Car insurance in Alberta is expensive but necessary in order to drive. Vehicle insurance risks are high primarily due to the cost of injury related automobile collisions. Motor-vehicle accidents are among the highest causes of injury in Alberta and the leading cause of injury death for Albertans under 30 years of age. Fortunately, you have some control over your auto insurance premiums, which depend on how you drive, the type of vehicle driven, how the vehicle is used, the coverage obtained and discounts available. To obtain affordable auto insurance, the following tips are recommended.
Maintain a Clean Driving Record
In order to keep low insurance rates, a conviction-free and accident-free track record should be your goal. The relationship between insurance premiums and accident risks is clear when considering insurance costs for young drivers, where the risk of traffic-related deaths and injuries is high. Graduated licensing was implemented to help to reduce these accident risks.
While traffic authorities try to implement a safe driving approach, multiple speeding tickets or other driving violations can quickly tarnish your clean driving record, especially when they are issued within a three year period. Further, if you get into an accident and file a claim, then your auto insurance rate renewal may be impacted significantly for the next six years. In Alberta, a driver has up to one year to file a property damage claim and two years to file an injury claim against you.
While you are required by law to report an accident to your insurance company, you can pay out of pocket for your vehicle damage instead of filing a claim. Some insurance policies will allow the first collision claim to occur without raising your insurance rate.
Multiple tickets and/or accidents within a short period can put you into a “high risk” driver category. You could essentially be forced out from driving if you can no longer afford to pay insurance rates.
Choose Your Vehicle with Insurance Rates in Mind
Before buying a vehicle, an online insurance quote or call to HDF Insurance can alert you of the insurance cost. How Cars Measure Up is available from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which identifies the insurance cost of different makes and models based on theft, collision and other claims. You should also be aware that sports cars, convertibles and luxury cars tend to attract higher rates because of the cost of repair or replacement and the likelihood that they will be driven at faster speeds. Choosing a more basic vehicle over a luxury vehicle can lower your insurance premiums as can choosing a vehicle with a low claims record. Buying a current model in excellent condition instead of brand new can also save you insurance costs because the replacement value will be lower.
Limit the Use of Your Vehicle
How much you drive and the reason you drive can make it difficult to find cheap car insurance. If you can commute to work by public transit or an alternate method (e.g., bicycling in summer), then changing your vehicle insurance to recreational use only can save costs. If you must drive to work, then consider carpooling to reduce your driving risks. When planning a vacation, consider travelling by plane, train or bus; long drives increase your risk of getting into an accident.
Review Your Auto Insurance Coverage
It is important to review your coverage in detail and to ensure that the information is correct. A simple clerical error in Vehicle Identification Number can affect your policy rate as can the failure to ensure your driver training is on file. You should review your insurance coverage regularly (e.g., annually) and not just when you first sign up for insurance or you change vehicles.
Your insurance premium can be lowered at any time if you can afford a higher claim deductible, eliminate collision coverage (for repairs to your vehicle) or have a safety device or anti-theft device installed. Obtaining discounts, where eligible, such as multi-vehicle discounts and multi-insurance discounts for home and auto insurance can lower your premiums.
If you have members in your household who have become high risk drivers, consider placing restrictions on their use of your vehicle, such as limiting their use of the vehicle to when you are in the vehicle too. Removing a high risk driver from your auto insurance plan will lower your rate but that could make it impossible for your family member to obtain affordable insurance.
Contact HDF Insurance
Talk to an Edmonton car insurance broker at HDF Insurance, who can do the comparison shopping for you. Your auto insurance broker can inquire about any discounts that may apply to you, such as a pre-negotiated employee rate or membership in a professional group or association (e.g., alumni association). At HDF Insurance in Edmonton and Whitecourt, several car insurance plans are available and we can provide you with expert insight to best suit your needs. Contact us for your free quote today at 1-800-567-2048.