Get Car Insurance Quotes Online: Guide on How to Use Internet Tools to Find Auto Insurance

Thanks to the internet, information regarding auto insurance companies and rates is easy for everybody to obtain. You don’t have to go through a third party – you can conduct all of the research yourself. All it takes is a short survey and you can get multiple car insurance quotes online. Spend a bit of time comparing them and reading reviews on the companies to decide which offer is the right one for you.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on the internet, and scams are rampant. This is why you must be careful when doing your research. Don’t just automatically choose the cheapest policy you come across. No two quotes are going to be exactly the same, since each company conducts their evaluations a bit differently.

The criteria, in general, are the same, however. Factors that will likely play a role in the quotes you receive including your driving record, credit score, model and make of the vehicle, geographical location, and age. What DOES differ is the amount of weight each company puts on each of these factors.

What kind of information must you provide in order to get car insurance quotes online? In order for the quotes to be as realistic and personal as possible, you must enter details about your age, location, vehicle, and driving history. Some sites may require you to provide more personal information than others.

Good News When You Get Car Insurance Quotes Online

The good news is that there are sometimes discounts available to help you save. Before you select an offer and go through it, you must first find out if you are eligible for any kind of discount. Sometimes, students can get a discount if they take a driver’s education course and maintain good grades. Adult drivers might even be able to save if they take a driver’s defense course. There are also discounts for members of certain organizations, such as the military.

There are also “equipment-related” discounts. If you get your vehicle equipped with anti-theft technology, such as alarms, kill-switches, tracking systems, etc., you might be able to get a nice discount. Just check and see if the equipment has to be factory-installed.

Other potential discounts you might be able to obtain include automated payment from checking account setup, green / hybrid vehicle, customer loyalty, and being the homeowner of a condominium or single family home.

Where can you get car insurance quotes online? One safe, reliable place to begin your search is with esurance. Reviews are highly positive and the site allows users to get real quotes for free. Compare the quotes and policies side-by-side and select the one that best suits your needs. esurance is a very user-friendly site.

All You Need to Know About Affordable Home Insurance in Edmonton

Why You Should Get a Home Insurance Quote in Edmonton

· To avoid overpayment and save a significant amount of money

· Insuring your house, cottage, or rental includes protection from flooding

· To get any information about home insurance from a live agent

· To get a quote from 10 insurance companies

Sample Home Insurance Quotes in Edmonton

Example 1: Insurance on a two-story house in Allendale, about 2,000 square feet, including flooding coverage, costs around $93 a month, or $1,116 annually.

Example 2: Insurance on a condo with two bedrooms in the downtown area of Edmonton, near Canadian Western Bank Place, costs about $22 a month, or $264 annually.

Example 3: Insurance on a one-story house near the intersection of 107 Ave and 142 St NW, in the Grovenor neighbourhood of Edmonton, costs $65 a month, including flooding protection, or $780 annually.

Home Insurance Premiums in Edmonton – Average Rates

Home insurance policies change for different types of properties. Tenant insurance (also called renter’s insurance) only covers the contents of a rented house and, depending on the policy, liability. The homeowner’s coverage, on the other hand, is focused on the insurance of the building itself to ensure protection in instances that are related to natural hazards, fire or earthquake, or due to unlawful human activities like vandalism.

Home insurance covers the rebuild value of a dwelling, but not the market value, which is, in fact, higher. That is why, when the property has undergone some damages, the insurance provider will carry the rebuilding costs so the policyholder is able to restore a corresponding property.

This chart features the average premiums for rented and homeowner’s insurance in Alberta and Canada. As the chart shows, owned property insurance is, on average, higher than the renter’s policy.

Condo and Tenant Insurance Policies in Edmonton

Condo owners in Edmonton are protected by their own condo insurance policy, which they must buy, and the condominium corporation’s policy, which the corporation must buy. The first one covers the contents of a condo, modifications, theft, liabilities of a third party, locker contents, additional expenses and insurance assessments. The second type, the condominium corporation’s insurance, provides coverage for exterior parts of a building, like the roof, infrastructure (the building envelope) and areas like halls, lobbies, elevators and so on.

Condo tenant insurance, which is insurance of a rented condo, provides protection of the contents in case it is damaged as a result of theft, fire, etc. This type of policy also covers third party liability and additional living expenses. For example, if your condo was damaged due to fire or flooding, making it unsuitable for living, your condo tenant insurance in Edmonton can cover your temporary stay at a hotel room or rental unit.

8 Ways to Decrease Costs for Home Insurance in Edmonton

1. Quit smoking. Since smoking can pose a danger to your lungs and health overall, and since it also creates a higher risk of fire inside a house, insurance companies don’t welcome this habit, so they increase premiums for home insurance.

2. Choose a safe area to live in. Be careful not to buy a house in flood-prone or earthquake areas as the risk of damage to your house is double, and so are your premiums.

3. Check for recent claims because, if you have not made one for a long time, you can get a discount. However, not all insurance companies in Edmonton provide such an option, so you should ask around to be sure.

4. It is time to upgrade your home since houses that are well maintained get much lower premiums in comparison to ones that are very old and in poor condition. Be sure that when you spend money on upgrading any part of your house, like the bedroom or basement, you save on your home insurance by reporting the upgrades. In fact, call your insurer before you start and ask how much you can save!

5. Get alumni discounts. If you are a graduate of some post-secondary institutions, like McGill University or the University of Toronto, you can get alumni insurance discounts. Check with your university to see if it provides this advantage.

6. Union memberships may include insurance discounts. Some large corporations or unions also provide their members with insurance policies.

7. Take care of your plumbing since many insurance providers prefer copper and plastic pipes to the galvanized or lead ones. Perhaps one of the renovations for your home will involve upgrading the plumbing because, in Edmonton and Alberta, this will mean lower premiums for your home insurance.

8. Read consumer reviews. Consumer reviews help you choose among the variety of insurance providers in Edmonton to find the one that will be suitable for you in terms of finances and your situation.

Reserve Study Versus Insurance Appraisal or PCA

Three relatively similar services are frequently provided to communities within the homeowners’ association industry. Because there is still some confusion over what each service represents, an Association can occasionally have expectations that far exceed the scope of a reserve study (the most superficial of the three services).

The three services are the reserve study, the insurance valuation (or appraisal), and the PCA (or property condition assessment, also known as the project condition assessment). In certain parts of the country, the reserve study is also typically referred to as an “engineering study,” which further adds to the confusion, as it implies a level of service not contemplated by a reserve study but more suggestive of a PCA.

What distinguishes these three separate services are their purpose, the methodology used in compiling the data, and the data presented in the final report.

The reserve study report is a budgetary tool based on a physical evaluation of the replaceable common area components of the Association. The purpose is to prepare a financial forecast( normally for a 30-year period) of future expenditures, and to understand the required reserve contributions to fund these future expenditures. In a condominium Association, replacement of the condominium structure itself is generally an excluded component, as it is considered to be a lifetime structure. However, painting of exterior walls, possible replacement of siding, and roofing replacement would be included in the reserve study, as they represent the major replaceable components that are part of the condominium structure. The reserve study is based on future replacement costs.

The insurance appraisal report is a valuation service of all of the common area components of the Association. This list of common area components will necessarily include a number of items that are not considered in the reserve study. The purpose is to determine the overall insurable values of the property, to make sure that the Association is carrying adequate insurance. For purposes of the insurance valuation report for a condominium project, the condominium structure is the single highest cost item included within the study. Rather than evaluating each of the separate components of that building (ie, building envelope, roofing, mechanical equipment, etc.), the insurance valuation is generally based on a cost per square foot for replacement of the type of construction used in the project. The insurance valuation report looks at current replacement costs as the basis of the valuation.

The property condition assessment (PCA) report is an overall evaluation of the physical property that results in a report to help interested parties understand the condition of the property. The PCA report should generally include the following elements, presented in a clear and easily understood format:

  • Summary of the property’s visible components, including site development /landscaping, exterior envelope, structural elements, interior finishes, equipment and systems, and handicap accessibility compliance
  • Details of any physical defects or damage discovered during the property inspection
  • Identification of any maintenance deficiencies
  • Estimate of costs for correcting observed deficiencies
  • Quality of workmanship
  • Quality of construction materials used
  • Statement of the terms and conditions of the report

The PCA can be viewed as a blend of both the reserve study report and the insurance valuation report.

First, like the insurance appraisal report, it considers all components of the property, not just the replaceable components. But unlike the insurance appraisal report, it does not attempt to arrive at an overall valuation for replacement of the project. The PCA is based upon current costs.

Second, like the reserve study, it should identify physical defects or damages observed, and provide an estimate of the cost for correcting the deficiencies noted. The PCA does not use future costs. Contact names and numbers of vendors supplying systems maintenance and replacement are usually included in the PCA.

What are the benefits of a PCA? It provides an expert evaluation of the quality of construction and the integrity of the related building systems, and identifies necessary repair costs to bring the project to a normal condition. Readers of the PCA report are thus provided the information they need to make critical decisions. For commercial real estate transactions, the PCA is very important to lenders and investors related to the potential purchase of real estate. Insurance underwriters use the report for setting rates. Within the homeowners’ association industry, the PCA may often be a guide to determining the scope of future repairs and possible replacement with alternative products. In a more extreme example (and we’ve seen this happen more than once), it may help the Association board of directors determine whether a particular building is salvageable through repairs, or whether it should be torn down and replaced. We have seen 40-year-old clubhouses that were not adequately maintained razed and replaced with new, multi-million dollar clubhouses. In some associations, aesthetic values also weigh heavily on such decisions.

Providers of PCA services are generally architects, engineers, or contractors that have extensive construction knowledge. It is necessary for the provider of the service to have an understanding of the latest industry standards on structural components. Familiarity with construction products and materials and knowledge of mechanical equipment, fire protection (such as sprinkler / alarm systems), lighting, and other interior systems are also important.

While it is desirable for a reserve study provider to have that same level of knowledge, the reserve study is a budgetary tool and as such, is a more superficial analysis that does not require the same level of knowledge. The reserve study report should be a reflection of the Association’s maintenance plan. Therefore, far more reliance is placed upon the knowledge of the Association’s operating and reserve maintenance activities, as well as interaction with the vendors that supply those services.

Condominium Insurance: Two Simple Things You Need to Know

As an owner of a condominium or perhaps a potential purchaser, there are 2 very simple things you need to understand about insurance. (Of course, there are many more than two things involved in this subject, but only two are critical if you’re worried that the subject will be a good cure for your insomnia… these are the important two, so pour the coffee and stay with me on this.)

Number One: The Condominium Corporation is required by provincial legislation to carry general liability, Directors & Officers, Errors & Omissions and machinery & equipment insurance and the Corporation’s bylaws can stipulate other coverage regarding the Corporation’s operations. These documents ensure that as an owner, your interest in the condominium as a whole, is protected. (This is also the insurance that your mortgage company will want to know about.)

If fire damages or destroys the building or a block of townhouse units, the Condominium’s insurance policy will cover the repair or replacement costs and owners will not be required to pay the rebuilding costs.

Your monthly fees include your share of this cost to the property as a whole.

Number Two: The Condominium’s insurance will not pay for your Uncle Bob’s lost wages when he trips on the ottoman in your den and breaks his leg. It will also not replace your puffy-white-cloud sofa when your red wine juggling routine goes awry.

These types of claims – personal liability and damage to personal property (alone) must be addressed through your own personal insurance policy. Specific coverage for condominium owners is available from most insurers and is generally more affordable than standard homeowner’s insurance, since your insurer is not liable for covering the cost of replacing the structure itself – rather, just the contents and (depending on your Corporation’s bylaws) any improvements you make to the interior of the structure. Your broker can help you to find the most appropriate coverage for your needs. (Hint: if you currently don’t have a broker or would like a competitive quote, you may want to check with your Condominium’s broker for a quote – some will offer discounts for owners in a property they cover.)

What you need to be aware of is that there are two types of insurance and that one is entirely your responsibility.

Recall the poor souls you’ve seen on the news whose condos were damaged or destroyed by fire – their unit will be repaired or rebuilt, but their personal belongings won’t be replaced if they didn’t have their own policy for contents. A final note in this regard – and this one should keep you from nodding off – is to be sure that your personal policy will pay any deductible that you may be responsible for. This situation can happen to anyone and certainly has in the past – you forget to close the bedroom window before you leave at Christmas – your pipes freeze, burst and flood your neighbour’s units. While the Corporation’s insurance will respond to the claim, you can be held responsible for the deductible amount. With this coverage on your personal policy, you won’t be out-of-pocket for this mishap (unless the Condominium’s insurance premiums are increased next year as a result of the claims history, in which case – all owner’s fees may be increased to cover the additional cost.)

Of course, this is a far more complex topic than what can be represented here before we have you looking for a pillow and blanket, so if you’re interested in more in-depth information, speak to your broker and/or your Condominium’s broker about further details.