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Six things about BC car insurance that you may not know

If you own a vehicle in BC, you are required by law to purchase car insurance. But did you know that there are ways you could get better coverage and save? At BCAA, our local experts understand the unique needs of BC drivers and can help you find the car insurance that’s right for you at the best price. Here are six things about BC car insurance that you may not know (yet)!

#1: You can pay less for your car insurance

You don’t have to pay the same insurance rate as the neighbour across the street. For example, you’ll get a healthy discount if you’ve been driving for 10+ years, enjoy a safe driving record and don’t have any claims. You can also save more if you drive less. If you drive less than 5,000 km in a year, you’ll save 10% with ICBC’s low kilometre discount. Simply make sure to show proof of your odometer reading when you renew and again at your renewal next year.

Another way to save, if you can afford the higher out-of-pocket expense, is to consider increasing your insurance deductible. By increasing your car insurance deductible from $200 to $500 or $1,000 on your car insurance, you’ll reduce your monthly premium costs.

We also recommend shopping around for optional car insurance to get the very best rate. At BCAA, for example, we give you a choice in ICBC Optional and BCAA Optional Car Insurance, so you can pick the policy that saves you money.

driving with passenger

It also pays to be a BCAA Member! BCAA Members save up to 20% on BCAA Optional Car Insurance. Some other BCAA Optional Car Insurance discounts include:

  • BCAA Members save up to $40 when you bundle home and car insurance with BCAA
  • Save 10% per vehicle when you insure two or more vehicles
  • Save up to 10% with our claims free discount
  • Save 5% when you have a qualified anti-theft device

#2: There’s a difference between collision and comprehensive coverage

You might think that collision and comprehensive coverage are the same thing. Not true. Yes, they’re both optional coverages that protect your vehicle from damage, but here are the key differences:

Collision: If you get into an accident with another vehicle, collision coverage will cover the cost of repairing or replacing your car. It also covers you for hit and run damages.

Comprehensive: This covers the cost to repair your vehicle if it’s damaged from a non-car-to-car collision, such as a windstorm, fire, flood, vandalism, or break-in. And unlike collision coverage, comprehensive coverage will cover you for damages if you strike an animal on the road like a deer.

woman searching for car keys in her bag

#3: You can lend your vehicle to occasional drivers and still be covered

If you’ve been wary about lending your vehicle to a close friend or family member, this helpful tip is for you. You can occasionally lend your car out if you have Unlisted Driver Protection. This coverage protects you from a one-time financial penalty if an occasional driver not listed on your policy causes a crash in your vehicle. To qualify, occasional drivers must drive less than 12 days in the 12-months before their accident.

Here are some scenarios where Unlisted Driver Protection would protect you in the event of a crash:

  • Your friend is visiting from another province and borrows your car to run an errand.
  • Your neighbour's car won't start. So, you lend them your car to pick up their kids from school.
  • You aren't feeling well, so a colleague or classmate drives you home in your vehicle.

The people who regularly drive your car, like family, roommates or employees, will still need to be listed on your policy. This helps accurately assess the risk and ensures the right person is held accountable in case of an accident. You can learn more about listing drivers here or call BCAA at 1.888.268.2222.

#4: You can get a discount on eco-friendly cars and trucks

We love to support eco-friendly driving in BC. That’s why BCAA Optional Car Insurance lets you save 5% on your premium for eco-friendly hybrid or electric vehicles.

A golden retriever sits in a car truck

#5: You can cover your furry friend in case of an accident

With BCAA’s Optional Car Insurance, you get peace of mind knowing that if your pet is injured in a car accident, we’ll cover their veterinary expenses up to $1,000.

#6: Interested in becoming a ride-hailing driver? Ensure you know how your insurance works in the event of a crash

If you’re considering becoming a driver for a ride-hailing service, it’s important to know how your insurance protects you and your passengers in the event of a crash.

Ride hailing companies in BC are required to provide basic coverage during ride hailing use. This means you and your passengers will be covered when: you have accepted a trip via the app, when you are en route to pick up the passenger(s) or transporting the passenger(s). However, you should check with the ride hailing company whether they also provide Optional coverage, such as Collision or Comprehensive.

If you aren’t using your vehicle for ride hailing or you’re in between rides, you must still have personal car insurance. Personal car insurance can be purchased from BCAA by simply giving us a call or visiting your local BCAA Service Location.

To learn more, check out ICBC’s info on insurance and ride hailing requirements.

We hope these tips have been helpful!

To learn more about BCAA Optional Car Insurance, visit bcaa.com/car. If it’s time to renew your ICBC car insurance, simply give BCAA a call at 1.888.268.2222 or visit one of our Service Locations across BC.