All posts tagged auto insurance

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Car Insurance


When it comes to car insurance, you have to have it, but you hope to never have to use it. That makes it important to pay as little as possible for the coverage you need. Fully understanding how car insurance works can help you get the right coverage and not pay too much for it.

Types of car insurance

Liability is the minimum amount of insurance coverage mandated by just about every state and provides coverage in an accident that you cause. If you have a loan on your car, you will be required to carry collision, which covers damages to your car, and comprehensive coverage, which provides coverage for damage caused by something other than a collision, such as hail. Other types of coverage include uninsured motorist, which will cover you if you are hit by a person without insurance or who is underinsured, and personal injury protection, which is a type of coverage that pays for injuries to your passengers.

How rates are set

While your driving record, including how many accidents and tickets you have gotten, plays a big role in what kind of rates you get, insurance companies consider many other factors. Your age, sex, where you live and what type of car you have will help determine your rates. For example, if you are a teenage male, your rates will likely be very higher because statistics show that most severe accidents are caused by young male drivers. Young female drivers also have higher rates, but they tend to be somewhat lower than young males. Other factors that are considered in your insurance rates are the grades you get in school, and if you have already been in an accident or involved in some other traffic violation. Any traffic or accident that you may be involved in can also cause your insurance rates to go up later even after purchasing your insurance. Also note that, some insurers even consider whether you have a high credit score in setting your rates.

Being proactive

While you can’t do anything about some characteristics used to set rates, such as your age and sex, there are other things you can do to pay less. A perfect example of this is going to driving school. Taking a driver’s education course, especially if you are a young driver, will lower your rates. According to North Shore Driving School Ltd., most insurers give significant discounts to drivers who have taken a driver’s ED class or a defensive driving class.

Other ways to lower rates

In addition to taking driver’s ED, there are a number of other things you can do to help lower your rates. If you are a student, getting good grades is even more important than going to driving school. Bundling policies by getting more than one with the same insurance company will get you discounts and save you money on rates. You can also lower the rates you pay by agreeing to pay a larger deductible.

Car insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are a number of things you can do to lower your rates.

The Big No-No’s of Car Insurance: A Look at the Biggest 5 Mistakes You Can Make


While car insurance is a requirement, paying an arm and a leg in monthly premiums is not. Each year, thousands of consumers across the country purchase car insurance blindly, without finding out the best ways to maximize monthly premium savings. Before you hand over your hard earned cash for car insurance, avoid the following five biggest mistakes you can make when getting quotes from agents:

Rushing the Process

Because the process of shopping and buying insurance can cause massive headaches, consumers understandably want to get it over with as soon as possible. Like any other major purchases, rushing through the process can be a mistake. Be prepared to answer a variety of questions and complete some tasks that can save you money prior to getting quotes.

  • Get a printout of your driving record from the DMV. You’ll be able to have an accurate picture, and may be able to dispute any records that appear when you apply for insurance.
  • Take defensive driving course. If you have a poor driving record, this will greatly reduce your monthly premium.
  • Always ask for discounts. There are many discounts that both you and the insurance agent are likely overlooking. Remind them to look at any potential discounts that might be missing.

Choosing the Wrong Deductible

The deductible you choose plays a large part in how high or low your monthly premium will be. Choosing a higher deductible means your premium will be lower, but you’ll have to shell out more cash if you’re involved in an accident. A lower deductible means a high premium payment but will require less out-of-pocket money after a collision. Be sure to consider how the price of your deductible will work into your monthly budget before signing on the dotted line.

Always Read Before You Sign

Like any other contract, signing an insurance contract binds you to its terms and conditions. Take time to read through the paperwork. While it may take several minutes to complete, it could save you money in the long run. Finding out later after you’ve been involved in an accident that you’re not covered because of a clause in your contract can lead to a huge, unexpected dent in your expenses.

Buying Too Much Coverage

How much do you really care for your old beat up car? Do you really need full coverage or a large deductible? Buying too much coverage for your car is a mistake people make every day. If your car is more than a decade old, you’ll likely only need the minimum amount of insurance required under state law. Double coverage is also an issue that can cost you hundreds of dollars every year. Towing and vacation coverage clauses aren’t needed if you’ve got those covered when using your credit cards.

Everything Must Be in Writing

Some agents might promise everything under the sun, but may forget to leave some details out of the contract. Get everything in writing before you sign on the dotted line. Not doing so could potentially leave you open for financial headaches down the road.

Saving money while getting enough coverage should be your top priority when purchasing car insurance. Ask for a policy and cost breakdown so you have a better chance of cutting out coverage that you don’t need. The more informed you are about your own policy, the more likely you are to save money.

The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Steers Insurance Limited, who provide car insurance in Corner Brook.

Car Insurance: 3 Benefits to Having Your Own Insurance Agent


Having your own insurance agent is a good way to keep your insurance simple. You may have been happy with service you got from the corporate office, but there is a great deal you can do when you have an insurance agent who is focused on you. These private businesses are there to service customer accounts while also providing assistance to the community at large.

Personalized Service

When you are working with your own insurance agent, they know you inside and out. They are able to keep up with you, and they know what your specific needs are. When you call them because you have purchased a new car, they know that you likely want the same insurance as you did before. When you have kids, they know that you need comprehensive coverage for the family car. They may also recommend collision coverage for the car you drive to work so that you can save money (Source: Meyer’s Insurance Ltd.).

Something that can’t be stressed enough is that having an insurance agent personalized. They can help you anytime with any issues that you may be having with your insurance. With that said, many people are getting their insurance online now which often takes away the benefits of having a personalized agent. Dealing with insurance on your own and over the internet can be complicated and confusing. There is no personal touch with it that an insurance agent can provide. Also, the quality of customer service tends to be lower online than with your own agent.


Most people who are looking for savings will only get those savings from their local agent. The local agent spends most of their time trying to figure out how to save money for their customers. The agent makes commission on each policy, and they need to make sure that all customers retain their policies. If the agent is able to save you money, you are more likely to stay with them.

The agent also knows all of the discount programs that are specific to your job, your area or the size of your family. You get personalized service from someone who is spending all day trying to help people just like you. Your insurance agent will disclose any and all discounts that are available to you, but don’t be afraid to inquire about other discounts that you may not yet be able to qualify for as your agent will give you information about how to be able to qualify for those discounts as well.

They Are Close

The local insurance agent has an office in your community that you can visit at any time. The local insurance agent also has a phone number you can call directly. You never have to wait for a customer service agent to answer the phone, and you do not need to wait for someone to get back to you. The insurance company is not distant from you, and you know that other people in the community can give you extra information about working with the agent.

When you are working with your own insurance agent, you will find that you save more money, get better service and better policies. The local agent is committed to you and your community. Also, the local agent knows how to help you get just the insurance you need.

Car Insurance: How Much Coverage Is Too Much


Buying car insurance coverage can be a confusing experience for many people, most of whom wind up purchasing more car insurance than they really need when they get full coverage insurance to protect their vehicles and others. Certainly, it is good and reassuring to have auto insurance coverage, and all Canadian provinces require some level of liability insurance to pay for injuries to others and property damage. But buying too much insurance coverage is almost as wasteful as not buying enough.

Full-Coverage Car Insurance Is Not Always Needed

Whenever financing the purchase of a vehicle, the lender will require full coverage insurance with a reasonable deductible amount to protect the loan collateral. But once that vehicle is paid off, maintaining full coverage insurance might not make sense. If the value has depreciated enough, paying for full coverage insurance is not a wise move. Most vehicles worth less than $5,000 don’t warrant full coverage unless they are financed, and insurers will refuse to provide full coverage insurance for vehicles that are worth only $3,000 or so, according to Underwriters Insurance Brokers (BC) Ltd., a provider of auto insurance in Vancouver.

Many Additional Protections Are Not Needed

When buying car insurance in Vancouver or other provinces, a lot of insurance professionals like to talk people into buying additional insurance coverage beyond liability, collision and comprehensive insurance. Most people do not need many additional insurance items, such as rental car insurance, towing coverage, trip interruption and other types of optional insurance protection. Most people have credit cards that provide free rental car insurance coverage, so having additional insurance through an auto insurance policy wastes money.

Trip-Interruption and Towing Not Always Needed

Likewise, trip-interruption insurance is good only for people who travel a lot by car. Those who only drive in town and use airlines, rail and rentals when traveling generally won’t benefit from trip interruption. Towing service also is relatively affordable, but in many cases, the benefit amount does not warrant several years of additional coverage payments. In most cases, a vehicle won’t be towed more than one or two times with a maximum benefit amount of $125 or so per tow and the bill paid up front.

Careful Planning Can Prevent Wasted Cash

When discussing insurance options with insurance producers, people need to ask about policies and the coverage they include. In many instances, they will find additional protections they likely won’t need. Eliminating unwanted coverage will make insurance more effective and more affordable and prevent people from paying for too much car insurance.

Life in the Carpool Lane: Everything You Need to Know About Insuring a Teen Driver


Having a teen driver is a big source of worry for parents, especially within the first year of having their license. There is a lot that teenagers don’t understand about driving, cars, costs of repairs, etc., and it’s up to you as a parent to teach them about these things. While you may be an expert with your own insurance, you need to know some specific information about insuring your teenager’s vehicle. Read on to learn the essentials of insuring a teenage driver.

The Cost of the Car and the Cost of Insurance

Generally, newer cars are going to be more expensive to insure because states usually have laws requiring a certain level of protection for them. However, you need to weigh out the benefits and the drawbacks. An older vehicle is likely to save you money on insurance, but it also likely has a greater chance of breaking down, which could just lead to more repairs in the end. Knowing the type of usage the car will get helps with this decision.

Drivers Education and Car Insurance

Depending upon the state that you live in, driver’s education might be required. In these areas, it is unlikely that your teenager is going to receive a discount for insurance because he or she was required to take the program. When you are living in a state where driver’s education is optional, ask the car insurance company if a discount is available once the course has been completed.

Receiving Good Grades and Discounts

Encouraging your teenagers to do well in school now has another benefit; it could save you or them money on their car insurance. Find out about the specific requirements of the program when you first sign up. Each car insurance company is going to have a different minimum grade or grade point average that must be achieved for the discounted rate, but many of them will likely have a minimum grade requirement of around a B or higher.

Paying the Deductible

Fully understanding insurance is something that even some adults have difficulty with, but you want to make sure this point is crystal clear to both you and your teenagers. When you have to go through your insurance to pay for the damage on your car, you generally need to pay a deductible. This means that the entire cost of repairs is not paid for by your insurance company. A $500 deductible is fairly common. Therefore, you want to ensure that your teenager has this money saved up if something were to happen with his or her vehicle, and that they know how much a crash or fender bender could set them back.

Talking to your teenagers early about car insurance is smart so that way they know about the costs associated with it and how they can keep their rate down. One day, your teens will be paying for their own insurance, so it’s helpful to help them learn the ropes now. Teen drivers always present a risk, but if you get your insurance set up properly from the get-go, you will have less to worry about.

AUTHOR BIO: Dixie got her advice for this article from the professionals at the Valley Driving School who offer driving lessons in Vancouver.