Top 10 Secrets to Cheaper Auto Insurance

Ok. So maybe they’re not secrets, but they sure aren’t common knowledge either. The more you know about how insurance works, the more you’ll be able to save off your premiums. Follow these simple tips and you’ll not only become a more informed consumer, but you’ll have everything you need to know to maximize your savings.

1. Get a quote and apply online

Auto insurance coverage may be standard throughout your province, but insurance premiums are another story. Coverage from one company to the next can vary by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. The only way to make sure you are getting the best base price for your policy is to compare, compare, compare.

2. Make sure all your cars are on the same policy

Most companies offer a “multi-vehicle discount” for customers who insure more than one car on the same policy.

3. Insure both your car and home with the same company

Again, this will qualify you for a multi-line discount. Companies offer this savings as an incentive to get your property insurance business too. It’s all perfectly legal and it’s a great way to get another discount off your premiums.

4. Increase your deductibles

In a nutshell, the higher your deductibles, the lower your insurance premiums. Insurance was really meant to cover you for damages you could never afford on your own. If you can afford a $1,000 repair job, then raise your deductibles to $1,000 and pay less insurance.

5. Older Car? Think about dropping your collision coverage

If your car is getting up there in age, you may want to think about dropping the collision coverage on your policy. You need to think about this one though—it’s not always a clear-cut decision. You need to weigh the cost of the collision coverage with the value of your car and your chosen deductibles. For example, if you had a 10-year-old car that was worth about $1,000, and your deductible was $1,000, that collision coverage is not going to be worth a hoot.

6. Drive Carefully

Your driving record is one of the most influential factors in determining your insurance rate. Tickets affect your insurance rates for up to three years and accidents stay on your record for at least six! With a bad driving record, you can find yourself paying a lot of extra premiums over the years.

7. Don’t drive to work

The more you are on the road, the higher your chances of getting in an accident. Insurance rates are higher for people who commute to work. So taking the bus or sharing a ride will not only help you save on parking and gas, but will help lower your insurance premiums.

8. Drive a “Low-Risk” Car

Insurance rates for cars are based on the previous claims history for that vehicle. The more likely a car is to be stolen or in an accident, the more you pay for insurance. If you are buying a new car, check with you local vehicle information centre or compare quotes to see how your dream-car rates. This may influence your purchase.

9. New Driver? Take a Driver’s Training Course

Licensed drivers who have completed an approved drivers training course in the last three years often pay lower premiums. Safer drivers pay lower insurance rates.

10. Have an Anti-Theft Device Installed

Your car is less likely to be stolen if you have an anti-theft device installed in your vehicle. Check to see if your company offers an “alarm or anti-theft discount” and consider if the price of the device is worth the added savings over the years. If you already have an approved, factory installed alarm, this will be taken into account when determining your rate.

*From Car Keys magazine (March 2015)