Buying a New Vehicle? The Make and Model of Your Vehicle Can Affect Your Insurance Premium.

Are you buying a new vehicle? If so, you might be interested to know that how the car you choose is rated affects your premium. Most people know their driving record affects their insurance premiums, but many aren’t aware of how much the car they buy affects their rates too. Additionally, there are other things you might not know about how your car impacts your insurance premiums. Here is what to consider when shopping for a new car:

Age

The age of your car directly affects what you pay for insurance premiums. The older the car, the more value it loses. The less valuable a car is the less expensive it costs to replace or repair. This makes it cheaper for your insurance company to insure because the risk of them paying out large sums of money is reduced. It’s important to note that each car starts with a different rate and depreciates at a different rate; the impact varies across different types of vehicles.

Make and Model

The make and model of the car you purchase will also affect your insurance rates. High-end cars are more expensive to insure because of their value. The cost of repairs, parts and the replacement value are pricey for an insurance company, so they charge higher premiums for luxury cars.

The difference between models and even trim levels can greatly affect your insurance premium. For example, a sedan will likely cost less to insure than a coupe,  as coupes are sportier and statistically have a higher risk of getting into accidents.

Theft Potential

Insurance companies also base rates off theft statistics. These help them figure out which cars are stolen most often. For example, in 2017 the 2015 LEXUS GX460 4DR AWD SUV was the most stolen vehicle in Canada. To see the top ten list of stolen cars you can go here. Some cars make the most-stolen lists consistently, thus insurance premiums are higher for them. Although anti-theft devices can reduce the risk of the car getting stolen and can lower rates, if it’s commonly stolen it will still have a higher premium.

Risk and Value

The value of a car directly affects the optional portions of your car insurance, like collision. Dropping collision can reduce your insurance premium rates, but it’s not a good idea to go without this coverage if you can’t afford to pay to replace the vehicle or cover the cost of damages.

The risk factors of accidents and theft impact a number of areas. Theft statistics impact comprehensive costs and accident statistics impact the cost of liability and accident benefits; it’s important to note that your driving experience and record are considered as well.

At Sadler Insurance we help you with your car insurance needs, and make sure you understand your insurance coverage.

 

 

Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Wouldn’t it be great if summer could last forever? The sunshine, the long daylight hours, the backyard barbecues and trips to the beach? Most people would love to enjoy those summer traditions all year long; however, unless you live in a hot climate, that’s not going to happen. Winter comes whether we like it or not. You might not be able to change it or control it, but you can certainly plan for it. One of the most important steps in getting through those chilly months is to prepare your vehicle for winter. An unprepared vehicle can cause all kinds of trouble and make the season feel more unpleasant than it needs to be.

Change Your Tires

There are a couple of important things to do to prepare your vehicle for winter. The most obvious is changing your tires. In colder climates and especially in areas where the roads tend to get icy or slushy, it’s important to outfit your car with winter tires. Winter tires have better treads that offer heightened traction and grip on slippery roads. Winter tires are also composed of rubber that performs better in cold temperatures. A standard tire will stiffen up, making it difficult to steer and control the vehicle. Winter tires remain flexible in cold temperatures, allowing them to grip the road, providing greater control.

Some people make the mistake of thinking their all-season tires will suffice in winter. All-season tires are not made to withstand very cold winters. They’re fine in warmer climates, but in chillier areas, only a true winter tire or an all-weather tire will suffice.

Keep It Warm

If you park outdoors, you will want to make sure you’re able to plug your car in. Make sure your car is outfitted with a block heater and purchase an extension cord to plug it in. Make sure the extension cord is outdoor quality and an appropriate length to make plugging in as easy as possible.

You will also want to take a look at your wiper fluid and make sure it’s appropriate for the temperature. Some wiper fluids are not designed for cold temperatures and may freeze and crack your reservoir, causing a whole host of problems. Check the bottle to ensure the fluid is functional down to as low a temperature as possible. Your safest bet is to purchase wiper fluid that can withstand down to forty below to be on the safe side.

Prepare for Emergency

Finally, remember to stock your trunk with some essentials in case your vehicle breaks down. Keep warm clothing, extra blankets and booster cables in your trunk in case of an emergency.

Driving in cold weather isn’t always fun, but if you take the time to properly prepare your car for winter, it will be much easier on you. For more advice on how to get your car winter ready or to review your auto insurance policy, feel free to get in touch with us here at Sadler Insurance. We’re happy to help you stay safe on the roads.

Contact us today for more information on getting your car ready for winter!

When and How to Put Your Motorcycle Away for the Winter

There is hardly a place you can go where you do not encounter at least one motorcycle enjoying the fall season. Like all seasons, there comes a time when you need to retire your bike for the winter months ahead.  As motorcycle season is never long enough, riders try to make it last as long as possible. However, there are distinct signs that show when it is time to stow the bike.

Unsafe Road Conditions

Colder weather equates colder roads which means less traction for motorcycle tires.  Riders need to be fully aware of this when cornering and using speeds that require greater traction.  Once the temperature drops below zero, riding risk increases.  A cold but snow-less day can be just as dangerous as riding in snow if you are not experienced or prepared. Black ice is a well-known hazard as well as loose materials. Sand trucks will regularly sand and gravel the roads to combat ice.  Catching your bike on any of the loose grit can easily throw you off your riding game.  When riding close to winter months, be very aware of the road conditions and your own expertise level.

Unpredictable Weather

It is one thing to find yourself suddenly caught in a rainstorm. It is quite another to be out when a sudden snowfall hits.  Riders, especially those that commute to work for long periods of time or long distances, need to be fully aware of the possible weather changes.  Cold crosswinds or sudden snow falls not only put your riding in danger, it can also put you at risk of hypothermia or frostbite if you go off the road and wind up unconscious in the ditch.

You are Simply not Comfortable

While travelling on the open road at highway speeds, you will experience the world at 10 degrees colder than it is.  Let’s say it is a sunny 13 degrees outside, once you hit highway speed, it will feel like 3 degrees.  Every rider has their own degree of comfort. However, riding is also supposed to be fun.  If you are finding that you are cold, uncomfortable or even just worried about sudden weather changes then it might be your sign to retire for the winter.

A good motorcycle rider is a confident one.  Confidence comes with good knowledge and experience.  If you are unsure about your conditions or skills for the current road conditions, you are putting yourself at risk of an accident.

The correct time to retire your motorcycle for the winter depends on where you live, your experience as a rider and your toleration for the current seasonal changes.  A time will come though, when it is time to trade in your leathers for your parka. All is not lost; consider this a good time for a bike tune up to get it ready for the next summer season.  When that time comes, the friendly folks at Sadler Insurance would be happy to review your motorcycle insurance to help give you that peace of mind for the season ahead.

Contact us today with any questions and to review your motorcycle insurance.

Getting Your RV Ready for Road Trips

Before you go anywhere, it is critical to have your RV checked for any mechanical or electrical problems that could cause you issues while you’re on the road.

Make sure to do the following:
1. Have your brakes inspected to ensure that they are in tip-top shape, and remember, large and heavy vehicles require longer stopping distances.

2. Check your lights. Replace any burnt out bulbs, as non-functional lights can not only lead to accidents, they can also lead to hefty fines.

3. Make sure your battery and generator systems are working. This is especially important to do if you’re traveling to more remote areas where you may not have access to a garage or other necessary resources for a long while.

4. Don’t forget the spare tire! Before you head off for some sight-seeing and adventure, check your tires for any damage and make sure they’re inflated properly.

5. If you can’t remember the last time you had your cooling system flushed, do it before you go on your trip.

6. Replace any old hoses or belts.
If you do these things before leaving for your trip, you could avoid a lot of stress and financial burden while you’re on the road, so it’s worth spending the time and money getting your RV ready for road trips so that you can spend your time seeing the sights, not waiting for a tow truck.

Pack Smart
Getting your RV ready for road trips involves ensuring that you are well-prepared for any speed-bumps along the way. Make sure you are well-stocked for your trip by packing a few extra items:
1. A first aid kit

2. A small fire extinguisher

3. A Cell phone. Contact your cell phone provider before you leave to make sure that you won’t accumulate a bunch of expensive roaming charges.

4. Flashlight and batteries

5. Booster cables

Make Sure You’re Covered
If you’re thinking of taking your RV on a tour of North America, make sure you have all the coverage you need to make your trip as hassle-free as possible. While the first step to getting your RV ready for road trips is to check the mechanics of your RV to make sure the brakes, battery and motor functions are all good to go, you’ll also want to purchase insurance. Accidents do happen, and it’s important to prepare for them.

RV insurance comes in many different forms, so if you’re unsure if your RV’s current coverage is adequate for your vacation, or you’re looking into getting RV insurance for the first time, give us a call. We will walk you through all of the different options and advise on which coverage is best for you. In addition to RV insurance, you’ll also want to purchase proper health coverage, especially if you’re traveling to the United States or Mexico. At Sadler Insurance, we’ll help make your road trip a time of adventure and relaxation, not worry and financial stress.

Call us today for an RV insurance quote now.

Your Simple Guide to Changing a Car Tire

It’s happened to the best of us… your tire is flat to the rim and you’re miles from a service station. It looks like you need to change it yourself. If you’ve never changed a tire before, don’t worry, it’s a lot less complicated than it seems. Here are some simple steps to follow to help you change that flat tire.

First things first – gather the right tools for the job! Without the right equipment, it may be impossible to change your flat tire, so make sure you keep an emergency tire kit in your trunk.
Any tire changing kit is incomplete without the three tire-changing basics: a car jack, lug wrench, and spare tire. After that, it’s best to include other handy tools and equipment that will make the tire changing easier and more comfortable. Some suggested extras include a flashlight (with extra batteries), a tarp or mat to kneel on, a rain poncho, traffic cones, a tire gauge, and tire blocks.

Now that you have that all ready, let’s get started with these 5 simple steps:
1. Pull Over Somewhere Safe
Accidents happen, so it’s important to minimize your chances of experiencing another automobile collision after you’ve blown a tire. Be sure to get well into the shoulder away from any merge lanes, or take an exit to a safer spot. Make sure vehicles can see you from a long ways away and, if you have them, set up some cones to mark off your car. Throw on your hazard lights as well for extra protection.
2. Loosen the Lug Nuts
The first thing to do is grab your trusty wrench and loosen all the lug nuts on the tire in question. You may have to remove the hubcap as well.
3. Jack Up Your Car
With the lug nuts loosened, you’ll need to jack up your car to replace the tire. Your car probably came with a jack, so now’s a good time to consult your owner’s manual on the ideal placement and use of your car’s jack.
4. Remove Lug Nuts
Once the jack is secure, finish taking off the lug nuts and remove the car tire. Be sure to pull the tire straight off from its base.
5. Put on the Spare Tire
You essentially do everything else in reverse: put the spare tire onto the tire base, put on the lug nuts, lower the car, tighten the lug nuts completely, and pack everything away. You did it!
Changing a tire can be really easy if you have the right equipment and tools, and with the right knowhow you can be on the road in a jiffy. For the more complex issues that can happen to your vehicle, you’ll need the help of a professional insurance company. At Sadler Insurance, we can help you get the coverage you need for all your driving, and at competitive rates that will help you when the time comes to buy a new set of tires.

Call us today for driving and auto insurance information.

Why You Need an Emergency Car Kit

winter-road-1130317-mDriving in the frigid Alberta winter can sometimes be more than you bargained for. Getting stuck in the snow or stalling out on a remote road can be a scary and serious situation. Having a winter driving kit in your trunk will ensure that you are prepared for any situation. It may seem like a lot but it’s fairly easy to put together quickly. (You can purchase ready-made, well equipped car emergency kits at automotive stores and some big lot stores, or you can make your own.)

First grab an old, small travel bag or backpack that you’re not using any more; even a recyclable shopping bag will do the trick. Here’s what we recommend you carry with you in your trunk or tucked in the backseat:

  • Non-perishable food: Energy Bars will do the trick.
  • Water Bottle
  • Emergency or fleece blanket
  • Extra clothes: Having extra socks, gloves, toques, and other winter accessories is important.
  • Charged cell phone: You don’t need an extra one, just make sure you never drive without a charged cell phone in the back seat or trunk.
  • Winter tools: small shovel, brush and ice scraper (Most of us have these things in our cars anyway in the long Edmonton winter!
  • Candle and matches: include a taller can for the candle. This could be a source of heat if you need it.
  • Flashlight: Try and find a wind up variety.
  • First Aid kit
  • Warning light
  • Road flares
  • Whistle

There are several other larger items you should throw in your trunk in the winter “just in case”: cat litter (for traction), antifreeze or window washing fluid and jumper cables.

You may think that these items aren’t necessary in the city but if you get stranded on a back road or late at night with no help in sight, you’ll be thankful you were prepared.

Also, make sure that your vehicle is winterized and that your spare tire is inflated as well before travelling.

 

 

 

Protect Your Car from Theft

edmonton car insurance auto insuranceVehicles are generally a big investment for most people, that’s why it hurts so much when they get stolen! In this article by one of our insurance partners, Aviva Canada, you can find out the best ways to protect your car for this depressing fate.

You’re not stealing MY car

Walking out of your home or coming out of the store to see that your car is nowhere to be found is a situation that no car owner wants to experience. Having your car stolen can happen to anyone. But, if you want to reduce your chances of having your vehicle stolen, there are some common sense things that you can do to prevent vehicle theft.

One proactive thing that you can do is to check if your vehicle is on the most stolen list before you buy/lease it. Buying a vehicle that is difficult to steal is a theft deterrent in itself. The Insurance Bureau of Canada provides a list of ten most and least stolen vehicles.

A second action that can be taken is to “always avoid leaving any of your valuables in plain sight,” says Achiel Goossens, Senior Manager of Auto Claims with Aviva Canada. “Put everything away and store items in your in trunk. This will reduce your chances of being a target for theft.”

Where you park also has an impact on the likelihood of your vehicle being stolen. Here are some ways to protect your vehicle simply by parking in the right spot:

  • Park in well-lit areas if you are parking in public
  • Park your car in the garage when at home
  • If possible, park in attended lots

Here are some additional tips for preventing theft:

  • Install a security system in your vehicle if it doesn’t already have one
  • Remove all your valuables – leaving things like your phone, money, GPS and other items will attract thieves
  • While it should go without saying, always lock your car and close all windows before getting out.

Protecting your vehicle from theft is common sense. Have security measures in place and park your vehicle in areas that are well lit and protected. This article is for general informational purposes only. 

For more information on this or your car insurance, call us today.

How to Buy a Used Car

Buying a used car can be a daunting prospect… And we’ve all either heard the story of the fabled “lemon”. Some of us have experienced it first-hand. How do you avoid becoming the character in your own cautionary tale and end up with a fantastic new ride?

Determine Your “Needs” and “Wants”
First, you should determine what you will be using your vehicle for. A city commute? Hauling materials? Hauling kids…? This should help you determine the type of vehicle you need.

Then look at your wants; if you’d like a high-tech vehicle, you’ll be searching for vehicles made within the past couple of years. If you’re not picky about heated seats or smart-phone sync option then you can look at something a bit older.

Count Your Cash
Your available budget will obviously make a huge difference as to what you can afford to look at. Be realistic about how much financing you can get, or how much cash you have available. And remember that tax and fees will eat part of your budget as well.

Start Your Search
Performing an online search is the easiest way to get started. Most dealerships update their sites daily (at least) with the newest arrivals and available stock. You can also look on sites like autotrader.ca or buy directly from a previous owner through sites like kijiji.ca. These sites have great search filters so you can really narrow your choices down.

Ask the Important Questions
When you physically go to look at the vehicle, make sure you have a checklist prepared of pertinent questions:

  1. What is the car’s condition?
  2. What is the accident history?
  3. Has it ever been involved in a flood?
  4. Where has it been stored? (Garage? Driveway?)
  5. What is the mileage?
  6. What is the maintenance history? Do you have receipts?
  7. Where was it driven: city or highway? And how often?

Take a Look
Inspect the vehicle for outer and inner damage. Check the upholstery, the vents and everything in between. New tires will usually add to the value of a vehicle if they were purchased within the last year.

Take Her for a Spin
If you’re satisfied with the responses you get, it’s time for a test drive to see if you like how the car drives. You may be surprised by how much that would affect your decision.

Get the Car Inspected
If you’re buying from a dealership, you will have access to the vehicle’s ost recent inspection report. If you’re buying directly from the owner, you may need to take it in to a trusted mechanic (on your own dime) to have a look it before you make your final decision.

The final step is to contact your trusty insurance broker and get the right coverage for your lifestyle!

Call Sadler today for more information on Edmonton car insurance.