Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Renewal of ICBC Vehicle Policy - Things to Consider

If you are receiving your ICBC renewal for your vehicle or applying for ICBC auto insurance for the first time these are very important points to remember:

1. The principal operator of your vehicle must be declared upon renewal. If there is a change, please be sure to give your Autoplan agent the new principal operator's drivers license number. You will be asked to declare the principal operator if applying for Autoplan for the the first time.

2. The territory where the vehicle is primarily operated must be specified and the use for which it is being used. If you are using your vehicle for business, then don't only buy pleasure coverage. You will need both. Otherwise, you run the risk of being denied insurance protection for reason of false representation in the event you are in an accident.


You must take care in advising the Autoplan agent as to who will be the principal operator of the vehicle that you are insuring. If, for example, you state that you will be the principal operator but your son or daughter will be driving the vehicle most of the time, than you run the very real risk of being found in breach of your insurance policy (insurance contract). ICBC will say that you broke your contract because you lied on the application and are therefore not entitled to insurance coverage (protection). This can hurt you financially! For example, if you declared to the Autoplan agent that you are the principal operator (you drive the car most of the time) when in fact your daughter drives the car most of the time (because her driving records would have made the auto insurance much more expensive had she been listed as the principal operator) you would be accused of knowingly making a false representation and would then be forfeiting any claim to indemnity. Put simply, you will personally be responsible for paying the property and personal injury damages your daughter caused. Depending on the severity of the personal injuries, this can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Also, your insurance premium is calculated on the basis of the information you provide to the Autoplan agent. Pleasure use will involve a lower premium than pleasure and transportation to and from work. So, if you tell the agent that you are using the vehicle for pleasure only to get the lower insurance rate (cost) when you are actually using the vehicle for work - you run the risk of being denied coverage for any property and personal injury damage you have caused in an accident. Like the example above, you could be personally responsible.

In the event of an accident, you will face the risk that ICBC will refuse to protect you and may seek recovery from you of any money that it has paid to an injured party either by way of settlement or by way of court order (judgment). Again, provide the proper information to the Autoplan agent. Ask questions to protect yourself. Ignorance of the law is no defense.

Protect your financial future, and your family's, with proper auto insurance. Ask the Autoplan agent if your existing coverage is enough. Ask the agent to explain Underinsured Motorist Protection and assess whether you need extra third party liability coverage to protect you and your family. You don't want to spend your life working to pay off these debts!


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