How to Get the Best Rates on Car Insurance in Maine

In Maine when you buy a new car you should be aware of one very important fact. You can’t register a vehicle in this state without showing proof of insurance. The insurance you purchase must include not only the legally required limits of liability insurance, and uninsured motorist coverage but $1,000 medical payments coverage too. If you don’t show the proof, you can’t operate the car.

All drivers in Maine have one important thing in common. Regardless of what type of car they drive and the level of car insurance they are looking for, they want to get the best rates in Maine. Many people make the mistake of buying a policy based on the first quote they receive. This is never a good idea. In order to find the best rates, you have to do some comparison shopping.

It’s a good idea to call several car insurance companies when you are searching for a new policy. The minimum number you should call is three but really the more the better. When you do call you’ll be asked to supply some basic information and from there the agent will calculate a quote for you. Be truthful with all the information you do give as you want the quote to be as accurate as possible.

Don’t neglect the insurance company you already do business with. If you have a homeowner’s or health insurance policy, that company may be able to offer you a great rate on car insurance in Maine. In fact, if you purchase car insurance from them, it may result in lower rates for your other policy or policies.

If you already have a car insurance policy in place, ask your agent about a renewal discount. If they realize that you are contemplating making the move to another vendor, they may be willing to offer you a better rate in order to keep you where you are.

Cheap Car Insurance

Finding good car insurance can be very difficult. Here are a few tips:

  • Try a few different insurance companies. Companies are different. So are their prices. You may find that one company wants to charge you $1000/month for insurance and another will only charge you $400/month. You might be one of the lucky ones who only gets charged $30/month. Regardless of who you are, call multiple carriers even if the first quote you get appears to be low. You may find another company with a lower rate for you.
  • Talk to friends and family. Other people are just like you, they want cheap insurance too. Chances are, you know someone who has already called all over the place and can give you some good pointers on which car insurance companies were the cheapest for them. Remember, nobody likes to spend money on auto insurance.
  • Use the internet. The internet is a great place to find auto insurance. You can find out information about insurance companies, compare rates, get quotes, and shop around without leaving your house. There are also websites out there like 1carinsurance.org who have organized insurance company data and user data and will tell you which companies people are having success with in finding the best car insurance [http://www.1carinsurance.org] for them.
  • Get auto insurance quotes. Don’t just trust them. Get a quote. They’re free (or, if the quote isn’t free you know you don’t want to use that company). If you can get quotes from 6 or 7 different companies, you then have hard data to compare the companies against each other. You’re also pretty sure you’re going to get the lowest rate.
  • Try local companies. Often times people only think about the big auto insurance companies like Geico or Progressive. They don’t even look around their local communities for auto insurance companies that might exist. Often local companies can offer cheaper rates because they don’t have the large buracracy that larger companies have.

Just remember to shop around as you look for cheaper car insurance. The first company isn’t always the best.

Online Car Insurance Overview

Development of the Web for the past decade drastically changed car insurance business. The Internet makes it easy to find required information to get the best deals and insurance rates. You don’t have to call your insurance agent any more, or visit their office to sign documents. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection.

Buying car insurance online has many advantages. It’s a good way to reduce your insurance costs and save time. You can instantly get auto insurance quotes form different insurance companies, so that you are able to compare prices. Usually, many people pay too much for their car insurance policy only because they haven’t enough time to shop around for the best rate. Now, this is not the case when you’re buying insurance policy online. You can always find a good online discount broker. There are lots of them offering quotes from a wide range of companies.

Search the web and you will find many companies offering online car insurance. But it can be more of a challenge to find a reliable insurer, offering cheap auto insurance. Progressive, TESCO, GEICO, Insurance Finder and Direct are among of them. They offer various types of discounts, flexible payment options and much more. You can visit their websites for more detailed information.

However, it can be mentioned that, there are several types of coverage they offer. Typical auto insurance policy consists of three separate types of coverage: property, medical and liability coverage. And most car insurance policies last from six months to one year. But before making a decision in favor of a particular insurance company, you should find out which one fits your needs best.

What If Health Insurance Were Like Car Insurance?

Consider your body an automobile with legs, a pedestrian transportation unit. Your legs are your wheels, food is your gasoline, your skeleton is your chassis, your eyes are your headlights. Basically, your body is a high-tech machine.

Every machine requires maintenance. People expect to pay something to keep automobiles and other high-tech machines in running order. Drivers pay for gasoline, for tires, for oil changes. It’s just a fact of life. Why muck things up by getting insurance involved? Surely it’s quicker – and cheaper – to leave insurance out of the equation.

So it should be with health insurance. You pay for the small stuff, the trips to doctor, routine medication, eyeglasses, etc. – perhaps a thousand bucks a year. For big ticket items your insurance kicks in.

Insurance would be for things beyond your control, say accidents or serious infections. Or perhaps you’d like to purchase a “parts and labor” warranty, in case something goes wrong with the engine (heart) or you need a new transmission (hip replacement).

This model is similar to a high-deductible insurance plan, the kind many self-employed individuals purchase. Under a specified amount, the patient pays all medical expenses. Above the pre-set limit, insurance pays. There are high-deductible plans beginning at the $1,000 deductible level, with higher levels also available at even lower premiums. A $5,000 deductible is a cost-effective choice for many self-employed workers.

These plans are much less expensive than traditional insurance. The difference in premiums can be tucked away in a health-savings account to cover low-ticket items. Hopefully, with time, your savings increases, allowing you to choose a higher-deductible (and therefore less expensive) plan.

Doesn’t this make sense? For the first $1,000 to $5,000 (whichever plan you choose) you’re spending your own money, which gives you a strong incentive to economize. Better to ration your own care than depend on someone else to do so. If you come down with pneumonia or need your gallbladder out, your insurance kicks in.

Naturally, you want to remain healthy and stay out of the hospital. That’s strong incentive to take care of yourself. Plus, you maintain the highest degree of freedom yet still have a safety net in case of emergency.

The incentive to limit one’s own expenses is what’s missing from government-sponsored health plans such as Medicaid. Somehow we need to find a way for everyone to have a stake in the expense. Is it fair to ask those who are actually working to economize when those who are not working receive unlimited care at no cost?

Everyone needs to pay something or the system will become unsustainable – it nearly is already. “Free” health care ultimately increases expenses for everyone.

Making health insurance like car insurance won’t fix everything, but it is a step in the right direction.

Mexican Auto Insurance Policies

Planning to take a trip and drive to Mexico? Or maybe to a more specific location, say, planning to drive to Baja? Before you pack your bags, here are some important facts you need to understand.

If you’re planning to drive down to Mexico without Mexico auto insurance and by some unfortunate twist of fate, you get involved in a vehicular accident and you don’t have the necessary means to compensate for any damages caused or the resources necessary to obtain legal counsel, you could very easily end up in prison. Don’t take that risk!

Before taking a drive to Mexico or to Baja, as a responsible driver you should arrange and apply for a Mexican auto insurance policy. Insuring your automobile or vehicle for taking a trip to Mexico is very important. Vehicle insurance is a must if you are driving an American or Canadian vehicle, whether it’s a car, van, truck or RV, across the Mexican border. The law in Mexico requires drivers to have a minimum of $50,000 worth of proof of financial liability for any sort of bodily injury or property damage they instigate to others involved in the accident. Purchasing an insurance policy endorsed by a Mexican company is the only sensible means to avoid a run-in with the law, as Mexican authorities do not acknowledge foreign insurance policies for privately owned vehicles or automobiles in Mexico. Only licensed Mexican insurance companies are able to provide the necessary auto insurance coverage that is acknowledged and accepted by the legal system in Mexico. Without proper insurance, a minor vehicular accident could very well turn into a nightmare, necessitating jail time and enormous monetary penalties.

As Mexican law requires that the liability insurance must be obtained from a licensed Mexican company, then it also means that your auto insurance policy must be issued by a Mexican insurance company, or arranged via a broker in the US that’s affiliated with a Mexican insurance company. Another way is to arrange your vehicle insurance coverage online before you decide to travel as you can get insured at a much better price, arrange immediate coverage online and won’t have to worry about filing all the necessary paperwork.

All insurance policies are purchased from brokers. It’s essential that you know which insurance company is endorsing the policy you are purchasing from the broker, as the insurance company who is endorsing your policy is more important than the broker selling you the policy. In selecting a broker, pick one that is properly licensed and has the necessary resources to appropriately attend to your claim and needs when you’re in Mexico.

There are well over 50 insurance companies in Mexico. Make sure you ask your insurance broker about the size and financial stability of the Mexican auto insurance company they work in conjunction with. Purchasing insurance from a more reliable and financially stable insurance company may be more expensive, but the supplementary premium presents a lower risk to you in the event of claim. Guard yourself and your financial investment by ensuring that the insurance company who endorses your insurance policies has a reliable, stable and strong history.

How Do I Lower My Auto Insurance Premiums?

It seems as though the price of everything is on the rise. The amount a house may have cost in the early 70s is how much you will pay for a new car in the 21st century. Oil companies have used the problems in Southwest Asia as an excuse to send gas prices through the roof. And the cost of peace of mind when driving your vehicle knowing if you or your vehicle is injured in an accident you will be covered has become astronomical. So what can you do to lower your insurance premiums so you don’t feel as though you are paying a mortgage note in exchange for a vehicle and a car note in exchange for insurance?

Consider how much coverage you really need to buy and the price each of these coverages will pay. Think about collision and comprehensive coverage, which is how much you will be reimbursed for the loss or destruction of your vehicle. Are you carrying $30,000 worth of collision coverage for a $12,000 vehicle? Is the insurance company really going to give you $30,000 when your vehicle is only worth $12,000, unfortunately not?

If you are leasing or financing your vehicle these coverages may be required however if you are driving an older car that has depreciated significantly you may want to consider saving on your premium by dropping this coverage. Before you drop it make sure you can afford to foot the bill on the entire cost of replacing that vehicle if it is lost.

Think about the cost of insuring that sports car or luxury vehicle before you purchase it. If higher premiums is a small price to pay for going from 0 to 60 in .5 seconds go ahead and purchase that Ferrari, if not consider the sedan.

Generally you can’t help where you live but expect that you will pay higher premiums in cities or towns that have high rates of accidents and vandalism as opposed to more rural low crime areas. The X and Y-chromosomes are luck of the draw and everyone ages in the same slow, drawn out amount of time. Oh and of course everyone can’t find that special someone and settle down right away but if you had control over any of these things it would help control your premium rates.

Single, young males under the age of 25 get the short end of the stick in this deal so if you fall into this category make up for this price increase by purchasing a more sensible vehicle. Consider delaying the purchase of that cherry red Mustang until after you’re 26 and married. Another aspect of higher premiums is your driving record. Drivers who cause accidents will pay for it in their insurance premiums. If you’re a high-risk driver the insurance company is going to supplement the money lost on safe drivers by increasing the amount you will have to pay. So slow down, leave earlier, be patient and think about how much money you can save every year by obeying the traffic laws.

Rental Car Insurance – Should You Buy Rental Car Insurance?

Your flight landed an hour late. Now, you’ll be late for that important meeting. You can already imagine your customers sitting around a conference table waiting impatiently. You step to the front of the line at the car rental counter, with six other exasperated businessmen behind you who are late for their meetings, too. The rental agent plunks the contract down in front of you, and circles all the places on the contract that you’re supposed to sign or initial. Then she stares at you, as if to say, “Hurry up!” The print is small. The sentences are written in Legalese. You’d like to stop and read the fine print, but you can feel the people behind you getting more upset. You thought you were renting a car for $35.00 per day. With all the add-ons, the cost is now $70.00 per day.

Oh…the pressure…the panic! You cave in, signing and leaving your initials in all the right places. You take your contract and keys and head for your car, inwardly feeling like a failure and mad because you didn’t stand up for yourself.

If the preceding story is too familiar, there’s hope just ahead!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a regular car renter or just an occasional traveler who needs to rent a car, you’ll likely face these kinds of choices at the car rental counter. Some folks just decline everything. Some folks purchase all of the coverage offered.

But…are you wasting bunches of money on unneeded coverage or leaving yourself dangerously under insured? Before leaving on your trip, I recommend that you make two phone calls – one to your auto insurance company and another to the credit card company you’ll be using to pay for the rental car. You’ll need to find out if you have automatic coverage for your car rental from each company, and the various terms and conditions for that automatic coverage.

FIRST…CALL YOUR CAR INSURANCE COMPANY

In your personal or business auto insurance policy, there is coverage for damage to your auto. The Insuring Agreement in most policies says: ” We will pay for direct and accidental loss to ‘your covered auto’ or any ‘non-owned auto,’ including their equipment, minus any applicable deductible shown in the Declarations.”

Another phrase is VERY IMPORTANT!

“If there is a loss to a ‘non-owned auto’, we will provide the broadest coverage applicable to any ‘covered auto’ in the Declarations.” Here’s an example of how this would work for you:

You have two vehicles. One is a 2006 Toyota Camry with full coverage. It’s worth $24,000. The other is a 1980 Chevy S-10 pickup worth $1,500 that you only use for trips back and forth to the local home improvement store, and you only have liability coverage on the pickup. If you rented a car and it got damaged, your insurance company would provide the full coverage for the rental car, which is the broadest coverage in your policy.

If you normally drive an older car with only liability insurance on it, there will not be any property damage insurance extended to the rental car. In this instance, you should either use the credit card’s Collision Damage Waiver or buy the CDW from the car rental company.

Ask your insurance company representative how much coverage you have on your car. Ask if there is a limit of value on your Collision coverage. If there is a limit, and you drive a 7 year old Ford Taurus that’s worth $5,500…and you rent a new Cadillac Escalade that’s worth $55,000…will your personal auto insurance cover the damage to the higher valued vehicle? REALLY important to know this…you could owe the rental car company tens of thousands of dollars to repair or replace a high value rental vehicle if you’re not properly covered.

Find out the limits of liability. Make sure that your limits are higher than the minimum limits required by your state. Limits above $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident for Bodily Injury, and $100,000 for Property Damage are very inexpensive. Make sure that you limits are no less than that amount…higher would be better.

Find out what collision and comprehensive deductibles you have on your car, because those deductibles will apply when you rent a car and use your own insurance for rental coverage.

Make sure that you have Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage on your personal or business policy. If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist, and the accident is his fault, recovery will be practically impossible. Likewise with a motorist who is underinsured. Best to have your own coverage protection.

Q: What if I don’t own a car, and don’t have car insurance?

A: If you do not own a car, you won’t have an automobile policy. You should buy the rental car coverage, both the CDW and liability coverage. Or, you should use your credit card’s CDW and buy the optional liability coverage from the rental car company. If you’re a frequent car renter, however, you can still buy a “non-owner” liability policy. This solution might save you money over the coverage available through the car rental company.

Q: What happens if my personal property inside the car gets damaged or stolen?

A: Most Collision Damage Waivers provide coverage for theft of the vehicle, but not any personal property stolen or damaged inside the vehicle. Check your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy because you may have coverage through them for your stolen or damaged personal property. A deductible will likely apply.

Here’s a super important tip! Some people think that, if they purchased the Collision Damage Waiver or used the CDW from their credit card, and the rental car got damaged, they don’t have to report it to their own insurance company. They are hoping that because the CDW covers the damage, it won’t affect their own insurance policy….and they won’t get a rate increase. WRONG!!! Don’t be misled into thinking that you can get away without reporting your accident to your own insurance company. In most accidents, more things get damaged than just the rental car. Even if your accident is just you running into a guardrail, whoever owns that guardrail is going to look to you to pay for the damages. Also, other people might have been injured. You could have a large liability exposure, and you might need your personal or business auto policy to cover your loss. Your insurance policy includes legal representation if someone files a lawsuit against you for damages.

If you’re going to use your own personal or business auto coverage, decline the Collision Damage Waiver on the car rental contract.

NEXT…CALL THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY

Ask your credit card company about the benefits they offer. Each company is different, and each level of credit is different. For example, a regular card might have different insurance benefits than a gold or platinum card. Ask the card company to send you your benefits IN WRITING. If you’re in a hurry, ask them to fax or email it to you.

Some cards may only cover collision and comprehensive, and leave you uninsured for liability. Some cards only offer coverage when you rent from a certain rental company. Some restrict the number of days of coverage. Some cards don’t automatically cover you and require you to sign up for a particular program. Still others limit the kinds of vehicles you can rent. (see below for some exclusions)

If you have more than one credit card, call each one and find out the card with the best benefits. Then, use that credit card to pay for your rental car, and use their benefits.

If you’re planning on using the credit card company’s coverage, you must decline the Collision Damage Waiver shown in the rental car contract. Otherwise, the credit card company’s coverage will become excess to the coverage in the rental car company’s Collision Damage Waiver. “Excess” means that any other available coverage would pay first, and the credit card coverage would pay any remaining portion of the loss.

Credit card Collision Damage Waivers cover:

o vehicle damage

o theft

o loss of use

o towing

See your credit card company’s written CDW for all the details.

Collision Damage Waivers exclude:

o Injury to anyone or damage to anything inside or outside the rental vehicle.

o Loss or theft of personal belongings.

o Liability

o Loss due to intentional acts, like DUI, drug use or other illegal activities.

o Off-road operations. If you rent an SUV and take it off-road, no coverage.

o Rental periods of more than 15 days within your country of residence, or more than 31 days in a foreign country.

o Vehicles that do not meet the definition of “covered vehicles,” such as:

– expensive, exotic and antique vehicles

– certain vans

– pickup trucks

– other trucks

– motorcycles and ATVs

See your credit card company’s written CDW for all the details.

CAR RENTAL INSURANCE

Most major rental car companies offer these four coverages.

o Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). This covers a rental vehicle damaged by an accident, vandalism, theft or loss of use. Costs range between $9 and $20 per day.

The most misunderstood part of car rental coverage is the Collision Damage Waiver, or sometimes called the “Auto Rental CDW.”

Remember…the car rental CDW provided by the car rental company is not insurance. Insurance is regulated by each state. Collision Damage coverage is a waiver. The car rental companies agree to not hold the renter responsible if the rental car is damaged or stolen, and they guarantee that they will pay for certain damages listed in their coverage agreement.

In many cases, the waiver also provides “loss of use” coverage, which pays the rental company if the damaged or stolen car cannot be rented. In most states, car insurance policies don’t cover loss of use. So, if you choose not to buy the Collision Damage Waiver, you might have a loss of use exposure if the rental car gets damaged. But if you’re using your credit card’s automatic coverage, it will pay for that loss of use.

Some car rental companies will require you to pay for repairs or replacement costs out of your own pocket up front, and then you have to get reimbursed by your own insurance company. Being forced to come up with thousands of dollars in immediate cash could ruin a vacation. You’re protected from these up-front costs by the CDW. Read your rental contract CAREFULLY!

o Personal Effects Coverage. This provides coverage for theft or damage to personal items inside the rental car. Costs range between $2 and $5 per day.

o Supplemental Liability Insurance. This provides liability coverage up to $1 million. Costs range between $7 and $9 per day.

o Personal Accident Insurance. This covers you and passengers in your vehicle for medical expenses. If you already have personal health policies or travel policies, it won’t be necessary to buy this optional coverage. It usually costs between $3 and $5 per day.

Corporate Travelers. If you’re a frequent traveler for business, do one other thing. Check with your company to find out if they have a corporate travel policy. If they do, find out what that policy covers, and then simply don’t buy duplicate coverage on the rental car contract.

Car rental outside your country of residence. Some insurers exclude coverage if you’re driving in a foreign country. Some will cover you, but only a limited time. Some credit card companies cover car rentals outside your country of residence. Check with your insurance company and credit card company for specific details, and GET IT IN WRITING!

Q: Can I allow others to drive my rental car?

A: If you’re using your personal or business auto coverage to cover your rental car, the chances are all “authorized drivers” are covered. An “authorized driver” is anyone listed on the policy. However, here’s a BIG GOTCHA! If your teenaged son drives your rental car and he allows his girlfriend to drive the car, you’re covered. If the girlfriend allows another person to drive, NO COVERAGE!

Some car rental companies have exclusions for young drivers. Some charge extra for young drivers. Find out this information BEFORE you arrive at the car rental counter.

Q: How do I file a claim if I’ve had an accident?

A: When you experience the damage or theft, immediately get a camera and take lots of photos of the damage, including any other autos or property that was damaged. Keep those photos! Notify the rental company IMMEDIATELY of the damage.

Report the damage to your own auto insurance company if you have personal or business coverage.

When you return the vehicle to the rental company immediately ask for:

o A copy of the accident report and any claim documents, which should show the amount you’re responsible to pay, as well as any amounts that have been paid toward the claim.

o A copy of the initial and final auto rental agreements.

o A copy of the repair estimate or the paid repair invoice.

o A police report, if one exists.

So the bottom line is this:

If you have personal auto insurance, commercial auto insurance or corporate travel coverage, it is usually not necessary to pay for the Collision Damage Waiver or extra coverages offered to you by the rental car contract. Your situation may vary.

Get everything in writing, and make an informed decision. Then enjoy your car rental experience!

As You Are Probably Already Aware, Auto Insurance Is Mandatory

Let's go over the most important factors that will bring your rates down the most.

* Drive a Vehicle that's Cheap to Insure

While this might seem like common sense to you, surprisingly many people spend days and weeks shopping for the right car, without ever considering the cost of coverage. Stay away from vehicles that are sporty with powerful V8 engines. This means Corvette's, Porsches and other high-performance cars. Also, take a couple of minutes and review the most stolen car list. You might be shocked that boring cars like Honda Accord's make this list every year. You will pay about 20% more for insuring one of these cars thieves target the most. Stick to a slightly used car like a Subaru Forester, and you will have a super safe ride that's also cheap to insure.

* Maintain a Good Credit Score

Carriers are putting a greater emphasis lately on a person credit score. The better your credit rating is, the less you will pay for coverage. The reasoning behind this is of course risk. People that are less risky financially are more likely to be more responsible drivers and not make reckless driving decisions. If you have a low score, take moves now to get it higher and also make sure there are not false items on your report that are dragging it down. Shoot for a credit score of 700 or more and insurers will offer you some sweet deals.

* Live in a Rural Area

If you are thinking of moving out of the city, then you might be pleasantly surprised that you can save more on auto insurance. Big cities that are congested naturally have higher rates because there are simply more cars on the road, which increases your chance of getting into an accident. Do a bit of research online, and you can save hundreds.

* Increase Your Deductible

This is a very easy tip that you should strongly consider and is something you can control 100%. Setting your deductible to a higher level, $ 1,000 or more, will save you on average about 10%. The catch is you will need to save all of this amount in case you do get into a crash and file a claim. If you have a really old car, older than 10 years, it's not worth getting a high deductible because the value of your car might only be $ 2,000 or $ 3,000. On the other hand, if you have a new vehicle, you will be paying more for coverage, so this is a great way to get a price break.

* Drop Useless Coverage

If you are in the market for automobile insurance, then take a look at your old policy. Read it carefully and go over each item. Do you see any coverage that was not needed? If so, when you apply for future quotes, get rid of unneeded add-on items. For example, if your credit card company already has you covered for rentals, you do not need additional coverage from your carrier. The same goes for towing and roadside assistance if you have a plan with an A³ plan. Get the coverage you need and nothing more and save your hard earned money.

* Get as many Discounts as you can

Insurers want your business, and a common incentive most use to lure you in, are discounts. Most providers have multiple discounts available. Your job is to take advantage of each one you qualify for. Some of the offers vary but can be anywhere from 5% to more than 10%. Here a few of the most common.

1. Safe Driver

This means no or very few tickets and no accidents on record.

2. Low Mileage

If you drive fewer than 1,000 miles monthly, you can qualify.

3. Military

If you are currently an active military member of vet, you can save about 5%.

4. Good Student

Students who have and maintain a B or higher GPA can get discounts up to 10%.

5. Multi-Car and Home Bundling

Insurers want your business, and you can save some serious dough by bundling all your vehicles and home together with one company.

6. Enhanced Safety Features

If you have special safety enhancements on your vehicle like dual airbags, anti-lock brakes and a GPS-based security alarm, you can qualify for a big discount.

Essential Car Insurance Facts for Calgary

In Calgary, driving isn’t always easy. Drivers must brave weather that can change quickly, and heavy rush hour traffic. Regardless, you’ll always need car insurance, whether you are daily commuter, weekend adventurer, or an occasional driver.

Average Car Insurance Costs in Calgary and Alberta

Although Alberta has a private insurance market, the insurance rates themselves are still regulated by the provincial government. There are two agencies in Alberta that oversee car insurance rates: The Automobile Insurance Rate Board and the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.

In 2004, Alberta implemented a premium grid on auto insurers, settings maximum premium levels for basic coverage. The grid takes into account where you live, the number of years you’ve been licensed, the number of claims you’ve had in the last six years, and how many driving convictions you have on your record. But it is still important to shop around because even with the premium grid, auto insurance rates vary wildly within Alberta.

If you are aged 25 or under in Alberta, you are considered young and will pay around $187/month for Alberta car insurance. However, as you get older your premiums will go down. For example, you’ll pay around $152/month at ages 31-35, about $122/month at ages 46-50, and around $100/month at ages 56-60.

Auto insurance rates in Alberta are determined by a variety of factors:

  • Your gender and age
  • Your driving experience
  • Type of vehicle you drive
  • Location and use of your vehicle
  • Your driving record
  • The amount of coverage you’ve selected

How to get the Cheapest Auto Insurance in Alberta

  1. Compare rates among various companies and don’t feel like you must stick with the insurers your parents used. There are many insurance providers available, and often they use competitive pricing, meaning different providers may offer the same policies at greatly different prices. Talk to a broker (who compares auto insurance rates in Calgary for you) or use online tools to see where you can get the best rate for the coverage that is right for you. As well, reading auto insurance reviews will help you avoid unexpected issues. Search online for opinions using blogs and forums.
  2. Sometimes you can get better rates if you bypass the broker or agent and deal with a direct insurer, like Belairdirect or TD Insurance.
  3. Use rate tools and calculators. For instance, if your credit card includes rental car protection, you can save 20 per cent by paying with it. You can use a credit card navigator tool to assist you in finding insurance for a rental car compatible with the value add-ons on your credit card. You can also use an insurance price comparison tool to compare insurance premiums.
  4. Bundle your car insurance in Calgary with other policies. For example, if you have multiple vehicles and a home to insure, you can bundle them with one insurance company to get a bundle discount. Insurance companies reward their customers for giving them more business.
  5. If you got your policy you were a smoker and can prove you have quit smoking since then and have not returned to it for at least one year, they will reduce your insurance premiums. Smokers typically pay double the amount for premiums!
  6. Invest in driving a hybrid vehicle. By purchasing a hybrid, you may save on more than just gas! Inquire with your insurance company to see if they offer discounts for hybrid vehicles.

The Insurance Take on an Accident by the Person You Lent Your Car to

I had to empathize with my friend. Poor guy: out of the goodness of his heart, the man lent his vehicle to a relative. And then, his relative got into a major accident, resulting in two totaled vehicles – the car he had borrowed from my friend and the truck he collided into!

For those uneducated in the matter, when you lend your car to someone else, that driver is referred to as a permissive driver by the insurance industry. If a permissive driver causes an accident, here’s how the insurance companies will respond.

Auto Insurance and an Accident Caused by a Permissive Driver

If you gave permission to someone not listed as a driver on your auto insurance policy and that person causes a car accident, the procedure is generally as follows.

1. In the event the driver and the car owner have individual auto policies, the car owner’s insurance will pay for damages under the collision part of the coverage – after any required deductible is paid out-of-pocket by the policyholder.

2. If there are significant property damages as well as bodily injury to the other driver or his or her passengers or pedestrians, the car owner’s insurance will cover the damages as well as any legal fees of an associated lawsuit filed against the car owner. Insurance payouts are subject to the limits on the policy. If the limits on the car owner’s policy lead to an outstanding balance, the driver of the borrowed car can seek compensation from his or her own insurance company to receive the remaining owed funds for the damages. If the borrower of the car to is injured in an accident he or she caused, related payments would generally be covered under the Personal Injury Protection portion of his or her auto policy. In the event, the driver does not have this insurance protection but the car’s owner does – coverage will go through that.

3. What if the person who borrowed the car got into an accident but did not have a valid driver’s license? In this case, there’s a good chance that coverage may be denied. Many insurance company exclude coverage for an unlicensed driver. If this occurs, the car’ owner you and the ‘permissive driver’ will be responsible to pay for all damages as well as court fees if there are any.

But aside from related aggravation and possible wallet burnout,policyholders may find their premiums up at time of the policy’s renewal.

Of course, anyone dealing with an experienced independent agency that’s appointed to do direct business with many of the leading underwriters have an advantage of working with the edge in the market to locate the lowest premium available under the circumstances.