Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your most common questions.

The best way to gain insurance knowledge is to ask questions. We're here to answer those questions and connect the dots for all of your insurance needs!

General Questions

To calculate the best insurance premium for you. It helps insurance companies predict possible future insurance claims and the risk they’ll be taking on. There’s a difference between checking credit for a loan and for insurance purposes; having your credit checked for insurance purposes doesn’t affect your score.

Read the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s All about credit information and insurance article for more details.

They’ll respect your decision, but if they can’t access your credit file, the premium they calculate for you might not be the best possible price. Read  the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s All about credit information and insurance article for more details.

A deductible is the amount you must pay when you make an insurance claim.  For example, if you have a $500 deductible, you pay the first $500.00 of the repair costs, and the insurance company pays the rest.  If you are unsure what you deductible is, take a look at your insurance policy.  If you need clarification, contact your insurance company.  

Cyber crime is defined as a crime where a computer is the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit an offense.  

The most common type of Cyber Crime is Phishing, read our blog on this subject and learn how to protect yourself.

An insurance policy is a contract between yourself and the Insurance company, typically for a 1 year term for your auto and home insurance.  There is a cancellation calculation called Short Rate and this cancellation formula is applied if you cancel your insurance policy mid-term, and depending how far you are into the term will determine the % of your annual premium that will be charged back to your as a cancellation fee.  

There are scenarios where a Short Rate may not apply, such as you sold your car or home, you moved to a different province and your are unable to transfer your insurance, etc.  The Short Rate fee will most likely apply if you cancel your policy mid-term and set up your insurance with another company.  

Before you make any final decisions, it is best to speak with your insurance company before making any decisions.  You may have found a better rate with a different insurance company, but verify these items first:

  • If you have your home and auto insured with a company and want to take your home to a different insurance company, will you be losing a Multi-line discount?  Many times the loss of this discount zeros out the savings you thought you would achieve by moving one to a different company.
  • Are you mid-term of your policy and found a better rate elsewhere?  A Short Rate will most likely apply.  Call your insurance company to verify the amount in order to make an informed decision.
  • If you have sold your vehicle or home and have no need for your insurance policy, a Short Rate should NOT apply.  Again, contact your insurance company to verify this.  

Auto Insurance

Change your deductible.  The deductible you choose can make a big different on the insurance premium you pay.

Winter Tires.  Some companies offer discounts if you put winter tires on your vehicle.  FYI, All season are not considered winter tires

Where do you park?  Parking in a private or secure garage may lead to lower insurance premiums.  Be sure to let your insurance company know. 

Shop Around:

You don’t have to be loyal to your parent’s insurance company.  Every company has different rules and rates for different people.  One company that might be the best coverage and rate for your friend, may not be for you.  Get a quick quote Now (insert link)


Might sound conflicting….but loyalty is very important to insurance companies.  If you have been a responsible driver and stay with your company long term, over the long run, this is probably the best rate for you.  It does not hurt to look around and compare, but really take into consideration all of the factors before switching companies.  If the premium difference is not significant (for the same coverage), a few questions for yourself would be 1) Have I enjoyed great service from my existing company?  2)Is the other company providing a new client incentive that may disappear next year? 

Maintain a clean driving record:  It does not pay to speed in more ways than one!  Speeding tickets, though you may feel they are not important, indicates to insurance companies of an increased risk.  Distracted driving tickets indicates a very high risk, and so on. 

Annual Vs Monthly Payments:  Take a look at your monthly payment plan with your insurance policy.  Are you paying an additional % of the annual premium to have a monthly payment plan?  Look at paying annually or semi-annual to save.

Bundle:  Look at insuring your auto and home with the same company.  Many companies offer great discounts for bundling.

Minimal Coverage:

If your vehicle is an older model and you do not have a loan against it, do some research and figure out the market value.  Is it wise financially to pay the additional premium for the optional coverage? 

Does this symbol look familiar?  All-Season tires with the 3 Peak Mountain symbol is approved by Transport Canada.

Winter Tires with 3 Peak Mountain Snow Flakes

Some companies do offer discounts for winter tires so contact your insurance company!

Yes, if you want to legally operate a vehicle in Albert, it needs to meet the minimum provincial insurance requirements under the Alberta Auto Insurance Act.

Mandatory Coverage:  Personal Liability and Property Damage (PLPD), minimum of $200,000 and Accident Benefits.

Optional Coverage:  Collision, Comprehensive, specified perils and endorsements.

For even more information, read our blog "Do I "NEED" Full Coverage?

Car accidents, minor or major can be very stressful, causing the best of us to not think straight.  It is a great idea to keep an Accident Report Guide similar to the one pictured in your glove box.  This report guide will tell you what TO DO and what NOT to do in very easy to understand steps. 


In Alberta, not all accidents need to be reported to the police.  However, there are a few circumstances when you MUST report an accident to police:

  1. People were injured in the accident
  2. The damage exceeds $2,000
  3. You were the victim of a hit and run
  4. Vehicle (s) are not driveable
  5. You suspect the other driver to be intoxicated, involved with a crime or part of a fraud ring

If there are no injuries, damage is less than $2,000 and the vehicles are driveable, the accident can be reported at the local Police Department, or in some communities, the Collision Reporting Centre

It is up to you to report the accident to your insurance company.  It is HIGHLY recommended that you report the accident to your insurance company and submit a claim if your accident included any of the listed four circumstances.

In Summary

  • DO call the police if the accident has one of the above listed circumstances
  • Take pictures
  • Make accurate records, diagram of accident
  • Exchange License, insurance and registration information with the other party (s)
  • Report the accident at the local police department of Collision Reporting Centre if applicable.

Medicine Hat does have a Collision Reporting Centre

Accident Report Guide

Coverage available to extend to rental vehicles is different with each Insurance company.  Contact your insurance company to verify the coverage you have in place.

Your car is NOT covered under your home policy.  In order for your car to be covered for Fire, you would have to have comprehensive coverage on your car.  Comprehensive covers perils such as Fire, Theft and vandalism.  

Collision coverage is an optional coverage that applies to any object you hit, whether it's on the road or attached to it, and allows your vehicle to be repaired or replaced.  This also includes repairs as a result of an accident with another car.  

Comprehensive coverage is an optional coverage.  It applies to anything moving through the air, as well as damage caused by flood, vandalism, fire or glass.  Most damage caused by environmental circumstances will be included, according to your specific policy.

In Alberta, the penalty for distracted driving is a $287 fine and 3 demerit points.  HOW this penalty will affect your insurance premiums will be determined by HOW your insurance Company rates this penalty.  Some companies consider is a MAJOR, which is much more severe than a minor.

Click here for more information.

When you set up your auto policy with an insurance company, it is a contract for the length of time indicated (typically 1 year).  If you cancel mid-term to go to a different insurance company, there is a very high change you will be charged a fee called a short-rate cancellation feeIf you sell your vehicle, therefore not needing the insurance any longer, the company may not charge a short-rate cancellation fee.  It is best to contact your insurance company with intentions to find out what the process is. 


Yes, we can cover up to 2 roommates under the same home insurance policy. But, if you and your spouse are sharing an apartment with another couple, the other couple will have to get their own insurance. For more details, see Tenants insurance: get informed, get better coverage

No, it doesn’t cover your home daycare.

Your basic home insurance policy:

  • Doesn’t provide liability coverage for home-based businesses
  • Includes coverage limits for any property related to your daycare
  • Doesn’t provide coverage for loss of business income

What you really need is home insurance that includes coverage for home-based businesses..

Some water heaters can hold up to 360 litres of water, if they spring a leak, they can flood an entire home.  Water heaters should be partially drained every 6 months, this prevents sediments from building in the bottom of the tank which can cause erosion and rust.  While you are draining the water heater, check the pipes for leaks.

For extra security, install a moisture/freeze detector under your water heater that will alert you if there is water detected.  

Current client of Crystal Metz Insurance Agency - Desjardins?  Click here to download our app and order your free moisture/freeze detector.  

Remove snow and ice

Before the spring melt begins, remove as much snow and ice away from your home as possible.  Be sure to clear snow away from areas that slope down towards your home, such as deck and driveway.

When you set up your home insurance policy with an insurance company, it is a contract for the length of time indicated (typically 1 year).  If you cancel mid-term to go to a different insurance company, there is a very high change you will be charged a fee called a short-rate cancellation fee.  If you sell your home, therefore not needing the insurance any longer, the company may not charge a short-rate cancellation fee.  It is best to contact your insurance company with intentions to find out what the process is.   

Living Benefits

How it works

The impacts of a serious illness like cancer, a heart attack, stroke or a condition caused by an accident can be life-changing.  A Critical Illness policy pays a tax-free benefit no matter what happens:

  • If you're diagnosed with one of the covered critical illnesses (all policies are different, so be sure to ask how many and which illnesses are covered) and conditions including long-term care, you receive your insurance amount that you purchased, which you can spend based on your needs, regardless of your ability to work.
  • If you die, you can opt for your beneficiary to receive the higher of 100% of premiums paid OR 25% of the amount insured.
  • If you remain in good health, can can get back up to 100% of the premiums you've paid (depending on the options you selected).
  • This valuable coverage is separate from a Disability Insurance policy that covers illness that you may already have in place.  A Disability Insurance policy will pay a monthly benefit based on your income, this policy is a lump sum that is pre-determined by you based on your needs.

Premiums are based on the following factors:

  • Your age
  • Your sex
  • Your smoking status
  • How much coverage you choose

As a result, the cost differs person to person.  You may also be able to get a better rate if you combine multiple insurance products.  Contact us at to go over your financial needs and calculate what insurance will cost you.

Disability insurance replaces a portion of your income when you cannot work because of an illness or disability (providing your disability also includes illness, not just injury).  Disability insurance provides wage replacement benefits that typically cover about 60% of your gross income.

Considering that 1 in 3 Canadians will become disabled for more than 90 days before the age of 65 and the average disability period is 3 years, it is crucial that you have a policy in place to protect your livelihood.    

This is a common concern because your monthly amount is after taking your current financial situation into account.  In some instances, your career or employment may change and you may have new needs or goals which may not reflect the coverage you have in place.  Additionally, with time, it is possible that the status of your health changes which may prevent you from being able to increase your monthly amount to be in line with your new reality.

When you are looking at your options, ask for the Future Insurability Option.  This rider will allow you to apply for an additional monthly amount without providing any further medical evidence, on any policy anniversary prior to your 55th birthday, provided you are not disabled.

When you purchase the Future Insurability Option coverage, you select the maximum monthly amount you want for future increases.  On each option date, you can apply for up to 20% of the amount selected.  (Companies and policies vary on their options and rules, be sure to ask for specifics).  

The premium for this new monthly amount will be calculated based on your atained age and rates applicable when the option is exercised.  

Commercial Insurance

If a fire or other covered loss causes you to have to stop your business operations, Business Interruption Insurance will help cover the costs of lost revenue and additional expenses associated with being temporarily closed.  

Commercial vehicle insurance is a policy of physical damage and liability coverage for amounts, situations, and usage not covered by personal auto insurance policy.  This type of business insurance covers many types of commercial vehicles, from automobiles used for business purposes, including company cars, to a wide variety of commercial trucks and vehicles.

It is common for employees to use their own personal vehicle incidentally for errands and tasks for your business. 

Common examples:

  • You send an employee to pick up lunch using their own vehicle
  • Your employee runs to pick up office supplies using their own vehicle
  • Your employee uses their own vehicle to do company banking

The Liability of your Commercial/Business Insurance Policy Standard Non-Owned Automobile will respond to these types of incidents and covers bodily injury and property damage caused by an employee's vehicle, as long as the accident happens while the employee is attempting to complete company tasks.

If you are unsure that your policy includes this coverage, call your insurance company to verify.  

If you have further questions... Contact us!