Staying Safe on SK Roads: How Weather Impacts Auto Insurance
Saskatchewan is well known for its wide open plains and natural beauty, but it’s also known for its extreme weather. From strong winds to hail storms, the changes in the climate can be a real danger to motorists and cause significant damage to vehicles. Understanding how the weather can affect your Auto insurance is vital to staying safe on Saskatchewan roads.
How Weather Can Affect Your Auto Insurance
When you register your car at your local SGI issuer, SGI looks at many factors to determine your premium. Thankfully SGI’s philosophy regarding registration fees is all drivers should be treated equally, aside from their driving records. So, when determining rates for your basic registration, they don’t use your age, gender or where you live to determine the cost of your insurance.
If you have an Auto Insurance Policy or Auto Pak, it’s different. Insurance policies use what is called ‘individualized rating.’ Unlike your registration, your policy premium is determined by various other factors. One of these factors is the area where you live, which is pulled from the postal code on your driver’s licence. In that case, you may be charged higher premiums or have limited coverage options due to the potential for weather-related damage. Understanding what weather-related risks are not covered under your policy is essential to properly prepare for claims and losses.
Wind Storms and Hail Storms – What to Expect
Saskatchewan is known for its strong winds and hail storms. Wind storms can damage your vehicle by blowing debris onto roads, which can cause dents and scratches. Hail storms can cause more damage, as hailstones can break windows and dent your vehicle’s body. In both cases, the damage can be covered by your car insurance policy, but it’s essential to understand the limits of your coverage.
Determining Vehicle Value
When you buy a new car, truck, or SUV, the vehicle’s value goes down the minute you drive it off the lot. Without Replacement coverage, your vehicle will be subject to Actual Cash Value (ACV) during a claim. This insurance term refers to the adjuster’s calculation used to determine the market value. Deprecation factors can include the age of the vehicle, physical condition, kilometres driven, and even the life expectancy of how much longer you would’ve been able to continue driving it.
Auto Insurance – Coverages and Options
When looking for car insurance, it’s essential to understand the different coverages and options available. Common coverages can include liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage for weather losses, vandalism and theft. Depending on your policy, you may also have access to additional coverage, such as rental car Loss of Use coverage and Replacement coverage. Having Replacement or Repair Cost coverage drastically changes how your vehicle value will be determined during a claim, as it protects your new vehicle from depreciation in the first 36 months from the delivery date (i.e your vehicle’s birthdate).
If you live in an area with extreme weather, like Saskatchewan, consider purchasing additional coverage to protect yourself against potential damage. If your vehicle is a few years old, consider asking one of our advisors at Harvard Western about Optiom insurance.
Optiom Pro, for example, is coverage for a total loss providing vehicle replacement for your new, used or leased vehicle. Whether your car is used for personal, business or commercial use, OR any combination of the three, you may qualify for Optiom Pro. Coverage with Optiom is available for up to 36 months from the delivery date or until the odometer reaches 200,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.
Tips for Staying Safe on Saskatchewan Roads
When driving in Saskatchewan, taking extra precautions is vital to stay safe. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid driving in extreme weather conditions, mainly high winds and hail storms.
- Pay attention to road signs and warnings and obey all speed limits.
- Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and properly maintained.
- Wear your seatbelts and obey all traffic laws.
- Stay aware of your surroundings and be prepared for sudden changes in the weather.
How to Get the Best Car Insurance Quotes
When looking for Auto insurance, shopping around and comparing quotes from different insurance companies is essential. This will help you find the best rates and coverage for your needs. Some tips to keep in mind include the following:
- Compare quotes from multiple insurance companies. We offer quotes from SGI Canada, Portage Mutual Insurance and Sandbox Mutual Insurance at Harvard Western.
- Read the policy documents carefully. Ensure your plate number, vehicle description, and personal information are correct on the policy and registration.
- Ask about any additional coverages or options. Are there different limits of coverage available between insurers?
Finding a policy that fits your needs and budget is essential when looking for car insurance. When you’re comparing quotes, make sure to consider the coverage limits, deductibles, and premium rates. You should also understand the policy’s terms and conditions, such as the types of weather-related damage covered.
Weather can have a significant impact on Auto insurance in Saskatchewan. From higher premiums to limited coverage, understanding how weather affects your policy is vital to staying safe on Saskatchewan roads. By reviewing your coverage and discussing your needs with an insurance advisor, you can find a policy that fits your needs and budget. Be sure to prepare for extreme weather and follow our safety tips to stay safe on the roads.