10 Ways changing your driving can save big bucks on your fuel bill.

Tweaking your behaviour behind the wheel can be a pain — but it could also save you minimum $500 or more in gas every year

Typically when drivers want to make drastic gains in their fuel efficiency, they’ll swap whatever gas-guzzler they’ve got with a less-thirsty alternative.

But you can save hundreds of dollars a year at the pump just by changing the way you drive. We’ve drafted this list of 10 tips that, collectively, should save you up to $500 or more in fuel per year, if applied properly and depending on your vehicle of course.

Some of these you might already know, some are just applied common sense, while some sound counter-intuitive. Like our first tip, for example…

Tip 1: Accelerate briskly

You’ve likely heard slow starts off the line at stoplights are one of the best ways to reduce your fuel consumption. Guess what? The longer you take to reach your cruising speed, the more you stretch the energy demand.

It’s actually better to accelerate adroitly — not peeling out or burning rubber, since, yes, your high-revving engine will make you pay at the pump later if you floor it. But applying about two-thirds throttle is perfect.

Does your car have a manual transmission? First gear should be used only to get the vehicle rolling, with a rapid gear change through all the following ratios to keep RPMs as low as possible. With some older automatic transmissions, shifting to a higher (and more beneficial) gear can be achieved by briefly taking your foot off the accelerator.

Tip 2: Stick to high-speed highways

Now you’ve reached cruising velocity, stay there. Nothing makes your engine thirstier than braking and re-accelerating. This is why it’s greedier at lower, variable speeds in-city compared to the higher, constant speeds of the highway. So when possible, choose highways instead of urban roads.

Have to go through heavy traffic in-town? Keep your distance from other cars and anticipate traffic movement, two tips that also save on brakes and tire wear. This helps cut down how much coming-to-a-complete-stop you’ll have to do, which in turns saves fuel.

Tip 3: Don’t coast to a stop in neutral

Remember when grandpa told you to let your vehicle coast in neutral because the reduced load on the engine would save gas? That hasn’t been true for at least 20 years, since while , yes, modern vehicles are designed to shut off their fuel supply when decelerating, they only do so if a gear is engaged.

You can test this one out on some new cars: with the on-board computer set to show instantaneous consumption, go into neutral gear. You’ll see a bit of fuel wasted, as if you were idling. Coasting could also adversely affect revs when you go back into gear, and full-on “free-wheeling” runs the risk of keeping you from reacting quickly in the case of an emergency where you might need to accelerate.

Tip 4: Keep your speed at a nice even 100 km/h

If you really want to save substantial money at the gas pump, don’t drive at 120 km/h on the highway. We’re not talking about avoiding fines for breaking the law, we’re talking about another set of laws — the laws of physics, which stipulates that the aerodynamic drag on your car at 120 km/h causes your car to burn at least 20 per cent more fuel than it would at 100 km/h.

If you commute along at least 50 km/h of highway per day in a vehicle with average-for-Canada fuel efficiency, this simple difference in speeds can save you around $400 per year (at an assumed $1.10 per litre for fuel). Double that if you drive a bigger SUV.

Tip 5: Don’t rely on adaptive cruise control

Your car’s cruise control is great for maintaining a steady speed on highway, helping save an average of seven per cent on gas, and at max, twice as much. That said, modern adaptive cruise control systems can negatively affect fuel mileage in high-traffic situations because they constantly alter your speed to match the car ahead. In those situations, it’s often better if you take control of the throttle.

Cruise control also might not be your best bet when roads are up hill and down; a system struggling to maintain a given speed on hilly terrains will not maximize your fuel efficiency. In those cases, not only you should forget about cruise control, but you should go with the flow, even if it means resisting the temptation to floor the accelerator. Rather, nurse your fuel consumption by being slight and gradual with pedal application, in tune with a low-RPMs-momentum.

Admittedly, your trip uphill might take a little longer, but you’ll catch up on the downhill letting your car coast – not in neutral, remember – while you mind the speed limits, of course.

Tip 6: Buy a block heater

If your car doesn’t have a block heater already, get one, and use it every time the temperature drops below zero. Every component of your car that needs to be warmed – the engine, its fluids, etc. – will get to temp faster. Warmer oil means less wear on your engine, savings in fuel consumption and reduced emissions.

How much can you save at the pump if you install a block heater? More or less the cost of a daily coffee. Indeed, CAA-Quebec did some experiments with vehicles it did and didn’t plug in. Over a two-month period at an average temperature of -10 degrees Celsius, the heated cars saw 15 per cent less fuel consumption for the first 20 kilometers of driving. Some vehicles showed a whopping 33-per-cent improvement.

To save energy overall, connect your block heater to a timer so it only starts three or four hours before your morning departure. Leaving it on longer turns your gas savings into wasted electricity.

Tip 7: Keep your tires inflated

We won’t repeat how and when you should check your tires’ pressure — that’s a topic we’ve already covered before. But we’ll tell you why you should. For every temperature drop of 6 degrees Celsius, your tires lose 1 psi of pressure.

Mother Nature sends us a cold front? If you haven’t topped off your tires recently, that snap could see them underinflated by roughly eight psi (56 kPa), at which point you’re wasting about four per cent more fuel, says Natural Resources Canada. In the long run, not only will you be frittering away pennies at the pump, you’ll be cutting down the life expectancy of your tires by up to 10,000 km, the government body says.

So when’s the last time you checked your tires’ pressure? If you don’t remember, you’re among the one-third of Canadian drivers, says tire industry research, who likely has at least one tire underinflated by more than 10 per cent.

Tip 8: Mind where you park

The last time you went to the shopping mall, where did you park? Did you start at the entrance then zig-zag down the rows searching for the spot? When you found it, did you drive in nose-first? Know that you would have saved gas – and time – if you started your hunt in a more remote corner of the lot full of spots, especially if you found a space you could leave without backing up from.

It’s a small savings, but every little bit helps — and if you’re able, the exercise walking to the store entrance isn’t bad either.

Tip 9: Lighten your load

This tip won’t break the bank either, but sort through the stuff you leave in your car. That old hockey bag, that sacks of de-icing salt, that old box of books you keep forgetting to donate — they don’t weigh a lot on their, but altogether, getting rid of them may save you gas. Every 25 kg of extra mass increases the fuel consumption of a mid-size car by about one per cent.

Hypermilers” maximizing their economy will go as far as unbolting their rear seat, but we’ll stop short of that and other controversial techniques they employ.

Tip 10: Try not to idle so much

You already know it, but idling does little but waste gas. We’re talking between a quarter and a half-litre for every 10 minutes in a car going… nowhere. (That’s just one good reason a block heater works better than a remote starter.)

Natural Resources Canada says, balancing “factors such as fuel savings, emissions and component wear,” you should shut off your engine if you’re going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds. There is one exception, and that’s if you’re in traffic. Don’t turn off your engine on the road like that, just try to avoid said congestion.

Use the radio traffic reports to your benefit, try Google Maps or Waze, choose less-known and -crowded roads, whatever. Anything’s better than watching your on-board computer undo your hard-earned low-fuel-consumption average after sitting five minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Source: https://driving.ca/features/feature-story/10-ways-slightly-changing-your-driving-can-save-big-bucks-on-your-fuel-bill

Aviva to start using credit info as auto rating factor in this province.

Aviva Insurance Company of Canada and Traders General Insurance Company have permission to use consumers’ credit information as an auto rating factor, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board announced Monday.

Insurers are specifically prohibited from using credit information as an auto rating factor in both Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, the NSURB noted.

But in Nova Scotia, Aviva and Traders (which is part of the Aviva group) proposed to add a “responsibility factor.” This means Aviva and Traders would use customer credit information as a new rating factor. Before giving Aviva the green light, NSURB considered whether current Nova Scotia regulations, which do not specifically prohibit the practice, nonetheless preclude auto insurers from using credit scores to rate auto.

The board considered Section 2 of Nova Scotia Regulation 183/2003, Matters Considered in Automobile Insurance Rates and Risk-Classification Systems Regulations, which says a rating factor may not be subjective, arbitrary, contrary to public policy, or one that “bears little or no relationship to the potential risk to be assumed by the insurer.”

In giving Aviva the go-head, NSURB took into account Aviva’s assurance that a customer would not be required to provide credit information in order to obtain insurance.

“A customer may be able to obtain a better rate if [credit rating] information is provided, but won’t be denied insurance if they do not. Considering all of this, and in the absence of specific evidence providing a justification for doing otherwise, the board finds that approving the proposed rating variable would not be contrary to public policy,” NSURB member Stephen McGrath wrote for the board in its ruling.

The board ordered Aviva and Traders to provide an update on whether experience emerges as expected for the responsibility factor when they start the next round of rate approvals this December.

In Ontario, insurers may use credit scores to rate home insurance but not auto. The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario opposes the use of credit scores to rate home or auto insurance. IBAO has said in the past that it is not clear to brokers exactly how the credit scores are used and that credit rating has nothing to do with the risk that is being covered.

For their part, insurers tend to argue there is a statistical correlation between how insureds manage their personal finances, as represented by the consumer credit score, and the likelihood that they will have to make an insurance claim. For example, if insureds are careful managing their finances, they are also more likely to be diligent in other areas of their lives, such as doing regular maintenance and upkeep on their personal property, as insurance company CEOs have explained the correlation to Canadian Underwriter in the past.

In Nova Scotia, Aviva supplied confidential data supporting its argument that credit information is predictive of risk in property insurance and that this would carry over to auto insurance, McGrath wrote.

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Source: https://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/legislation-regulation/aviva-to-start-using-credit-info-as-auto-rating-factor-in-this-province-1004173831/

Electronic Pink Slips A Go

You can now show your proof of auto insurance electronically in Ontario

Pink auto insurance slips aren’t being eliminated yet, but new option being phased in over 1-year period.

Ontario drivers can now carry electronic proof of their auto insurance on their smartphones or other devices.

Finance Minister Rod Phillips said the pink paper insurance slip isn’t being eliminated yet, but being able to display the information on a phone will be more convenient for many drivers.

“We’ve all had enough paper in our lives, at least me, for one, I have experienced rummaging through the glove box, looking for that little pink slip,” Phillips said as he made the announcement on Thursday. “Well, as of today your rummaging days are over if you choose this electronic option.”

There will be a one-year phase-in period, when insurers will have to issue a paper card in addition to the electronic option if it is requested.Phillips said drivers in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador can already display their proof of insurance electronically. 

“With the proliferation of mobile devices and apps and various add ons, it only makes sense that drivers in Ontario can  take advantage of the same options that drivers in other provinces can,” he said.

Drained battery, damaged screen no excuse

The electronic cards will feature safeguards that won’t allow them to be altered or edited, and privacy concerns are top of mind, Phillips said.

Drivers will be responsible for making sure their phone can display the proof of insurance, even with a poor signal, drained battery or damaged screen. The Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, speaking for Ontario’s new car dealers, welcomed the news.

“In this advanced, technological age we live in, there is no good reason why drivers must carry a paper copy for proof of insurance,” director of government relations Frank Notte said in a statement.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada said consumers have digital options in other sectors such as banking and retail, so auto insurers are pleased their customers will have the same choice.

“We look forward to working with the government on other measures that will improve the auto insurance system for drivers,” the insurance bureau’s Ontario vice-president Kim Donaldson said in a statement.

Electronic proof of insurance was one of a number of ways the government signalled in its spring budget that it was going to reform auto insurance.

The province is also reverting back to the default benefit of $2 million for those who are catastrophically injured in a collision, after it dropped to $1 million three years ago.

#Windsorontario, #AandA, #Brokerisbest, #cbcwindsor

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/car-insurance-pink-auto-ontario-electronic-1.5271540

Telematics

​​​​​​​​​​Insurance telematics – also known as usage-based insurance (UBI) or pay-as-you-drive – represents a shift in how insurance is administered and how premiums are calculated. Telematics has the potential to reduce your premium costs and generate significant benefits to society.​

How to Drive Your Premiums Down with Telematics

Telematics technology customizes insurance to your pattern of driving. It works by monitoring your real-time driving behaviours to provide an objective picture of your driving habits.  

Some insurers use telematics to monitor the key risk factors associated with driving a car. The technology assesses your driving habits, including: 

  • ​The distance you drive
  • The time of day when you are on the road
  • When and how you accelerate and brake

If you exhibit better driving habits or improve your driving behaviour, you can potentially save on insurance premiums. A telematics device creates an objective, personalized profile based on specific criteria. 

How Telematics Technology Works

Telematics was first used for auto insurance in Canada by one insurer in 2013 and has since grown to be included in a number of insurers’ product offerings. The telematics program gives you a small wireless device that acts as information and communication technology that can be quickly and easily installed in your car’s diagnostic port (typically under the steering wheel). 

The data collected is subject to strict privacy policies and not used for any other commercial purposes without consent. The insurer analyzes your data solely to determine savings and assesses typically the three driving habits listed above. 

With some programs, you can then track your driving habits and savings online, have your online information dashboard updated daily, and have your telematics discount calculated monthly. 

​Telematics programs are voluntary and you are fully informed of the variables your insurer collects for use in the program. Before signing up, you provide your express, informed consent for the collection, use and disclosure of the information used by the insurer.

Other Benefits of Telematics

According to the Victoria Transport Policy Institute​ in British Columbia, widespread adoption of telematics has other potential benefits as a result of people driving less. They include: ​​

  • Reductions in congestion, traffic accidents, pollution, energy use, road and parking costs as well as more people walking instead of driving, which promotes health and fitness 
  • Opportunities for urban planners to explore other land-use objectives  

The Telematics Forecast

The number of insurers offering telematics is expected to increase. Canadian insurance companies are learning from the experiences of their counterparts in the U.S. and Europe.

In 2012, IBC conducted a survey in Ontario that found that the majority of those polled would be in favour of telematics. The option to choose telematics was most popular among people who drive less than 10,000 kilometres a year.

Source:
http://www.ibc.ca/on/auto/buying-auto-insurance/how-auto-insurance-premiums/telematics

Do Speeding tickets affect your insurance?

No one wants to get a speeding ticket, yet it continues to be the most common traffic infraction in Canada year after year. Why? For many people, they simply do not give themselves enough time to get to their destination and resort to speeding to make up the time, and others have this misconception that getting a speeding ticket is nothing to worry about.

True, a minor speeding ticket will likely not be a high stress occurrence, but even a small speeding ticket could:

  • Increase in your insurance rates
  • Lead to fines
  • Cost you demerit points

One thing is for sure though; receiving multiple speeding tickets will increase your insurance rates, even if they are minor infractions. Getting a serious speeding ticket (such as 50km over the limit) will definitely increase your insurance rates and could get your in some serious legal troubles as well.

Keep in mind that your decision to pay your speeding ticket is an admission of guilt. If you are going to dispute the ticket, make sure to get some legal counsel.  If you pay, the infraction will go on your driving record.

“If you have been caught for speeding in the past, when it comes time to renew your auto insurance policy always be totally upfront with your insurance company about past speeding tickets,” says Glenn Cooper from Aviva Canada.  “If your insurance company checks your motor vehicle report and find you have not disclosed previous tickets, your rates will likely go up, a claim may be denied or your policy could be cancelled.”

Slow down, make the roads safer, and reduce your chance of getting a ticket. Speeding tickets can and will impact your auto insurance rates. A conviction free driving record may qualify you for a reduction of your insurance premium. So, think before you decide to speed. Being five minute late could save you money, stress and time down the road. This article is for general informational purposes only. More detailed information is available from your insurance broker.

Source:
https://www.avivacanada.com/blog/2017/06-28/speeding-tickets-%E2%80%93-what-they-cost-beyond-fine

What does “No Fault” insurance really mean??

Here’s a common myth: that no-fault auto insurance means no one is at fault. Not so. There are still fault-based rules of the road, enforced by police. If you are at-fault in a collision, your insurance premiums will be affected. Depending on the nature of the collision, you may be charged with an offence. These offences are governed by either provincial motor vehicle legislation or federal legislation such as the Criminal Code of Canada.

No-fault insurance exists to ensure that those injured in a collision receive compensation and benefits from their own insurance company, regardless of fault.

It’s designed to reduce the delays of an adversarial legal (or “tort”) system, and to provide treatment and benefits to injured victims as quickly as possible.

Most provinces in Canada have some form of no-fault accident benefits that are paid to all collision victims. The difference is the degree to which tort (the right to sue) or no-fault (access to accident benefits) is emphasized. For example, Quebec has a pure no-fault system that eliminates the right to sue, but provides substantial accident benefits. Ontario has a “hybrid” system, which blends no-fault and tort.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba have either pure or hybrid no-fault insurance systems. British Columbia, Alberta and the Atlantic provinces have tort-based systems. It is interesting to note that BC consistently has one of the highest incidences of highway injuries and fatalities of any province in Canada.

While some argue that a tort system provides a deterrent against poor driving behaviour, there is no correlation between the type of insurance system and the road safety record of the jurisdiction. There is no evidence that no-fault insurance leads to increased numbers of collisions or fatalities/injuries.

Source:
https://www.avivacanada.com/blog/2014/11-07/fault-or-no-fault-whats-difference