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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

When should I contact my insurance company?

Many people believe that the only time you contact your insurance company is when you sign a policy and when you make a claim. The truth is that there are a number of instances when it is essential to talk to you insurance agent. Certain changes to your home, vehicle or business could mean changes to your level of risk, and so it is incumbent upon you to act in good faith and notify your insurance company.

When you move
Moving means obvious changes for your home insurance, but it could also affect your car insurance premiums as well. Different regions of the country, or even neighbourhoods in a city, come with different risks. Moving from a plush suburban neighbourhood to one in the downtown core could mean that your vehicle is at a greater risk of theft. Typically speaking, you will pay more for insurance the closer you are to the downtown core of a city.

When you change your driving habits
Your insurance rates are calculated based on the amount of driving you do. If you commute frequently over long distances, you will face a greater risk of collision than if you use the car to pick up groceries twice a week from a nearby market. Statistically, the more you drive, the more likely it is that you will be in a collision. Therefore, since a change in your driving habits will have a bearing on the amount of risk you expose yourself to, it is essential that you tell your insurance company.

When you change the level of security for your home, business or vehicle
If you have had any modifications done to your home, business, or vehicle that reduce or increase the level of security from theft, it is important that you talk to your insurance company. Since these modifications have an affect on how exposed you are to a certain risk, they will also affect your insurance premiums. In keeping with the policy of Utmost Good Faith, you are required to inform your insurance company of such changes.

While this is not an extensive list of the situations in which you should talk to your insurance company, but they outline some of the more prominent ones. Generally, you can use your common sense: will a certain change affect the amount of risk that I am experiencing? If the answer is yes, it's best to talk to your agent or broker. 

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