It may not be a good idea to totally suspend your car insurance even for a short period. You may be left stranded with hefty repair expenses if your car is damaged by unexpected perils. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario regulates the auto insurance industry very closely. As per FSCO, you could ask to suspend your car insurance by submitting form OPCF 16. You could use this endorsement if you do not intend to use or operate your specified vehicle for a period of time.
As per the Ontario Superior Court, the insurer has to offer this form when the insured wants to remove road coverage. By filling out this form, you may request suspension of different coverage on your policy. These include coverage for uninsured automobile, accident benefits, liability and direct compensation-property damage. You could also suspend coverage for any optional loss or damage. When you submit a request to your insurer for coverage suspension of less than 45 successive days by using this form, you may not receive a refund.
What Happens When You Suspend Your Car Insurance
In Ontario, auto insurance policies are sold on an annual or semiannual basis. It is possible to suspend car insurance for a month by informing your insurer. If you pay your car insurance premiums monthly, you may continue payments. You may then get a credit back to the effective date of suspension when you reinstate your policy. The refund for a month of suspension may not be really much. Also, when you suspend your policy for a longer duration, the multi-policy discount savings could get affected.
As per your automobile consumer rights, you may request for changes to your insurance policy at any time. Then the consequences of having a gap in insurance term would also be your concern. Insurance companies do not prefer even short periods of gaps in between terms. You may be considered as high-risk insured due to a temporary suspension of coverage. Though, it may not matter much for a month of suspension. When you decide to start using the car again, you may submit form OPCF 17 for reinstatement of coverage. You may choose to add back the same coverage level as you had before the suspension.
Do You Need Insurance On A Car That Is Not Being Driven
If you plan on not driving your car for some time, you may suspend certain coverage. Based on the duration of the suspension, you may choose to remove optional, additional and road coverage. It is highly recommended to still keep the comprehensive coverage to protect your unused car against perils. These could include damage due to vandalism, missiles, theft, fire, and flood etc. that are beyond your control. You may be required to continue collision and comprehensive coverage as per your specific financing or leasing agreement terms.
When you decide to use your car on the Ontario roads again and bring it out of storage, you may have to do the following:
- Check your license plate as it is mandatory to display updated validation stickers with expiry dates. You may have to pay fines if your license plate is not fully visible.
- Reinstate road insurance coverage about two to three weeks before so that your insurance provider could update your status with the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
- You must hold a permit to confirm your legal ownership of the vehicle.
It is also very crucial that you check if your car adheres to the emission and safety standards as stipulated by the province.
Suspending Auto Insurance During Vacation
You may have to consider many factors if you decide to suspend auto insurance while away on vacation. Certain aspects of your policy may be affected such as accident-free rating, depreciation waiver etc. Some insurance companies do increase the premiums once you are back from vacation and go back to full coverage. You may not save huge amounts and the consequences could vary in terms of how the insurance company may treat your policy.
Using the forms OPCF 16 and OPCF 17 for suspension and reinstatement respectively is suggested if you may be on vacation for a period of at least 45 days. In the case of any attempt to use or operate the vehicle during the suspension period, you may invite penalties and have serious harm to your insurance record. If you drive without proper insurance, you may be convicted and penalized. This could tarnish your driving record and your insurance company may refuse your renewal or increase your premiums.