Drivers are required by law to carry auto insurance. You can be fined for failing to have valid auto insurance in British Columbia. The minimum fine is $598.00. If you drive without proper insurance, you may also have your licence suspended, and your vehicle may be impounded.
If you are involved in an accident in a vehicle that is not insured, you may not be able to obtain income replacement or non-earner benefits after your accident. You also may not be able to sue the at-fault driver for compensation if you do not have insurance yourself. In addition, if you are at-fault, you will be forced to pay the victim of the accident through your own pocket, which can be extremely costly.
Factors that Affect Your Auto Insurance Premiums
It is far too risky to drive without auto insurance. Nonetheless, many people continue to drive without proper insurance coverage. Part of the reason that they do this is due to the costs related to obtaining auto insurance.
The premium involved for auto insurance coverage will depend on several factors, including the following.
- The type of vehicle you drive. The kind of vehicle you drive will have a significant effect on how much your insurance premium will be. Each vehicle is more or less expensive to repair compared to the next. It may also be generally safer than other types of vehicles.
- How much and why you drive. Why you drive—whether it is for work or pleasure—will affect your insurance coverage. How much you drive will also affect your coverage. As your time on the road increases, the likelihood that you will be involved in an accident will also increase. If you live close to work, your premium may be lower than someone who lives further away or who uses his or her vehicle for work purposes.
- Where you live. Insurance premiums are often higher in urban areas simply because the chances of being involved in an accident increase when there are more vehicles on the road. More vehicles are also stolen in cities, which affects your insurance premiums as well.
- Your insurance claim history. If you have been involved in several accidents, your premiums will likely be higher than someone who has never been in a crash. Any accident where you were determined to be more than 25 per cent at fault will probably “count against you” when it comes to insurance coverage.
- Your driving record. Your premium may decrease as the time you have been licensed to drive increases and whether you have taken a driver-training course. Driving convictions (such as speeding or a citation for careless driving) can increase your premiums as well. Usually, the first conviction will not do much to your rates, but if you have more than one in the last three years, your premium will likely be affected.
- Your age. Older drivers have a reputation for being more careful on the road, and rightfully so. They also often have more driving experience, which can help them avoid accidents. Drivers over the age of 25 are usually able to purchase insurance at far lower premiums than those 24 years old and under.
The level of protection that you would like and the deductible that you choose will also affect how much your regular premiums will be. As your deductible decreases, your premium will increase, and vice versa.
Your auto insurance is a valuable tool if you have been in an accident or if anything happens to your vehicle. A personal injury lawyer can also be an excellent resource after an accident. Contact Diamond & Diamond Lawyers for more information: 1-800-567-HURT.