Snowbirds Beware! New Law in Florida Requires International Driver’s Permits

We’ve been hearing a lot about this topic in the news over the last couple of weeks, and is of great interest for those of us in Ontario who drive south in the winter, especially for March Break!

Florida has passed a law requiring all out-of-country drivers to have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP).  Failure to do so could result in fines and/or other charges.  It’s not clear what the intention of this legislation was, and if it was to ensure that tourists from overseas were confirmed to be properly licenced.  Those of us who have handled auto claims know that it can be quite arduous to confirm licence details from drivers from overseas, further hindered by communication and language barriers.  In all likelihood, this law stemmed from such issues, and not because of us, their cousins north of the border.

In Ontario, anyone staying in the province for less than 3 months does not need an IDP. These drivers only need a valid licence from their home province or country, and need to be at least 16 years old.  After 3 months, an IDP is needed. More information can be found here on the government’s website.

What are the implications of failing to get your IDP for your Florida vacation?  One is that your insurance company might not cover you if you are in an accident.  This can have dire consequences for large repair and medical bills. As per CAA (the only place in Canada where you can get an IDP) this new law is not being enforced for Canadian drivers, pending further review of the law.  However, strictly speaking, if you do not have a valid licence, your insurer can deny coverage.  So, what now?

You’ll likely want to err on the side of caution, and join the lineups at CAA to get your International Driver’s Permit.  It’s a quick process, the cost is $25, and you must be at least 18.  Don’t worry!  It’s just a translation of your information.  You don’t have to write a test.

Stay tuned for further updates!

Guest Blogger: 5 Ways to Save on Insurance Costs

We’re pleased to present a new Guest Blogger! We came across Gifford Associates’ blog recently & love what they’re saying.  We invited Tammy to blog for us, and are thrilled to feature her first entry.

Tammy Southin

Tammy Elizabeth Southin, BA (Hons) combines her solid insurance experience and extensive communication skills as an independent Social Media Consultant, with a particular interest in connecting the insurance industry in cyberspace. She provides top-level marketing and branding awareness services as the Social Media Marketing Director for Gifford Associates Insurance Brokers in Ottawa. Her work in this role earned Gifford Associates a special mention as a social media example for insurance brokers at the 2012 IBAO Annual Convention.

5 WAYS TO SAVE ON INSURANCE COSTS

Car insurance does not have to cost you a wheel and a hubcap; there are ways to help lower your premiums and still maintain sufficient car insurance coverage for you and your family.

Protect your car from theft
Does your vehicle come have an anti-theft device? Models having factory-installed devices are usually included in a company’s premium calculations. If you have an alarm system installed after purchase, you may qualify for an anti-theft discount. Note however that steering locking devices like the Club generally do not qualify.

Are you an older driver?
Experience pays off. If you are an older driver with a good driving record, your carrier may offer an age discount. As well, there are several insurance providers catering exclusively to drivers fifty and older.

Young drivers and driver’s education
Young drivers and high rates go together, but taking driver’s education can payoff in discounts for new drivers. Some companies also offer discounts for young drivers who are doing well in school, which means more incentive to study. Check for discounts that may apply for young drivers away at university.

Exclude drivers with poor records
Does a driver in your household have a poor driving record because of accidents, numerous traffic tickets or cancelled insurance policies? Consider taking out an endorsement to exclude that person from driving your vehicle. Avoid having to pay higher premiums for the mistakes of others.

Do your homework

Shop around for insurance quotes to see if you are getting the maximum discounts and rewards available. Comparing coverages and costs will help you decide on the right policy for you.

Your car is a necessity and so is having sufficient insurance. There are ways to keep your auto insurance rates down without sacrificing coverage. Talk to your insurance professional and review your policy to discover the many ways you can save money.

www.giffordassociates.ca

Insurance Certificates & Commercial Policy Basics

Susan Saksida, CIP, CRM, RMCO *protected email*

This past Tuesday, Susan Saksida, Risk Management & Insurance Consultant with Cameron & Associates, delivered a building blocks session for the Ontario Risk and Insurance Management Society.

This presentation included:

  • Introduction to Commercial Insurance Policies
  • Parts of the policy
  • Exclusions
  • Endorsements
  • Certificates of Insurance
  • Misconceptions & meanings

The presentation was delivered to a group of new to senior risk managers and sparked some great discussions on what to look for in policies and endorsements, and what information is necessary for the insurer’s protection on Certificates of Insurance.

Seminars like this are great to share information and help further everyone’s expertise.  Keep an eye out for ORIMS’ next professional development sessions.

We have included links to pdf versions of our presentations for further reference in the links below.

Need help with Risk Management, Training or  Certificates of Insurance?  We have the expertise and experience to assist!

Let us know how we can help.

Introduction to Commercial Insurance Policies Presentation

Certificates of Insurance Presentation