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Insurance claim denied as driver left vehicle unlocked

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The apex consumer commission has dismissed a man’s plea seeking insurance claim for his stolen truck, holding that there was “negligence” on the part of the driver who had left the vehicle “unlocked”.

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission bench, presided by Justice J M Malik, dismissed the petition filed by Rajasthan resident Jagdish Prasad Bakshi who had sought insurance claim for his stolen truck, saying he has not come before it with clean hands.

“In case truck was locked, its key was not produced either before the police or before surveyor. The truck remained on spot unlocked for half an hour. Surveyor of the insurance company has reported that when the driver left for having tea, he left the key inside the truck. The complainant has not come to the court with clean hands,” the bench, also comprising its member S M Kantikar, said.

The bench said it “is quite possible that driver may be working in cahoots with the thief”.

It said the first and foremost duty of the driver was to produce the key before the police.

“However, the needful was not done. That is fatal. This clearly reveals negligence, inaction and passivity on the part of the driver,” the commission said.

Bakshi had approached the apex consumer commission with his revision petition challenging an order passed by the Rajasthan State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission which had dismissed his plea for insurance claim on the ground that the driver was negligent in taking care of the truck as he left the key inside the truck.

The driver of the truck had stopped the vehicle at 3 AM in front of a roadside eatery situated along a highway in Rajasthan. When the driver returned, he could not find the truck there. An FIR was lodged in which it was stated that the vehicle was locked.

When he approached the insurance company for the claim, his plea was rejected and he moved consumer forum seeking a direction to Oriental Insurance Company to pay him the insured amount.

Source: Business Standard


ICBC urges parents to help teens plan ahead for grad celebrations

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

On average, four youth are killed and 1,140 injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June every year in B.C.*

With high school graduation just around the corner, ICBC is asking parents to make sure their teenagers have a plan to get home safely from all of their graduation celebrations and parties.

Here are ICBC’s tips for parents to help make sure their teens get home safely:

Know their plan: Talk to your teen about all their plans for grad celebrations and parties and how they’ll be getting home from each of them. Many grads treat themselves to a limousine – make sure it’s scheduled to drive them home. If they could end up going to multiple parties in a night, they should make a plan in advance so you know they’ll get home safely.

Plan B: Things don’t always go as planned so talk to your teen about what their alternative options are to get home. Review a few scenarios with them to help guide them on how they can make smart choices – whether it’s transit, a taxi or calling a family member for a ride. It’s also a good idea to plan for the unexpected so consider asking your teen to program local taxi companies’ phone numbers into their phone, look up transit information in advance and set aside money for transit or a taxi just in case.

Make it unconditional: If you haven’t already, consider letting your child know that they can call you at any time if they ever need a ride. If they do call you for assistance, be supportive and consider saving your questions for the next day or at least until you’re home. If you aren’t able to pick your teen up yourself, you can always call a taxi to get them home safely.

Power of choice: If your teen is going to be a designated driver, talk to them about not letting passengers or peer pressure influence their choices and that a real designated driver is one who does not drink at all. Use real-life scenarios to talk to your teen rather than lecturing them. If they’ll be getting a ride home or to another party with a friend, remind them to ask the driver if they’ve had anything to drink before getting into the vehicle if they aren’t certain.

Take a stand: Even if you’re confident that your child is going to make the right choices, talk to them about looking out for their friends, especially those they know are easily influenced by others. Your teen’s choices can have a significant influence on their friends. For example, if they take a stand against impaired driving, they can help create a culture that recognizes making smart decisions and make it easier for others to do the same.

Throughout spring, ICBC road safety speakers have been touring the province speaking to thousands of students at more than 190 high schools about making safe driving choices ahead of graduation season. The speakers share their personal, heartbreaking stories to motivate young people to think twice before taking risks while driving.

You can find more helpful tips on icbc.com.

Regional statistics*:

On average, two youth are killed and 780 injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June every year in the Lower Mainland.

On average, 144 youth are injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June every year on Vancouver Island.

On average, 171 youth are injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June every year in the Southern Interior.

On average, one youth is killed and 50 are injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June every year in the North Central region.

*Injury counts are based on ICBC data; fatal counts are based on police data (2008 to 2012).


Insurance Tips for Travelers

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Travel insurance is one type of insurance that is poorly understood because it is uncommon. Not only does it apply only to travelers, but it is the type of insurance that travelers only appreciate once they have had some serious mishap while away.

Here is what you need to know about travel insurance:

The first question to ask is if you will need travel insurance at all. It is generally advisable because emergencies become so much more difficult to deal with if you are not at home with your normal support structures and your knowledge of local procedures.

There are several types of travel insurance. The first type covers mostly medical emergencies, death, injury, illness, disability, evacuation, repatriation of remains and funeral expenses. Then there is coverage against trip cancellation or interruption. This pays out your pre-paid travel and accommodation expenses if you have to cancel or alter your trip due to unforeseen circumstances like weather or illness, and some even pay accommodation and transport expenses you incur because of the change in schedule. Other travel insurance policies insure your luggage against theft, loss or damage. You can also insure rental cars against damage. While many of us can replace our stolen luggage, medical expenses can be prohibitively expensive. So work out where your most expensive risks lie.

The small print is very important, because the policies are not standard. For example, some medical travel policies cover evacuation to the nearest hospital, others cover evacuation to your home country. Some policies cover only pre-paid travel expenses in event of trip interruption, others also pay the accommodation during the unexpected interruption.

Try not to engage in irresponsible activities that increase the likelihood of an accident or injury. If you want to participate in extreme sports while away, rather take out special insurance than to expect that your normal travel insurance will cover it. It probably won’t.

Some insurance companies offer travel assistance in addition to financial compensation. They can advise you what to do in case of emergencies, and often even include emergency translation services in case you travel abroad.

If you travel often, buy multi-trip insurance. Buying multiple single-trip insurance policies is far less cost-effective.

Make sure that you are not doubly insured. Read all of your policies to find out exactly what your covered for. For example, some comprehensive auto insurance policies may already cover rental cars driven by you. Or your health insurance policy may cover your medical emergencies away from home.

Source: Western Direct Insurance


Here are some of the types of insurance that any kind of business must have:

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Tucson, AZ (SBWIRE) Business Insurance signifies one kind of security to any business. In times of acts of God and unexpected circumstances, business insurance is a great help.

Usually, the kinds of business insurance and the levels of coverage are determined by the type of business itself. However, it may also affect lenders who are responsible for holding portions of the business as security against loans.

Here are some of the types of insurance that any kind of business must have:

General Liability Insurance. This kind of insurance is indeed a must, whatever the business is, even home-based businesses. In any case of claims for compensation from people outside the business, this general liability insurance provides protection.

Property Insurance. Business owners should always consider business interruption concerns business personal property, which includes office equipment, computers, inventory, or tools. This would protect any business from undesirable instances such fire, vandalism, theft and smoke damage.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP). A typical business should involve these insurance policies. It is a combination of protection from all major property and even liability put together in one package. For many business owners, BOP would save money because of the bundle of services at lesser cost.

Worker’s Compensation. At any time, injury may occur to employees in the course of employment.In business, worker’s compensation protects the company and the employees.

Commercial Auto Insurance. This insurance involves the vehicles that carry employees and the products and equipment of the company.

Professional Liability Insurance. Commonly known as Errors and Omissions Insurance, failure to perform on the part of the policyholder, lost finance and error in the service are all covered in this type of insurance.

Directors and Officers Insurance. Directors and Officers Insurance protects the directors and officers of a company. It covers the costs or damages lost of any officers in a legal situation. It can also cover the defense costs from any criminal and regulatory investigations and trials.

Homeowner’s Insurance. Homeowner’s insurance, focused to protect the home of an individual against house damages or possessions in the home, is one of the most important kinds of insurance. Additionally, this type of insurance provides liability coverage against accidents in the home and property, as well. Homeowners insurance in Tucson, Arizona, for instance, is one of the least expensive because Tucson is given a rating based on its proximity to fire protection.

Life insurance. If there is an insurance that protects any person from death, it is the life insurance. This would not put too much financial burden on the family of the insurance holder who died.

Insurance is a good decision taken by any business owner. Understanding the differences of a variety of insurance types and getting involved with those are quite better decisions from sudden and paralyzing damages in the near future.


Why wedding insurance may help protect your wallet on your big day

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Your big day can come at a big cost. Some couples spend thousands planning their wedding, and if something goes wrong that money can be lost. That’s why some insurance brokers offer wedding insurance.

“Anything from your wedding bands, your suit, your dress. your venue getting cancelled or burning down, the different vendors, all of those things. you can get insurance that covers all of that,” says event planner Amanda Douglas.

Loss or damage of wedding gifts, host liquor liability, and some deposits in case of cancellation are also covered.

Douglas says many couples don’t know the insurance exists. She encourages them to do research the coverage to find out more.

Insurance broker, Tara Chammartin, says the cost of wedding insurance depends on the kind of coverage a couple needs.

“There’s different levels of protection you can buy, so it’s also reflected in the premium. so the more protection you want the more expensive it is. but as low as 200 to about 900 a year for a platinum event,” she says.

Chammartin says vendors and credit cards also offer insurance for weddings, but it may not cover everything related to the big day.

Meghan Roberts, CTV Winnipeg


Ten Reasons Your Visitors to Canada Need Travel Insurance

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

TORONTO/CNW/ – With warm weather comes an influx of visitors to this great nation of ours. The second largest country on earth, Canada certainly has a lot to offer: gorgeous views to photograph, a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy, and lots of opportunities to travel without even leaving the country.

Did you know that a large portion of travellers to Canada happen to be our very own family and friends from afar? Of the 16 million tourists in 2012, almost half were here to visit loved ones! If you are one of the many Canadians looking forward to a visit this summer, travel insurance should definitely be on your list of things to buy before their arrival. Not sure why? Keep reading for the 10 reasons your visitors need Visitors to Canada travel insurance…

1.Medical care in Canada is expensive – Your visitors will need at least $50,000 in coverage for emergency medical expenses.
2.Super Visa applicants need ‘super’ insurance – The Canadian government requires these travellers to have health coverage which is: (1) a minimum of $100,000, (2) good for at least one year, and (3) Canadian.
3.Visitors to Canada insurance isn’t just for travel to Canada – It also covers side trips to other countries, including the US.
4.Visitors to Canada insurance isn’t just for visitors – It is also suitable for new Canadians who are awaiting health care coverage and returning Canadians whose provincial coverage has lapsed.
5.Plans include some benefits visitors may not expect – Coverage for physiotherapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and other specialists (when treatment is related to the initial emergency).
6.Plans can cover stable pre-existing medical conditions – And no medical questionnaire is required.
7.Plans can cover a variety of amateur sports – Water skiing, mountain climbing, hiking, jet skiing, and more!
8.Coverage begins when visitors leave their home country – They’re covered while en route to Canada and while travelling back to their home country.
9.It’s best to purchase travel insurance prior to their arrival in Canada – A waiting period may apply if coverage is purchased after arrival.
10.You can save on Visitors to Canada insurance – Choose a higher deductible, ask for family rates, and always compare plans to see which has the best coverage at the best price.
Your loved ones need travel insurance. And it is much simpler if you purchase it from a Canadian company in advance of their trip. Why? Because Canadian coverage is more comprehensive, and Canadian insurers know the ins and outs of our health care system.

While you wait for your visitors to arrive, feel free to visit our website to learn more about our Visitors to Canada plans.

Source: Canada NewsWire


Honk ignites road rage and driveway attack, Saskatoon man says

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

A Saskatchewan man says he and his family are worried for their safety following an attack in their driveway by people who followed them home after he honked his horn at them at a busy intersection.

The incident, which had Rob Lorensen beaten and stabbed, happened about two weeks ago late in the afternoon in Saskatoon’s Westview area.

It began at the intersection of 33rd Street and Avenue W. Lorensen was with his family — his wife and two children — on the way home.

Lorensen said he was behind a truck at the intersection where the light turned green. He gave a honk on his horn, to alert the other driver to the green light. They both moved on, after the other driver gave Lorensen the finger and Lorensen cursed at the driver.

Then, a few minutes later, Lorensen noticed the same truck had come around and was now following him.

“I wasn’t really concerned about being chased,” Lorensen told CBC News Monday. “I didn’t really think my life was in danger until we pulled into the driveway.”

Lorensen said he confronted the people on his driveway with a video camera he had on his vehicle’s dashboard. He said that is when the situation escalated.

“I had two kids right here, and I had three crazy men that were threatening me,” he said. “There was no way they were getting to my kids. So, yeah, I threw myself at them.”

Video from the incident shows glimpses of what happened next, including images of people from the truck walking up Lorensen’s driveway and attacking the man.

The scuffle moves out of camera range, but Lorensen’s wife can be seen scrambling to get the couple’s two children into the house.

Lorensen said he remembers being attacked.

“I looked behind me and the driver was jumping off the grass onto my back,” he said. “And everyone else was coming from the truck. And then next thing I was turtled up in the corner getting kicked and hit, and I didn’t even realize I was stabbed until the police came.”

He said he suffered a broken toe and a deep gash in his arm.

“Whether it was a key or a screw, I got stabbed in the forearm that went about two or three inches deep,” he said.

Lorensen told CBC News that he learned police officers did catch up to the people in the truck.

Police in Saskatoon say the incident remains under investigation.

Alyson Edwards, a spokeswoman for Saskatoon Police, told CBC News that they have dealt with a number of reports of violence following incidents of road rage.

“Certainly we’ve seen that in Saskatoon on more than one occasion,” Edwards said. “And really it speaks I think to the level of aggression overall that has risen among our drivers.”

Lorensen said he can understand aggressive driving, but believes he is the victim of a crime.

“I was assaulted,” he said. “The guy was smashing my head into the concrete. Like, they were here to do nothing but to cause me great harm.”

Lorensen added his young son has been traumatized by what he saw of the attack.

He said his family is anxious to sell their home and move out of Saskatoon.

Have you ever experienced road rage? What do you do if someone cuts you off — do you get mad or let it go? Have you ever witnessed a road rage incident? What is your reaction to this story?

Source: CBC News


Will Canada be ready for the next natural disaster?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

During its heyday, before the economic downturn of 2009, about 1,000 people attended the annual World Conference on Disaster Management. They gathered in an Ontario city for four days, listened to speakers academics and practitioners asked questions, and learned new ideas in disaster management mitigation, planning and solutions.

But the number of participants has declined sharply a 40 per cent drop since 2009.

Organizers knew training and conference budgets had been cut. Fair enough. But what did that really mean to those who attended the conference and their communities? What was the impact of reduced budgets on community resilience?

They conducted a survey and discovered some startling facts:

A majority of those who answered said climate change is a reality.

Seventy-five per cent are concerned/very concerned about the potential impact of extreme weather events on their organizations or communities.

More than half said their organization or community had made little or no effort to develop programs to mitigate the impact of climate change; almost the same percentage said there was little to no effort to start programs to adapt to its impact.

The survey results were both startling and worrisome, said Adrian Gordon, chair of the conference. “It says to me, without any doubt, that within the (community of) professionals and those who understand the risk of climate change, they don’t know what to do and they don’t have the funding to do anything. Where does that leave us? Not in a good place.”

The UN-sponsored climate panel said in a recent report that Canada will continue to see more warming than the global average and extreme weather events will be more frequent and more intense.

Without mincing words, it said that most countries — including Canada — are not prepared.

More recently, a comprehensive report from the U.S. — the National Climate Assessment, released May 6 — said climate change is not a distant threat but a present-day danger that is already impacting lives, in some cases severely.

Instances of extreme weather events abound: the Alberta floods in June 2013, Toronto’s floods in July 2013 and its recent ice storm. They are all indicators of a fast-changing climate, said John Smol, a researcher on environmental change at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

The Alberta floods, considered the worst in Canada’s history, cost more than $6 billion dollars, according to the province’s finance minister. Before 1990, only three Canadian disasters exceeded $500 million. In the past decade alone, nine have surpassed that amount.

An Insurance Bureau of Canada report in 2012 said Canada now experiences 20 more days of rain compared to the 1950s.

In the same report, Gordon McBean of the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at Western University in London, Ont., said that, “In Canada, a recent spike in severe weather-related events — including severe rainstorms, tornadoes, flooding and forest fires — has resulted in social and economic consequences for individuals and governments across the country.”

It’s easy to blame the federal government but, in this case, Ottawa really is at the core of the problem, says Richard Kinchlea, chair of the Emergency Management and Public Safety Institute at Centennial College in Toronto.

“I think it’s clear that Ottawa does not support climate change initiatives the way it should,” he said in an interview. “Adaptation and mitigation efforts are not being supported the way the global community is asking. In fact, Ottawa is going the opposite direction and supporting pipelines and oilsands.”

The conference survey clearly tells the story of what should be done, but isn’t, he said.

“It has 469 responses, which is a high number. This is a very learned response. You really have to trust what is being said here that disaster management is at the bottom of our priorities.”

Ottawa doesn’t think so.

In an emailed statement, the Ministry of Public Safety told the Star that the government is shifting emphasis from a traditional response and recovery approach to a more proactive one. “This is not to say that we will not do response and recovery,” said Jean Paul Duval, a ministry spokesperson.

Canada, he said, committed $200 million in 2014 for the development of a national disaster mitigation program; another $40 million will be spent over five years to support mitigation programming on reserves. The government has also committed $99.2 million to disaster mitigation following flooding in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec in 2011.

About this survey, Duval said the ministry “welcomes any study that contributes to the understanding of natural disasters and the risks we face.”

In Toronto, Paul Kovacs, the executive director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, said it is tough not to panic after a survey that “says what we feared.”

There is a strong sense of agreement among those questioned, he said. “They are clear, they are saying there is an issue right now and their work is being affected and will impact even more going into the future.”

Conferences such as the World Disaster Management Conference are helpful because in an unpredictable, changing climate, “we need all the help we can to understand what is going on.”

There is more reason than ever to get together and discuss “what we should learn from, say, the Calgary floods, or the ice storm,” he said. “These events are a critical part of the process for the experts to come together and discuss and learn and improve understanding of how to manage these events.”

But emergency management does not show a decent return on investment, Centennial’s Kinchlea pointed out. “It’s like insurance, you can pay and pay and if you never have a claim, what was it worth? Yes, the Lac-Mégantic derailment or Calgary floods show we need investment but really, for the most part, (we) can’t know when these things will happen. When the decision-makers look to invest money, they do it in places where they can see a return.”

“Few seem to think disaster management is important enough to put money into, he said. “It is an unfortunate thing.”

Source: The Hamilton Spectator


Tips for buying Medical Insurance

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Travellers looking for fun in the sun or a relaxing time away from the hurly-burly of life at home hardly want the additional stress of an unexpected illness or accident while they are away.

But as some Canadian travellers have discovered, buying travel insurance to protect against a nasty financial surprise may not necessarily mean full protection from hefty bills for medical treatment outside their home province.

On Monday, CBC ‘s Go Public reported on three customers who purchased travel insurance from Canadian banks and were left angry and frustrated after their insurer wouldn’t pay their foreign medical bills.

There are, however, ways a would-be traveller can try to make sure there are as few surprises as possible if they have to make a claim. In some cases, those ways depend on the person’s age, and the purpose of their trip.

1. Know your health and ask questions
In many instances that have received public attention, questions and debate around pre-existing medical conditions have been at the heart of disputes between travellers and insurance companies.

Insurance experts say having an open, honest and upfront discussion with your insurer or an insurance professional before buying a policy is critical.

There are ways a would-be traveller can try to make sure there are as few surprises as possible if they have to make a travel insurance claim for an injury or illness during an otherwise relaxing vacation. (Timothy Neesam/CBC)

“Probably the biggest thing for a person to do is to give as much medical or background history as they have when they’re purchasing [insurance],” says Bill Walker, director of individual products for Ontario Blue Cross. The same goes for when answering questions for a claim.

“For the most part, largely, when a claim gets denied, it’s not some type of purposeful nondisclosure or fraud. It’s just the person has decided that this is an irrelevant piece of medical history.”

Information about hospitalizations, treatments, investigations or even a change in medication is relevant.

Along with providing information, asking questions is a good practice, too.

“Ask a professional … how am I covered?” says Alex Bittner, vice-president of the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada.

‘If a person has a valid reason why they believe that claim should not be denied, there are steps they can go to appeal.’- Bill Walker

He suggests telling the insurance professional: “I want to go through the application with you. I want to actually see the policy. I want to see how my pre-existing medical conditions are affected, and go into it anticipating that you’re going to have a claim.”

If a person is unsure about a specific question, then Bittner suggests going to the family doctor and seeking advice.

Some people might say they answered medical questions to the best of their knowledge and didn’t know that previous bits of their medical history, such as a test years ago might be a red flag now, or something that’s not a health concern for them.

If that’s the case, Bittner suggests claims might not be denied on those grounds.

“If they honestly didn’t know, we’re not going to hold that against them. We’re not.”

If a claim is denied, it’s not necessarily the end of the road.

“If a person has a valid reason why they believe that claim should not be denied, there are steps they can go to appeal,” says Walker.

Companies have ombudsmen, as does the industry. Court action is also a possibility.

2. Read your policy
Amid the excitement of planning for a trip, reading a travel insurance document might not seem like the most inspiring way to spend some time. Plus, it’s not going to be a speed read like the latest spy thriller.

But the experts say one of the most important measures a would-be traveller can take is reading the document. If buying the policy online, download the document and go through it carefully.

“I know travel policies are not uncomplicated, small, little documents,” says Walker.

“But I think if a person was to sit down and read it before they go on their trip, that way they’re doing what they need to do to ensure the least possible chance of a problem with a denied claim.”

If you don’t understand something, the experts suggest, call the company and ask questions. Calls are usually recorded, so make a record for yourself of the date and time of the conversation and consider recording it yourself.

3. Think about what you will be doing on your trip
If you’ve read the policy carefully, you may know whether it would cover you for certain activities.

If it’s part of their itinerary, insurance specialists advise Canadians to make sure their travel insurance policies cover extreme activities such as skydiving during trips abroad. (CBC)

Hazardous, high-risk or adventurous activities like skydiving or rock climbing might not be covered. Even scuba diving might fall in that category.

“There are some that do [cover it] and there are some that don’t,” says Bittner.

Taking your son or daughter to a sports tournament in the U.S. might also be problematic.

“I’d be asking those penetrating questions,” says Bittner, suggesting that a parent find out if a youth athlete would be covered under the policy in question, “because every policy has I would say significant limitations and exclusions for coverage.”

4. Think about where you are going
Quick trips over the border into the U.S. or cross-Canada vacations might not seem like prime examples of instances when travel medical insurance is necessary, but experts say that’s not so.

Even a quick trip from southern Ontario to Buffalo to catch a Bills football game or to check out bargains at a mall should be insured, they say.

“I’ve seen … a $90,000 claim incurred in Buffalo from a person who had a major brain aneurysm and couldn’t even be taken back across the border, so it’s imperative, especially in the States,” says Walker.

Bittner says Ontario only covers six to nine per cent of medical costs a person might incur in the U.S.

“On a $100,000 bill, [the Ontario Health Insurance Plan] pays $9,000,” he says, leaving a bill worth ” a lot of money.”

Even in Canada, Walker says, Blue Cross recommends travel insurance if a person is going outside the home province.

While there is basically the same public health system across the country, some provinces charge more for some services than others, and vice versa. A trip between provinces in an air ambulance would not be covered, for example.

Also be on the lookout for country- or region-specific coverage. Some U.S. companies won’t cover travel to Cuba, for instance. Other companies may not cover places for which the Canadian government has issued a travel warning.

Not looking to deny claims
Both Walker and Bittner acknowledge there is a broad perception that insurers may be looking for ways to deny claims but both say that’s not the case.

Walker says companies have taken steps to make it “at least a little easier” for people to understand policies.

“No company, especially with a brand name like a bank, or Blue Cross for that matter, or Manulife, these are all companies that invest a lot of time to gain the confidence of their customers, so they don’t want their confidence shattered because a claim has been denied.”

By Janet Davison, CBC News


Tips for cutting costs of car ownership

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Canadians spend more on cars than on anything else other than housing. The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) online calculator shows the average cost of driving a compact car in Canada is about $9,167 annually. For a full-size car it’s $12,886.

The amount of money it costs to buy a car is different from the amount it costs to own and operate a car. The true five-year cost of owning a car is usually about double the purchase price, according to edmunds.com.

The true cost includes sales taxes, depreciation, interest on your loan, insurance, licence, registration, taxes, fuel, repairs, car washes, parking and speeding tickets.

Author Jeff Yeager, lists four key tips to curb car costs in his book, The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches.

Drive it until it drops There are tremendous economic advantages from driving the same car as long as it is roadworthy. Of course, repair costs increase as your car ages. But you can more easily afford the maintenance expenses after your car is fully paid for.

The good news is that a car with high reliability ratings can remain roadworthy for more than 200,000 kilometres if it is properly maintained. That means your car can last you for 10 years or more depending on how much you drive each year.

The most expensive trip is driving your new car off the sales lot. The least expensive driving happens after your car is fully paid off and stays in good working order.

Take care of your car Yeager has a motto: “Take care of your stuff, and your stuff will take care of you.” When it comes to automotive maintenance, he compares a car to a human body, with a multitude of independent parts. A little neglect can lead to a little problem. A little problem can lead to a major problem.

Read the owner’s manual. Do the routine maintenance. If you are not mechanical, start with keeping your vehicle clean, inside and out. Then, move on to the basics such as tire pressure, wiper blades and oil changes.

If you don’t want to master more advanced car care skills, find a trustworthy mechanic to keep your major maintenance work up-todate.

Buy used Once you drive a new car off the sales lot, you lose about 20 per cent of the value. Why not let some other guy pay that price? Find a used car in good condition.

The challenge is to avoid buying a lemon if you go with a used car. You can greatly reduce the risk with minimal effort. The Internet provides a vast amount of resources to educate used car shoppers. To help you zero in on the model that suits your needs, Yeager recommends three websites for ranking dependability and consumer satisfaction for used car models. They are www.jdpower.com, www.ConsumerReports.org and ConsumerReports.org

Once you have selected the model you want, read local classified ads and check online listings. Before you close the deal, consider paying your own independent mechanic to check out the car for you. Order a vehicle history report from CARFAX.com to see if the particular car you are looking at has ever been rebuilt, in a flood or stolen.

Hold the vanity Automobile car manufacturers know that many car buyers like to boost their self-esteem by owning a new car with a prestigious price tag.

Unlike most retirement planning books that focus on investing, Jeff Yeager makes the case that you can have a worry-free retirement simply by spending prudently and focusing on what you truly want and expect out of retirement. Yeager’s four books are full of offbeat anecdotes as he shares hundreds of his secrets and tips.

Excerpted article written by Terry McBride, Star Phoenix