Frequently Asked Questions

Insurance Coverage

Is my vehicle still covered if someone else drives it?

Yes, your ICBC insurance coverage follows the vehicle, regardless of who is driving. However, if your policy has an effective date of September 1, 2019 or later, you are required to list drivers on the policy. If you don't list someone you were supposed to and they get into an accident in your vehicle, you could face a large one-time financial consequence. It is also important to make sure your ICBC policy has unlisted driver protection.

I've heard I now have to list drivers on my policy. What does that mean? Does it change my rates?

If you have a policy effective September 1, 2019 or later, you are now required to list policy drivers. You should be listing any household members or employees (of the principal driver or registered owner) if they operate the vehicle at all, regardless of how often, as well as anyone else who will operate the vehicle more than 12 times in one year. If they don't fall into either of those categories, they will be covered under your unlisted driver protection.

Adding drivers doesn't directly increase your rates. Instead, it is a calculation based off the driving records of those listed (years of experience and chargeable claims). The premium is based 75% from the record of the principal driver and 25% from the record of the listed driver with the highest risk.

If my vehicle is rated for pleasure use, can I still drive it to work?

Yes, you are permitted to use your vehicle a maximum of 6 days per month for a use above what you are rated for. For example, if you are rated to go to/from work within 15 kms, you can drive over 15 kms to work no more than 6 days in a month.

If you will be driving for a different rate class more than the 6 days allotted, contact us right away to have your policy updated.

How can I renew my car insurance from outside of B.C.?

You can renew your autoplan insurance directly from outside of the province by calling ICBC's Autoplan Sales Department at 1-800-328-4484.

If you know you will be away when your insurance comes due and you pay for it in full, another option would be to sign the back of your Notice to Renew. This is the letter you receive in the mail from ICBC and will allow a third party to renew the insurance on your behalf.

 

Cancellations

What do I need to cancel my insurance?

You will need both license plates off of your vehicle as well as the original certificate of insurance (typically in the glove compartment). If the vehicle is in joint-ownership, all registered owners must be present with valid ID in order to cancel. 

If you are unable to surrender your plates, a police report for lost/stolen plates must be made before the cancellation can be done.

 

Does it cost any money to cancel?

 

ICBC charges a $30 cancellation fee. You'll also have to pay for new plates which are $18 when you reinsure and if you pay on monthly payments, it costs $15 to re-enroll in the payment plan.

Is it possible to suspend my insurance if I'm not using my vehicle?

Unfortunately, no. If you wish to stop your insurance in the middle of an active term, you must completely cancel the policy by handing in your active plates. If the insurance is due for renewal, you are allowed to not renew it, let the policy lapse and instead put on a storage policy while it is parked.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle

What do I need to transfer a vehicle into my name?

You need to have the signed registration slip for the vehicle from the previous owner, a signed transfer form, and a piece of primary ID.  To find out what is considered primary ID, please contact our office.

What tax has to be paid when I buy a vehicle?

In B.C., you are required to pay 12% tax on the purchase price of the vehicle as stated on either the bill of sale or transfer form. You may be eligible for a tax exemption if you are being gifted the vehicle from a direct relative. See the attached Gift of a Vehicle form for details.

Can I transfer the insurance from my old vehicle to a new one?

 

Once you've come into the office and we've registered the newly purchased vehicle to your name, you may transfer license plates from one to the other. Both vehicles must be registered in the exact same ownership. If the vehicle type is changing (car to truck, truck to car etc), we can do a free plate substitution. Keep in mind, most vehicles do not have the same rates with ICBC so your premium may go up or down.

 
 

General Inquires

What determines the discount on my insurance policy?

 

Since the changes ICBC implemented on September 1, 2019, all drivers are now issued a driver factor number which is what determines their policy discount. This number is based off of your years of driving experience, any chargeable claims, as well as any applicable driving offenses. The lower your factor number, the lower your risk as a driver, and therefore the lower your premium.

You can get your driver factor report through ICBC's website or by contacting us now!

Can I make changes on my insurance over the phone?

 

To make any changes on your insurance including updating your address, banking information, or changing your rate class and coverages, you are required to visit our office in person to sign the new paperwork. We cannot change anything on the insurance over the phone without a physical signature since we have to reprint your paperwork.

Am I allowed to insure my vehicle for just one month?

No. The shortest term of insurance permitted is 3 months. You can choose how many months you want coverage for between 3-12, but if you want to pay on a monthly basis, only the 6 and 12 month terms are eligible. For any other option, you have to pay in full.

If you wish to insure your vehicle for a day or so, temporary permits are available for 1-15 days maximum.

Also note that for any insurance term under one year, you will be charged a "short-term surcharge" which is a percentage of your premium. Contact us directly for more details.

What are my different payment options?

You can pay for your insurance in one lump sum through a variety of payment methods, or on a monthly or quarterly basis by pre-authorized debit from your bank account.

To enroll in the payment plan option, bring in either a void cheque or pre-authorized debit form for the account you wish these payments to be deducted from. You may not have these payments come from a credit card. The initial enrollment fee is $15 and the interest is 2.95% over the year.

To pay for your insurance in full, you may use a debit card, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or pay by cash/cheque.

There is a payment coming out of my account from Optiom Inc. What is

this for?

Optiom is a private insurance company that provides new or used vehicle replacement coverage. Most vehicle owners in Canada don’t realize that their primary insurance will not cover the total value of their vehicle in the event of a total loss. This means you could still owe money on a loan or a lease, or not have enough equity left to buy a similar replacement vehicle. You could lose your car and most of the money you invested in it. Full replacement cost insurance is there to cover the cost of getting into a brand new vehicle of the current year without putting any financial burden on you as the insured. 

Policy terms are available for 2-7 years on new vehicles, or 2-5 years on used vehicles. For more details on your specific policy, contact us now.

How can I renew my home insurance?

Your home insurance policy can be renewed totally over the phone! You can even advise of any changes and pay by credit card this way. To do so, give us or the office of Axis Insurance (1-236-420-0387) a call today!

Home Insurance

 
CONTACT US

Phone: +1 250-763-4225

Fax: 250-861-1959

Email: office@southerninsurance.ca

Southern Insurance Services Ltd.
204-1500 Banks Rd
Kelowna, BC V1X 7Y1
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