I first moved to Medicine Hat from Saskatchewan, I was quite young, 21 to be exact. Growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan provided me with minimal knowledge on exactly how insurance worked, especially in a non-government province. Who am I kidding, I had no idea there was even a difference between Saskatchewan and Alberta.
I remember my first "getting insurance in Alberta experience" distinctly. The internet was not as well used or useful back then, so I asked around to the few people I knew about where I should go. I walked into that building with a smile, looking forward to finally getting everything switched over.
A lady walked out, called me in through the door like I was going for blood work, asked me for my driver`s license, the proof of ownership for my car, whether I had tickets. She did not make eye contact with me, didn't crack a smile, absolutely no chit-chat... there was nothing. For those who know me, I like a little conversation.
I provided her what she requested. I had brought my Saskatchewan abstract with me, and when she saw I had 3 minor speeding tickets, she GROANED and said, "I guess we need the OTHER BOOK". At the time I had no idea what that meant, now I know she was pulling out the Nordic binder (facility).
She flipped through the pages, manually calculating numbers, never asking me a question. When she was satisfied with everything on her end she looked up at me and said: “Your monthly premium is $500.00, and you have to pay 3 months up front with a certified cheque”. My jaw dropped.
She did not explain what the premium included. Was it liability only? Was it with comprehensive and collision? If it was with comprehensive and collision, what were my deductible options, and if in fact, this included this optional coverage, did I even need it? No questions were asked, and due to being from Saskatchewan (where you get your insurance and registration all at the same place) I had NO idea what my options were and if I even HAD them. I SHOULD have asked questions, but frankly, I didn’t even know WHAT to ask and did not feel like should.
I left feeling deflated. It felt like I had no choice. I went to the bank, got a draft and returned it to the lady. She took it, said my policy would arrive in the mail, gave me a temporary pink card and that was it. I received no education and no direction from her.
A couple months later I was pulled over and given a ticket for no registration…
Fast forward 5 years. I was approached with an opportunity to take over the local State Farm Agency. When I made the decision to make the move I also made it my mission that no person would ever experience what I did - it was "My Why".
There are only so many hours in a day. We can’t educate everyone, but with our newsletter and this blog, my hope is to reach more people. I want our team to share valuable information in PLAIN language and help you make the right choices for your needs. Whether you are currently our client or not, we want everyone to feel educated to make the right decisions.