Most people understand that it's important to build a credit history by responsibly managing financial loans to get access to higher lending limits. Still, only some realize it's vital to build a solid insurance history to access the best coverage options for your unique insurance needs.
This guide from the team of experienced brokers at Morison Insurance explains why it's so important to grow your insurance history over time, as well as some tips on how to get started building a strong insurance history that will benefit you throughout your lifetime. Having the right insurance coverage for your family, property, and lifestyle is essential financial protection that you can't go without. The nature of your insurance history can impact your ability to get the most optimal coverage.
By taking care to start your insurance history outright and maintain it through the decades, you can gain some advantages—but most importantly, you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing the best available insurance policies back you for your specific requirements, and if a catastrophe occurs, you'll be financially protected from the associated costs.
When considering the advantages of an insurance history and why it's so important to have one, we first have to note that your insurance history can be positive or negative depending on factors such as your driving record and how many claims you've filed over the years.
Sometimes there's simply no avoiding adding a tick to your claims history—you buy insurance to get financial protection in specific scenarios. If those situations arise, of course, you need to make a claim. But there are steps you can take to help protect your insurance history and reap the rewards of a solid insurance record. For example, cautiously maintaining a clean driving record will reduce the possibility that you'll need to make a claim.
Making sure you have coverage through the years—even when it isn't legally mandatory, such as tenant insurance or business insurance—is also a big factor in maintaining a strong, uninterrupted insurance history. This will signal to insurance providers that you are low-risk, responsible and fully understand the value of insurance across multiple parts of your life, from home and auto to business and lifestyle.
You may be wondering how exactly a solid insurance history can benefit you. Here are some of the main advantages of building a strong insurance history.
One of the biggest benefits of a good insurance history is that it gives you access to more options for coverage from a greater variety of insurance providers. Insurance is not a one-size-fits-all type of product—far from it. Each policy is unique because each policyholder is unique and may need types of coverage or higher limits that aren't necessary for the next person.
At Morison Insurance, our brokers focus on finding the best coverage to suit your individual needs, lifestyle and property. Still, we also need to consider what you're eligible for based on factors such as your insurance history. When you're backed by a strong insurance history that showcases a long, uninterrupted, positive claims status, more insurance carriers are willing to offer you coverage and more options available for types of coverage. In addition, you may be able to get higher limits on your policy if you need or want them for your financial protection.
Another big reason it's essential to maintain your insurance history carefully is that it can net you preferred premiums. When insurance providers evaluate your eligibility for coverage, they complete a risk assessment that tells them how likely you are to get into a situation where you need to file a claim. Your insurance history plays into that in a big way because it offers some pertinent information about how cautious and responsible you've been in the past—and of course, past behaviour is a powerful indication of future behaviour.
Suppose insurance carriers assess you as being low-risk. In that case, they will be more likely to offer you incentives to choose their coverage in the form of preferred premiums and basic insurance discounts because they're betting that you won't need to file a claim, or at least fewer claims than a high-risk individual. Since you're less likely to cost your insurance provider a lot in the long run, they can afford to pass some savings along to you by reducing your overall costs.
Sometimes in your life, you may need to switch from one insurance provider to another, change your coverage options and limits, or add additional policies to your insurance portfolio. For example, if you move to a new location, change your household through marriage or having children, or acquire expensive belongings that aren't adequately covered by your current limits.
Everyone encounters changes and challenges throughout life, and those circumstances can cause a shift in your insurance needs. When your life is in a period of upheaval and uncertainty—even if it's a very positive and welcome change like the birth of a new baby or moving to start a new job in another province—it can sometimes feel overwhelming. The last thing you need is the added stress of wondering if you can get the right insurance coverage to meet the changing requirements of your household. With a great insurance history behind you, you can expect a smooth transition for your coverage that makes it a lot easier to focus on the big picture and keep your attention on what matters most to you without investing worry and stress in the question of what's going to happen with your insurance.
As the years go by and circumstances change, you may consider cancelling your insurance coverage for one reason or another. Before you go ahead and do that, take the time to speak with your Morison Insurance broker and learn more about how that cancellation may affect your insurance history. The cancellation and break in your coverage could impact factors such as coverage availability and premium costs in the future.
Insurance carriers value a continuous insurance history because it demonstrates that you value insurance and are committed to caring for yourself and your property in a responsible manner. Conversely, suppose there are unexplained or unjustified breaks in your insurance history. In that case, it could signal to insurance companies that you are a higher risk, and they should exercise extra caution or decline to insure you altogether.
That being said, there are some situations where you must cancel your insurance through no fault. For example, suppose you had a car and decided to sell it because you don't want to drive anymore. In that case, it's reasonable to cancel your auto insurance, and the reason for the cancellation will be noted on your policy. Suppose you decide a few years later that you're tired of riding your bike to work and want to drive again. In that case, insurance providers will see that you cancelled for understandable reasons, and it likely won't have a negative impact on your insurance history. That's why it's so important to discuss the cancellation with your broker beforehand, so you completely understand the potential ramifications for your insurance history.
Most people are required to get some insurance relatively early in their adult life, so if your insurance history is a blank slate, you are likely a younger person just starting out. Because you don't have any insurance history to speak of, you cannot access all the same coverage options, policy limits and premium costs as someone with a long, uninterrupted, claim-free insurance history. But that's okay—on the positive side, you don't have a bad insurance history dragging you down, either.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and insurance carriers recognize that. But your insurance history isn't the only aspect they look at for risk assessment, so your options and rates are more likely to be impacted by factors such as your age, and you'll have a higher premium than a more experienced driver who has proven themselves over a long period. Either way, there are some steps you can take that will make getting the right insurance coverage easier.
One of the biggest things your parents can do to help you build an insurance history is to include you as a listed driver on their auto insurance policy when you start driving and are still living in their house. Even though you're not the policyholder, being included as a listed driver counts towards your insurance history. If you get your driver's license when you're 16 and continue to live with your parents for a few more years as a listed driver on their auto insurance, it's a helpful way to start growing your own insurance history.
Additionally, it's worth noting that since your parents likely have home insurance and you're living under their roof as a dependent, if you choose to buy a home when you move out, their home insurance history could positively impact your home insurance policy. Parents with teenagers at home should talk with their insurance broker about how they can help their children build a strong insurance history.
One way for young people who are just beginning to branch out on their own to make a positive mark on their insurance history is to take courses that help to reduce risk. For example, a new driver who undergoes a beginner driver education course may be able to get a reduction on their premium because they have taken the time to learn about safe, defensive driving practices. Whether or not an insurance carrier accepts a particular course depends on the course and insurance company, so it makes sense to consult with your broker at Morison Insurance about the courses that may apply in your particular situation before you sign up.
Just like there's a huge variety of insurance coverages and options, there are also quite a few different ways for someone who is just getting started on their insurance history to get improved rates and possibly even more types of coverage or higher limits. Those methods vary a lot according to the insurance company in question and other considerations, so it can be difficult to navigate and find all the ways to get the right insurance at a competitive rate—but with a qualified Morison Insurance broker on your side, there's no need to worry. We work hard to track down the best possible insurance for our clients, and that includes recommendations for ways to boost your insurance history. Chat with your broker about your goals for your insurance policy, and we'll give you the information you need to make informed decisions about what's best for you, your property and your household.
Insurance is not a simple topic, so it's hardly surprising that many people are not fully aware of why it's important to have an insurance history. That's why the brokers at Morison Insurance are dedicated to helping clients maneuver through all the ins and outs of getting and maintaining the right insurance for their unique needs and lifestyle choices. As a family-owned and operated business, we are committed to treating our clients like members of our own family, and you can trust us to work tirelessly on your behalf. We invite you to call our experienced, friendly team of brokers at 1-800-463-8074, or request a quote online to learn more information.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.