What new drivers need to know about car insurance

Owning and operating a car responsibly starts with attending an excellent driving school to acquire all the essential knowledge about driving a car. But your responsibilities don’t end with simply learning how to safely operate your vehicle. You also need the best car insurance you can get. Whether you’ve just learned how to drive and are thinking of purchasing a car, or you’ve been driving for a while and would like to know a bit more about how car insurance works, here are the basics that every driver should know.

What is car insurance?

Car insurance ensures that you can cover large expenses in the case of an accident or other type of incident. The idea is fairly simple: you pay a small regular fee into a larger fund and if your car gets damaged or stolen, or someone gets hurt while operating the car, the insurance company will cover the involved costs. There are a lot of different kinds of car insurance and varying types of contracts or “policies” that will cover you in distinct situations.

Why is it important?

First and foremost, car insurance is mandated by the government for every car owner in Canada who wants to drive on public roads and highways. Furthermore, owning and maintaining a car is expensive. If an accident occurs or if your car is broken into, most people don’t have the kind of cash it takes to repair the damage. Insurance is important not only to follow the law, but also to protect you from having to pay huge expenses out of your own pocket.

How can I get car insurance?

There are many different kinds of insurance companies who offer car insurance. However, it can be advantageous to work with an insurance broker, as they’re typically able to find the best combination of insurance policies available from differing companies. If you already have life or home insurance, for example, chances are that your broker will be able to add car insurance to your existing arrangement.

At North Shore Driving School, we want all our customers to learn the skills required to drive on Canada’s roads safely. If you live in the greater Vancouver area and are interested in learning how to drive a car or truck, contact us today to find out how easy it is to become a great driver.

Lower Your Car Insurance Today

Car insurance—it is one of those necessary items that all drivers must buy. However, just because you are required to have it does not mean you have to pay top dollar. There are plenty of ways to lower your car insurance premiums. By knowing what affects car insurance rates, you may be able to save yourself a few dollars each month.

Tips for Lowering Car Insurance Rates

As a driver, you should review your car insurance premium regularly to make sure you are getting the best rate. Some things you can do to potentially lower your rate include:

  • Signing Up for a Usage-Based Program – Usage-based programs may save you 10 to 15 percent per year on your car insurance premium. You will have to use a GPS tracking device that monitors your driving habits, how many miles and how frequently you drive, etc., but it could lower your rate based on what is tracked.
  • Remember Multi-Policy Discounts – Most insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts if you run all of your insurance policies through them. This can include homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, multiple cars, motorcycles, etc. Contact your insurance company to ensure you are getting the multi-policy discount.
  • Raise Your Deductible – The higher the deductible, the lower your insurance premium. Raising it in $100 increments may lower your monthly premium.
  • Cancel Collision – If you are driving an older car that is not financed, you can cancel collision coverage. Only do this if the coverage is worth more than the actual vehicle.
  • Be Smart About Vehicle Purchases – The type of car you drive affects your insurance premiums. Four-wheel drive vehicles and sports vehicles cost more than two-wheel drive, safer vehicles. Before purchasing a vehicle, go to the Vehicle Information Centre of Canada to see the theft and claim rates per vehicle type; this will help you gauge if your insurance will go higher or lower.

Driving Schools and Car Insurance

Insurance premiums are also affected by your driving record. Taking a defensive driving course in Vancouver makes you less likely to be in an accident. Although taking the course will not automatically impact your insurance premiums in BC, it helps you practice safe driving. If you are a senior citizen, taking a driving refresher course can also help lower your premiums.

North Shore Driving School Ltd. offers refresher courses and individual lessons at our driving school in Vancouver. Learn more about our driving classes or schedule your lesson today by calling 604-988-1138. You can also contact us online.

The Ins and Outs of Car Insurance: A Guide for Beginners

Finally getting your driver’s licence is a major accomplishment. Passing your driving test demonstrates that you’re a competent, safe driver. The next step to securing your safety and that of others is by purchasing car insurance, which is a legal mandate everywhere in Canada. Getting insurance can sometimes feel overwhelming, but knowing why you need car insurance and where you can get it in BC makes the process much smoother.

Why Do I Need Car Insurance?

First of all, having car insurance is mandatory in BC – you need insurance because it’s the law! Second of all, insurance helps you in the event of an accident. When something goes wrong on the road, from a small fender bender to a big accident, it’s almost impossible to pay for the damage to your car, another driver’s car, or other damaged property out of pocket. Insurance helps pick up the slack so you don’t have to put your entire savings account on the line every time you go out for a spin. Insurance also helps cover personal injuries from a car accident. Having insurance protects you, your wallet, and your health, and gives you greater peace of mind when you’re on the road.

What Kind of Car Insurance Do I Need?
The type and amount of car insurance you should get varies depending on your individual circumstances. Details about your life are an important factor, including age, driving record and experience, and which province you live in. In BC, the ICBC Basic Autoplan is the place to start. Get in touch with an insurance agent to get the right coverage.

What is ICBC Basic Autoplan?
ICBC Basic Autoplan provides basic insurance coverage in the event of a crash, namely when you’re the at-fault driver and need to pay for someone else’s injuries or damaged vehicle. It also helps cover your own medical needs and work compensation even when you’re at fault. ICBC Basic Autoplan also helps cover you if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident or if you’re hit by someone who doesn’t have insurance.

You can add more coverage on top of the basics, including:

  • Extra vehicle coverage for collisions and specific types of accidents
  • Extra coverage for you and your family
  • Specialized coverage for off-road vehicles

Your specific situation, experience, and vehicle can help you decide what insurance coverage you need. The ICBC website (http://www.icbc.com/Pages/default.aspx) is a great resource for determining what coverage you want for yourself and your vehicle and to examine your potential options. After you visit the North Shore Driving School and have your licence firmly in hand, take the next step and cover yourself and your car – your budget, your car, and other drivers on the road will thank you.

Don’t have your licence yet? Consider North Shore Driving School’s GLP driving courses in Vancouver.