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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

4 Reasons to Contact Your Insurance Company

As an insurance policy holder, there are a number of changes that you are obliged to discuss with your insurance company. Insurance works on the concept of "Utmost Good Faith," meaning that you and your insurance provider must be honest with each other about anything that could affect your policy. At the Insurance Experts blog, we have compiled 4 of the major reasons to call your insurance company.

1. Increase or decrease in usage
When you first purchase a policy with an insurance company, they will ask a number of questions with regards to how often you plan on using the vehicle. They will often ask you how long your commute is, how often you use your vehicle for pleasure trips, and what proportion of your vehicle's usage is for business. You'll often arrive at an estimated number of kilometres a year and your insurance company will adjust your premiums based on that amount.

If you find that you're using your vehicle more frequently, or less frequently, you should contact your insurance company. Additional use of the vehicle increases your likelihood of a collision, since you are more exposed to the dangers of the road. Conversely, if you use your vehicle much less than expected, you are less of a risk because you aren't on the road as often. If you're finding it difficult to estimate how much time you're using your vehicle, keep a logbook in your glove compartment to record trip lengths and trip purposes. If you are using your vehicle for business more than you had originally thought, this is also something to mention.

2. Modifications to your vehicle
Making significant changes to your vehicle may affect your premiums. You don't need to worry about reporting a new steering wheel cover or replacement floor mats, but major structural changes to the vehicle should be noted. For instance, performance mods like a new suspension or turbocharger should be reported. Additionally, changes to the vehicle that make it an increased theft risk, such as new rims or bodywork, should be reported. If you're in doubt, call your insurance company and ask.

3. Change of address
Your neighbourhood is taken into account when calculating your premiums. Living in the downtown core of a major city entails certain risks that do not affect those living in small rural communities; additional traffic and crime typically mean that urban-dwellers are subject to higher premiums. Even within cities, different neighbourhoods have different levels of risk. Therefore, if you move you should make sure to contact your insurance company.

4. Driver changes
If at any point an additional driver begins to use a vehicle on a regular basis, be sure to contact your insurance company. If your son or daughter reaches the driving age, you should let your insurance company know. If a neighbour needs to use the vehicle to pick up groceries every week, you should let your insurance company know. Changes to the drivers of a vehicle mean that the risk of insuring that vehicle changes. Again, if you're ever in doubt about what changes should be made known to your insurance company, don't hesitate to ask your insurance company.

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