In Saskatchewan, drivers are automatically covered with basic insurance when they register a vehicle. Drivers have the option to increase their coverage and add extra coverage for theft, windshield coverage, coverage for death or dismemberment, and to lower their deductible. However, according to IBAS (The Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan), less than half of all drivers choose to add additional coverage. For many drivers, the basic insurance package will provide insufficient coverage for some circumstances. In addition, you may find it challenging to cover the deductible if you need to make multiple claims in a short period––which is more likely if you use your vehicle for work or frequent travel. Instead of relying on basic coverage alone, we encourage drivers to build an insurance policy that suits their unique lifestyle.
What is No-Fault auto insurance?
In Saskatchewan, No-Fault auto insurance is an automatic part of registering your vehicle. With no-fault coverage, you are insured regardless of who is responsible for the collision. With all drivers having the same base coverage, going through an accident is largely simplified. It also means that there are limited cases where you can sue another driver when you have No-Fault coverage and that you cannot sue for pain and suffering except in cases where the driver is guilty of criminal negligence.
No-Fault Insurance ensures that all drivers involved in the collision receive some coverage for expenses and personal liability coverage––regardless of who is responsible for the accident. With all insurance coverage options, you will have to pay a deductible when making a claim. If you are at fault in a collision, you will be responsible for paying your own deductible, and your insurance will pay the deductible of anyone involved in the collision. When you add additional coverage to your no-fault policy, you can reduce your deductible, making it less stressful to file a claim.
What is Tort Coverage?
In Saskatchewan, drivers can choose Tort coverage instead of No-Fault coverage, which allows you to sue the responsible motorist for uncovered expenses. However, those who select Tort Coverage will receive fewer benefits than those with No-Fault, regardless of who is responsible for the accident. Tort Insurance benefits will only cover a portion of your expenses when you’re in an accident, so it will be necessary to pursue legal action––where you can sue for additional benefits as well as for pain and suffering. Tort coverage has the advantage of additional opportunities to sue responsible parties in the event of an accident. However, it also makes legal action necessary, as your benefits will not be sufficient to cover the cost of any injury, death, funeral expenses, income benefits, and more.
Before choosing Tort coverage, it is essential to fully understand how it works. Talk to your broker to learn more about the process for selecting Tort insurance and additional coverage you can add to your policy.
What does No-Fault insurance cover?
In Saskatchewan, your flat-rate insurance will cover the following:
- Damage to your vehicle or other vehicles
In the case of an accident, your insurance will cover the cost to repair your vehicle and/or the vehicle of the other party(ies) if you are at fault or partially at fault. However, this is subject to a deductible. For most Class A vehicles with basic coverage, the deductible will be $700, which is paid by the at-fault driver. In addition, points will be removed from that driver’s license––which can add penalties to the cost of renewing your driver’s license through the Safe Driver Recognition Program.
In addition, you are responsible for paying the deductible if there is no party to hold accountable for damages, such as in theft, hit and run, or in a collision with wildlife or objects.
- Personal Injury Insurance
Your basic auto insurance will also cover some of the following expenses, as needed, but only to a certain amount. When you add additional coverage, you can choose to increase the basic level of coverage.
- Income benefits
- Medical, personal and travel expenses
- Living assistance
- Permanent impairment payment
- Death benefits
- Third-Party Liability Insurance
This coverage will cover the cost of damages your vehicle causes, whether to a person, another vehicle, or to property. With basic coverage, you are ONLY covered for up to $200,000 and you will be required to pay out of pocket for additional damages.
Saskatchewan drivers are legally required to have a minimum of $200,000 in personal liability coverage, however, it is recommended that you carry more. By increasing your coverage you can add up to $2,000,000 in liability coverage, as well as additional benefits if you are injured or killed in a vehicular accident.
Saskatchewan residents should consider adding more coverage to their basic auto policy.
Basic coverage is intended as a foundation for you to build on. Tailoring a coverage plan to your needs and lifestyle is an important way for you to know that you are covered. Your basic coverage plan prevents lengthy and expensive in-court settlements, which helps keep insurance less expensive overall, but the basic coverage from SGI has limitations that could have you paying out of pocket for an accident. In addition, many struggle to pay the required deductible, especially if they need to make more than one claim in a short time frame. By updating your policy, you can decrease the deductible and add additional liability coverage, protecting you from any unforeseen costs.
In the event you’re in an accident, your repair costs will need to be assessed by an SGI accredited body repair or mechanical repair shop. If your damages are less than the deductible, you can choose to pay for them out of pocket. This would also apply to the other driver(s) involved in the accident. When you decrease your deductible amount by adding additional coverage, you’re able to make claims without incurring high costs of deductible.
6 Important insurance questions for Saskatchewan drivers.
When considering if additional insurance coverage is right for you, reflect on what your lifestyle might require. We have compiled some key questions to ask yourself ahead of your appointment with your trusted LaRoche McDonald advisor.
- In the event of an accident, will you be able to cover the cost of a lawsuit?
In some accidents, there will be costs associated with injury to other drivers. Your insurance covers you to a limited amount for these costs, but you will be liable for anything over that set amount.
- Do you frequently travel out of the province?
If yes, your basic insurance may not be sufficient to cover the costs associated with an accident. You will be covered in a collision anywhere in Canada or the United States, but you will also be subject to the laws in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. This means you can be sued for causing the collision, pain and suffering, or death. If your insurance is less than the amount, you will be required to pay out of pocket.
- Do you use your vehicle for work?
Whether you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, or get mileage for travel through work, a work vehicle can be a necessity. If you’re also carrying tools, products, or equipment, your basic coverage will not cover the damages or theft. Talk to us about your lifestyle needs and whether additional coverage for work will be right for you.
- Is having a vehicle essential for your daily life?
When you’re in an accident, additional insurance can cover the cost of a rental vehicle to help you get from A to B without interruption. For many, a vehicle is a necessity for their daily lives. If this sounds like you, let your trusted broker know.
- Does your family depend on you?
You can increase your coverage for injury and death with additional policies. If you have a family that depends on your income, this is an add-on that you should consider.
- Does your neighbourhood experience car thefts and vandalism?
In the event of a broken windshield , you will be left to pay the costs on your own. A windshield replacement frequently costs just less than the standard deductible for basic coverage, and if you make a claim, you will still have to pay your full deductible. In addition, anything stolen from your vehicle will not be covered. You can add other additional coverages to protect yourself so, talk to your broker today.
We pride ourselves on being insurance explainers.
At LaRoche McDonald, we work hard to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your policy, the process for making claims, and access to your broker when you have questions. Talk to us today to learn more about vehicle insurance.