Sunday, 31 January 2016

Fort McMurray Motorcycle Insurance Coverage: How To Save Money On Your Monthly Premiums

Let's be honest: Fort McMurray motorcycle insurance coverage is not always cheap. While insuring your motorcycle is not as expensive as insurance your car, the costs do end up adding up after a while. The good news, however, is that lowering your monthly premiums is perfectly doable. If you are new to the world of insurance coverage, then here is how you can save money on your motorcycle insurance monthly premiums:

  • Choose your motorcycle wisely: The more valuable your motorcycle is, the more expensive it it will be to insure it, and vice versa. Before purchasing a motorcycle consider your budget and how buying this particular model will end up affecting you down the road. (No pun intended.)
  • Bundle up your insurance policies: Many companies in Fort McMurray offer discounts to customers who purchase more than one insurance policy from them. If you own a home insurance policy and a car insurance policy from the same company, consider buying a motorcycle insurance policy from them and asking for a discount.
  • Raise your deductible: Here's another fact: The higher your deductible is, the less expensive your monthly premiums are. While we don't recommend raising your deductible unless you absolutely need to, it can prove to be a good last resort. Just make sure that you have enough money put aside in the event of something going wrong!
  • Protect your motorcycle: Lastly, protecting your motorcycle and keeping it away from preying eyes can also save you money each month. This might mean installing a security system and storing it somewhere safe at night.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

High-Risk Drivers in Edmonton: What They Need to Know About Insurance Coverage

Nobody wants to be associated with the term "high-risk driving". Aside from being dangerous and potentially deadly, high-risk driving can also be very, very costly. If you have been labelled as a high-risk driver by your insurance company in Edmonton, then here are 3 things that you need to know about your insurance coverage:

You will pay more: Because insurance companies see you as more prone to getting into (or causing) road accidents, it would be natural for them to charge you more on your monthly premiums. As it turns out, this is exactly what most companies in Edmonton end up doing. But here's the thing: While you do not have any say when it comes to your insurance premiums, you do have the ability to lower said premiums drastically, which brings us to our second point...

You don't have to pay so much more: Just like lowering your premiums on your monthly Edmonton home insurance policy is doable, lowering your monthly premiums on your high-risk driving insurance policy is also very much doable. After all, many things affect how much money you pay each month, including the type of car you drive and even how secure it is!

You won't always be labelled as a high-risk driver: Because insurance companies are only allowed to see the past two years of your driving record, if you manage to avoid infractions and accidents for a minimum of two years you can expect your monthly premiums to go back to normal. If needed, brush up on your driving skills by enrolling in an Edmonton driving course.

Remember that driving is not a game. Always exercise caution and above all good judgement. Good luck!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Calgary Home Insurance Coverage: What's the Difference Between Cancellation and Non-Renewal?

If you own a Calgary home (and a home insurance policy to go with it), then familiarizing yourself with insurance terms is a good idea for several reasons. The more knowledge you have, the less likely it is for you to run across bad surprises down the road.

You're probably thinking: "Well I'm not going to cancel my home insurance policy any time soon." While this is a valid point, the truth is that cancellation is not always intentional. No wait, scratch that. Cancellation is never intentional.

There is a big difference between your insurance company deciding to cancel your home insurance policy in Calgary and you deciding not to renew it after it expires. Basically, there are two things that can lead your insurance company to cancel your policy:
  • Failure to pay your monthly premiums; 
  • The belief that you have committed fraud or made serious and damaging misrepresentations in your application.
Should you find yourself guilty of any of the above, then it would be natural for you to expect your insurance company to cancel your home insurance policy without warning. On the other hand, non-renewal is something that you have total control over. After a policy expires you can decide to renew it or not. Neither decision comes with any consequence, except the possible (and very real) consequences that might arise as a result of not properly covering your Calgary home.

Now that you know the difference between cancellation and non-renewal, don't forget to pay your monthly insurance premiums on your Calgary home insurance policy! ;)

Friday, 22 January 2016

5 Myths About Car Insurance Revealed

As insurance brokers, it is our responsibility to make sure you know what you’re covered for, and to provide you with the best advice for your insurance needs. Here is a list of myths we hear all the time from our clients. Do any of these myth busters surprise you?

The colour of my car affects my rates

You may have heard that yellow cars have better rates because they are much more visible than let’s say grey cars or black cars, and that red cars have a much higher premium because people who drive red cars tend to race them. This is an absolute fallacy: there is no evidence to support this in collision data. Insurance companies do not take vehicle colour into consideration when calculating premium rates.  

Men pay more than women for their insurance

This is for the most part, false. Yes, males under 25 will pay more than females for their car insurance. This is due to the fact that males in that age bracket, statistically speaking, get into a lot more accidents than females in that  same age bracket.  This tends to even out by age 25, therefore making auto rates pretty even for both men and women from that point on.

I’ve never been in an accident or made a claim so my insurance should go down, right?

Wrong…while having a good driving record without accidents or convictions ( a speeding ticket) will give you better rates than other drivers who do have accidents, it does not, however,  mean your rates will decrease year after year. Auto insurance in Alberta is heavily regulated and is subject to general premium increases depending on the insurance company. For example, in Alberta, there has been an increase in weather related claims due to conditions such as hail and flood. You may have noticed this reflected on your insurance already.  Insurance companies must have a large pool of money ready to pay out catastrophic claims such as what happened with the floods back in 2013. General increases occur to ensure this pool remains at the level it needs to be in case a loss of this scale happens again.

New cars are going to be more expensive to ensure

This can be true, but it’s not always the case. Depending on the type of coverage you have and the rate group of your vehicle (rate group meaning how it lands on several rating factors such as likelihood of theft, how damaged the vehicle is when it is involved in a collision accident, and so on), your new vehicle could be less than your previous vehicle for insurance. Why is this? Well, if you were driving say, a vehicle that was notoriously high for insurance rates such as a Toyota Rav 4, but then you traded in your vehicle for a new Ford focus, which has a very high safety rating, you could be looking at saving hundreds of dollars on your insurance.

If my car is stolen, my auto insurance covers my contents too

No, car insurance only covers the actual vehicles. If an item is stolen or damaged that was not at one point attached to the vehicle than you’re out of luck. This is why it’s really important to make sure you know the type of insurance you need. Any contents you leave behind in your vehicle such as your phone, laptop, briefcase, wallet, jackets, sports equipment or so on, would all be covered under your tenant’s policy, homeowner’s policy or condo policy.  

To find out more on how to get contents insurance, contact us today for your free insurance quote.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

How to Identify Flood-Damaged Red Deer Cars

Buying a used car comes with its pros and cons. Sure, used cars are relatively cheaper than unused cars, but sometimes buying a used car is like playing the lottery. You might end up with the best deal of your life or you might end up with... well... something less satisfactory.

If you are thinking about buying a used car in Red Deer, then knowing how to spot (and avoid) flood-damaged car is more important than ever. To help you with that, Sharp Insurance has compiled a short list of advice for you to go over.

  • Be a smart shopper: In other words, choose your dealer carefully. Fortunately, this has become easier than ever thanks to the internet. Make sure that the dealer you are interested in buying from has positive reviews online.
  • Bring a friend along: If you don't know much about cars, then bring someone who does along. Even if your friend doesn't know much about cars either it's always better to hear the opinion of a second person. And really, two pairs of eyes are better than one!
  • Sniff the car: Literally! Flood-damaged cars all share one thing in common: A slightly unpleasant aroma reminiscent of mildew.
  • Check for any sign of moisture: And make sure to use your hands! Water from flooding tends to collect under the carpet, so if possible, peel it back. Remember that rust is often a tell-tale sign as well.
  • Look at the fabrics: Lastly, take a good look at the upholstery that covers the car's interior. Brown water stains are a clear indicators that something is not right. 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

3 Commercial Insurance Coverage Questions Answered

As a small business owner in Alberta, being aware of what constitutes adequate insurance coverage is a must. While our goal is not to frighten you, the truth is that it is not uncommon to see businesses fail or go bankrupt when these situations could have been avoided with proper coverage planning.

If you own a small business but don't know where to start from, Sharp Insurance has compiled a list of the three most common questions related to business insurance coverage in Alberta. We highly recommend that you read through these questions and their answers before making any kind of concrete plan.

  1. Do I need commercial insurance coverage? If you own a business in Alberta, then chances are that yes -- you need to be covered under a commercial insurance policy. What we don't know yet is what kind of insurance policy you need to be covered under, which brings us to the next question...
  2. What kind of insurance policy should I purchase? For most business owners who are just starting out in Alberta, being covered under a general liability insurance policy is often more than enough. As the name entails, this policy covers your business in the event of someone suing you for bodily and/or property damage that they might have incurred on your premises. Of course there exist numerous other types of insurance policies out there such as commercial auto insurance coverage and commercial property insurance coverage as well. It is up to you (and maybe your insurance broker) to sift through the ones that you need and the ones that you don't.
  3. How expensive is commercial insurance coverage in Alberta? Unfortunately, there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to this question because it depends on many, many things. What we can tell you, however, is how to make your monthly insurance premiums less expensive than they currently are (or will be). If you are interested to learn more about that, feel free to browse through our blog archive. We have gathered several tips in the past that can help you achieve just that.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Safe Motorcycle Riding in the Winter: The Do's and Don't's

Ah, Calgary winter. Let's be honest: It can be beautiful, magical and bothersome.

But for some people, it can be deadly. If you own a motorcycle, then riding it (safely) in the winter requires a bit of planning ahead. To refresh your memory, here are the do's and don't's of riding your motorcycle in the winter:


Keep yourself warm! Safety begins by making sure that you are properly insulated. The more layers you have on, the better. Also remember to plan ahead -- you never know when something might go wrong with your motorcycle, forcing you to wait outside for a long time.

Do have good judgement! If there's a heavy snowstorm outside, don't be afraid to use the car instead... or even better, stay home. Use good judgement to avoid unnecessary complications.

Do learn more about tires! Did you know that street tires are better for the cold winter months in Alberta? Changing your tires every winter might be a bit costly but it's totally worth it.

Do keep your insurance coverage updated! You never know when it might come in handy, no matter how good you are at avoiding worst-case scenarios.


Fog up! While riding your motorcycle in the winter, nothing is more dangerous than your vision fogging. To avoid this, wear a half-mask inside your helmet.

Take too long! Avoid long trips whenever possible unless you know for a fact that you can keep yourself warm and safe for several hours on end.

Above all, remember to have fun and to always stay focused and alert on the road. :)

Increase Security to Reduce Edmonton New Driver Insurance Premium Costs

Let's be honest: Being a new driver can be expensive when it comes to insurance coverage. This is because insurance companies in Edmonton see new drivers like you as more prone to getting into (or causing) road accidents. Since you lack the experience and in certain cases, the knowledge, it goes without saying that you would pay more than the average, more experienced driver.

Here's the thing though: While you will always pay more than the average, more experienced driver, you don't have to pay so much more than them. Lowering your premiums is perfectly doable. The key to doing that is to convince your insurance company that you can be trusted. In other words, you have to show them that you are mature enough to drive without getting into accidents. (Or that your car won't be stolen anytime soon.)

From driving an inexpensive car to enrolling into an Edmonton driving course, we have another tip for you. Keep your car safe. 

Yep, you read that right. Just like installing a security system in your home can save you money on your home insurance coverage premiums, installing a security system in your car can also save you money on your Edmonton car insurance coverage premiums.

From parking your car in a garage or driveway overnight to limiting the risks by ensuring that you have a few security features to your name, keeping your car safe and away from preying eyes can do wonders to your finances.

Good luck!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

What Is Considered Dangerous Driving in Calgary?

Most of the time, the term "dangerous driving" is associated with negative connotations. This is because dangerous driving costs lives -- there's no really way around this simple fact. As a driver, you have the responsibility (just like other drivers) to try and keep the roads as safe as possible for other people.

Unsurprisingly, it all begins by fostering good driving habits. While learning how to drive can be done in a few weeks, you can never be a truly safe driver until until you have learned what dangerous driving is and how to avoid partaking in it . 

So let's begin by refreshing your memory.

When you think about the term "dangerous driving", what comes to your mind first? Usually, people associate this term with DIU (driving under influence), speeding, texting while driving and running red lights.

While these are the most common dangerous driving habits in Calgary, they are not the only ones. There many habits that are surprisingly dangerous and often overlooked. Driving while being tired and tailgating are two of these habits -- but don't remember how important it is to keep your vehicle properly maintained. Failure to do so can be classified as a dangerous driving habit in Calgary.

Remember that driving is not a game. Before hitting the road make sure that you are properly rested, hydrated and fed. Avoid road rages at all costs and remember that nothing is more important than keeping yourself and other people safe... even if that means risking angering your boss when you arrive to work late.

Stay safe out there!

How Can You Tell Whether Your Fort McMurray Home Is Fully Covered?

When people purchase a Fort McMurray insurance policy, they often expect said policy to cover "everything". The truth, however, is that this is rarely, if ever the case. What these people fail to realize (sometimes too late) is that there are only so many things that a policy will cover them from.

Of course we're talking about worst-case scenarios here, but just because it "only happens to other people" doesn't mean that you shouldn't prepare yourself for it.

So how do you make sure that your house is properly insured against enough perils? You have to do your homework, ideally before purchasing a policy. But if it's too late and you've already purchased one, then the best thing that you can do is read it over carefully and do it a bit of research on your own.

In Fort McMurray, most home insurance policy will provide protection against basic perils. Think fire, vandalism and arson. Generally speaking though, home insurance policies don't don't cover you against perils such as earthquake and landslide. In most cases, you have to purchase additional coverage on the side.

What we recommend that you do is this: First go over your insurance policy and write a list of what it protects you from. Next go online and do a bit of research on what a Fort McMurray home insurance coverage should protect you from. If you are still uncertain of whether your home is properly covered after following our advice, then it might be a good idea for you to turn to your insurance broker.

Good luck!