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Saturday, 30 May 2015

What is "Business Interruption" Insurance Coverage?


Contrary to what some people believe, the world of insurance coverage isn't as black and white as it appears to be. The term "Lethbridge commercial insurance coverage" can, in fact, refer to many different types of commercial insurance policies. If you own a business in Lethbridge, then chances are that you are already familiar with this fact.

But are you also familiar with the many different kinds of insurance policies available to you? Most people aren't -- especially when they are just starting out.

As a business owner, we simply cannot stress enough the importance of being protected under the right insurance policies that are tailored to meet your needs and that of your business. We've said it in the past and we will keep saying it: Being covered can make all the difference in the world.

One of the most important, yet often overlooked, insurance policies that every business owner in Lethbridge and the rest of Alberta should look into is known as business interruption coverage -- also known as business income insurance coverage.

As the name entails, this policy covers the loss of income that a business suffers after experiencing a disaster. Of course, this policy is much more complex than this. As you will soon find out the meaning of the word "disaster" varies from insurance company to insurance company... as does the amount of money that the policy owner receives after making a claim. 

For more information on this insurance policy and how it could benefit your business, we encourage you to give Sharp Insurance a call or to bring up this topic with your insurance broker.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Flood Insurance now available for Alberta residents




Flood Risk and Changing Weather Patterns



Overland flooding has been a growing issue in Alberta and the rest of Canada for the past decade as weather patterns begin to change. The June 2013 Alberta floods was an unprecedented and devastating event that left thousands of people displaced and hundreds without insurance coverage, resulting in more than 4.7 billion in damages. Recently, the BC Cache Creek flooding rings as a reminder that Mother Nature can and will strike at any time, without any warning.


What Does Flood Insurance Cover?


Albertans are now able to acquire overland water insurance coverage for their home, tenant or condo policy which will cover them in the event of fresh water flash flooding due to torrential downpour, rising river waters, and melting snow. The overland water coverage is an endorsement, much like sewer backup, that is added to your policy for additional coverage. 

The Overland Water Endorsement is available on June 1st for all of Alberta. If you have any questions or would like a quote for this new, exciting coverage, please visit www.floodinsurance.ca or contact Sharp Insurance directly at 1-877-218-2008. 

For more information on the effects of water damage on your home and insurance policy please see our blog post: http://blog.sharpinsurance.ca/2015/04/flood-insurance-coverage-in-alberta.html

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Lethbridge New Driver Insurance Rates -- What Can I Expect?



As a new driver, dealing with insurance policies is probably the last thing that you want to do. Unfortunately, under Canadian laws you are required to purchase a car insurance policy before hitting the road. But as is often the case with insurance coverage, this can be easier said than done.

If you are a new driver currently living in Lethbridge, Alberta, then you're probably wondering how much money you have to spend on insurance coverage. In this post, we'll try our best to explain what exactly you can expect in terms of insurance rates as a new driver and how long those rates will take to change. Because as you know by now, new drivers in Lethbridge are required to pay higher premiums.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that you can do to change this. You might think it's unfair -- especially since you have never been in an accident or been ticketed -- but the rules apply to everyone. Why that is the case is simple: Insurance companies see you as a bigger risk. In other words, because you lack experience, you are more prone to causing accidents and filing a claim than other, more experienced drivers are. (According to them.)

Of course, it's not a life-long sentence. Just like high-risk drivers can and do get better rates on a regular basis, if you manage to keep a clean driving record for the next two years or so, it should only be a matter of time before you are able to enjoy regular rates as well.

Until then, focus on driving safely and bettering your driving technique and before you know it two years will have passed. :-)

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The difference between Commercial versus Business use for your vehicle



Alberta car insurance policies can be a bit of a grey area when it comes to business versus commercial use. The best way to know what you need coverage for is to call your insurance provider and ask the right questions. That last thing you want is to be denied an insurance claim because you were not covered properly. This can and does happen.


What is business use?



Business use is basically one step further from a regular work commute that most Alberta drivers have on their existing policy. You would still technically have your personal auto insurance policy, but instead of commute kilometers, you would be rated for annual business kilometers. The following list would put you under the business category instead of work commute use only.

  • Sales representative: door to door sales with samples only, no goods for compensation, to be carried in the vehicle.
    •  Ex: Avon representative, interior designer, beauty consultant, etc.

  • Driving to different locations every day rather than one work address:
    • Ex: Music teacher, therapist, consultant, health care provider, architect, claims adjuster etc, (no instruments or goods in vehicle).


What is commercial use?



If you are using your vehicle for the below mentioned purposes, you would need a commercial auto policy, instead of personal auto policy as the purpose of the vehicle, and the nature of the work involved, would be categorized as a commercial risk.

  • Carrying tools and equipment for work purposes
    • Ex: Welder, surveyor, engineer, geophysicist
  • Carrying goods for compensation:
    •   Ex: Pizza delivery, door to door sales (Cutco, etc.).
  • Taxi or tour vehicle

  • Driving on leased lands:
    • Ex: Welder, surveyor, engineer, oil fields worker.



This is a rough guide for business versus commercial use. For more information or for a quote on insurance for your vehicle, contact us today. We have team of brokers who specialize in business and commercial auto insurance.


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

How to Get Better Rates On Your Calgary Motorcycle Insurance Policy


When it comes to insuring your motorcycle, there are many things that could go wrong along the way. Likewise, there are many things that can end up affecting your monthly premiums. If you are like us and you like to save money, then knowing what to do in order to get better rates on your Calgary motorcycle insurance policy is a good idea.

To make this task a bit easier for you, Sharp Insurance has compiled a list of the best advice out there. Read through those advice carefully and see for yourself whether following any of them is doable for you. Enjoy!

1. Bundle up your other insurance policies. Here's a little secret: Some insurance companies offer discounts to people when the latter purchase several policies from them. If you also have a car insurance policy and a home insurance policy, we encourage you to bundle up those three insurance policies and enjoy the money this can save you in both the short and long term.

2. Take good care of your bike. And make sure that it can't be stolen. The more secure your motorcycle is, the lower your monthly premiums will be. This way, insurance companies will see you as less of a liability and will offer you better rates.

3. Raise your deductible. We don't recommend doing this unless you really needs to, but raising your deductible can and will lower your monthly premiums. Some people are able to save as much as 20% this way. If you decide to go this way, make sure that you have some money saved on the side in the event that something goes wrong, though!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

How to Save Money on Your Commercial Auto Insurance Coverage in Canada


Owning a business means a LOT of work. And paperwork. (But by now you should know that already.) It also means remaining on top of the latest insurance policies, something which can prove to be troublesome for many people.

But owning a business also means that being smart with your money becomes more important than ever. If you own a business and you also happen to own several automobiles for business purposes, then we cannot stress enough the importance of being covered under a Canadian commercial auto insurance policy.

Fortunately for you, owning this policy doesn't have to be as expensive as it sounds. With a bit of planning ahead, there is no reason why you shouldn't enjoy lower monthly premiums. Here's how you can do that:

1. Hire good drivers. This might sound a bit obvious at first, but you would be surprised how far this advice can take you. Before hiring drivers, review their driving records. Only hire drivers with a lot of experience under their belts and preferably no infraction on record.

2. Shop around. No insurance policy was created equally. While you often receive what you pay for, some insurance companies like Sharp Insurance simply offer better service at a better rate. As a business owner, it is imperative that you learn how to shop around early in order to save money.

3. Bundle your policies. This advice is only useful if you own other insurance policies. Bundling them up with your commercial auto insurance policy can save you a lot of money in the long run as many insurance companies offer discounts when their customers purchase several policies from them.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

New Drivers to Alberta Insurance Rates

How to save money on your car insurance:


Sharp Insurance brokers are experts in providing great insurance rates for new drivers to Canada. Many new residents of Canada may be shocked to learn their vehicle insurance rates are so high. Why is this? Well, most of the major insurance companies in Alberta will rate a seasoned driver from another country as a new driver in Canada, thereby causing insurance rates to skyrocket. There is good news; some companies will give out-of-country driving experience and insurance history that will drastically lower your insurance rates, and save you up to thousands of dollars a year.


What do you need to do to get a better rating?



Research:

Remember, only a few insurance companies will allow out-of-country driving history to factor into their insurance rating. The most time efficient way to find these insurance companies is to go through a broker instead of a direct insurance company.

A brokerage will have access to several companies, and will know which of these insurance companies will provide you with the best rate depending on your experience outside of Canada.


Documents:

The most important information you need to save money on your insurance is documentation. This cannot be stressed enough. There are many instances of clients coming to Alberta from different Countries, who have been driving and have been insured for many years, but could not benefit from this because they did not keep the proper documentation. One piece of paper could mean a premium difference of up to $1500!

You need two documents to ensure the best price for your insurance: A driver’s abstract and a claims experience letter.

Driver’s Abstract:

It is vital to have an official record from your previous country’s registry or equivalent that states when you have originally been licensed and whether or not you have had any convictions. Alberta car insurance rates are calculated primarily from your driving history.  Without this, you will be rated as zero years of driving, thus increasing your insurance rates.

Claims Experience Letter

The second most important determinate of rates is called a claims experience letter. Alberta car insurance rates are calculated by factoring in the amount of years you have had continuous insurance without any accidents. A claims experience letter must be provided from your insurance provider, on their letterhead, and must contain the following information: Your full name, the years you have been insured, and whether you have had any insurance claims.

With these two documents, Sharp Insurance will give you the credit you deserve, and you will see a significant savings on your Alberta car insurance rates. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Where to Obtain a Free Fort McMurray Home Insurance Quote


In today's world, underestimating the importance of home insurance coverage can prove to have disastrous effects on a person's fiances. Unfortunately, much stigma is associated with the word "insurance". At the simple mention of this word, some people tend to recoil and walk away without stopping for a moment to think about the benefits of being properly covered.

What those people fail to understand, however, is that some insurance policies (among them Fort McMurray home insurance policies) are simply too important and valuable to underestimate, let along ignore.

The benefits associated with being protected under such a policy are endless. Every year across Canada, hundreds of people are able to recover financially after seeing their homes become victims of natural disasters or acts of vandalism because they are protected under a home insurance policy

It's as simple as that.

In today's world, nothing is certain. You can never predict when a windstorm will hit your house or when a thief will target it. All that you can is try to reduce the likelihood of such things ever happening to you and prepare yourself to deal with situations that you would rather avoid.

For you and many people, this is when a Fort McMurray home insurance policy comes into play.

If you are interested to learn more about this policy and how it can benefit you, then we highly encourage you to request a free insurance quote such as the one offered by Sharp Insurance on their main website. The latter is absolutely free and comes with no obligation whatsoever.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

High Risk Driving Habits That Can Raise Your Insurance Premiums in Fort McMurray


As a driver, being labelled as a high risk driver should be one of your biggest fears. After all, being labelled as such doesn't only mean higher monthly premiums -- it is also an indicator of you partaking in high risk driving habits that have the potential to injure you and other drivers. As a result, being aware of these dangerous driving habits is the first step in ensuring that you are not guilty of partaking in them.

With that being said, what are those dangerous habits that could raise your insurance premiums? By now you should already have a good idea of what they are, but just in case, let's go over three of the most common ones.

Speeding is one of the most common dangerous driving habits in Fort McMurray, and also one of the deadliest. Each year, thousands of Canadians injure themselves as a result of speeding (or other drivers speeding). As we have said in the past, nothing (absolutely nothing) is so important that it would warrant you to drive faster than the speed limit. 

Tailgating might seem harmless at first, but it is far from being so. It is also one of the most common dangerous driving habits, and hopefully one that you are not guilty of partaking in. No matter how slow the driver in front of you is driving, always keep your distance between their car. Not doing so could be very dangerous and only serves to promote dangerous driving habits.

Lastly, running red lights is another dangerous driving habit that can raise your insurance premiums. Each year, hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians die as a result of drivers running red lights. It doesn't matter if the road is clear -- if the light is red, you don't proceed forward. It's as simple as that.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Do Edmonton Home Insurance Policies Cover Personal Property?


Before purchasing a home insurance policy, familiarizing yourself with what exactly the policy covers is the most important part of the process. Unfortunately, this is something that some people fail to do, choosing instead to (wrongly) believe that every policy are the same. The results? More problems that they would have liked to deal with.

Here's the thing: Not every Edmonton home insurance policy was created equally. In other words, you simply can't trust every policy that is advertised on the market to provide you with the coverage that you need. Because that's right: The coverage that you need might differ greatly from the coverage that your neighbor needs.

One of the most commonly asked questions related to home insurance policies in Edmonton is this one: Will my policy cover my personal belongings?

By now you should know that there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to that question. While some policies do and will cover your personal belongings, some policies also won't. And as if that wasn't enough to worry about, the ones that do cover your personal belongings might only cover a select few if certain conditions are met.

What Sharp Insurance recommends that you do is this: First contact your insurance company and try to figure out whether your Edmonton home insurance policy covers personal items. If it does, find out on what conditions this coverage applies and what kind of items are protected under it.

If, after learning those three important facts you realize that some of your most precious possessions are still not covered under your home insurance policy, then we recommend that you purchase additional coverage to make sure that they are. Most insurance companies will be more than happy to sell you additional coverage, so don't be shy and ask away!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Do I Need Collision Insurance Coverage in Lethbridge?


As you are already well aware of, "car insurance coverage" does not refer to only one type of policy. Instead, it encompasses many different policies -- some of which you need, and some of which you don't. If you are a driver currently living in Lethbridge, Alberta, you might wonder (and with reason) whether purchasing additional coverage of the likes of a collision insurance policy is worth it for you. By now you know that Canadian law requires you to purchase a car insurance policy. But what about additional coverage?

While you might not be required to purchase additional coverage, sometimes peace of mind can only be achieved by doing so. Unfortunately, there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to the question of whether you specifically need to be covered under a collision insurance policy since (once again) there are so many factors that can be counted in the equation. Generally speaking though, purchasing a collision insurance policy is not worth it if your car is worth less $5,000.

Of course, this is not always true, but most insurance brokers will tell you this.

Many other factors also affect whether you would benefit from purchasing this policy, among them the city in which you live and how frequently you use your car. Since Lethbridge is a relatively small city compared to other cities in Alberta, purchasing a collision insurance policy might prove to be superfluous for many people. But yet again, this does not apply to everyone. Accidents happen everywhere, regardless of whether the city is big or small.

For more information on this topic, we highly recommend that you bring it up either with your insurance broker or your insurance company. Professionals know what is best for you, so use their advice wisely.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Keep Thieves Away From Your Motorcycle in Edmonton & Save Money


Owning a motorcycle in Edmonton can be a lot of work. In between ensuring that the latter runs as it should you have to take care of insurance coverage. And we all know that this is easier said than done... and also more expensive, right?

Wrong.

What most people fail to understand is that Edmonton motorcycle insurance coverage doesn't have to be THAT expensive. Of course, you should expect to pay more than the average person if you are the proud owner of the absolute latest motorcycle model... but that's another story.

What some people also fail to realize is that lowering their monthly insurance premiums is not as impossible as it sounds. In the past, Sharp Insurance has covered several tips to help drivers lower their monthly premiums on numerous insurance policies. Motorcycle insurance premiums are like home insurance premiums and car insurance premiums -- they too can be lowered with a bit of knowledge and planning ahead.

One of the best tip that we can offer you is this one: Make sure that your motorcycle can never be stolen and you should be able to save some money each month. In the long run, this can prove to be a great way to save money. 

But how exactly can you be sure that your motorcycle will never be stolen? Easy: Think like a thief. If you need to add an alarm system on your motorcycle, add an alarm system on it. If you need to add a steering lock system on it, add one. The more you protect your motorcycle, the more money you will save. Be creative when it comes to keeping thieves away from your motorcycle and it should only be a matter of time before you are able to save money on your monthly premiums.