TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - December 17, 2013) - Almost a third of Canadians (30 per cent) who have owned or rented a house, condo or an apartment admit they didn't have tenant or property insurance, shows a recent online poll commissioned by Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. The poll, conducted by Abacus Data, also found that eight per cent of drivers said they had driven without any car insurance.
"Operating a vehicle or allowing your family to live in a house that isn't insured is a gamble," says Ryan Michel, VP and Chief Risk Officer, Enterprise Risk Management, Allstate Canada. "It's a risk that could outweigh the money you may save by not paying insurance premiums."
The survey results also showed that people may be putting their coverage at risk without even realizing it. Thirty-two per cent of respondents had renovated their home but had not told their insurance provider and 14 per cent of drivers who have been in a collision said they hadn't reported it to their insurance company -- both decisions that could invalidate a future claim.
"Insurance is there to protect us from the unplanned. The best way to be prepared is for each of us to regularly review our policies with our provider to ensure they are meeting our current needs. So why not make it a New Year's resolution to have a frank and open conversation with your insurance provider about your coverage," suggests Michel.
Michel explains that an open line of communication with your insurance provider can protect you down the road, and also save you money. "If you were to get into a collision, assume that the damage isn't too bad and pay for the damages out of pocket, you could be in serious financial trouble down the road if you are asked to pay more money because the damages to the other vehicle were more extensive than first realized," says Michel. Even if someone plans to pay for damages on their own, they should still inform their insurance company of an incident. This way the company has accurate information in case a larger claim is made later on.
If the cost of insurance is a concern, Michel says that there are many options available for consumers who want to protect their home or vehicle. "Many consumers can save money by choosing different types of coverage, or they can choose a deductible that will alter the cost of their premium," says Michel. "Ensuring you maintain coverage means it will be there when you need it most."
Canadians also need to make sure they understand what they are buying and that it fits their needs to ensure they're properly covered. Consumers may not be aware that small changes to their lifestyle (e.g. no longer using a car to commute to work, or a having a kitchen renovated) can affect their policy. As before, Michel recommends that Canadians speak to their insurance provider once a year to make sure their policy matches their needs or to discuss options for savings.
"There are some typical things that people may forget or might not know they need to talk to their agent about, so we encourage you to give your agent a call and review your policies at least each time they are up for renewal," says Michel.
- Not listing all the drivers in the household;
- Registering a car in someone else's name or providing a different address from the primary residence;
- Not disclosing if a car is used for business;
- Forgoing tenant insurance if you don't have many valuables and not realizing the risk if someone gets hurt or something damages the building;
- Forgetting to keep receipts of valuables and not knowing their worth when making a claim;
- Not discussing potential physical risk characteristics of a home. This would include failing to disclose the presence of knob and tube wiring or the presence of a wood burning stove.
Other findings of the survey
- Men who have owned or rented were more likely than women to not have insurance (33 per cent vs. 28 per cent).
- Men were also more likely to drive a car without auto insurance than women (10 per cent vs. 6 per cent) and were more likely not to report a collision to their insurance provider (21 per cent vs. 8 per cent).
Canadians can learn more about managing their personal risk and insurance costs at allstate.ca.
About the survey
Allstate commissioned Abacus Data (www.abacusdata.ca) to conduct an online survey of 1514 Canadians aged 18 and older. The total sample was weighted by age, gender and region to be proportionately representative of the Canadian population of adults ages 18 and older. Responses were collected between May 24 and 28, 2013.
About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada's leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, and also recently named for the second year in a row to Aon Hewitt's Best Employers in Canada list. "The Good Hands Network®" enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 82 community-based Agencies, directly online at allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-Allstate. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), Crime Stoppers, United Way and Junior Achievement. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit allstate.ca.