Monday, 8 May 2017

Why is my friend paying less than me for car insurance?

Have you ever spoken with a friend or relative and come to the realization that you’re paying quite a bit more or less for car insurance than they are? It happens all the time. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all insurance policy, there are different circumstances that will determine your premium, some of which you can control. Below is a list of different factors that will inform the price of your insurance premium.

1. Safe drivers training. Did you know AMA and other organizations offer basic programs (after you obtain your license) that teach skills to feel safe and confident behind the wheel? Graduates of the program receive a certificate that can be used for discounts with most insurance companies. 

2. Accidents. Over the course of a typical lifetime, you will probably get in 3-4 car accidents. Depending on the circumstance, who was driving the vehicle and how much damage there was, your premium is based on a calculated estimate of future risk. 

3. Tickets. This is another indication of someone’s safe driving habits – how many tickets are you racking up? The exceptions are parking tickets and photo radar, because the identity of the driver is unknown. 

4. Credit Score. Did you know there is a statistical correlation between poor credit and more insurance claims? More and more insurance companies are considering your credit score (which is hugely varied among people) when calculating risk. Check out our other blog on how to achieve good credit. 

     5. Postal Code. If you are living in a neighbourhood with higher incidences of accidents, vandalism, theft and claims, chances are your premium will be adjusted. 

     6. Annual KMs.  Are you driving to work every day between different cities while your friend takes the bus most of the time? Your commutes are not the same, and your premiums won’t be either. 

     7. Vehicle Age. In the event of an accident, your friend’s 1980 Chevrolet is going to cost less to repair than a 2016 Acura, for instance.

     8. Deductible Amount. A deductible is what you would pay out of pocket before your insurance company pays its share. You have a choice, for instance, whether your coverage requires paying $500 or $1000 in the case of an accident, and if you choose $1000 your monthly premium will be less money. 
     9. Occupations. Did you know that there are certain professions that may be eligible to receive additional insurance discounts? Chauffeurs, doctors, tradesmen, lawyers, and people who work in the insurance industry may have discounts that vary by company. 
At the end of the day, if you are shopping around for insurance, a broker can provide you with the best pricing options by accessing multiple markets at a time. Give us a call at 1-877-218-2008 to discuss your options.

Marchella Mafrica
Communications Specialist
Sharp Insurance

Friday, 20 January 2017

6 Tips to Avoid Attic Rain

Have you ever seen tennis-ball shaped water stains on your ceiling? Is it frozen pipes? Leaky toilet? Jumanji?  You might be experiencing a phenomenon called ‘attic rain’.

In 2015 a woman living in Calgary named Debby Montagni reported that she heard dripping in the attic of her brand new townhouse. After finding moisture on her windows and drying water every hour, she contacted the builder of the property to see what could be done. She is not the first Calgarian to experience this issue.  Home inspectors are predicting a rise in attic rain due to the rapid cooling and heating we experience in Alberta.

What exactly is attic rain?

Attic rain occurs when warm moisture accumulates in the attic, freezes during cold temperatures, then melts when the weather warms again. This see-saw in weather produces the perfect attic-crying conditions to damage your house. The kicker?  It usually affects newer homes because there’s less places for air to escape.

Here are 6 tips to help you avoid attic rain in your home:

  1.  Check to see if your attic is well ventilated. Caulk around any fixtures or vents that have not been adequately sealed.
  2.  Make sure your vents go directly outside and not to your attic. Check out this resource for sealing your attic:
  3.  Turn down your humidifier. The ideal moisture level for your house is 30%-50%.
  4. Turn on your kitchen exhaust fan while cooking.
  5.  Install a HRV ( Heat Recovery Ventilator).   HRVs replace damp indoor air with dry outdoor air.
  6. Contact your builder. Ultimately, your attic should already have a mechanism to deal with the air flow and moisture build up. If it wasn't included in your property, it may be a symptom of poor design. Check the attic before you invest in a home.