Lowering Your Home Insurance Costs

Home insurance rates fluctuate, but if you are paying more than you think you should for insurance, there are steps you can take to lower your costs. To cut your premiums, you may need to do a little work, but the payoff is more money in your pocket each year.

Tips for Lowering Home Insurance Rates

If you request a home insurance quote, make sure you are providing them with all of the necessary information to receive the best possible price. Some ways you can lower your premiums include:

  • Ask for a Credit Check – If your credit score is good or at least, not poor, ask the insurance company to pull your credit when providing you with a quote. A high credit score often means that you are more responsible with your money and less likely to encounter high-priced useless claims in the future.
  • Get Home Insurance Quotes Online – Try requesting quotes online from insurance providers, but do not rely solely on the internet. Some insurance companies can provide you with better quotes over the phone, especially after they get all of the facts from you for potential discounts.
  • Increase Your Deductible – The less you pay out-of-pocket, the more you pay in premiums. If you can afford a higher deductible amount, increase it on your policy to save on your month-to-month costs. Just make sure you have that amount in savings in case you ever need to file a claim due to damage or loss of property in your home.
  • Pair Home Insurance with Auto Insurance – The more business you offer your insurance company, the better rates you will get. Combining your auto and home insurance with the same insurer can yield up to 10 percent off your annual premium.
  • Add a Home Security System – Home security systems offer discounts on your annual premium. The discount amount will vary depending on the system, what your existing premium is and if you also include fire and flood monitoring or not.
  • Pay Annually Instead of Monthly – Sometimes you will encounter monthly administrative fees when paying in monthly installments. Ask whether paying your insurance in a single lump sum annually will yield any savings.
  • Do Not Opt for Too Much Coverage – Paying for coverage you do not need does not yield any benefits. Review your existing policy and the coverage offered with online insurance quotes. If you have more coverage than you need, reduce that to lower your premiums.
  • Be Cautious About Claims – While your insurance is there for when you need it, do not file a claim for things that cost less than your deductible. Every time you file a claim, it increases your risk; therefore, it increases your premium.

Find the Right Coverage at the Right Price

Getting quotes is only half the battle. You want to make sure that you are also receiving proper coverage for your home, personal belongings and even your loved ones.

For more information on home insurance, visit one of our offices below:

Medicine Hat home insurance: 403-526-3283

Brooks home insurance: 403-501-5123

Calgary home insurance: 403-723-9416

Bassano home insurance: 403-641-4988

 

If you want a better rate, contact TSG Insurance for home insurance in Alberta. We can help you find the best coverage with all applicable discounts so that you can save even more. Contact us online for a quote or call us toll-free at 800-830-9423.

Looking to Change Your Auto Insurance? Begin by Understanding Your Current Policy

You have an existing car insurance policy, but a new, better deal presents itself. You may be tempted to make the switch so that you can save on monthly premiums. While you could save now, you may wonder if it is best to wait for your current policy to expire; but deciding when to switch and where to go is a lot more complex than you might realize.

Is There a Cancellation Fee?

Before you can switch policies, you must first have a better understanding of your auto insurance policy in Alberta. For starters, you may have a cancellation fee, which prevents you from cancelling your policy mid-year. The cancellation fee can vary depending on the company and how long you have been insured. If you do find a better deal, you may want to investigate the cancellation fee and determine if it is worth the savings you will receive if you make a switch now rather than later.

Is Now the Right Time to Switch Policies?

Deciding whether or not to switch auto insurance policies can be confusing. If you are unsure about the right time to make a switch, consider these key points:

  1. Contact your current insurance provider and inquire about any cancellation fee in addition to your premium costs. Look over your policy as well for any wording regarding early cancellation and associated fees.
  2. Review your existing policy and look for the annual policy premium. Divide that number by 12. If you already pay in monthly installments, write down your monthly premium. Take the number of months left on the policy and multiply it by the monthly payment.
  3. Now, write down the annual policy amount from the new insurance company. Divide that annual premium by 12. Take the monthly payment from the new company and multiply it by the number of months you have left on your existing policy.
  4. Compare the amount you will pay for the remainder of your policy for the existing policy as well as the amount for the new policy to calculate how much you will save. This gives you an idea of your total savings.
  5. If the amount you are saving for the rest of the year is less than what your cancellation fee is, there is no point in switching companies at this time. Instead, wait for your existing policy to expire. If, however, the savings are higher, then it may be ideal to switch now.

Even if you are saving from the car insurance quote, compare what you are getting for the premium. Some insurers will bait with low premiums, but with that low premium comes less coverage. Make sure you know the deductible, coverage maximums, added coverage benefits (such as towing or medical payments), and any other pertinent details that play a role in the price.

For more information on car insurance, visit one of our offices below:

Medicine Hat car insurance: 403-526-3283

Brooks car insurance: 403-501-5123

Calgary car insurance: 403-723-9416

Bassano car insurance: 403-641-4988

 

If it is time to make an insurance switch, let the auto insurance experts at TSG Insurance provide you with an auto insurance quote for Calgary or surrounding areas. Contact us online or call us toll-free at 800-830-9423.

Understanding Canada TFSA Rules

The tax-free savings account or TFSA is a registered account that allows you to grow your investments on a tax-free basis. This can include interest income, capital gains and dividend payments. Unlike a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), which is used for retirement, a TFSA is ideal for pre-retirement savings and can help you meet your estate planning goals too. Before setting up a TFSA, however, you should understand how this account works, the rules to keep in mind and the impact it will have on your short and long-term goals.

Basic Facts Regarding TFSAs

TFSAs can be used for short and long-term savings goals, such as saving for a car, home or retirement. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid Social Insurance Number to open the account. For residents of Newfoundland, Labrador, New Brunswick, British Columbia, etc. the age of majority is 19.

A few facts you will want to know before considering a TFSA:

  1. Withdrawals are tax-free from your TFSA and are added to your unused contribution starting the following tax year.
  2. Contributions to your TFSA are not tax-deductible.
  3. You do not need an earned income to accumulate contribution room; instead, everyone carries the same amount.
  4. You can convert your TFSA to an income payment option at any age.
  5. You can provide your spouse with funds to open their own TFSA without being subject to CRA attribution rules.
  6. There is no minimum or maximum income level required for a TFSA.
  7. You cannot open a joint TFSA; instead, the government only allows individual accounts.
  8. Any investment income or withdrawals made from your TFSA will not impact your Federal income-tested benefits or tax credits.
  9. You can contribute up to $10,000 for 2015.

Using TFSAs for Financial Planning in Calgary

There are many different situations that call for the use of a TFSA. For example, a recent college graduate starts a professional career. This graduate has the option to open a TFSA, RRSP, or both. While both accounts offer tax shelters, each will require tax to be paid at some point. When tax rates are higher on deposit than on withdrawal, the RRSP yields a higher net sum. However, when the tax rate is lower than the deposit on withdrawal, a TFSA is best. Because the graduate is in a lower tax bracket than she will be at retirement, the TFSA is the better choice. That is because she can invest in her TFSA, while her contribution room for the RRSP will carry forward until she reaches that higher tax bracket.

To determine if a TFSA is the right tool for you it is best to speak to a financial planning expert. TSG Insurance offers retirement planning, investment advice and can help you decide which tax-free savings account is the right choice for you and your future. Call one of our insurance brokers for more information:

Financial Planning in Brooks: 403-501-5123

Financial Planning in Calgary: 403-723-9416

Financial Planning in Medicine Hat: 403-526-3283

Financial Planning in Bassano: 403-641-4988

 

Learn more about your financial options by meeting with a financial planning team member at TSG Insurance today. Contact us online or call us toll-free at 800-830-9423.

What to do After an Auto Collision

Being involved in a car accident, even a minor one, can be stressful. You may feel disoriented, shocked or even emotionally distraught. Despite how you are feeling, it is important that you take the proper steps immediately after the accident to keep everyone safe and avoid any issues with insurance coverage later on.

Key Steps to Take After an Auto Accident

Immediately after the accident, you must make every attempt to bring your vehicle to a complete stop. Failure to stop your vehicle could result in criminal prosecution as well as demerit points on your license. After you have stopped, follow these key steps:

  1. Call for Help – If you or anyone involved in the accident is seriously injured (including those in the other vehicle), call 911 to arrange for an ambulance and emergency services immediately.
  2. Make Sure Everyone is Safe – Never stand in between the two vehicles on the side of the road or in front of a vehicle. If another car accidentally strikes those parked vehicles, the cars can hit you. Move your vehicles as far out of traffic as you can and then turn on hazard lights or use warning triangles to alert other drivers that your vehicle is stopped. If you can, stand off to the side of the road and wait for help to arrive.
  3. Gather Information – Take photographs of your vehicle, the other vehicle(s) that are involved, the collision scene and other evidence present. If there are witnesses, try to get their names and contact information and then exchange information with the other driver.
  4. Report the Incident to the Police – No matter what, you need to report the accident to the police. If the damage is minor, the police may have you exchange information, but in most cases, they will take an accident report. If the damage appears to be more than $2,000 total (including all vehicles and property), the police must file a Collision Report Form. Failure to contact the police and have this form filed could result in demerit points or a serious fine.
  5. Contact Your Car Insurance in Calgary Do not wait to report the collision to your auto insurance provider. You will need to inquire about any forms that must be completed, your level of coverage, etc. A copy of the Collision Report may be required. Your insurance will then determine liability.

Having the Right Car Insurance Coverage Makes a Difference

Filing an accident claim should be something you can do with confidence and without additional anxiety and stress in a situation that is already challenging. TSG Insurance makes obtaining adequate coverage and filing your claim easier. Whether you need car insurance in Medicine Hat, Brooks or Calgary, we can help.

 

Contact us online or call us toll-free at 800-830-9423 to learn more about our auto insurance policy options. Rest assured that if you are in a vehicle collision, your safety and peace of mind are our top priority.

Drivers: Avoid Free Towing Services

After an auto accident, you are in shock and confused. No one anticipates an accident; therefore, when one does happen, you may feel the list of things to handle immediately is overwhelming. Unfortunately, there are towing services out there that take advantage of your confusion and emotional state. These services will park close to an accident and then try to swoop in and get business. Even worse, many of these services are out there to scam drivers. They may offer free services only to bill you later, and the bottom line is, no respectable towing service races to the scene of an accident without being directly called.

Towing – Call Your Car Insurance in Calgary First

Your car needs to be towed and the police reports have already been taken. Instead of using a free service or any service that shows up at the scene, you should contact your car insurance provider instead. Your car insurance will find a trusted towing service in the area and ensure that you are covered so that you do not pay excessive fees just for using the service. Just keep in mind that your policy may have kilometre limitations as to how far you are towed for free before you pay the remaining balance.

If you are a member of a roadside assistance program, you may wish to enlist their help as well for finding a towing service. Most members are entitled to free towing, again, within kilometre limitations as well. You will still be responsible for any taxi fees or additional transportation fees.

Trust the Company Towing Your Vehicle

Accident-chasing towing services are rarely reputable and those that rush to an accident scene are usually there to take undue advantage. It is important that you contact your car insurance in Medicine Hat because:

  • They will recommend a towing service they contract directly with, which means they have worked with that service in the past and you can trust their reputation.
  • They will only hire a licensed, insured professional to tow your vehicle.
  • You will not be surprised with outrageous towing fees and bills later on.
  • You may be fully covered for towing, which means nothing is out of pocket.

Even if liability in the accident has not been established, you should still contact your auto insurer and have them help setup the towing service for you.

TSG Insurance offers comprehensive car insurance in Brooks, Calgary and Medicine Hat that include towing and roadside assistance options. Before you experience the stress of an accident, make sure you have the right level of coverage. Contact us online or call us toll-free at 800-830-9423 to learn more about our auto insurance policy options.