Car Insurance

Electric Revolution In The Canadian Auto Sector?

Electric Revolution In The Canadian Auto Sector?

Industry leaders are planning for a mass influx of electric cars in Canada in the coming year. Hybrid cars were received well in the country, and aided by government rebates, saw many motorists embrace them. The same is slowly happening with electric cars, and it is anticipated that there will be at least 500,000 electric cars on Canadian roads in 7 years. This number may not be high enough to justify a revolution, but it is a major step. Chances are the units on sale are likely to surpass the given figure.

There is a desire with most of the population to shift from oil and gas dependence, fanned by the rising gasoline prices and a shaky economy. A large percentage of car users only need to drive short distances to get to work or run home-related errands. This can be easily done with an electric car, saving on money. Most of the electric cars already sold in the country are owned by people who drive short distances every day. Instead of spending so much on gas, many are now opting to go for rechargeable batteries as in electric cars, which attracts as little as $1.75 a day.

This growing interest and demand for electric cars has caught the Canadian government’s eye. The municipal and provincial electric utilities are currently running pilot projects on usage and other modalities, in readiness for the growing market. Several Canadian energy companies are also carrying out tests of various plug-in electric cars in different provinces, to check viability and long term probabilities.

All this attests to one fact: Canadians are embracing electric cars. The national outcry that was seen when the government blocked the sale of Zenn, Canada’s best electric car, is testament. Extensive research precedes any form of testing. That leading companies such as Hydro-Quebec and the government are conducting tests and pilot projects shows that the results of whatever research they conducted were positive.

The argument to buy or not to buy is easily resolved by thinking long term, which many Canadians have done. The cheapest electric car at the moment goes for about $15,000. Those who argue that this is too expensive see only half the picture. In any case, luxury cars cost far more than this, less fuel expenses. It is true that one can buy a gas-powered vehicle for much less, but the real difference is in the cost of operation. You spend about a tenth or less to keep an electric car going, than you would a gasoline vehicle.

As more people face this reality, the need to buy an electric car becomes more real. There are hurdles along the way but by providing the necessary support, the government can encourage the growth of electric cars in the country. Of course there are the usual disadvantages over gas-fueled vehicles, such as a lower mile range.

For the person who drives less than 50 miles every day, which is a majority of the working and student population, this is not a problem. This lot can use the electric car effectively to get to the school, office and home. Depending on model, electric cars cover between 40 and 100 miles on one charge, and can reach speeds of 135 mph. This also varies with model, but not by much.

For now, you still need an extra car – hybrid or gas-fueled – for when you need to drive longer distances. Those who do not want the inconveniences of paying for the upkeep of two cars are a little shy of buying the electric car, preferring to wait longer in the hope that more powerful batteries that can support close to the 300 gas car mile range will be developed. Unfortunately, this will take a while.

Jamie Connelli is an insurance agent from Newmarket, Ontario who occasionally writes blog posts on upcoming trends in the automotive sector. Recently he had a few guest posts published on Kanetix.ca about electric automobiles and car insurance opportunities.


10 Reasons Insurance is Worth It

10 Reasons Insurance is Worth It

As much as we hate to, paying insurance is one of the necessary evils in life. Yes, it means the insurance companies are filthy rich – especially those with superior legal teams who know every loophole in the book and therefore avoid payouts at all costs, but without them many people would have no safety net. So, while most of us hate parting with our hard earned cash, paying a monthly sum to a broker that may never have to return a single cent in claims, it is still worth it.

1. Health Insurance

The importance of having health insurance greatly depends where you live in the world and what health system your government currently has in place. Those living in America find it hard to get even basic health care without insurance, which to people in a number of other countries is hard to comprehend. In the UK and Australia, where emergency care is free to all there is often little need for health insurance. However, many choose to opt for health insurance to increase surgery wait times or to be able to choose their centre of care. Australia’s Medicare system is one of the best there is, where people sometimes pay a small fee to cover medical costs while the rest is reimbursed. Of course, there are much less people in the country so the system isn’t quite as overpopulated as somewhere like the UK – which was initially not designed to deal with 70 million people, is straining under the weight of an ever-growing population, so many more are choosing private health care. You are then guaranteed speedier wait and surgery times, so if you have a problem that needs attending to in a timely fashion, it is definitely worth the monthly expense. Of course, most people sign up to health insurance for what may happen, few policies cover existing conditions, or do, but a premium. It is especially useful for people who have known familial linked disorders, like cancer, diabetes, heart disease or stroke.

2. Life Insurance

Amongst the various types of insurance policies available, few people opt for insuring their lives, yet death is one of the few certainties in life. The policies pay a set lump sum on death, but can often cover terminal and critical illness too. It is worthwhile for anyone with dependents or those who share a mortgage; in the event of your death at least your bills will be looked after, taking the financial pressure of your loved ones. Always double check the policy terms;  many life insurance policies will not pay out in the case of suicide or accidental death. And be aware of the differences between life insurance and assurance. Insurance policies may run for a certain term and once payments stop you are no longer covered, whereas Life Assurance offers a guaranteed payment on death whether payments were stopped in the past, or not.

3. Dental Insurance

A visit to the dentist is getting more and more expensive as the years go by. Those lucky enough to live in countries where dental treatment is subsidised rarely appreciate they have it so good. While in many countries, trips to the dentist are a big drain on the bank balance, especially if you have children who need orthodontic treatment. To avoid having to forego dental treatment because of lack of funds paying into a dental plan can help when you need it most. Yes, there are financial plans available through most dentists, but only if the minimum spend is a good few thousand dollars. With dental insurance you can generally claim after each trip.

4. Home Insurance

Whether you own your own house or not, having your contents insured against fire, theft and damage is rarely a waste of cash. When precious possessions are at risk people often don’t think too long about handing over money to insure them. Granted, certain things like photographs and family heirlooms are never replaceable, but in the event of fire, flood or damage it’s always good to know that you’ll be able to start again when the insurance money comes through. A stipulation of renting out your home is to have landlords cover, as well as buildings insurance, which is a good thing, so if a tenant wreaks havoc in the property, your payout may cover repair and refurbishment costs.

5. Disaster Insurance

A relatively new kid on the insurance block, disaster insurance helps protect against certain rare, but financially devastating events and has become a hot topic in sight of recent natural catastrophes. Those living in an earthquake zone, bush fire area or region prone to hurricanes and floods may already have some form of insurance through their home insurance policy, but if not it is a wise choice to look into if you can afford the expense.

6. Credit Card Insurance

Sometimes referred to as credit card repayment protection, card insurance offers help with repayments in various circumstances. Should you become ill or unemployed involuntarily the policy will ensure more than the minimum payment is covered on your card, and if you are permanently disabled or die the cover will pay the full amount of your outstanding bill, usually up to a specified amount. This type of insurance is worthwhile if you’re not inclined to pay off your debts every month, and often includes other features, i.e., some plans offer travel insurance, or car rental insurance if you use your credit card to book, so it depends on your lifestyle whether this type of insurance suits. Just check what each credit card offers when you’re comparing them before you settle on one.

7. Travel Insurance

Few people travel these days without travel insurance, either because they’re very well organised, were offered it when booking their trip, or have been badly marred by past experience and don’t want to have to learn the lesson again! There’s no doubt travel insurance is worth it, even for short trips, as so many variables can go wrong. The only trouble you have is to choose the right policy. Online policies are becoming more and more competitive, and depending where in the world you live there are some great deals on offer that cover all eventualities, including winter sports and diving cover.

8. Car Insurance

In most countries car insurance is compulsory; however, it doesn’t mean that everyone pays it. There are always a few chancers on the road who think they can get away without insurance until there’s an accident. And, more often than not, it’s the people who avoid paying their insurance that end up needing it. If an uninsured driver is involved in a crash and it’s their fault, they get landed with the repair and medical bills, so it’s just not worth the risk unless you fancy yourself wearing a prison uniform.

9. Pet Insurance

Tiddles, man’s best friend, or your duck are expensive little creatures to have around. Illness or injury are sure things during their lifetime, and vet’s bills are rarely cheap, so taking out some form insurance is wise to cover costs when things go wrong. Of course, like any policy you may be paying a lot of money and never need to claim, and there are probably many other policies you’d prefer to pay towards if you’re not exactly rolling in it, so it’s not for everyone. But if you’re one of those people who fall in love with every stray on the street or would want do anything possible to keep your pet alive should they contract a terminal illness, then maybe pet insurance is worth it for you.

10. Funeral Insurance

It’s not something people often plan for, after all, most people have no idea when they’re going to die, they only know it will be some day, so paying out a monthly premium for funeral costs seems overly cautious. Yet, the average cost of a funeral is thousands of dollars, and not something we normally save towards. However, there are some people who could still benefit, such as the infirm and elderly. Those who know their time to move on is not far away will be comforted in the fact their funeral costs will be covered when the times comes.

Don’t Forget to Read the Fine Print

Remember, before signing up to any insurance policy think long and hard as to whether you really need the cover. Those who sell insurance depend on the commission from the policies they sell to make a living, which is why they will try their hardest to get you to sign up to their policy, often using as many scare tactics as they can muster to appeal to your sensitive side. Stand strong and only sign an agreement once you read the terms and conditions, including all the tiny fine print – as boring as it is, it’s incredibly important, otherwise you may find when it comes to making a claim you weren’t insured for what you thought. Read, read and triple read before signing anything.


5 Tips for Reducing the Cost of Your Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is one of the rare monthly bills that you actually have some control over. To begin with, you can shop around for insurance to find the best rates. Additionally, there are certain things you can do to lower the cost of your insurance once you have it. You can’t say that about your rent or credit card payments. Where do you begin? Read these five tips for reducing the cost of your auto insurance:

Raise your deductible. If you feel safe in knowing that, in the case of an even that requires you to file a claim, you will be willing and able to meet higher deductible requirements, then have your insurance agent raise your deductible amount. Higher deductibles can improve your car insurance cost significantly.

Consider carrying only liability coverage on older model vehicles. If your car’s value is less than the amount of ten times your insurance premium, then it may not be cost-effective to invest in comp and collision coverage. Check with Kelley Blue Book to find your car’s value, then use that figure to weigh the replacement cost of your car against the amount you pay in car insurance each year and what your deductible is.

Buy your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance from your car insurance provider. Most auto insurance companies offer discounts to customers who use them for their other insurance needs. This is something you should inquire about before you ever purchase auto insurance, when you are calling around for quotes.

Keep a clean driving record. This is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to reduce the cost of your car insurance. In addition to maintaining a reasonable rate that you already have locked in, a clean driving record can get you discounts on a year after year basis. This means that every year you go accident and/or claim-free equals an additional discount to your insurance rate.

Ask about discounts. Every insurance company offers a variety of discounts for its carriers. These discounts include safe driver discounts, straight A discounts for high school students, college student discounts, low mileage discounts, and discounts for groups, clubs and associations.

As you can see, there are several ways to reduce the cost of your monthly auto insurance bill, and some of those methods are as simple as just asking. Car insurance is truly one of the most flexible monthly expenditures when it comes to pricing, as long as you’re willing to do a little bit of footwork. Avoid wasting your hard-earned money by using these suggestions to cut your auto insurance bill.

About the Author: Deborah is a full-time writer and blogger with more than 10 years experience in the insurance industry. She enjoys writing about personal finance, health, medical careers and education and is a regular contributor at aboutmedicalbillingandcoding.org.


American Sales Down In May

Statistics suggest that US auto sales dipped in May by about .4% over the same month last year and by more than 5% over April. Sales on the retail market were down by about 50,000 vehicles over the previous month, suggesting continued softness in the economy and supply chain woes continue to take their toll.

According to the latest seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) published by Edmunds.com, the overall annualized rate has declined by a million vehicles compared to April’s SAAR. For retail sales, the SAAR for 2011 is now below 10 million cars, trucks and vans.

At least some of the decline in sales may be attributed to a reduction in manufacturer incentive programs which have ramped down by about 5% month-over-month and by more than a quarter since the previous May.

The natural disasters in Japan, compounded by the disaster at one of that nation’s nuclear plants proved to be hurdles for Toyota, an automobile manufacturer that has already been struggling, especially in the US market.

Other automotive companies have also experienced supply line disruptions from the problems in Japan, suggesting the decline in sales may partially stem from inventory problems that have slowed the flow of new autos to the market.

According to a top economist at Edmunds, production problems from Japan are being resolved and soon the industry should return to normal. As far as Toyota is concerned, its top models should be back in full production mode sometime in June. This means people who want to buy the company’s Corolla and Camry models will soon be able to, suggesting that June may be a better month at least for Toyota.

Toyota isn’t the only Japanese manufacturer to see better times ahead. Honda has been hardest hit of all the Japanese car makers, but is also expecting sales to ramp up in the coming months as that company’s suppliers and facilities are quickly coming back online.

The other major Japanese automotive player, Nisan, has reported that it has had success in recovering from the disaster It has brought a motor plant back online that will help that company resume production at normal levels in the coming months.

Calendar problems may also have contributed to May’s decline in auto sales, especially compared to last year when May had 26 selling days. This year, May lost two of those days which means that there was less for sales.

Finding the right auto insurance company that offers the most competitive rate of insurance for your vehicle can be difficult if you go through the conventional route of calling each insurance company individually. Nowadays, people use quote comparison websites such as Kanetix.ca to compare the quotes of multiple insurance companies and get the cheapest rate.


How Will You Tackle Rising Motoring Costs

How Will You Tackle Rising Motoring Costs

The cost of owning a car is jumping every year and while in the past this has been minor skips – in comparison to what we’re currently seeing – for many it’s now no longer financially viable.

But every cloud has its silver lining, as they say. It’s important to look at what positive has come out of this. While in the past, car owners would use the car excessively, now drivers are thinking twice before making every journey.

And this isn’t a bad thing. Congestion is an increasing problem, and for those who have been working for ways to solve this, the rising cost of owning a car is certainly a blessing. For those who are concerned about the environment, and the effect car usage is having on it, motoring costs will also be seen as a positive. Rising motoring costs mean that drivers are now using the car only for necessary journeys, reducing their carbon footprint and the demand for fuel.

According to a tweet by @Fuelcardexpert fuel is now set to overtake depreciation and become the highest cost of running a card. Fuel prices have risen by around 50% over the past five years and, according to CFC Solutions, there is every reason to expect this trend to continue.

However, just because the cost of running a car is getting more expensive, that doesn’t mean that you need to get rid of the car altogether. Yes, running a car is now more expensive than ever but there are ways you as a driver can cut motoring costs.
Use the Car Only For Necessary Journeys

Do you really need to use the car for this journey? Using a car for short journeys, where walking or using public transport is possible, is one of the main ways in which drivers overspend. By monitoring your car usage you will be able to quickly spot areas in which you unnecessarily use the car, finding ways to save money.

Shop Around for Cheaper Insurance

Car insurance is one of the biggest motoring costs, and now more than ever it’s important to do your research and find the cheapest price possible. Take advantage of comparison sites and always check to see if your insurer is running a promotion or special offer – a 10% discount can make a big difference to the final price.

Find Out Where the Cheapest Fuel Is At

Fuel costs are continually rising, and knowing where to buy the cheapest fuel in your area is one of the smartest ways to cut costs here. Shopping around for fuel doesn’t necessarily mean driving around town with a notebook and pen, there are already plenty of websites which track the cheapest fuel by postcode or zipcode. Petrolprices.com (UK) is one example of this, and the number of sites offering this service is growing all the time.

Consider a More Fuel Efficient Car

If you’re driving an SUV to drive the kids to school, perhaps it’s time to consider if it’s really worth it. Fuel efficiency is now more important than ever and one of the biggest savings you can make is by switching to a more fuel efficient car. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean trading in for a Prius, but just making sure you’re not paying over the odds for your journeys.

Jennifer is a part of the digital blogging team at cashzilla.co.uk who work with a growing number of finance brands. For more information about me, or to keep up to date with the latest in finance news, check out my posts at cashzilla.co.uk or visit my Twitter account, @cashzilla.


Three Reasons Your Car is So Expensive to Insure

Several factors are used by car insurance companies to determine how expensive your policy will be. Some of those factors are things you have no control over, like your age and gender. Other factors are based on the type of car you drive. Insurance companies are interested in nationwide trends that show accident rates and safety rankings of the majority of the cars on the road today. These trends help guide the insurance companies so that they can charge rates that are most likely to cover the possibility of an insurance claim. Cars that are expensive to repair or replace will also earn higher rates from most car insurance companies. The best way to control your insurance costs is to understand how the insurance companies determine the costs of each driver individually. Every insurance company stresses certain risk factors differently, so rates on the same car can vary widely from one company to another.

Expensive Repairs or Replacements

Driving a high performance luxury car can be expensive at the dealership and at the insurance company. When a high priced car is damaged, it can cost much more to make repairs than a more standard car would cost. Insurance rates have to be high enough to cover the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle based on the real costs of new parts or the overall value of the car. If your car has custom parts or accessories, it could cost you even more to insure. It is important to report any major changes you make to your insurance agent so that your coverage can be adjusted correctly.

Comprehensive History of Collisions

Every state maintains careful records of accident reports. These reports are good sources for insurance companies to use when they need to determine the safety of a certain type of car. Some cars tend to be involved in accidents more often than others, which will make their insurance rates higher. Certain types of cars also tend to break down more often than others, making them more expensive to insure. You can learn about the collision history of your make and model through your insurance agent. If you are shopping for a new car, do some research into which kinds of cars are considered the most reliable and least accident prone if you want to have lower insurance rates.

Smaller Cars are Most Expensive

The cars that typically have the highest insurance rates are smaller 2-door sports cars. If they have high performance engines, they will be even more expensive to cover. These cars tempt their drivers to drive faster and more recklessly because of their high powered engines and light weight. When they are involved in an accident, they tend to receive more damage. Smaller cars also present a higher risk for injury during an accident. If the accident occurs at high speed, it can be very expensive for the insurance company to cover.

Jessica Bosari writes for CarInsuranceQuotesComparison.com, a site that seeks to educate consumers about car insurance. The more you know, the more likely you are to get the best rate when you compare auto insurance quotes.


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