National Insurance Awareness Day

Insurance Awareness Day Gibb InsuranceJune 28th is National Insurance Awareness Day, and although insurance likely isn’t something you think about often; when you need it, it can suddenly become the most important thing in your world.

And while you might not think of insurance every day… we certainly do!

We want to ensure that you are fully aware of what your policies entail as well as the limitations; to help protect you and manage expectations in the event of a claim.

Please take a few minutes to review your policies. Review the amount of your coverage, limitations and take note of your deductible. It’s important to us that you are informed and educated.

If you believe you may qualify for a discount on your premiums, would like a quote from another carrier, or have any questions at all, please gather your insurance documents and give us a call: 519-736-8228

Welcome to Road Construction Season!

Drive safe in road construction adviceWhile most of us are looking forward to warmer weather, the warmer weather also means that road crews will be out improving our travel routes.

We would like to remind all drivers to slow down, drive with caution, increased awareness and share the road with work crews.

  • Observe the lower speed limit.
  • Watch for workers and obey their directives.
  • Merge when appropriate and be a courteous driver.
  • Leave earlier, assuming delays, to allow for ample time for you to arrive at your destination.
  • Be aware of uneven road surfaces and changes in traffic patterns
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, as sudden stops are common in construction zones.

Remember, speeding fines are doubled in construction zones when workers are present and may also result in demerit points; both which affect your insurance premiums.

Drive safe!

 

Avoiding Rear End Collisions

Avoiding a rear end collisionAccording to recent statistics, read end accidents account for 26% of all collisions. These accidents can significantly vary in severity from a scratched bumper to death. In nearly all cases of rear end collisions, it’s the driver who is following too closely who is at fault except when the first vehicle makes a sudden and unexpected stop.

The best way to avoid rear-end collisions is to leave some space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. It’s recommended to leave three to five seconds, (depending on speed and road conditions) so you have enough time to react.

To give yourself a two-second space, follow these steps:

Pick a marker on the road ahead, such as a road sign or telephone pole.

When the rear of the vehicle ahead passes the marker, count “one thousand and one, one thousand and two”.

When the front of your vehicle reaches the marker, stop counting. If you reach the marker before you count “one thousand and two,” you are following too closely.

Remember that the two-second rule gives a minimum following distance. It applies only to ideal driving conditions. You will need extra space in certain situations, such as inclement weather, when following motorcycles or large trucks, or when carrying a heavy load. [1]

Tailgating

We can’t govern the actions of others on roadways, but we can control how we conduct ourselves and react to poor drivers.

What to do if you’re being tailgated:

  • Change lanes if possible and signal your intentions well in advance, but avoid pulling onto the shoulder of the road.
  • Don’t pump the brakes – the tailgater likely knows they are following too closely and may not have the time to react properly.
  • Don’t be too distracted by the driver behind you. Keep your focus on the road ahead.
  • Don’t wave at the tailgater to pass you as your gesture may be misunderstood, or it may be dangerous for them to pass with oncoming traffic.
  • Keep your cool. It’s better to assume the driver is just having a bad day, rather than being an all-around jerk.
  • If you feel unsafe and are concerned about road rage, take the first available right turn, and then again if they are still behind you. If the driver is still following you, drive directly to the closest police station.

Be alert and drive safe.

[1] http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/handbook/section2.2.6.shtml

No Cost Methods to Save Money on Home Energy Bills

light bulbs using energyEnergy rates have risen in Ontario, and while we enjoy more moderate weather here in Windsor and Essex County compared to most of the province, many are feeling the pinch financially.

We’ve compiled some suggestions on ways to save money on your home energy bills this winter which are easy and no cost to you.

Let the sun heat your home.

  • Open the drapes on sunny days to help warm your home and close them after sunset to help insulate the windows from the cold night air.
  • Wood burning fireplaces can drain the heat from your home. When not in use, be certain the damper is completely closed and if you rarely use your traditional fireplace, consider blocking the front of the fireplace with a well fitted piece of insulation.
  • You are more likely to experience cold air and drafts near the exterior walls of your home. Consider moving furniture towards to interior, so you’re not relaxing in a cold, drafty area.
  • Turning down your thermostat by one degree can save money every month. Encourage family members to “get cozy” this winter by wearing extra layers of clothing in the house.
  • Be conscious of energy use when cooking. (Examples: Use a microwave to reheat dinners rather than leaving warm in the oven. Cook several meals at once to more efficiently use energy. Use an electric kettle to boil water rather than a stove top kettle.)
  • Unplug your garage beer fridge – it’s not worth to have it running just for a few cold drinks which can easily iced down in a couple of hours when needed.
  • Check that the insulation in the access to your attic is in the proper place to help prevent heat loss.

Challenge your family to be energy conscious

  • Turn off lights when rooms are not in use.
  • Be mindful and limit the running of bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.
  • Do only full loads in the washer, dishwasher and dryer and be sure your lint trap is cleaned to help improve efficiency.
  • When doing a load of laundry, use the cold water wash cycle.
  • Shortened showers can save on water consumption and the expense of heating water.
  • Put your computer and devices to sleep or shut completely down when not in use.
  • Be aware of electronics which “leak energy” even when not in use. Consider plugging all electronics and chargers into a power bar which can easily be turned off and on as needed.

If you have any other energy saving tips, please leave a comment below and we will share your idea on our Facebook page.

Buying a New Car? Insurance Considerations

Shiny new Ford MustangIt’s likely an important decision. You’ve considered the make and model. You’ve looked at performance, upgrades and prices. You’ve considered safety features, read reviews and taken test drives… what about insuring your new car?

Before making the final decision, we recommend you speak with an insurance professional. The cost of insuring your new vehicle may impact your purchase decision and having all the information before buying will help you be a more confident consumer.

For insurance purposes, every vehicle is rated according to the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) system. This system assesses and compares each and every vehicle based on the individual expected claims frequency and cost.

Factors that affect insuring your new vehicle

  • Type of vehicle (SUV, sports car)
  • Make, model and year
  • Advanced safety features
  • Cost to repair
  • Whether it’s a commonly stolen vehicle

Your personal driving record and habits will also affect your car insurance premiums. We know that changes happen in life and it’s important to discuss these changes with your insurance professional.

  • The amount you drive
  • Your past driving record and experience
  • Where you live
  • If you can bundle insurance (ex: insuring a second car or a home)

Before you make the decision to buy your new car, take a few minutes and to call us for an insurance quote. We’re here to help you protect what matters most! 519-736-8228

Has Your Vehicle Been Recalled?

The importance of vehicle recallsWhether your vehicle is brand new or years old; no one likes to receive notices of recall about their cars.

Even if the recall doesn’t “seem” to affect your vehicle; getting the necessary updates done is essential. Recalls can not only affect the resale value of your vehicle, but also personal, passenger and general road safety.

Not sure if you’re vehicle’s been recalled? Check out this easy to use Motor Vehicle Safety Recalls Database.

Consider as well that if you purchased your car used, you may not have received the recall notice.

Be proactive about your vehicular maintenance. Taking care of all recalls will help provide you with peace of mind when your family is on the road.

Safety first!

Easy Ways to Update Your Older Vehicle

Make your old car feel like new - Gibb Insurance AmherstburgSome of us prefer older vehicles because they are paid for, or perhaps sentimental. Whether you keep your older vehicle or upgrade to an older, but new-to-you version, here are some inexpensive ideas make your vehicle look and feel newer.

  1. Clean it

Treat your older vehicle to a professional cleaning inside and out. Also consider having the engine bay, parts and connections cleaned as well. This will not only remove harmful build up but will help your vehicle run better, for longer.

Cost: $30 – $300

  1. Clear it

Remove the oxidization from your old, hazy, plastic headlight covers. Not only will your vehicle’s appearance will improve, so will the effectiveness of your headlights.

Cost: $10 – $25

  1. Remove it

Dents, dings and scratches on your vehicle can make it appear even older than it is! Aside from paying big bucks to a body shop or for a new paint job, try an at home DIY dent removal kit and reduce the appearance of scratches with touch-up paint.

Cost $25+

  1. Communicate it

Hands-free communication in vehicles is not only safe; it’s the law. Upgrade your sound system to integrate with the Bluetooth capabilities of your mobile devices.

Cost: $40 – $200

  1. Find it

Most older vehicles don’t have navigation systems, and in Ontario, it’s illegal to hold your mobile device and drive. It’s easy to install a mount to your dashboard or centre console to help your GPS enabled device.

Cost: $15 – $50

  1. Start it

Let’s face it… winters can be pretty tough in Windsor and Essex County! No one enjoys driving a freezing cold car (plus even newer vehicles need a minute or two for the oil to warm up and lubricate the systems). Treat your older vehicle to a remote car starter for those frosty days.

Cost: $250 – $500

  1. Reverse it

If you feel insecure when driving in reverse, consider purchasing a rearview camera and a new accompanying rearview mirror which displays the camera’s images.

Cost: $350

Whether you choose to upgrade aspects of your older vehicle or not, the most important thing is that it’s performing safely and consistently. Enjoy your older vehicle and enjoy the ride!

Hit and Run Accident – What to Do

Hit and Run Accident Insurance Claim Advice Windsor As for any potential insurance claim, it’s important to carefully document as many details as possible. This is especially challenging in a ‘hit and run’ situation when the driver has left the scene!

Here are some tips to help in the event of a hit and run accident:

Call the police and your insurance broker as soon as possible.

If possible, get as much information about the offending vehicle as possible, including:

  • License plate number
  • Make, model, color and any additional identifying features of the other vehicle
  • Potential damage to the other vehicle
  • The direction the other vehicle was headed
  • Location of the accident and approximate time
  • Photos of the damage to your vehicle

If you don’t see the offending vehicle:

  • Seek out witnesses immediately
  • Ask witnesses for their name and contact information for a police report and insurance claim
  • Have them describe what they saw (if you have video capabilities on your mobile phone, record it)

If you don’t see the offending vehicle and can’t find witnesses:

  • Ask local businesses if they have cameras which may have recorded the accident
  • Carefully document the damage to your vehicle
  • Take pictures of the damage and wait for the police

Remember to never follow or engage with the fleeing driver, as it could be dangerous, you may miss out on witnesses and the police may question who is truly at fault.

Dealing with a hit and run accident can be stressful, time consuming and costly. Please take a few minutes to share this information with the drivers in your life.

Winter Tires = Insurance Discount

snow tire discount Windsor Essex Amherstburg Gibb InsuranceDid you know that all drivers in Ontario who have approved winter tires on their vehicle are now eligible for an insurance discount?

This province wide change is more about safety than significant savings as winter tires are proven to have better traction and improved handling during our Ontario winters. Although winter tire use isn’t common to us in Essex County, even as close as London, they are an everyday traveling essential.

The amount of savings will vary between insurance companies, from 3% to 5% of your total auto insurance premium and may only apply to the collision portion of your premium. If you’re paying the average insurance premium of $1,455 in Ontario, your savings may be about $70 a year.

If you are renewing your policy later this year, it might be beneficial to you to call your broker regarding a possible mid-term discount.

Need to know:

  • The tires must be certified as winter tires by Transport Canada and carry the Alpine SymbolTransport Canada Alpine Symbol Gibb Insurance Brokers
  • The months that the tires need to be on your car vary by insurance company
  • The tires must be on all four wheels
  • All season radials do not qualify for a discount
  • While other proof of your winter tires may not be necessary, keep a copy of your purchase receipt with your insurance documents

If you use snow tires and would like to inquire about a discount, please give us a call: 519-736-8228 or email chris@gibbinsurance.ca

Do You Really ‘Save’ Money?

How to really save money Gibb Insurance Brokers AmherstburgA common goal among Canadians is to save more money. When utilizing coupons, rebates, accumulating store points, saving money on insurance premiums or by eliminating expenses – are you really saving? What do you do with those saved funds? 

If the money saved just gets spent elsewhere, it’s not really ‘saving’ is it? 

Here are some ideas to really help you save money:

Sock it away: Let’s say you’ve just saved $300 a year on your insurance premiums, consider taking that cash and stowing it away for a specific purpose or goal, such as saving for a vacation or a home renovation project.

52 Week Savings Challenge Gibb InsuranceSave it with a TFSA: Whenever you ‘save’ money by using credit card or store points, consider transferring those savings into a registered Tax-Free Savings Account.

Invest it: When you save money from using coupons or getting a rebate, designate that money to be invested in your retirement with an RRSP. Investing $275 a year for 20 years (at a 6% annual rate of return) would result in more than $10,000 saved! Check out this handy calculator.

Join a Challenge: If you have trouble saving money, consider committing to a year long savings challenge, then save it in your preferred method mentioned above.

If you have other inventive money saving tips, please leave a comment below.

However you plan on utilizing your savings, the first step is to start. Please feel free to give us a call for a home or auto insurance quote – 519-736-8228 or fill out this online quote request.

Good luck!