Top 16 Questions to Ask Before Getting a Home or Auto Online Insurance Quote

What To Ask When Shopping for Online Insurance Quotes

When shopping around for home and auto insurance, it's imperative to not only look at a few different options but also to ask the right questions, so you can be as informed as possible before making such a big decision.

At Morison Insurance, our team of licensed, expert brokers have access to Ontario's top insurance companies and have built relationships with each company over the years. We are well poised to help you shop for an auto and/or home insurance quote that's perfect for your needs. 

That said, we also believe in empowering our customers by offering upfront, transparent advice and information—which is one of the reasons why our team of experts put together this helpful guide. In it, you'll find a list of the best questions to ask while shopping for your online insurance quotes on your home or auto insurance, as well as tips from our helpful brokers.

Auto Insurance Quote: Top Questions to Ask

Shopping around for auto insurance shouldn't be stressful—yet, there are so many options to choose from. And not just in terms of the range of Ontario insurance companies that are out there, but also in terms of how each policy differs. It's important to have a good understanding of what coverages are available to you, what discounts you're applicable for, and how you can ensure your family is best protected while driving. Be sure to ask these questions when looking for an online insurance quote for your vehicle.

1. Do I Really Need Comprehensive/Collision Coverage?

As a rule of thumb, it's wise for most Ontario drivers to have comprehensive coverage for their vehicle—although this coverage is technically an add-on to your basic auto policy. This coverage insures your vehicle for physical damage, as well as theft, vandalism and non-driving related damages. In a nutshell, it provides financial remuneration for when your vehicle is damaged from most types of risks. Why wouldn't you want comprehensive/collision coverage?

Well, there may be a few rare exceptions to this rule. For instance, if your teenager is driving an old beater as their first car and replacing the value of the car is less than the coverage/deductible, and you'd rather buy a newer vehicle instead, then this coverage may not be worthwhile. Your Morison Insurance broker will be able to offer further insight into whether or not you should purchase comprehensive/collision insurance.

Collision coverage is also wise to add-on to your policy. With collision coverage, your vehicle will be protected from damage if you're deemed to be responsible for causing an accident with another vehicle or object. Some drivers opt out of this coverage, particularly if they have a very strong driving record. That said, it's important to keep in mind that you never know what may come your way—such as accidentally hitting a deer on the highway, or slipping on ice and skidding into a tree.  

2. What Endorsements Are Available? And Which Should I Consider?

Most car insurance policies can be tailored toward your unique needs. Endorsement is how this is done. While there is always basic auto coverage available, endorsements offer extra coverages that provide further protection. A standard auto insurance policy typically includes third-party liability insurance, statutory accident benefits coverage, and direct compensation-property damage coverage. Together, this coverage "covers" the basics: liability against injuring another person or damaging his/her property, benefits for when you're injured and require medical care or financial compensation, and damage to the vehicle or contents. 

However, endorsements can offer much more. A few common endorsements include:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • All perils coverage
  • Loss of use protection
  • Accident forgiveness coverage
  • Vehicle depreciation waiver

Your dedicated Morison Insurance broker can walk you through what endorsements to consider, based on your unique needs and concerns.

3. Am I Eligible for Any Discounts?

Usually, there are a few ways to earn discounts for a car insurance policy—but what these discounts are will vary depending on the provider. Often, insurance companies will provide discounts for clean driving records. They also often provide discounts for drivers that have been insured with said company for a long time—often called a loyalty discount. Since discounts vary per company, it's important to have your Morison Insurance broker walk you through the different discounts that may or may not be available to you.

4. Will My Past Driving Offences Affect My Premiums?

Yes. Unfortunately, it's common for many drivers to underestimate the impact that past traffic tickets can have on their insurance premiums. People often assume that past offences stay on your insurance record for the same amount of time as licence demerits—but this is not the case. Speeding tickets and other traffic infractions can still affect your premiums even after the demerits are gone. It's important you ask your insurer how past offences may affect the cost of your premiums.

5. Do I Need to Add Any Other Drivers to My Policy?

Obviously, if you're the only driver in your household, then you don't need to worry about asking this question. However, if your partner drives or you have children that are of driving age, then it's important to check with your Morison Insurance broker how these additional drivers will impact your policy.

6. Will My Past Claims Impact My Premiums?

Just like how your past traffic infractions will continue to impact your auto insurance premiums, so will your past claims. Usually, one or even two claims will increase your insurance costs-but this increase may go down in time, depending on your provider and if you're able to maintain a claims-free record. However, if you have numerous claims, it may actually be difficult to find an insurance company willing to take you on. Your Morison Insurance broker can walk you through this process, and what your past claims may or may not mean for your present premium.

Home Insurance Quote: Top Questions to Ask 

Whether you're buying auto or home insurance, it's important to know your insurance policy. That way, you won't face any unpleasant surprises when it comes to making a claim or discovering you're not adequately protected. Knowing the right questions to ask before buying a policy is paramount in understanding said policy. And, the good news is that you don't have to undertake this task alone. The experienced brokers at Morison Insurance will ensure you have the absolute best coverage possible. We've looked at some key questions to ask while shopping for car insurance, now let's dive into what queries to make while purchasing an online insurance quote for your home.

1. Is There a Guaranteed Replacement Clause in My Policy, in the Event of a Total Loss?

Some policies may have a payout ceiling that might not cover the total cost of rebuilding your home from the ground up. There are many factors that influence the current cost to rebuild our home, such as property appreciation, changes in building costs, materials, labour force and whether or not you renovated recently. For this reason, it's important to keep your Morison Insurance broker updated on what work has or has not been done in your home, and answer any questions your broker asks about your home as accurately and truthfully as possible.

2. What Coverage and/or Limitations is There For Personal Property and Contents?

As is often the case for home insurance, the more accurate you can be when talking to your Morison Insurance broker, the more accurate your coverage can be—not to mention, it will be better geared towards your unique needs. For instance, you should have an accurate, updated inventory of all your belongings. That way, your broker can help you find the best coverage to protect your personal property—including recommending any floaters or add-ons to your policy to protect high-value items like jewellery.

3. What Are the Requirements for When I'm Away on Vacation?

Did you know you can void your warranty if your home is left unattended for a specific amount of time? This length of time varies per provider, so it's important to make sure you've asked your Morison Insurance broker about this stipulation. Usually, this stipulation is often mitigated by having a friend or family member check on your home every so often—which you'd likely need anyway, to keep your plants alive and to check your mail.

4. What Discounts Do I Qualify For?

Just like when it comes to auto insurance, most providers will offer certain discounts that you may or may not be applicable for. A common home insurance discount offered by insurers is a loyalty discount, as mentioned earlier. Another discount typically offered to homeowners is a mortgage-free discount—which can be useful if you own your home outright.

5. Does My Policy Cover Water Damage? What About Overland Water Damage?

Most standard home insurance policies cover certain types of water damage. However, generally overland water damage is not included in a basic policy. Instead, this coverage is offered as an add-on. Overland water coverage protects you from sudden flooding due to heavy rains, spring run-off or overflowing lakes and rivers.

6. What Coverage is Available for a Home-Based Business?

Home business is becoming increasingly common. If you fall into this category, then it's wise to ask about your insurance options. For example, if clients visit your property, then you need some kind of liability coverage to protect you and your home. Likewise, you may need specific insurance if you store tools or inventory in your home, or in an outbuilding like a shed. A Morison Insurance broker will be able to walk you through everything you need to know about insuring your home-based business.

7. What Endorsements Are Available, and Which Should I Consider?

There are numerous endorsements available to homeowners that go far beyond a standard home insurance policy. Depending on your unique situation, you may want to add some (or all) of the following options to your policy. Your broker will be able to offer detailed guidance on what options are best for you:

  • Guaranteed replacement coverage
  • Overland water coverage
  • Sewer backup damage coverage
  • Ground water damage coverage
  • Identity theft protection
  • Jewellery protection
  • By-law change protection

8. Does this Policy Include Additional Living Expense Coverage?

Many people living in Ontario don't even know about additional living expense coverage. However, it's good to ask your broker whether this coverage is included in your policy. Additional living expense coverage provides financial remuneration for while you're forced to be away from your home after significant damage or a total loss. The cost of living in a hotel, eating out because you don't have access to a kitchen and other expenses can really add-up while you're waiting to move back into your home. It's also sensible to ask questions about what happens if you're forced to evacuate your home in an emergency, such as a forest fire or flood. Knowing the answers to these questions will give you additional peace of mind that you'll receive the best coverage possible.

9. Will My Past Claims Impact My Insurance Premiums?

Yes, just like how your past claims impact your auto insurance premiums, any previous claims you've made regarding your property will impact your home insurance premiums. Most homeowners tend to have one or two claims—if any. So usually this is not cause for concern. However, if you've had numerous or multiple claims, especially recently, you may have trouble finding an insurer to begin with. A Morison Insurance broker can provide deeper insight into just how much your past claims may impact your insurance premiums.

Need An Online Insurance Quote? Talk to Our Brokers Today! 

Are you ready to start your online insurance quote search? Or perhaps you'd rather speak directly with a broker? Either way, our team of professionals can help. Our family-owned business is the top-rated Ontario home insurance brokerage for a reason. We work hard to provide a fantastic experience for all our clients, while ensuring you get the best coverage possible for your insurance needs. To get started, we invite you to give our team a call at 1-800-463-8074. You can also connect with us to get an online insurance quote by filling out our online form.

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.

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