Have a question about insurance? You’ve come to the right place!
Chances are, you’re not the only one wondering. So we’ve put together questions about home and auto insurance right here. You can also find information about your premiums in the FAQs.
Car Insurance Questions
WHAT DO I DO IF I AM INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT?
Accidents are very stressful. We suggest that you keep a copy of the Glove Box Accident Form in your vehicle. It will help you ask key questions and record important information if you are in an accident.
After an accident:
- Make sure you and your passengers are not injured
- If you can, move your vehicle safely out of traffic. If you can't, lock the doors and safeguard your valuables.
- Call the police if necessary (see question below)
- Report the claim as soon as possible by calling us directly at any time.
- Exchange basic information with the other drivers involved such as name, drivers licence number, address.
- If your car is not driveable, we can help you arrange for towing and safe storage of your vehicle while you take time to collect your thoughts and make an informed choice on repairs
- Your RSA Claims Representative can assist you in finding a reputable repair firm.
- If you choose to have the work done at a RSA Approved and Authorized Auto Repair Centre, we'll guarantee the repair for as long as you own the car and remain insured with us.
WHEN SHOULD POLICE BE CALLED AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
Call the police if there are injuries or if you believe the damages will exceed the amount listed in the table below. In certain urban areas, the police may ask you to attend a Collision Reporting Centre instead of attending the scene of the accident. If so, bring your drivers license, ownership and insurance documentation with you as well as the details about the other driver and any witnesses.
- Alberta - $1,000
- British Columbia - $500
- Manitoba - Any damage
- New Brunswick - $400
- Newfoundland - $1,000
- Northwest Territories - Any damage
- Nova Scotia - $500
- Ontario - $1,000
- Prince Edward Island - $1,000
- Quebec - $500
- Saskatchewan - $500
- USA - Any damage
- Yukon - $1,000
HOW CAN I BE SURE I HAVE PROPER INSURANCE COVERAGE?
DOES A DEDUCTIBLE ALWAYS APPLY?
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY VEHICLE IS DAMAGED IN AN ACCIDENT BUT I DON'T HAVE PHYSICAL DAMAGE COVERAGE?
IS A RENTAL CAR SUPPLIED TO ME IF I HAVE AN ACCIDENT?
- In Ontario, if you are involved in an accident in which another driver is determined to be 100% at fault, your own insurance company, under the Direct Compensation Agreement (DCA), will supply you with a rental vehicle while yours is being repaired.
- If fault for an accident is determined to be shared by both yourself and another driver and you have not purchased coverage under the Loss of Use Endorsement (see Additional Coverages section on your own policy), you will only receive partial coverage for the total cost of a rental vehicle in the proportion that the other driver is determined to be at fault.
- If you are involved in an accident where either you are 100% at fault or fault is shared by both yourself and another driver and you have purchased coverage under the Loss of Use Endorsement (see Additional Coverages section on your own policy), your insurer will provide you with a rental vehicle while yours is being repaired.
ARE THE CONTENTS OF MY CAR COVERED?
IS MY CAR COVERED IF SOMEONE ELSE IS DRIVING IT?
Yes, provided the person who is driving it is:
- legally entitled by law to operate a motor vehicle,
- is using it with your permission,
- has not committed an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada while operating your vehicle, and
- has not contravened the prohibited uses clause as outlined in your policy (eg. Racing)
ARE ALL ANTI-THEFT DEVICES EQUALLY EFFECTIVE?
WILL MY PREMIUM LIKELY GO UP IF I AM INVOLVED IN ONE NOT-AT-FAULT ACCIDENT?
HOW IS AT FAULT DETERMINED IN AN ACCIDENT?
In Ontario, fault is determined according to Fault Determination Rules which are part of the Insurance Act. The Fault Determination Rules outlines different accident scenarios. Fault and degree of fault is allocated to each driver based on which scenario most closely fits the accident.
Once you have reported the circumstances of an accident to your insurance adjuster, he or she will speak to the adjuster representing the other party and agree on the fault allocation. Extenuating circumstances, such as slippery road conditions, don't enter into the decision.
In other provinces, fault may be determined by settlement charts or fault may be determined based on common law and the existing rules of the road.
HOW LONG DOES AN ACCIDENT OR CONVICTION STAY ON YOUR RECORD?
Home Insurance Questions
WHAT DOES HOME INSURANCE COVER? WHY DO I NEED IT?
Home insurance provides protection against loss or damage to your home and personal belongings. It also helps protect your financial assets against financial loss in the event of a lawsuit against you. For example, if someone is injured in your home, your home insurance (which includes liability protection) will provide you with legal defence in the event of legal action brought against you. There are exclusions and limitations that may eliminate or restrict coverage provided by your policy. We have a number of Optional Additional Coverages that are available to meet your needs. Be sure to discuss your needs with your broker.
Home insurance is often necessary to secure mortgage financing - your bank will want to ensure they will be reimbursed in the event of loss or damage to the property. Even if you don't have a mortgage, home insurance ensures that you assets are protected from loss. For example, if you don't carry insurance and your home is destroyed by fire, most people can't afford to rebuild their home.
WHO IS COVERED?
Your property insurance policy covers the person who is named in the policy and the following individuals provided they live in the same household
- Your spouse
- Relatives of both you and your spouse
- Any person under 21 in your care
- Dependent student temporarily residing away from home to attend a school, college or university
HOW MUCH INSURANCE DO I NEED?
ARE THERE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF HOME INSURANCE I CAN PURCHASE?
DOES MY HOME INSURANCE PROVIDE ENOUGH COVERAGE ON ALL OF MY HOME'S CONTENTS?
WHAT IF I HAVE A LOSS?
If you have suffered a loss for which you are insured, you should inform your broker or your insurer directly of your loss. If there has been a burglary or theft, the police must also be informed. You will be required to supply information about the loss.
You should take reasonable steps to protect against additional damage. For example, if a pipe has burst, shut off the water supply.
Do not dispose of damaged goods without first getting our approval. Depending upon circumstances, we may arrange assistance for temporary repairs. For example, such as covering a damaged roof or boarding over a broken picture window.
SHOULD I MAKE A CLAIM WITH EVERY LOSS?
This is a very personal decision. Before making a home insurance claim, you should consider the cost of the damage compared to your deductible. The deductible is the initial amount of a claim that you've agreed to pay.
If the difference is negligible, you may choose not to make a claim as it may mean losing your "no-claim discount" which would result in a premium increase. In determining the rates we charge, consideration is given to the claims in the last five years. Your broker can help you in making your decision.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE PHOTOS OR RECEIPTS FOR ALL MAJOR ITEMS IN MY HOME?
In the event of a loss, you will be asked to supply a list of your possessions and a record of their value. Original sales receipts for major items are the best way to show ownership and the cost of these items. Taking photos of your personal belongings in your home is also helpful and can speed up the time it takes to settle your claim. Service or maintenance records can also be relevant.
It is often difficult to remember all the details of your personal belongings, therefore, we suggest that you video tape or photo your belongings, and keep a detailed inventory list. This information should be kept in another location to ensure it is available in the event of a loss. Many people store this information in a safety-deposit box or another secure location.
DO I NEED TO HAVE HOME INSURANCE ON A HOUSE THAT IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION?
A home under construction is also subject to loss or damage. In addition, it creates an additional exposure to injury. Depending on the arrangement, you may be required to insure the home. You should check with your broker and builder regarding this.
If you are renovating, you will need to inform your broker of this change in risk in order to ensure adequate coverage is maintained.
DOES MY HOME INSURANCE POLICY COVER ME FOR SEWER BACKUPS?
Wind Storm PROPERTY Questions
My property has been damaged. Am I supposed to wait to do anything before I have heard or seen my adjuster?
No. There are conditions in your insurance policy that give you permission to take steps to prevent further damage to your home, such as safely taking steps to patch a roof, or remove a section of damaged fence to prevent it from causing further damage. This would also include taking initiative to contact someone do these repairs such as a handyman, roofer or contractor.
We also encourage you to take photographs of any damages before and after emergency services or repairs have been undertaken.
If a tree falls in my yard, do I have a claim?
There is NO coverage for damage to a tree, shrub, bush or lawn caused by wind. However, if the tree strikes or causes damage to your home, deck, garage, fence or shed, we will reimburse you the amount minus your deductible, or arrange to have someone remove the tree to allow access and make the necessary repairs. Please take photos, retain all receipts and relevant documentation to present to your adjuster.
What happens if the tree in my yard or on my house belongs to my neighbour?
If the tree belongs to your neighbour and it has not damaged your property, we would recommend that you simply work with your neighbour to have the tree removed. If that tree damages your property (house, fence, shed etc.), coverage would apply. Under these circumstances, we would also pay the cost of removing that portion of your neighbours tree off your damaged property to conduct the repairs, but we would not remove the tree from your neighbour’s property. Normal practices is to remove your neighbour’s tree to the property line.
What happens if my shared fence is damaged?
If your shared fence is damaged, it would be handled and appraised the same way as if you owned the entire fence, and we would settle for your share of the fence only. The repair would have to be coordinated between yourself and your neighbour. You are still responsible for your full applicable deductible.
What should I do if I get my own contractor or roofer?
You are fully within your rights to have your own contractor view your roof, and complete any directly related emergency services or repairs. We would suggest that you photograph the damaged area first and/or have the contractor take photographs and provide you with copies. A reputable contractor will provide a detailed estimate of the required repairs. We encourage you to use a service you are familiar with, has been referred by a friend, family or neighbour. Caution: before you sign anything, take the time to fully read and comprehend the contents of the document. It is wise to do your research and ensure the vendor is fully insured.
Can I go ahead and have my repairs done by my own contractor or roofer?
If your house is exposed to the elements and in danger of having further damages, we would encourage you to arrange temporary repairs to reduce the threat of more damages. You can proceed with repairs, however to ensure the ease of your claim, we would ask that you obtain photographs of the damages and of the repairs; obtain a detailed estimate for repair of the direct related damages and obtain the invoice/proof of payment to submit to your adjuster.
How long will it take for a contractor to come out and perform Emergency Services?
Generally it can take 1 to 5 days on average. However, we are unable to guarantee a specific time frame due to the volume of windstorm claims experienced by the industry.
Therefore, we caution fence, decks, gazebos and sheds, for example are lower priority situations which may take several weeks to address. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may pose, however you may want to expedite your situation by obtaining your own trades people.
When will I hear from my adjuster?
Our adjusters have made contact on all current claims. We have centralized all of our windstorm claims with a specialized catastrophe team. They are in the process of communicating with our customers to provide you with their contact information. We are generally making contact on any new claims the same day as it is received by our claims department.
To prevent further delays, we would encourage contact with your adjuster only on urgent matters, otherwise the adjuster will be in contact with you to keep you apprised on the progress of your claim.
What do I do if I cannot live in my home?
If the wind damage has made your house uninhabitable, then the policy would cover the reasonable “Additional Living Expenses” you incur until your house is liveable again. We would ask that you keep all receipts of expenses incurred to present to your claim adjuster.
How do I find out my policy coverage, the amount of my deductible and if there are any limitations of the amount paid on my policy?
Once your claims adjuster has been assigned your claim, they will reach out to you to advise you of your specific coverages, deductible and any potential limitations.
Do I get full compensation for my damages or will I receive a depreciated settlement?
Most insurance policies are now based on Replacement Cost, however there still a number of policies out there that are settled on what is called an Actual Cash Value basis or depreciated basis. This will be communicated to you by your adjuster.
What do I do if I have lost power because of a downed power line?
Please take steps to prevent further damage to your home by retaining an electrician and/or reporting the matter to your local Power Utility. Please photograph the damages and keep receipts for any expenditures in restoring power to your home to present to your adjuster. Please be alert for any downed power lines and stay far away!
Can I throw out my damaged items?
It would be our preference that you do not throw out any damaged property until you have spoken with your claims adjuster. However, given the sheer volume of claims, should you be required to dispose of any items you are wanting to claim, please make a list of the damaged content(s), including make, model and age and take a photograph to present to your adjuster. Having a completed list of damaged contents with the original price paid, will also help expedite the settlement of your claim.
Travel Insurance Questions
Does my workplace health insurance plan cover travel insurance?
It may and it may not. Before travelling, be sure to read your group plan benefits booklet/contract to learn about the existing travel coverage you may have through your employer's plan. If your plan does offer travel protection, be aware of possible coverage limitations (such as benefit limits, number of days away, age limits, coverage exclusions) and coverage that's not included (such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, or lost baggage).
If you need to supplement your current travel protection, we can assist with options to top-up group coverage for additional days of coverage or provide coverage that's not available through group plans.
Does my credit card cover these costs when I travel?
Some credit cards may include travel insurance, so it's very important that you carefully review what your credit card offers. If your credit card does offer travel insurance, be sure to read and understand the coverage as well as the limitations of the coverage before you travel. Ask yourself these key questions:
- Does my credit card coverage protect my entire family?
- Is the coverage only valid if part or all of the travel arrangements were paid for with the credit card that includes the travel insurance?
- Does the coverage provide for both medical and non-medical benefits (such as trip cancellation, trip interruption or lost baggage)?
- Does an age limit apply?
- Does the coverage adequately cover all my potential needs?
- Does my credit card allow for top-ups should I wish to travel longer than the number of days offered?
If in doubt about any of the above, don’t take chances – call your broker to learn about the travel protection options they can provide to you and your family.
Does the government pay for all health-care costs when I travel?
Contrary to popular belief, provincial health insurance plans do not cover all financial losses incurred due to a medical emergency outside your home province or territory – in fact, some costs are not covered at all (such as ambulance charges, emergency return to your home province or returning your vehicle if you are unable to drive it back following a medical emergency). Medical care in the U.S. and many places around the world can be very expensive. Without proper travel insurance coverage, not only would payment be the responsibility of the traveller but so would the coordination of assistance required.
Even when travelling to another Canadian province, your provincial health insurance plan will only cover financial losses incurred due to a medical emergency up to the amount that would be reimbursed if the incident had occurred in your home province, as the cost of medical services varies by province and territory.