In 2021 over 1.6 million new vehicles were registered in Canada, a 6.5% increase from 2020. Estimates for 2022 indicate car ownership continues to rise. There are currently more cars in Edmonton than ever before. If you are part of this statistic, then you know that buying a car is only step one. You need to register your new vehicle to drive it, and you need to insure it before you can register it. And if you’re looking into car insurance, then you’ve probably realized there is no shortage of car insurance companies in Edmonton. So how do you choose? Which one is right for you? Is there even a difference? Here are five things Edmonton drivers need to know when looking at insurance costs:
1. Compare Quotes
While most people see the value in shopping for the best price, this can seem particularly daunting when it comes to car insurance. Different insurance companies lay out their plans differently, so it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re comparing. This can be true if you are getting quotes over the phone – all that information can be overwhelming. A simple solution to help compare prices is to ask for your quote via email; this way, you can print out the quote and highlight key pieces of information. Another way to accomplish this would be to save screenshots on your phone and print those out. Here at Cornerstone Insurance Brokers Ltd., we can give you a detailed quote for comprehensive car insurance on our website.
2. Coverage Options
While car insurance is mandatory for drivers in Alberta, not all coverage is mandatory. In Alberta, the minimum requirement for car insurance includes the following:
- Third-Party Liability
- Direct Compensation for Property Damage
- Accident Benefits
This is all that is required to operate a vehicle legally. While collision and comprehensive coverage are optional, they are also highly recommended.
Along with these additions, insurance companies offer something called endorsements, which are extra additions to your coverage. These include things like accident forgiveness, family protection, and loss of vehicle use. Each insurance company offers different endorsements, and some offer them at a much higher cost than others. When you are getting quotes, you’ll want to know what the minimum coverage would cost and compare that to the standard coverage and recommended coverage.
3. How to Save on Insurance Rates
If you own a car, insurance is unavoidable. Many people think the best way to save on insurance is to just get the mandatory coverage without any of the extras. This may not be the best idea. Add-ons like Collision and Comprehensive may add a bit to your monthly bill, but they also have the potential to save you the most money in a claim situation. It’s a good idea to know which add-ons will save you money and which ones will likely cost you more in the long run. Take the same example of Collision and Comprehensive – if you drive an older vehicle, adding this coverage might end up costing you more than the vehicle is worth.
How you drive also affects your rates. Drivers with traffic convictions are interpreted as higher risk, so their premiums will be higher. There are also different rates for someone who drives to work every day as opposed to occasional drivers. Drivers who commute long distances to work will also be affected by their insurance rates.
4. Why You Might Not Want the Cheapest Car Insurance
After all the hard work of getting quotes and compiling data, your first impulse will likely be to choose the insurance provider that offers the best rate. Sometimes, though, the best rate available won’t be your best choice, especially if it is only slightly cheaper.
Most insurance companies offer a discount if you have other insurance (such as home insurance) through them. A bundled rate with better coverage may be a better option than a lower rate elsewhere. While getting quotes, you’ll also want to check into payment options. Not all providers will accept credit card payments nor offer monthly premiums. A great deal on insurance that requires you to pay for an entire year upfront might not be a suitable option for your bank account.
One more thing to consider, aside from basic cost, is their customer service. Is the company’s website user-friendly? How easy is it to make a claim? Can you call a representative with any questions you may have? Or change your coverage if you move or your commute changes?
5. Things that Can Affect your Auto Insurance Rates
Insurance companies factor many pieces into your insurance quote – your age, gender, and driver’s abstract are just the tip of the iceberg. Every insurance company looks at your abstract to determine how high of a risk you are. The type of car you drive, how far you commute, and how often also factor in. Do you know what’s on your driving record? Or even how to get one? Which speeding or parking tickets will affect your insurance rates? Aside from these basics, most of which you can’t do much about, there are a few tricks to help you save on your coverage. Raising your deductible will result in savings that add up over time. Driving safely and not incurring further tickets will also pay off over time.
The best way to save on insurance is not to use it. Auto insurance is meant to be a fallback for unexpected and unmanageable expenses resulting from an accident. If you can pay for the repairs without going through your insurance company, this will go a long way in keeping your rates low. Every claim you make against your insurance will add to your future cost.
Car Insurance Companies in Edmonton, Alberta
There are ample choices between car insurance companies in Edmonton, which means there are coverage solutions for everyone. You can save yourself time and money by working with knowledgeable insurance brokers. At Cornerstone, our team of insurance brokers will sift through the insurance companies to show you the best matches for your unique needs.