Welcome to the August 2008 edition of the InsuranceHotline.com Insider newsletter.
In this issue, we've compiled 9 driving tips to help keep you and young children safe as they head back to school. If you have older students going to University or College, check out our great insurance tips designed to save you money. And if you had to take the Learners' Permit Test today, would you pass? Take our "ËœDriving 101' test and find out.
Remember, in order to make sure you're paying the lowest rate available for your profile, you need to shop around.
Sincerely,The InsuranceHotline.com Team
9 Driving Tips for the Back-to-School Season
With the first day of school approaching, drivers can expect to encounter young children commuting to school for the first time in almost 3 months. Many drivers can be particularly unprepared for the increased road traffic, crossing guards, bicyclists and pedestrians during the morning and afternoon drive times.
To help ensure kids stay out of harms' way during the school year, here are 9 driving tips all drivers should follow:
- Slow down in school zones. Driving just 5 km per hour over the speed limit increases the risk of hitting a child.
- Avoid distractions. Limit the use of cell phones, eating and drinking which can be distracting while driving.
- Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students. Motorists travelling in both directions are required by law to stop 20 meters from the front and rear of the bus.
- Turn your headlights on. If your car does not have daytime running lights, drive with your headlights on to help children and other drivers see your car better.
- Pay attention to kids waiting for a bus. Children sometimes run into the street without looking out for oncoming traffic.
- If possible, avoid commuting through school zones. Take major streets or highways.
- Use booster seats for all children under 8 years old. It's the law in Ontario for all kids under the age of 8, weighing 80 lbs or less and who stand less than 4 feet 9 inches.
- Watch for teenage drivers. Increased traffic means more inexperienced teen drivers commuting to school. Parents should also remind teenage drivers to take extra precautions.
- Plan your commute ahead of time to arrive at a comfortable pace. Leave early and give yourself enough time for travel and to avoid the congestion of school buses, pedestrians and taxis.
All motorists should plan their commute and exercise a heightened awareness in and around all school zones. Under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, failing to yield for a pedestrian and a speeding ticket carries a fine of $300 and 5 demerit points on your driver's license, not to mention higher insurance rates.
InsuranceHotline.com searched for the lowest and highest insurance rates comparing a 30 year old male driver with a clean record and the same driver with 2 tickets. Check out the table below to see the difference between the highest and lowest rates.
VehicleClean RecordTwo TicketsLowestHighestLowestHighest Mazda 6 $1793 $3370 $2286 $5062 Pontiac Grand Prix $1923 $3653 $2516 $5476
Driving 101 Test. Back to school, back to basics.
Would you pass the Learner's Permit Test today?
Take the InsuranceHotline.com mini quiz to find out. Score a point for every correct answer and check your score against the table at the bottom. These are representative of the types of questions asked on the test given to people applying for a G1 driver's or learner's permit.
- When two vehicles reach an uncontrolled intersection at approximately the same time, which should be given the right-of-way?[answers]
- Vehicle approaching from the left
- Vehicle approaching from the right
- Neither one
- The one moving faster
- Are car drivers responsible for their passengers buckling up?[answers]
- Only if the passengers are in the front seat
- Only if passengers are over eighteen years of age
- Only if passengers are over 16 years of age
- Only if passengers are under 16 years of age
- None of the above
- What is the driver of a motor vehicle not permitted to carry in a house or boat trailer?[answers]
- Flammable material
- Unless otherwise posted, what is the maximum speed limit allowed in cities, town, villages and built-up areas?[answers]
- When on streets designed for two-way traffic, if you hear the siren of an emergency vehicle, what does the law require you to do?[answers]
- Pull to the right as far as possible and stop
- Signal the driver to pass
- Continue at same speed
- Speed up and get out of the way
- When lights are required, drivers must use lower beam headlights when following another vehicle at what distance?[answers]
- Within 30 m
- Within 60 m
- Within 120 m
- This only applies when approaching another vehicle
- By law, what is the minimum amount of automobile third party liability insurance required in Ontario?[answers]
- When approaching a railway crossing at which an electrical or mechanical signal device is warning of the approach of a train, you must:[answers]
- Increased speed and cross tracks as quickly as possible
- Stop not less than 1.5 m from the nearest rail
- Stop not less than 5 m from the nearest rail
- Slow down and proceed with caution
- If you are involved in an accident in which someone is injured or damages exceed $1,000, you must:[answers]
- Report the accident to you insurance company only
- Report the accident at once to the nearest Provincial or Municipal Police Officer
- Report the accident within 48 hours to the nearest Provincial or Municipal Police Officer
- Report the accident to the Ministry of Transportation
- What document may a Police Officer require a motor vehicle owner to produce if pulled over?[answers]
- Motor Vehicle Ownership
- Liability Insurance Card
- Valid Driver's License
- All of the above
- After receiving 9-demerit points, the Ministry of Transportation and Communication may suspect your license following an interview: [answers]
- If the license is not required for business reasons
- If a driver does not have at least 5 years driving experience
- The Ministry is not permitted to suspend a license before 15 points level is reached
- If a driver fails to give satisfactory reasons why their license should not be suspended
- A flashing blue light mounted on a motor vehicle indicates[answers]
- Snow removal equipment
- Motor vehicle carrying explosive
- Police Emergency Vehicle
- How soon after a licensed driver changes his/her name or address are they required to notify the Ministry of Transportation? [answers]
- Within 6 days
- Within 12 days
- Within 28 days
- Any time prior to renewal of license
- When lights are required, drivers must use low beam headlights:[answers]
- Within 150m of an oncoming vehicle
- Within 300m of the approach of another vehicle
- Within 1 km of the approach of another vehicle
- This is safety practice, not a law
So, how did you do?
0-5 Correct: Ok, hand over the car keys NOW!6-10 Correct: Hmmm, I'm not sure I'd drive with you.11-13 Correct: Ok you can drive. Good job.14 Correct: You should be a driving instructor!
Thanks for taking the quiz. We hope you had fun. Regardless of your score, visit InsuranceHotline.com and take the guesswork out of finding the lowest insurance rates. InsuranceHotline.com will help find the 3 lowest car insurance quotes for your driving profile from over 30 of the top insurance companies in Canada.
The Driver's Permit Study Guide (Ontario Edition)
Drivers should consult The Driver's Permit Study Guide for a more comprehensive list of questions and answers. Test questions shown here are for illustrative purposes only.
Insurance Tips for Parents and University & College Students
Over the next few weeks most college and university bound students will be packing up personal belongings and getting ready for the move away from home to enjoy the much anticipated "campus life". But before packing away laptops, televisions and iPods, students would be wise to have parents review their insurance policy to ensure valuable personal items are sufficiently covered in case of accidental loss or damage while away at school.
Parents and students should be sure to consider the following tips when assessing their insurance needs:
- Most home insurance policies extend liability to children while away at school.
- Most personal belongings for students living on campus or off-campus apartments are covered under the parent's homeowners or renters' insurance policies, however, some policies may limit the amount of insurance coverage available.
- Standard insurance limits may not be enough to insure an expensive computer, electronic equipment or jewelry. Consider buying a personal property floater or an endorsement to increase the limits on these items.
- Parents should think about purchasing a tenants policy in the student's name while away at school. Tenants insurance will adequately cover all of the student's personal property and provide extensive liabilitycoverage at an affordable cost.
- Parents, who have ever considered removing their child from their car insurance while away at school should know that most insurance companies offer a "Student Away Discount" to ensure their child is still covered under their car policy when they come home to visit at a discounted price.
- Inform your car insurance company if you intend to take your vehicle to attend a school in another province. Some car insurance companies may not be licensed to insure outside of your home province.
So before your kids head off to school, do your homework and visit InsuranceHotline.com, the one stop destination for all your insurance needs including car, home and tenant policies. InsuranceHotline.com instantly searches for the lowest insurance price from over 30 of the top insurance companies for free.
August 2008 edition:
Q)What is the key difference between an Insurance Broker and an Insurance Agent?A)An Insurance Broker can represent several insurance companies and can offer quotes from as many insurance companies as they do business with. An Insurance Agent works directly for one specific company and can only sell that company's policies.
In last month's article on avoiding insurance scams, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario or FSCO (www.fsco.gov.on.ca) was listed as a key resource for consumers to ensure the representative they are dealing with is legally allowed to sell auto insurance.
Special thanks to one of our readers, who correctly identified that an equally important resource we should have mentioned is the Registered Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario or RIBO (www.ribo.com).
Consumers should consult both resources if they fear they may be victims of an insurance scam and to learn more about the differences between Insurance Brokers and Insurance Agents.