Extra Protection or Extra Cost? Deciding on Additional Car Insurance Coverage 

Extra Protection or Extra Cost? Deciding on Additional Car Insurance Coverage 

Standard car insurance provides a financial safety net for drivers, protecting against accidents, theft, and unforeseen events. These policies typically include liability coverage for damages you cause, collision coverage for vehicle damage from accidents, and comprehensive coverage for non-collision events like natural disasters and theft. Understanding these basics is key to deciding if extra coverage is needed for your situation. 

Access Insurance provides Auto and Car Insurance in Edmonton, offering comprehensive coverage tailored to your unique needs. Assessing your car insurance needs is crucial to find the right balance. Each driver’s situation is unique, influenced by factors like vehicle value, driving habits, lifestyle, and financial stability. For example, newer or high-value vehicle owners may benefit from gap insurance, covering the difference between what’s owed and the car’s value in a total loss. Those in disaster-prone areas might need extra comprehensive coverage. Understanding your risk factors and finances is key for choosing additional coverage. 

What is  the Basics of Car Insurance? 

Car insurance is an essential tool for protecting yourself financially in the event of an accident, theft, or other damages involving your vehicle. At its core, most policies include three primary types of coverage: 

  • Liability Coverage: This is the foundation of any auto insurance policy. Liability insurance covers the costs associated with damage and injury you may cause to others if you’re found at fault in an accident. This coverage is so crucial that it’s required by law in most states, which specify minimum coverage amounts. 
  • Collision Coverage: Collision coverage is designed to cover the repair or replacement costs of your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage is especially important for those with newer or more expensive vehicles. 
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Unlike collision coverage, comprehensive coverage protects you against damages to your vehicle that are not the result of a collision – for example, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. It’s an optional coverage that can provide peace of mind in unpredictable situations. 

Understanding these basic components will help you to make informed decisions about the insurance products that best meet your needs. Each type of coverage comes with its own deductible and limit, affecting the overall cost of your policy and the amount of protection it provides. Keep in mind that while you may be tempted to save money by choosing lower amounts of coverage, doing so can expose you to significant financial risk in the event of an accident or other loss. 

Assessing Your Coverage Needs 

When considering which insurance coverages to select, it’s vital to perform a personal risk assessment and truly understand what you’re potentially exposing yourself to. Your vehicle’s current market value, driving habits, and personal financial situation should heavily influence your decision-making process. If your vehicle is older or already fully paid off, comprehensive or collision coverages might not be as crucial, considering the replacement value of your car versus the cost of these coverages. On the other hand, if you have a new or expensive vehicle, gap insurance and comprehensive coverage become more attractive, protecting your investment effectively.  

Consider the environment you live and drive in; is it prone to natural disasters, high traffic accidents, or vehicle thefts? These factors increase the risk and potential need for additional coverages like comprehensive or uninsured motorist coverage. Additionally, reflect on your driving habits. Frequent drivers, long-distance commuters, and those who often drive in dense urban areas may want higher coverage limits due to the increased risk of accidents.  

Finally, analyze your financial situation. Would you be able to afford repairs or replacement if your vehicle were damaged or totaled? Your financial capacity to handle out-of-pocket expenses should guide the amount and types of coverages that best suit your needs. Balancing between being over-insured and risking under-insurance requires a nuanced understanding of your personal risk factors and financial stability. 

Types of Additional Car Insurance Coverage 

Expanding your car insurance beyond the basics can provide you with more comprehensive protection and peace of mind. Besides the standard liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, there are several additional types of car insurance coverages you might consider: 

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM): This coverage protects you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who either lacks insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages they’ve caused. In such scenarios, UM/UIM coverage can help cover your medical bills and, in some cases, damages to your vehicle. 
  • Medical Payments Coverage/Personal Injury Protection (PIP): These coverages are designed to cover medical expenses for you and your passengers regardless of who is at fault in an accident. They can also cover other costs such as lost wages and, in the case of PIP, sometimes funeral expenses. 
  • Gap Insurance: Particularly valuable for those who lease or finance their vehicles, gap insurance covers the “gap” between what you owe on your vehicle and its current market value if your car is totaled or stolen. Without it, you could be left paying out of pocket for a vehicle you can no longer use. 
  • Rental Reimbursement Coverage: If your car is out of commission due to an accident or covered loss, this coverage helps pay for your rental car costs. It’s a convenient option for those who rely on their vehicle daily and need uninterrupted transportation. 
  • Roadside Assistance: For those moments when you’re stranded because of a flat tire, dead battery, lockout, or other minor mechanical malfunctions, roadside assistance can be a lifesaver, providing services such as towing, fuel delivery, and more. 

Each of these coverages adds an extra layer of protection, but they also add to the cost of your policy. It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits, considering your specific needs and financial situation, before adding them to your insurance package. 

Pros and Cons of Additional Coverage 

Adding extra layers of coverage to your car insurance policy can significantly increase your sense of security when on the road. However, it is essential to weigh these benefits against potential drawbacks to make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and financial capacity. 


  • Enhanced Protection: Additional coverages like UM/UIM, PIP, and Gap insurance provide broader protection against a wider range of incidents, ensuring that you’re covered in many unforeseen circumstances. 
  • Financial Security: In the event of an accident, having comprehensive coverages can safeguard you from large out-of-pocket expenses, offering peace of mind and financial stability. 
  • Flexibility and Support: Services like rental reimbursement and roadside assistance add convenience and support when you need it most, minimizing disruption to your daily life. 


  • Increased Premiums: More coverage means higher insurance premiums. It’s crucial to determine whether the added cost aligns with your budget and is worth the extra expense based on your risk assessment. 
  • Potential for Over-Insurance: There’s a risk of paying for coverage that may not be necessary for your situation, which can unnecessarily increase your insurance costs without providing proportional benefits. 
  • Complex Policy Details: With the addition of multiple coverages, understanding the specifics of your policy can become more complicated, making it crucial to read and comprehend all the details to avoid surprises in the event of a claim. 

Careful consideration of these pros and cons, along with a thorough assessment of your individual needs and financial situation, will help guide your decision on which additional coverages, if any, are right for you. 

How to Decide What You Need 

Deciding on the appropriate levels and types of car insurance coverage is a personal process that requires a balance between protecting your assets and managing your budget. Here are steps to guide you in making an informed decision: 

  1. Assess Your Vehicle’s Value: Use resources like Kelley Blue Book to determine your car’s current market value. This information is crucial in deciding if you need comprehensive or collision coverage or how much gap insurance you should have. 
  1. Understand Your Risk Factors: Consider your driving habits, the environment you drive in, and your historical claims. These factors significantly influence the kinds of coverage and limits that suit your situation. 
  1. Evaluate Your Financial Situation: Reflect on your ability to pay out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an accident. If such costs would be financially crippling, opting for higher coverage limits and additional protections might be beneficial. 
  1. Consult with a Professional: An insurance agent can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs and help you understand the trade-offs of different coverage options. 
  1. Consider Legal Requirements: Ensure you meet your state’s minimum insurance requirements. Then, based on your risk assessment and financial situation, consider if it’s prudent to exceed these minimums for added protection. 
  1. Review Regularly: Your insurance needs can change over time as your vehicle ages, your financial situation evolves, or your driving habits change. Make it a practice to review and adjust your coverage accordingly. 

By following these steps, you can tailor your car insurance policy to provide the right amount of coverage that gives you peace of mind while being cost-effective. 


Selecting the  

How to Save Money on Tenant Insurance Premiums 

Being a renter is all about cost-savings. Budgeting around rent, expenses, gas, activities, etc., can be a difficult endeavour as the cost-of-living increases, and many renters choose to rent while they build up their savings for an eventual down payment on a home. Adding tenant insurance into the mix is just another expense – or is it? 

Sharp Insurance is a prominent broker in Ontario, renowned for its expertise in tenant insurance. Tenant insurance is one of the most affordable insurance products out there, but we understand if budgeting is a must for you! After all, with any expense in your life, it’s best to take the necessary measures to reducing costs as much as you can while also enjoying the best fit!  

Assessing Your Insurance Needs and Coverage for Suitable Protection 

Assessing your insurance needs is a crucial step towards securing better insurance rates. Everyone’s insurance requirements are unique, and blindly opting for a generic policy can lead to overpaying for coverage you may not necessarily need or being underinsured in critical areas. By carefully evaluating your specific needs, you can tailor your insurance policy to provide adequate protection while avoiding unnecessary expenses. 

Taking the time to assess your insurance needs allows you to identify potential gaps in coverage and make informed decisions about the types and levels of insurance you require. For example, if you own valuable assets or have a substantial number of personal belongings, opting for higher coverage limits on your tenant insurance policy may be necessary to safeguard your investments adequately. On the other hand, if you have minimal assets or are on a tight budget, you might find that a more basic policy with lower coverage limits suffices. By customizing your insurance coverage to align with your actual needs, you can avoid paying for excessive coverage while ensuring that you have the right protection for the areas that matter most to you, ultimately leading to better insurance rates and improved financial security. 

Comparing Insurance Providers for the Best Rates 

Comparing insurance providers is essential when seeking the best tenant insurance rates because it allows you to make an informed and cost-effective decision. Insurance premiums can vary significantly between different providers, and by comparing multiple options, you gain insight into the diverse coverage offerings and associated costs. This process enables you to identify the insurance plan that best suits your needs and budget. 

Additionally, comparing insurance providers helps you uncover potential discounts and special offers that may not be readily apparent. Some insurers may provide bundle discounts for combining multiple policies, such as tenant insurance and auto insurance, leading to overall cost savings. By taking the time to compare rates and policies, you can secure the most competitive premiums while ensuring that you have adequate coverage to protect your personal belongings and liabilities. Ultimately, the act of comparison empowers you to make a well-informed decision and find the best value for your tenant insurance coverage, enhancing your financial security and peace of mind. 

Taking Advantage of Cost-Savings Strategies for the Cheapest Tenant Insurance Coverage 

Saving on tenant insurance is possible and can be achieved through various strategies without needing to compromise essential coverage. Here are 10 cost-saving strategies to make note of: 

Strategy 1: Bundle Policies 

Consider bundling your tenant insurance with other insurance policies, such as auto insurance. Many insurance providers offer discounts for combining multiple policies with them, leading to substantial cost savings. 

Strategy 2: Increase Deductibles 

Opting for a higher deductible means you’ll pay more out-of-pocket in the event of a claim, but it can significantly lower your insurance premiums. Assess your financial situation and choose a deductible that you can comfortably afford if a claim arises. 

Strategy 3: Security Measures 

Installing safety features in your rental property, such as smoke detectors, burglar alarms, and deadbolt locks, can lower the risk of accidents or theft. Many insurers offer discounts for properties with enhanced security measures, reducing your insurance costs. 

Strategy 4: Comparison Shop 

Obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers and compare their rates and coverage options. This allows you to find the most competitive rate that meets your needs without sacrificing essential protections. 

Strategy 5: Evaluate Coverage Limits 

Assess your personal belongings’ value and determine the appropriate coverage limits required to replace them in the event of a covered loss. Avoid overestimating your belongings’ worth to prevent unnecessary premium increases. 

Strategy 6: Maintain a Good Credit Score 

In some regions, insurance companies may use credit scores as a factor in determining premiums. Maintaining a good credit score can result in more favorable rates. 

Strategy 7: Claims-Free Discounts 

Many insurers offer discounts to policyholders who maintain a claim-free history over a certain period. Staying claim-free can lead to lower premiums over time. 

Strategy 8: Student/Senior Discounts 

If you are a student or a senior citizen, inquire with insurance providers about potential discounts tailored to your demographic group. 

Strategy 9: Review Policy Annually 

Reevaluate your tenant insurance needs annually. As circumstances change, you might find opportunities to adjust your coverage, potentially leading to savings. 

Strategy 10: Consider a Higher Payment Frequency 

Some insurance providers offer discounts to policyholders who choose to pay their premiums annually or semi-annually instead of monthly. Check with your insurer if such options are available. 

Seeking Advice from Insurance Professionals 

Seeking advice from insurance professionals is a wise step in navigating the complex world of tenant insurance. Insurance agents and brokers possess in-depth knowledge and expertise in the insurance industry, and their insights can be invaluable in helping you find the best coverage at the most competitive rates. Whether you are a first-time renter or looking to reassess your current policy, insurance professionals can assess your unique needs, offer personalized recommendations, and guide you through the process of selecting the right tenant insurance policy. Their objective guidance ensures that you have a comprehensive understanding of the coverage options available, allowing you to make well-informed decisions to protect your personal belongings and liabilities adequately. When it comes to safeguarding your financial future and achieving peace of mind, consulting with insurance professionals can be a pivotal step towards obtaining the optimal tenant insurance policy that aligns with your specific needs and budget.  

Happy 100th Birthday Gram – Have a Great Day!

Happy 100th Birthday Gram

Congratulations Gram! It’s hard to imagine you were born 100 years ago today. You’re an inspiration to us all. If I make it to a hundred I can only hope that I do it with the grace and dignity you have. And to still have all my marbles would be a huge bonus.

Just a couple of things about my Gram. Her name is Anne McDonald and she lives in Edmonton. Of course she’s an Edmonton Oilers fan and rarely misses a game. She thinks nothing of trotting down to Jasper Avenue and catching the bus out to West Edmonton Mall to do a little shopping from time to time. If you phoned her up and asked her if she wanted to go fishing she would be ready to go by the time you got there. She used to be a hell of shot with her pump-action 22 and could shoot things tossed into the air. I have no doubt she could still do it.

Anyhow Gram…, I’m sure you’re going to have a busy day but then again I’ll bet there’s been a few busy days in the last 36,525 days.

Just as a bit of a curiousity 100 years equals:

  • 3,155,760,000 seconds
  • 52,596,000 minutes
  • 876,600 hours
  • 36,525 days
  • 5217 weeks

World’s First Commercial Quantum Computer Demonstrated

From the “now that’s cool” Department ::

Aprivately held company based in Burnaby, British Columbia has today unveiled the world’s first job ready quantum computer. D-Wave claims their quantum computer will be a complement to conventional computers and is not intended as a replacement. Today’s demonstation was at the Computer History Museum in the heart of Silicon Valley and a follow-up demonstation is scheduled in Vancouver, British Columbia later this week.

Quantum computers are capable of computation beyond the capabilities of today’s – and likely tommorow’s – digital computers. If everything pans out this will likely be regarded as a breakthrough tool for those involved in complex computer modelling. Medical, aerospace, nanotechnology, and earth sciences should be able to make good use of quantum computing and now there’s a machine available to do some serious number crunching.

I’m sure the skeptics will be out in full force as it has been the consensus of many that quantum computers were years down the road. D-Wave appears to have harnessed the brain power required and I wish them all the success in the universe in putting any skepticism to rest.

A full account of the D-Wave news release is available here. I’ve also created a link to D-Wave’s career oportunities page in my employment directory for any brainiacs out there up to the challenge.

::UPDATE:: February 14, 2007

There’s some decent discussion on the Orion Quantum Computer at the following blogs. Geordie Rose, the CTO is a part of those discussions. Very interesting but way over my head.

  • Scott Aaronson’s Blog
  • Dave Bacon’s Quantum Pontiff

Sasquatch Bigfoot Encounters on Google Earth

From the “Big Hairy Deal” Department ::

The latest version of Google Earth (version 4) has just been released so I promptly downloaded it to have a look around. If you’ve never checked it out you’re really missing out on one of the finest applications to come out of the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. There are a lot of folks that have come up with some very interesting uses for Google Earth and one that really caught my attention was the undertaking of a fellow who goes by the moniker of Mangani. He has taken the reports of Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, encounters reported on various websites and entered the data to allow a visual representation of the data in Google Earth. When you see the data presented in this fashion you get a much clearer idea of just how many encounters there actually are. Considering the fact that many encounters go unreported it really makes you wonder if there just might be something to the Sasquatch, or Bigfoot phenomena.

If you want to see what I’m talking about there’s a couple of things you’re going to have to do:

  1. Download Google Earth 4 if you haven’t done so already.
  2. Install it and get it up and running so you get a feel for it.
  3. Go to the “Google Earth Community” and click the “View in Google Earth” link.
  4. When the dialog box opens click the radio button “Open With” and if it isn’t already selected, choose “Google Earth”.
  5. Prepare to set aside at least an hour or two for exploration.

If that gets your curiosity up then you’ll likely be interested in this directory of Sasquatch and Bigfoot links that I’ve put together. One of the links in the directory has most of the available Sasquatch and Bigfoot videos including one of the latest taken by the ferry operator, Bobby Clarke, at Norway House, Manitoba. Prepare to keep yourself occupied for another hour or two.