Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontario?

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psychedelica
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Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontario?

Postby psychedelica » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:48 pm

I want to post a warning to anyone moving from BC (possibly other provinces also) to Ontario with your Delica - don't do it. I moved here for work and a month ago my ICBC insurance was running out, so I decided to bite the bullet and re-register my vehicle here. The Ontario government web site says there are hoops you have to jump through, like getting a "Drive Clean Vehicle Emissions Inspection Report", a "Safety Certificate", and to fill out some tax exception forms. Before you can get Ontario plates you need to get an Ontario driver's license (which is only available in a handful of offices) and to surrender your BC driver's license. (They give you a temporary one, so you lose a piece of photo ID.) Finally in order to get plates you need to get insurance first - and that's where the real insanity begins.

Ontario has a private insurance system - which to you free market capitalists out there should spell better service and lower rates. Ha! You can't actually talk to an insurance company (underwriter) here in Ontario - you need to go through a broker. There are no offices (as far as I can tell) it's all done on the phone, you spend forever on hold, and not all brokers deal with all underwriters. But don't bother - I've talked to 15 different brokers and none of this matters because almost all the insurance underwriters have decided to stop writing policies for right-hand drive vehicles in the last year or so. If you have an existing policy it won't get canceled but nobody wants to write any new ones. Reasons for this stretch from the prejudiced ("it's too old" or "most right-hand drive vehicles here are 'high-performance' racecars") to the Kafkaesque ("the VIN sticker doesn't have the right number of digits , so we can't enter it into our system".)

After weeks of looking I've found two companies: Chubb, which needs you to have at least $2,000,000 of home insurance to be willing to write a vehicle policy; and Desjardins, which insist on seeing a "Narrative Vehicle Appraisal" ($300) and a "Vehicle Condition Report" to make sure you haven't souped up your van into some sort of high-speed deathtrap before they will even consider reviewing your application. This isn't for a comprehensive policy - this is just for liability insurance.

The other thing I've discovered is the insurance industry rules here provide that if you have 3 "incidents" - accident (at fault or not), speeding tickets - even if you're injured in a car someone else is driving - then a company can drop your policy at will. If that happens, or if you have a spotty record or some at fault accidents - then don't even bother to try - you need to get what they call "Facility Insurance" also know as the "insurer of last resort". This used to be a government-mandated program for people that no insurance company would touch, people with multiple impaired driving convictions: now it's the only alternative to the above two companies for Delica drivers. Even though I have a spotless driving record and no at-fault claims in 20 years, an insurance broker from the largest firm in Ontario insisted that this was all she could sell me - I would be paying "several times the Delica's value" every year just for liability coverage. She said: "...of course it would be much cheaper for you to ship your vehicle back to BC, sell it, and buy a nice Grand Caravan - then we'd have no trouble insuring you at all Sir."

Paule
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Re: Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontar

Postby Paule » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:19 pm

That sucks Psychedelica. I feel for you, and have no useful advice...


I've said it before; Someone who says ICBC is worse than private insurance has never experienced the inevitable dark side of private insurance...

pe

busrida
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Postby busrida » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:11 am

Having registered in Ontario last year I can feel for you. At the same time I can't agree with you as to how bad the situation is. My best recommendation would be to contact Craig from www.bonsairides.com and see who he can get you in touch with. Other Ontario specific RHD forums usually have lists of brokers to call. You'll probably still have to make another 15 inquiries.

The not so laughable part of this is (as I remember) that you can't be refused a policy since it's mandatory to have your vehicle insured. Yay capatilism!

strada-caster
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Re: Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontar

Postby strada-caster » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:11 pm

I just got quoted today through desjardins, 1400/yr. beats all the other quotes at 2250 and 2300.

did the vehicle condition report, thats all they needed from me that cost any extra.
they also needed drivers abstract (got mine through ICBC, free)

They did not need my appraisal, in fact they wouldn't accept it as anything, so i wasted $125 there.
They would not accept my safety either.
ONLY THE VEHICLE CONDITION REPORT

The vehicle condition report is pretty much a cheap versoin of a safety.

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nvanadm
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Postby nvanadm » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:21 am

Where did you get the "vehicle condition report" done?

strada-caster
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Re:

Postby strada-caster » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:24 am

nvanadm wrote:Where did you get the "vehicle condition report" done?


through a family friend. registered mechanic. I'm in thunder bay so he won't be of any help to you.
just find a shop, and tell them what you have to get done. what they have to check is really simple, shouldn't cost much.

If you haven't done your safety yet, get them to fill out this form at the same time. Or go back to where you got your safety done, they might just do it for free???

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nvanadm
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Postby nvanadm » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:21 am

I'm already insured with allstate, but was just curious incase I wanted to shop around in the future.
Glad to hear you got everything settled and are now part of the slowly growing Ontario group.

psychedelica
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Re: Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontar

Postby psychedelica » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:52 am

INSURANCE SUCCESS!

After a month of looking for insurance in Ontario I'm on the road again. Thanks in not a small part to Craig at http://www.bonsairides.com who helped me with an appraisal and some good advice. I got coverage from Desjardins. As opposed to strada-caster's experience above, with me Desjardins didn't want to see the Vehicle Condition Report at all (even though they originally demanded one), ONLY THE APPRAISAL. Go figure. This is a very YMMV situation.

The cost of insurance in Ontario is about 20% more than ICBC, for a much worse policy ( $1 M vs $5 M liability, $500 deductible vs $200-300 deductible for damage like windshields, and only rental car coverage vs the whole Roadstar-plus package I had in BC.) It took 3 days of calling Desjardins to get them process my application ("No we didn't get your email - could you send it again"; "Yes we got your email yesterday but no, you can't talk to a senior agent and they don't have time to look at it today - call back tomorrow"; "No we never got your emails yesterday" etc.) Eventually I realized I should wait on hold for 45 minutes until I could talk to a manager - they had someone look at my application I was approved 5 minutes later. If this is how they treat new customers I'm not looking forward to their service if I ever need to submit a claim.

It took between 20 and 30 hours to get all the inspections, certificates and paperwork ready, and wait in line at the licensing office (his doesn't include searching for an insurance underwriter who would touch a RHD) and cost about $400 in various fees. Also, if you're in Toronto the only place you can get both your driver's license and your vehicle registration changed over at the same time is an unlisted Service Ontario office at 777 Bay Street. They will want to see a copy of your proof of insurance, which Desjardins was able to fax them (3 phone calls and about 2 hours waiting) but this is still not the "pink slip" proof of insurance the police will want to see if you are pulled over. That needs to get mailed to you. My advice is to start the process at least 2 weeks prior to ICBC running out, assuming you've driven for more than 8 years and have no tickets and no claims in that time - God help you if you do, you're probably going to have to give up a finger on each hand or your first-born.

To conclude: If I wanted to be precise in comparing insurance in BC and Ontario I'd have to say ICBC was a flawed but basically functional government monopoly vs a government-mandated but poorly regulated oligopoly of unethical, insulated and very powerful corporations. The handful of insurance underwriters in Ontario must be making money hand-over-fist, given that their service is so much worse it must translate into lower operating costs, their pay-outs for accidents are probably comparable to BC, and their premiums are 20% higher for even the best drivers. However I'm told that insurance companies make most of their money not from premiums but from investing the mountains of cash they are required to hold in reserve to pay out claims - and that's also where their political clout comes from. This partly explains why government-led reform of the insurance industry in Ontario has failed several times. Be glad we don't have this system in BC - it sucks.

pajeroo
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Re: Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontar

Postby pajeroo » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:01 pm

your conclusion is spot on psychadelica. I've been saying this for years. That is the absolute truth about that m***********g insurance in Ontario. If you are moving to Ontario, make sure you take a truckload of grease with you. Take that you ICBC hating ignoramuses.
http://www.pajero.ca

strada-caster
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Re: Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontar

Postby strada-caster » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:30 pm

FYI, Desjardins is no longer accepting policies on RHD vehicles.

ezzy
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Re: Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontar

Postby ezzy » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:56 am

AHHHH!!! Are you serious! :evil: I'm planning on getting a Delica in the future and have been watching these insurance posts. The situation seems to be getting more bleak all the time. Might be screwed if I don't get one soon. I'm going outside to yell...

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adventurguy
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Re: Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontar

Postby adventurguy » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:52 pm

I've just spent the day trying to find insurance for a Spacegear I want to purchase. Every avenue has been a dead end!!! I'm very frustrated.

Mr. Pistachio
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Re: Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontar

Postby Mr. Pistachio » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:55 am

adventurguy wrote:I've just spent the day trying to find insurance for a Spacegear I want to purchase. Every avenue has been a dead end!!! I'm very frustrated.


FYI - I took 5 different call to 5 different insurance representative before getting my Desjardins insurance!!!

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Re: Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontar

Postby Feds » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:07 am

strada-caster wrote:FYI, Desjardins is no longer accepting policies on RHD vehicles.


Please expand... I called them on the 14th of September, and they said they were still accepting, though you needed to jump through a bunch of hoops.

strada-caster
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Re: Ontario Insurance Nightmare - No more RH Drives in Ontar

Postby strada-caster » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:13 pm

Feds wrote:
strada-caster wrote:FYI, Desjardins is no longer accepting policies on RHD vehicles.


Please expand... I called them on the 14th of September, and they said they were still accepting, though you needed to jump through a bunch of hoops.



I just got my truck insured with them pretty much the same date you called them. yes there were hoops to jump through.

My girlfriend then went to get her RHD miata insured with them the following week (week of the 19th i think). She was able to get insurance but was also told that their underwriters were no longer going to make policies for RHD vehicles. As far as I know it is already implemented.


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