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Despres-Pacey Insurance Brokers Limited - Consumer Tips


Numerous factors contribute to the cost of your insurance, many of them beyond consumer control (for more information about these factors, please contact your insurance broker). However, as a consumer, you can exercise some control over your insurance costs by minimizing the chance that you will have to make a claim.

Of course, no one sets out to raise his or her own rates by having an accident or experiencing a burglary. However, sometimes these unpleasant experiences are the result of a lack of knowledge or planning. Applying the following tips as relevant to your situation will reduce your risk of having an accident or becoming a crime victim"

Auto Tips


|Prevent Vehicle Theft| |Vehicle Safety and Maintenance| |Cell Phones and Safety|
|Preparing for Winter Driving| |What to Do When You Are Involved in an Accident|

How to Prevent Vehicle Theft

Although you can't ensure your vehicle will not be stolen, you can take a few easy steps to prevent the likelihood of it happening. Make it as difficult as possible for a thief to steal your vehicle and its contents.

  • Always lock your vehicle
  • Never leave your keys in the vehicle
  • Avoid parking on the street when there are safer locations.
  • Turn off your ignition whenever you leave your car
  • Conceal items left in your car; keep things in the trunk. Never leave money or compact discs in the open
  • Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a well-lit, well-guarded, highly visible area.
  • Ask your neighbours to watch out for your vehicle and do the same for them
  • Install an anti-theft deterrent such as car alarms or an ignition disabler.

For more information that will help you avoid having your car broken into or stolen, please contact the appropriate industry organization in your area.

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Vehicle Safety and Maintenance

  • Read your vehicle owner's manual to understand its maintenance needs.
  • Maintaining your vehicle according to the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule will go a long way toward extending the life of your vehicle, and minor problems will be spotted before they turn into major repairs.
  • Have your vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic whenever you notice a change in braking or handling.
  • Consider taking a recognized driver safety course.

Brakes:

Your brakes are obviously one of the most important components of your automobile. Proper care and regular maintenance is essential to protect both yourself and others from the potential harm caused by faulty brakes. Some signs that your brakes may be failing or require maintenance include:

  • The brakes squeal, grind or bang when applied. If this occurs you should immediately have your brakes checked
  • The car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes
  • The brakes stick or a loss of engine power occurs when you are driving. In such cases, your brakes may not be releasing properly, which can lead to total brake loss.
  • The brakes grab when lightly applied. This could be caused by loose or broken brake parts
  • The brakes need a lot of pressure to work or the pedal needs to be near the floor before it works. This may be a sign that your brakes are worn and replacement is necessary
  • The brake pedal, steering wheel or entire car vibrates when you step on the brakes

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Cell Phones and Safety

Cell phones can be valuable equipment in a car when you need to call for assistance. However, they can also be a distraction if they are used while driving, and many jurisdictions have restrictions on cell phone use while driving.

For safety's sake, don't use your cell phone while driving. If you need to make a call, stop your car safely away from traffic.

Preparing for Winter Driving

Canadians know that winter driving can be treacherous at the best of times. The following organizations can provide tips and information to help you prepare yourself and your vehicle for safe winter driving:

  • Canada Safety Council
  • Transport Canada

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What to Do When You Are Involved in an Accident

Being involved in an accident can be a very stressful event. To help you protect both yourself and your interests, we have provided some basic hints:

  • Call the police immediately, and an ambulance if necessary.
  • Do not admit liability.
  • Record details of the accident including date, time, location, a description of the accident, any injuries, and any charges laid.
  • Record details concerning the other party and vehicle such as owner's name and address, phone number, and vehicle year, make and model.
  • It is very important to obtain the insurance information of the other driver. This includes the name of the insurance company, the policy number, and the name of the broker or agent.
  • Obtain a copy of the police report from the attending officer as this will include the accident report number for future reference.

These tips are general rules of thumb only, and may not fit all situations. For the definitive word, contact your insurance broker.

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