Wednesday, 27 April 2016

What Are "Demerit Points" In Alberta?

If you are a new driver, chances are that you've heard of "demerit points" before. But as if often the case with most new (and young) Canadian drivers, you may not be totally aware of what those points are... or how they can affect your insurance premiums

Quite simply, the demerit point system is used to keep track of a driver's convictions on his or her driving record. Demerit points are assigned whenever a driver is found guilty of a certain offense. Before going further, let's take a look at some of the most common offenses in Alberta and how many demerit points you can expect to receive if you are found guilty of them:

  • Failure to stop for a red light [3 points]
  • Failure to stop for a school bus [6 points]
  • Speeding on the highway [6 points]
  • Tailgating [4 points]
  • Traffic lane violation [2 points]
  • Etc.
In Alberta, if you accumulate 15 demerit points within a 2 year period you can expect your driving license to be suspended for 1 month,. But that's not all... you can also expect your car insurance premiums to go up. The more points you accumulate, the more money you will have to pay each month. 

Being a high-risk driver in Alberta can be costly, but it can also be dangerous. You may not think that those points accumulate fast, but if you are prone to dangerous driving habits you may want to think twice about this statement before hitting the road tomorrow.

Drive safely to save money on your car insurance coverage, but most importantly, drive safely to keep yourself, your family and other people safe.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Check it Before you Wreck it: Insurance for Home Renovations

Summer is the most popular time for homeowners to renovate and revamp their houses or condos. There is no better feeling than coming home to a space that looks and feels the way you want it to. Whether you’re designing your new dream kitchen, or finishing your basement, or even minor renovations such as redoing your flooring, it’s important to contact your insurance broker before you begin the process.

Renovations Change the Risk

Insurance is always based on risk. That is how we calculate rates and determine which coverage will best suit your needs. Construction of any kind in your home increases the risk of damage. For example, you may be replacing your windows, and one day there is torrential rain, flooding your home with water, causing damage to your floors and walls. 

If you have exposed walls, you may need to add an endorsement to your policy called a building under construction, it will cost a bit extra, but if anything were to happen to your home during this time, you would be covered subject to restrictions and limitations on your policy.

If you are leaving your home for more than 30 days while renovations are happening, you will need to get a vacancy permit on your home, as the risk of damage including theft and burglary does increase when the home is unattended. 

There needs to be Liability Coverage

If you hired a contractor to do your renovations, be sure to see their Certificate of Insurance with your address on it to ensure they are properly covered. If not, you could be on the hook if a worker is injured on your property.

Update your Policy

Once your renovations are complete, you should call your broker to let them know about the upgrades that have been made to your home. These updates will change the cost to rebuild your home, and could affect all future claims if there is no record of your upgrades. You may see a slight increase in your premiums, but it’s always better to be covered properly now to save you from a potential issue down the road. 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Where to Request a Free Red Deer Motorcycle Insurance Quote From

In Canada, if you own a motorcycle you are legally obligated to purchase a motorcycle insurance policy to go along with it. But if you are the proud owner of a motorcycle for the first time in your life, you might not know exactly how and where to request a free motorcycle insurance from in Red Deer. Fortunately, Sharp Insurance can help you figure that out.

The first thing that you need to understand is that finding the perfect policy can't be done without a fair amount of research put into it. In other words, evaluating your options starts with finding them. This can be done a number of ways, but we recommend that you look up online a list of insurance companies offering motorcycle coverage in Alberta. Once you have created a list of potential insurance companies in Red Deer that you might be interested in, this is when you start requesting free insurance quotes from them.

Free insurance quotes exist for a reason, so make sure to use them wisely! In Red Deer and the rest of Alberta, you will find that many insurance companies would be more than happy to provide you with free quotes... including Sharp Insurance. Generally speaking, quotes only take about 5 minutes to complete. Of course, it goes without saying that they are usually always free as well.

If you are still unsure of what to do, or which policy would benefit you the most, we recommend that you consider working with an insurance broker. Good luck!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Small Calgary Businesses and Commercial Insurance Coverage: What You Need to Know

In Calgary, small business owners are required to remain on top of their insurance coverage. This is because we live in a very litigious world in which the threat of being sued exists around almost every corner. But if you are a small business owner, trying to make sense of the many different policies available to you might sound easier said than done. To help you along the way, we have compiled a short list of things that you need to know. Please remember that this list is not all-inclusive.

  1. There exist several types of commercial policies. Generally speaking, we recommend that small business owners in Calgary arm themselves with general liability insurance policy as well as a commercial property insurance policy. Respectively, these policies cover claims stemming from third party property damage and/or bodily injuries, and financial loss associated with a company's damaged and/or vandalized business premises.
  2. You are not obligated to cover your business. But just because you don't have to doesn't mean that you shouldn't. Lawsuits can be both emotionally and financially draining, especially for a small business owner.
  3. Never underestimate your customers or clients. Likewise, take good care of your employees and always be mindful of what you say. Lawsuits happen quickly, and they often happen to people who never saw them coming. Be aware of common lawsuit scenarios such as a customer slipping and injuring themselves on your premises, but also be mindful of the least common ones.
  4. Don't be afraid of asking questions. We know how complicated insurance coverage can be. This is why we encourage you to actively ask questions regarding commercial policies to your company. The more you know, the better!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Should Teenagers in Calgary Enroll in Driver Training Courses?

Let's be honest: Teaching your teenager how to drive takes a while. But here's the thing: It can also be expensive. While we understand that not everyone (including you) might be able to enroll their teenager in a Calgary driver training course, today we would like to tell you why you should put some money aside and do just that.

The first reason that we will be going over involves money. As you may already be aware of, new drivers (especially young drivers) can be quite expensive to insure. By enrolling your teenager in a driver training course in Calgary, you are essentially letting your insurance company know that your teenager is able to take on the responsibility of driving a car without causing any accident. This often results in their insurance premiums being lowered... but you just have to make sure that you are enrolling your teenager in a course that has been approved by your insurance company!

Lastly, enrolling your teenager in a driving course is essential because it teaches them things that they might not have known otherwise. Driving is not game. Driving can and is often dangerous. By giving your teenager all the tools necessary to hit the road, you are giving them a giant and priceless favor. (And really, you are also giving yourself a favor because who wants to worry about their children all the time?)

Sure, Calgary driving training courses can be expensive, but in the long run... who knows how much money they can save people?

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Who Needs General Liability Insurance?

General liability insurance (GLI) is one of the most common types of insurance coverage. But what is it? And who needs it? Today we will be looking to answer these two questions.

As the name entails, GLI involves liability. This is because we live in a very litigious world where it is not uncommon to see entities being sued for bodily and/or property damages. General liability insurance protects the livelihood of contractors and small business owners by providing them with coverage from claims related to liability.

Consider this very common scenario: A customer enters a business property, only to trip and injure themselves on the business premise. Depending on the severity of their injury, there is a possibility that the customer will hold the business liable. When that happens, nothing prevents the customer from bringing the business to court.

This is just one of the many examples that we could provide in this post. In the business world, liability comes in many forms. If you are a contractor or own a small business in Alberta, then we can't stress enough the importance of being covered under a general liability policy. Along with commercial property coverage, it is the best way to protect yourself from claims stemming from bodily and/or property damages incurred by a third party.

If you are still unsure of whether or not this policy is for you, we recommend that you refer to your insurance broker or give one of our insurance agents a call.