Your chosen career has no direct effect on your car insurance premiums. If everything else were equal, the retail store greeter and the neurology surgeon pay the same price to insure the same vehicle. However, in Ontario’s auto insurance system, being complex as well as highly regulated, few things about premiums remain simple.
It’s typical for members belonging to industry associations to enjoy offers made to their membership groups. This is true for doctors, as well. The Ontario Medical Association provides auto insurance through a not for profit enterprise — OMA Insurance.
Factors Affecting Doctors’ Auto Insurance Premiums
When it comes to personal information, what you do for a living isn’t necessary for insurers. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario provides a form for information needed to apply for insurance. There is no need for career, income or credit information, and insurers can’t use this information to deny you coverage. That’s why the doctor pays the same rate as the retail greeter.
That of course depends on both having the same driving record and insurance history. These personal traits present a major factor in determining car insurance rates. The safest driver pays the lowest premiums.
The make, model and year of vehicle also influences the price of coverage. A doctor driving a current model luxury high-performance sports vehicle pays more for coverage than someone driving a 10 year old sedan or minivan. The situation reverses if it’s the doctor driving the older vehicle.
A driver’s neighbourhood affects the price they pay for car insurance as well, regardless of career. The difference between a driver living in Brampton and a similar driver from Guelph can be $1,000 or more annually. Each postal region in Canada has its own risk determination factor. Since a doctor can live anywhere, there’s no advantage or disadvantage connected with residence.
Doctors who are on call around the clock may experience one factor that negatively affects insurance affordability. Time of day creates premium impact, since driving at night, generally from midnight to 6 a.m., carries increased risk. Some Ontario insurers, including OMA Insurance, offer usage-based insurance programs. These use devices or apps to monitor driving habits. Time of day, as well as acceleration and braking, determine what discount levels an insured motorist receives. Should a doctor subscribe to usage-based coverage while experiencing excessive late-night driving patterns, they may receive smaller or no discounts at all. Usage-based car insurance programs cannot cause a driver to pay more or be penalized in any way.
The Ontario Medical Association created OMA Insurance in 1956 as a way to offer doctors discounts on insurance products dedicated to their needs. OMA Insurance is set up as a non-profit company. This provides insurance coverage on an unbiased basis, since there are no shareholders to consider.
Insurance Products Offered by OMA Insurance
As well as typical property and casualty insurance — that is, home and auto coverage — OMA Insurance also offers group health and dental programs, life insurance, disability coverage, commercial and office/clinic protection. Special programs also cover medical students, key employees and other situations important to doctors, their families and businesses.
Features of OMA Auto Insurance
OMA Insurance partners with The Personal Insurance Company as underwriter for its auto insurance offerings. This permits policyholders access to full-service, round the clock support from a company that supports organization and government group insurance plans with a history dating back to 1974. The Personal currently supports over 700 organizations in both the public and private sectors, affording it a client base that permits a full size support infrastructure, while retaining the ability to offer aggressive pricing for its member groups.
Auto products include both business and personal vehicles, whether these are cars, vans, light trucks used for business or these plus motorcycles and RVs. Some of the programs and discounts included under OMA Insurance auto coverage include:
- Multi-line discounts: for listing both home and auto coverage with OMA Insurance
- Multi-vehicle discounts: whether for business fleet or personal vehicles
- Zero-deductible coverage: pays the deductible amounts regardless of accident fault
- Accident Free protection: accident forgiveness coverage for the first at-fault accident a driver has
- Loyalty deductions: for on-going listing with OMA Insurance. This program may also honour previous history for those switching to OMA
- Student rates: Discounts may apply to clients under 25 years of age
- Hybrid/Electric vehicles: discounts apply to those driving environmentally responsible vehicles
- Winter Tire Discounts: switching tires seasonally saves money
- Usage-based insurance: OMA Insurance uses the Ajusto app, which monitors safe driving habits. Typically, there’s a discount for using the program and additional savings when safe driving becomes confirmed through the program.
Other Coverage and Support
Additional programs and services may also be available, depending on current insurance market conditions and offers. The OMA Insurance program includes 24/7 from the scene support, so policyholders can access assistance from an accident scene anywhere in North America. Support staff assists with transportation and repairs, particularly important when a client is on unfamiliar ground.
The Worry Free option aids an insurance client with borrowed or rented cars during the repair or replacement period after an accident.
Those who are members of the OMA are eligible for OMA Insurance coverage. This includes both current and soon-to-be doctors. Coverage extends also to the families of OMA members, so it’s possible for non-doctors to sign on to OMA Insurance coverage. Commercial vehicles may be insured with OMA, so employees of an OMA member may already receive coverage when using vehicles owned by the doctor or clinic and insured through OMA. Doctors’ employees may also be eligible for OMA Insurance coverage in their role as support staff.
So while being a member of the medical profession doesn’t directly affect insurance costs, membership in the OMA provides a number of options for doctors to save money across the car insurance spectrum. Even if a doctor chooses to go with another provider, quotes supplied through the OMA assist in identifying the best insurance values.