a new car. Read consumer reports, and check with your insurance company to find out which cars tend to be targets for theft and vandalism.
Remember, if you buy a car with a high theft rate, your premium will be higher.

Adjust how you use your car

By adjusting the way you use your vehicle, you can also bring down the cost of your insurance rates. If you live in a metropolitan area: can you take the subway, train or bus to work? Has your job changed, or have you moved recently? Do you use your automobile to drive a short distance to work? Does your vehicle get used for low annual kilometers?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be entitled to lower insurance costs. Another consideration is whether you let others use your car. It is sometimes possible to exclude certain high-risk drivers from your policy so that good drivers are not penalized with a higher premium.

Choose a higher deductible

If you choose a higher deductible up front, your premiums will be lower.
Review your coverage
Take a closer look at your coverage to make sure you're not paying for things you don't need.

What is insurance?

Insurance is a legal arrangement that protects you and your family in the event of a covered loss. It may enable you to replace income and/or valuable possessions quickly and without undue burden.

What types of insurance are available?

PC® home and auto insurance is available in Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.

PC Financial Travel Insurance To Go is not available in Quebec or New Brunswick.
PC pet and travel insurance is available in all Canadian provinces.

What are my choices in terms of auto coverage?

If you own or drive a vehicle in Canada, you must be insured. Different provinces have different requirements, but the four mandatory elements of auto insurance are:

  1. Liability - if you cause an accident and someone sues you

  2. Accident benefits - if you or someone in your vehicle is hurt in an accident

  3. Direct compensation – property damage (Ontario only)- if your vehicle gets damaged (and it's determined you're not at-fault or only partly at-fault)

  4. Uninsured motorist - if you're in an accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver

Is the insurance industry regulated?

Yes. Each provincial government regulates the sale of insurance. The regulator's role is to ensure quality and fairness for you, the consumer.

Your province's insurance regulators may have a website with valuable information about what you can expect from the insurance industry in your province. Check out the useful auto insurance links.

Why should I have auto insurance?

If you own a vehicle, by law in Canada, you must have the mandatory coverage such as liability, accident benefits, direct compensation-property damage and uninsured motorist. You should also have adequate optional collision and upset coverage and comprehensive coverage to protect your property in case of loss.

  • Liability - covers you for things like legal fees and the cost of settling the claims, up to the limit indicated on your certificate.

  • Accident benefits - may provide benefits for medical costs, including rehabilitation, attendant care and more, disability income to cover lost wages, funeral expenses and death benefits for you, your spouse or dependants.

  • Direct compensation - property damage (Ontario only)- may cover the cost to repair or replace your vehicle and any property inside it, and may provide you with a rental car, if you're in an accident that isn't your fault or is partly your fault.

  • Uninsured motorist - may cover you and any other passengers in your vehicle for injuries. It may also cover damage to your vehicle by a driver who doesn't have insurance, or a hit-and-run driver. In Ontario, you can only make a claim under this coverage if the other vehicle and/or driver can be identified. (If the driver or vehicle can't be identified, this coverage doesn't apply but there still may be benefits for injuries and/or collision under other parts of your policy.)

What do I do if I need to make a claim?

Just call 1-877-251-8656 if you are involved in an accident or suffer another kind of loss. Get more information about making a claim here.

How can I earn PC Optimum points?

When you use your President's Choice Financial MasterCard® to pay your PC auto insurance premium, you'll get 20 PC Optimum points per dollar of your premium. If you use your President's Choice Financial® bank card to pay your PC auto insurance premium, you'll get 10 PC Optimum points per dollar of your premium.

Are other drivers insured to drive my car?

Yes, as long as he/she has your permission to drive the vehicle, has a valid driver's licence and has not been specifically excluded from driving the vehicle. However, all licensed drivers in your household must be listed on your policy—regardless of how often they use your vehicle.

What do collision and upset & comprehensive insurance cover?

Collision and upset insurance covers any damage to your vehicle caused by impact with another vehicle or object, for example a guard-rail, or any damage caused by your car rolling over.
Comprehensive insurance covers other losses, for example due to fire, theft or vandalism.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is the amount that you agree to pay towards the repair or replacement of your vehicle before your insurance pays the rest. You choose your deductible amount when you purchase your auto insurance. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.

How much auto insurance is enough?

Auto insurance is a regulated product. You must have a minimum amount of coverage that is mandated by your provincial government. This minimum coverage may change over time, so for the most up to date minimum coverage, check out your province's website. These links are available in our Additional Resources section.

If you need extra coverage on top of the minimum amounts required, then you are responsible for the shortfall. For example, if you are in an accident in which you damage someone's property and they successfully claim $500,000 in damages, but your policy only covers you for a maximum of $200,000 in damages, then you are responsible for the shortfall. For this reason, many drivers select coverage that is higher than the mandated minimum.
You are not required by law to purchase insurance to cover damages to your automobile. But, if you have a newer automobile, you may want to protect your investment with collision and upset and/or comprehensive coverage. If you're leasing or financing your automobile, the leasing company or bank will require that you insure your automobile for collision and comprehensive coverage. They will not release the funds to purchase the automobile until you commit to that coverage.

I had an accident. What does it mean when my insurance company says I am "at fault/not at fault"?

If you are involved in a car accident and your car is damaged, your insurance company is required, by law, to assign the percentage of fault to each of the drivers involved in the accident. If you are in an accident and yours is the only car involved, you're insurance company will most likely consider it an "at fault" accident (100% at fault). It is possible to be in an accident and be considered "not at fault" (0% at fault) or even "partially at fault" (50% at fault).

Fault is determined using the fault determination rules set out by your province and all insurance companies have to use the same rules. They are designed to help insurance companies deal with accident claims quickly and economically.

What is Ontario's "no-fault"? insurance system?

This is not the same as a "no fault accident" but they are related. In Ontario, the "no-fault insurance system" simply means that if you are injured or your vehicle is damaged in an accident (regardless of which driver caused it) you only have to contact your own insurance company. You don't have to go to court and determine fault first in order to have your claim paid.
This "No fault system" gets your claim settled conveniently, and means you don't have to seek compensation from the other driver or their insurance company.

What if I don't agree with my insurance company's decision about fault?

If you don't agree with the way your insurance company has determined fault, you can do a few things:

First, contact the person your insurance company has appointed to deal with consumer complaints. This is the company's Ombudsman Liaison Officer.

If your complaint is still not resolved, you may contact the General Insurance OmbudService (please note, we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of this website.) If you're still not satisfied with your insurance company's position, you may choose to go to court.

What is the Alberta "grid" system and how does it affect my rates in this province?

In October 2004, the Alberta government created a grid tool to set the maximum price on insurance premiums for the coverage you have to have. The grid system is made up of 3 steps that determine your premium:

Step 1 - determines your base premium

This grid looks at where you live (Edmonton, Calgary or anywhere else in Alberta) and on how much third party liability coverage you choose.

Step 2 - determines the premium for your compulsory coverage

Every insured driver gets a grid level designation based on their years of driving experience, and their at-fault accident claims.

Step 3 - factors in your driving record

This takes into account whether you've had any traffic or criminal code convictions in the past 3 years.

For more information on auto insurance in Alberta , please see Alberta government website - insurance information. Please note, we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of this website.

How are premiums calculated?

Your insurance premium depends on how likely it is that you'll have to make a claim and how much that claim will likely cost. And that depends on:
You, where you live, your driving record, your vehicle, how you use your vehicle, and the coverage and deductibles you choose
The company's experience insuring people and paying claims. The cost of all of the claims the company pays out affects the premiums of everyone it insures.
Your provincial government also has a say in how premiums are set. For instance, in Alberta the government sets the maximum price on insurance premiums for the coverage you have to have in what's called the "grid" system. For more information on how this system determines your rates, click here.
Where you live - If you're a city dweller, for example, accidents and vehicle theft are more likely, which may translate into higher premiums.
The kind of vehicle you drive - Newer, more expensive vehicles cost more to repair or replace, which usually pushes premiums up.
How you use your vehicle - More time on the road means there's a higher chance of an accident. That means higher premiums if you drive a lot or you drive long distances.
Your driving record - Your driving record has a big impact on the premiums you pay. Here are a few examples:
A long driving history with no accidents can help keep premiums down
Every accident where you're at-fault will push your premiums up
Convictions and speeding tickets may also increase your premiums, but parking tickets won't.

I'm moving and I want to get a quote for my insurance, but I don't know my new postal code. When I'm getting a quote, what postal code should I use?

Insurance companies use your postal code to help calculate your insurance rate and this rate can vary. That's why it's best to get a quote once you know your new postal code.
If you're trying to budget and want to get an idea of what you will be paying, choose a postal code that's closest to the area you will be living. Then when you do know your new postal code, you can come back to get a quote that's more accurate.

I can't find my vehicle in the pick list. Why? How do I know what auto coverage to choose?

Most vehicle makes and models are available for online quoting. If you're looking for a brand new vehicle that is not there, it's likely that there has been a delay in getting the information into our quoting system.
To continue with your quote, select the same or closest model of the previous year and continue with your quote. Then, when you are confirming your rate with one of our licensed Insurance Specialists, he or she can update the year of your vehicle and inform you of any rate adjustments.

How do I know what auto coverage to choose?

We'll make sure your online quote includes all the mandatory coverage legally required in your province. You can select optional coverage based on your individual needs. You can always refer to your existing auto policy for some hints. Also, you'll want to confirm your choices with one of our licensed Insurance Specialists, when you purchase your policy.

Can I get insurance coverage for my motor home or RV?

Due to the specialized nature of these vehicles, please call one of our licensed brokers to verify if coverage is available through us.

Can I get a quote for my commercial vehicle?

Due to the specialized usage of these vehicles, this type of coverage is not available through us.

Who do I call if I have an insurance complaint?

If you can't resolve your insurance complaint with your insurance company directly, you may wish to contact the General Insurance OmbudService online or call them at 1-800-387-2880. Please note, we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of this website.

How can I cancel my PC auto insurance policy?

Simply call 1-877-251-8652 and one of our brokers will be able to assist you.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Contact us for more help