Should I have auto insurance?

If you own a vehicle, you should have adequate liability, collision and comprehensive, accident and medical benefits coverage. Liability coverage pays if you injure someone else or damage another vehicle. It also pays if another party hurts you or damages your car, but doesn't have liability insurance. Collision insurance may pay to repair your car if it is damaged in a crash. Comprehensive coverage may pay for other forms of damage like fire and theft. Accident and medical benefits coverage pays medical expenses and disability and death benefits and is usually mandatory.

Should I have home insurance?

While the government doesn't require you to purchase home insurance, your mortgage-holder probably will - at least enough to cover its share of ownership. There are various kinds of home insurance that cover general and specific kinds of damage to your home, and you should discuss these carefully with us. You may also buy specialized insurance to cover a condominium, home business or other kind of property or valuables found in the home. Home insurance includes liability coverage for people who are hurt on your property.

Should I have tenant insurance?

Most people are surprised at the value of their personal property if they were to add it up and have to replace it all immediately. Think about your furniture, clothing, electronic equipment, and then try to put a price tag to it all. So you may not think that you have much, but tenant insurance will take care of you. Also, tenant insurance provides coverage for: Additional Living Expenses (if you had to vacate your premises due to an insured peril), Personal Liability (if you unintentionally cause bodily injury or property damage), Premises Liability (legal liability arising out of your occupancy), Tenant's Legal Liability (for unintentional damage to the premises or contents you are renting).

Do I need insurance for my small home business?

You should consult with us regarding your home business to ensure you have the proper insurance coverage. Thefts, injuries or even a house fire may not be covered if related to your business. What is more, it's likely that if you have not disclosed the existence of the home-based business to your insurance company, your home insurance policy will be voided and none of your loss will be covered.

What's the difference between an insurance broker and an insurance agent?

Insurance agents only sell insurance for the one company that they represent. Insurance Brokers represent many different companies which enable them to shop for the coverage and price best suited to their customers needs. Essentially, brokers work for the customer not the company.

How can I lower my auto insurance premium?

Increase your deductible or your share of the cost of a claim. By increasing the amount you are willing to pay, you will decrease your premiums; dropping collision coverage on an older car; package deals for insuring your car and home or more than one car with the same insurance company; installing an approved anti-theft device in your vehicle and choosing a car with a lower-cost insurance rating. In addition, drivers can further lower their insurance premium by:

  • Building a consistent accident and conviction-free track record
  • Adjusting how your car is used. If you live in a metropolitan area, consider taking public transit to work to keep annual kilometres down
  • Checking with us to see about excluding certain high-risk drivers from a policy so that good drivers are not penalized with a higher premium
  • Ensuring that the insurance company has an accurate VIN record for the car. The VIN is your car's identity - what insurers use to confirm the kind of car you drive

Obviously, some cars are more expensive to insure. You could be paying the premiums for a different - more expensive make or model - car.

What is a deductible?

That is the amount you pay should a you have a claim. A home policy has a minimum deductible of $500.00 which can go as high as $5,000.00. Your car policy has two sections that have deductibles. The Collision section starts at $500.00 and your Comprehensive (which is basically Fire, Theft, Vandalism and Glass breakage) starts at $300.00.

What does No Fault mean?

No-fault insurance means that if you are injured or your car is damaged in an accident, you deal with your own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. However since a fault chart exists for rating purposes, if you caused the accident your rates may increase.

How quickly can I get the insurance?

You can get an insurance policy immediately. We don't need any lead time to write a policy. As long as you have all the documentation we require a policy can be written the moment you call us. We can also write a policy for people who live anywhere in Ontario and Alberta as well. Emailing a scanned application along with a liability card with payment made by you online or by Credit Card binds coverage immediately.

If I let someone else drive my vehicle, am I still covered?

Yes, however your rating will be affected should that driver have an accident that is considered at fault by the fault determination chart. (Example: If the driver rear ends another party your policy rating may change on the next renewal).

Does the colour of my vehicle make a difference in the premium?

The colour of your car does not affect your premium and you will not be asked to specify the colour of your vehicle on your auto insurance application.

Are all Driver Training Schools accepted by insurance companies?

No, only schools that offer 10 hours in the classroom and 25 hours behind the wheel. See the list of approved schools here.

My son/daughter just got their G1 license, do I have to add them to my insurance or let you know?

No, you don't have to add him/her, if you wish to notify us that is optional. Rating begins when they get a G2 either 8 months from the G1 date if they take driver training or 1 year after that if they don't take driver training.

My son will be moving to the United States temporarily to attend school. He will be driving his own car there. Does he need to purchase U.S. insurance?

As long as he still has a permanent residence in Canada and is just away to attend school, he can continue to use his Canadian insurance policy. However, you should advise us if you are going to be living in a different geographical area, even on a temporary basis. The insurance company will then alter the premium to reflect the increased (or decreased) risk of the insured driving in that area.

Will my auto insurance cover me if I hit a deer or other wildlife?

Yes, if you have comprehensive coverage the damage caused to your vehicle will be covered.

Will my insurance cover me if there is a natural disaster?

Some damage is covered and some isn't. For example, damage to your house caused by wind or hail is generally covered by home insurance. Damage caused by flooding from a river or stream or earthquakes is generally not covered. You can buy coverage for earthquake however for an additional premium.

How does an accident affect my rate?

Being involved in an accident does not guarantee a higher insurance bill. Insurance companies carefully consider many factors before making any decision about changing your premium as a result of an accident, including the cause and severity of the accident, accident forgiveness eligibility and your claims history.

Will my home insurance cover me for damage caused by flooding due to spring run-off or the melting of snow?

Damage caused by melting or moving snow is generally not covered by home insurance as it relates to the seeping in through the foundation. Home insurance is meant to help policyholders cope with the financial consequences of unpredictable events that are "sudden and accidental." Predictable or preventable events are not covered. These are called "uninsurable perils."

Why does the insurance company always increase the dwelling limit on my house each renewal when I don't ask them to?

An inflationary increase is normally added at renewal to keep up with the increase cost of construction.

Why is the rebuilding cost for insuring my home so much higher than what I could sell it for?

Generally speaking, the cost to rebuild a home is $175 to $200 per square foot. Most builders costs are less when they first build your home since it is usually part of a subdivision project. The cost to rebuild a single home after a fire just, like a custom built home, is much higher.

Can I pay with credit card?

Yes all companies we represent except payment by Credit Card.

If I miss a payment, will my insurance get cancelled right away?

At Sutherland's we take pride in providing you, our customer, every opportunity to make the payment on time. We will contact you by email or phone before we cancel your policy. Generally speaking you have 15 days past the renewal date before any cancellation will take place.

Can we get Life Insurance and Financial Advice through your office?

Yes, please follow the link on our website and one of our representatives will contact you. Still have questions? Please contact us at 1-800-263-1032 toll free within Canada.

Can I Pay through Internet Banking?

To Pay Your Sutherland's Account through Internet Banking, click here to download instructions. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files. Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

To pay your premiums online with Credit Union: We now have an agreement with the Credit Union Central of Ontario. Our clients who deal with one of the credit unions in Guelph (click to view map of locations) can now pay John Sutherland and Sons with online banking.

Now, our customers in British Columbia can also pay their bills online. The Credit Union Central of British Columbia will now be accepting online payments to John Sutherland and Sons.