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Each province and territory has passed a law that requires vehicles legislated in its jurisdiction to be covered by government or private auto insurance. This compulsory aspect of automobile insurance has contributed to making it one of the major types of insurance coverage in Canada. Legislation at the provincial level also specifies in detail the content of auto insurance policies.
In Ontario, all automobile owners are required to have at least $200,000 coverage for third party liabilities' compensation. Due to changes of population and the legal environment, the numbers of vehicles and claims increased dramatically in the last decade. Minimum coverage is no longer enough for the general situation; instead a $1,000,000 liability coverage is common.
Major Elements of Automobile Insurance Policy
1. Third Part Liability is the coverage that will pay for loss or damage or bodily injury that the insured causes to a third party for which he or she is legally liable. Liability suits are allowed for non-pecuniary (non-monetary) losses when the injuries suffered meet the threshold, i.e. the injured person has died or has sustained permanent serious disfigurement or permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function.
2. Direct Compensation Property Damage is the coverage where the insured is entitled to recover damages to the insured automobile, not from a responsible third party's insurer. When the insured is involved in an automobile accident, whether one is at fault, not at fault, or partially at fault, one will only deal with his own insurer. The intention is clearly to move away from an adversarial situation.
Accident Benefits are paid under an Ontario automobile policy regardless of fault. Any passengers injured during the accident will be insured under this provision.
Loss of or Damage to the insured automobile - indemnifies the insured against direct and accidental loss of or damage to the automobile and its permanently attached equipment. There are 3 coverages in Part C
iii. Specified Perils
Uninsured Motorist Coverage is the coverage for damages to the insured auto and its contents or bodily injury arising out of an auto accident in a situation where the insured is unable to obtain payment from the person who is uninsured or the vehicle is unidentified or uninsured.
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For most families, their home is the most expensive asset they will ever own. Accordingly, it is important to make sure that this valuable asset has adequate insurance coverage. A homeowner's policy usually covers the following items:
2. detached private structure
3. personal property
4. additional living expenses
Homeowner's policy also addresses personal liability if a member of your family should in the eyes of the law, negligently injure someone or damage someone's property and also to provide medical expenses should someone be injured on your property. A visitor who falls down and is injured while walking up your driveway may sue you for their medical expenses and for pain and suffering.
The various forms of property policies differ either by the type of property insured or by the perils insured against.
Condominium Unit Owners Policy
A condominium unit owner owns his unit, i.e. apartment or townhouse. The main coverage is property content, additional living expense and personal liability. However, the building structure and the common area are insured under the condominium corporation master policy. The monthly maintenance fees collected from the unit owners generally fund the premium of the master insurance policy.
An insurance contract covers the property of an apartment dweller. It is very similar to the Condominium Unit Owner Policy whereas it is applicable to tenants only.
For the individual who rents residential space to others in a building which he or she does not reside. It mostly covers the building and third party liability.
Miscellaneous - Catastrophe Liability Policy
A comprehensive liability policy that covers in excess of primary limits of the basic liability policies such as automobile, owner's landlords' and tenants' liability. It is also called the excess liability or umbrella liability policy.
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Running a business entity not only being subjected to risk on itself, but is also facing the risk of loss to or arising out of real property, legal liability, contracts, death of key employees, etc. One way of protecting the business from the above risk is to have proper business insurance. There are two major forms of business insurance:
1. Property Insurance: It protects the business premises, goods, stock inventory, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixture, and raw material etc., against fire, theft and accidental damages.
2. Liability Insurance: It mainly covers any legal liability or damages due to negligence of the insured entity.
Travel and Medical Insurance
Travel insurance is designed to supplement the coverage that the traveler requires in addition to Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan (OHIP)> The law governing OHIP states that private carriers cannot compete with the Government plan and therefore they can only provide coverage in those area where the government has:
1. Been exhausted and ceased to pay
2. Does not provide coverage
Medical insurance is mainly for visitors to Canada and persons awaiting provincial health care. It pays for reasonable, necessary and customary expenses, up to the Sum Insured, while on a stay in Canada. Eligible expenses are paid for acute emergency hospital, unexpected emergency medical, or other covered expenses, due to injury or sickness.
Life insurance products are currently designed to provide a broad spectrum of financial services such as family protection, estate building and protection as well as funding of tax liability and business buy-sell, etc.
There are two main types of life insurance products:
1. Term Insurance is designed as low cost temporary protection. It is usually renewable in terms of 5, 10 or 20 years up to age 75 or 85, with a guaranteed death benefit which is tax-free, and premium guaranteed for each term. However, premium will increase upon renewal of each term. There is no cash value in the policy. Typical 10 year term premium for a male, age 30, non smoker for the first 10 years is $260 per year (for $250,000)
2. Permanent Insurance is made up of both an insurance and an investment component. There will be cash value built up in the policy which can be borrowed against. Traditionally, it is available in the form of Whole Life with fixed investment and guaranteed level premium, cash value, and a death benefit.
Nowadays, a new form of permanent insurance known as Universal Life is very popular because the investment component is flexible and diverse. Universal Like also gives the insured a choice from the various types of investment, such as a guaranteed investment fund or equity, bond, or money market funds. However, fund values or premium will not be guaranteed.
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