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When should I contact my broker?

Auto Insurance

By Anne Valentino | October 23, 2017

You should notify your insurance broker whenever there is any kind of change in your life, such as if:

  • You move
  • You get a new phone number or email address
  • You change your marital status
  • You buy a new car, home, boat, RV, or other major purchase
  • You retire
  • If there is damage to your insured property
  • If you change the way you use your insured property (i.e. you rent out a room or become a delivery driver)

It’s important to keep your broker in the loop. They need to be able to contact you and they’ll be able to advise you if anything affects your policies. Failing to notify your broker can have negative consequences like them being unable to provide you with important information or even voided coverage. Below are more details about events and changes that definitely necessitate a call to your broker.

Contact Your Broker If You Have a Status/Contact Change

Keeping your contact information up to date is really important. Your name, phone number address, and email address are all necessary for your broker to stay in touch with you. Your address has a direct impact on your policy when it comes to car and home insurance.

Status changes can also impact your coverage. Getting married or divorced can impact the number of contents you have to replace in a claim or can result in a move. You’ll also want to update any name changes!

As another example is moving to a new apartment. Even if you only have car insurance, you should update your broker. You’ll likely be mailed policy documents and you don’t want those to go to the wrong person. Your address may also affect your premium if you commute or due to crime or claim rates in your new neighbourhood.

Failing to update your name, address, telephone number or email could be a major issue if your broker needs to get a hold of you to communicate policy changes, rate increases or information about an ongoing claim.

Contact Your Broker If You Make a Big Purchase

Big purchases can impact your property insurance coverage as they may increase the coverage required. Some purchases may need to be manually added to your policy before they’re covered or may need a floater endorsement to ensure they’re properly covered. This includes purchases like:

  • Jewellery
  • Artwork
  • Antiques
  • Collectables
  • Sports equipment (such as a racing bike)

If you purchase a boat or trailer, you may be able to add these onto a home insurance policy. However, you will need to inform your insurer of the purchase and provide some information. In some cases, you should or will need to purchase a separate policy.

Other risks like installing a pool or buying a trampoline can also impact your home insurance.

Of course, if you buy a new car, motorcycle or motorhome, you’ll need to have separate insurance or update your existing insurance policy.

Contact Your Broker If You Move to a New Home

Like any big purchase, a new home is definitely something you’ll have to contact your broker about. If you already have a home insurance policy, you’ll need to update your existing policy. This may result in higher (or lower) premiums.

If it’s a new home, you should get it insured as soon as possible. If you’re mortgaging your home, your lender will have specific requirements.

Your broker will help you ensure your new home and your belongings are adequately protected.

Contact Your Broker If There’s Damage

Another obvious one, but if there’s any damage to your home, belongings or vehicle, you should contact your broker. They can help you open a claim and support you through the claims process.

When it comes to contacting your broker it is always better to err on the side of caution. If you’re not sure you can always call and ask!

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