Car insurance rates vary person by person, and company by company, and it’s sometimes frustrating how much they differ. Unfortunately, people just don’t have enough time to shop around and compare policy by policy, and often they end up purchasing the first policy they are offered, which isn’t always the best available.
That’s why it’s always a smart idea to use an insurance broker like those of us at Lane’s. We work with the most reputable car insurance providers in the business to provide the highest quality of coverage possible while also accessing the lowest possible rates. Our depth and breadth of experience allows us to research and compare policies for you, so you can be comfortable in the knowledge that you are getting excellent representation while also keeping an eye on your bottom line. We pride ourselves on the fact that all of the Lane’s brokers are fully licensed and have received the appropriate accreditation to provide you with the great service at all times.
Although we will always do our utmost to find you the best car insurance rates available, there are factors in play that are simply out of our control. Insurance underwriters develop risks pools through a complex formula that takes into account several elements of your car ownership and driving history, and even considers your place of work and where you live. The good news is, however, these factors are mainly within the ultimate control of the car owner.
Here are some of the factors that most affect your car insurance rates.
If you have had several tickets as a driver and been involved in numerous accidents, you are likely to be deemed what is known as a “high-risk driver” by insurance companies. This means that you are more likely than others to be involved in an incident that will require some kind of a payout.
But you don’t have to have been in an accident or incurred tickets to be classified as a high-risk driver. New drivers are also more likely to get into an accident, which is the reason Alberta has created the graduated licensing program. The program can seem a bit severe, as it does take time to earn your full Class 5 license, but it is created in a way that gives newer drivers a lot of support as they learn.
Other reasons why a drivers may be considered high risk are:
- Having been convicted of an impaired driving offense (including having been caught using cannabis and driving).
- Having had your insurance cancelled for any reason, such as non-payment. Being convicted of an impaired driving offense will almost certainly result in your losing both your license and your insurance coverage.
- If you have been ticketed for a major moving violation such as racing with other drivers, careless driving, or speeding by 51 km/h or more.
- If you have failed to remain at the scene of an accident.
Not surprisingly, those who live in high-population, high-density areas will likely have higher car insurance rates than those in more rural areas. This is due to the simple fact that the more you are around other drivers on busy roads, the more likely it is that you will be in an accident. In addition, those who live in areas known for crime, such as downtown where parking is not secure, are at higher risk for theft and premiums are likely to reflect that.
How Much You Drive
Quite like your geographic location, how much you drive factors in to your car insurance rates because the more time you spend on the road, the greater the chance of an accident is.
The Type of Policy You Choose
The type of policy you choose is among the heaviest influencers of your car insurance rates. Many don’t realize that collision insurance is not mandatory for coverage in Alberta, and allow it to be added when, depending on the age and condition of your vehicle, it may not be completely necessary.
We highly recommend collision insurance for all vehicle owners, as it will pay for damage caused to your vehicle in an automobile accident, such as contact with another car, a rollover, or a collision with a building or inanimate object. It will cover for any repairs up to the fair market value of your car. However, if your vehicle is older and at the point that if you caused any sort of significant damage that the repairs would likely cost more than its value, you may not need collision insurance. In a very general sense, this means a value of less than $5,000. But, if your vehicle is in good shape and you want to keep for a long time, regardless of its worth you will want collision insurance.
Car Insurance Discounts
The insurance brokers at Lane’s will always try to access any available discounts for you. Common discounts include alumni benefits, customer loyalty incentives, good driver rewards, and bundling to save. If you would like us to review your current coverage to see what sort of savings we might be able to find, contact us at our Calgary, Edmonton, Banff or greater Alberta offices.