Do you want to spend more on auto insurance? Of course not!
Okay, we admit it. We didn't really conduct a poll to ask Canadians if they wanted to spend more on auto insurance. That would be downright silly. After all, when you spend an average of $1,505 per vehicle on Ontario auto insurance coverage and $1,316 for Alberta car insurance, I think we can all agree it's a lot of money and it would be nice to spend less. No poll necessary!
But how exactly can you go about lowering your car insurance premiums? We've got this one for you. Because when virtually everyone wants to spend less, there has to be a way to maximize your savings, right? Right!
Let's Start with The Car(s) In Your Driveway
1. Are all your vehicles insured under one policy?
If you own more than one vehicle, most car insurance companies offer a multi-vehicle discount to customers who insure more than one car on the same policy. This discount can bring you savings typically in the range of 10 to 20 percent.
2. Does having collision and/or comprehensive coverage still make sense?
If your car is getting up there in age, you may want to think about dropping some of the optional coverages you may have on your policy.
Collision coverage, for example, pays for repairs to your vehicle resulting from an accident. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by things like fire and theft. Both have a deductible usually to the tune of $500 to $1,000. The thing is though, if you have an older car that's not worth a lot you may find that these coverages aren't really all that helpful after paying the deductible.
It's a balancing act and a personal choice but it's an option worth considering if your vehicle is approaching its adolescence. The good news is, you don't have to make the decision on your own. Talk to your insurance provider and they can walk you through what dropping one, or both, of these coverages would mean.
3. What are your collision and comprehensive coverage deductibles set at?
If driving without collision and comprehensive coverage sounds like a bad idea, or it just doesn't make sense to drop these coverages yet, turn your attention to your deductible.
A deductible is the portion of an insurance claim you agree to pay on your own. Your insurance company picks up the rest. Generally speaking, the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your insurance rate. If, for example, your collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 increasing them to $1,000 could help you save between five and 10 percent. However, it's important that you set your deductibles to an amount that you can comfortably afford in the event of a claim.
4. Does your insurer know you change your tires seasonally?
Winter tires are a great way to tackle the winter season safely, and in Ontario, having them will ensure you get a discount, usually in the neighbourhood of about five percent. The Ontario winter tire auto insurance discount has been in place since 2016 and all insurers in the province must offer it to drivers who swap out their all-season tires to winter tires when the temperatures drop. Outside of Ontario, the winter tire discount may be available too, but it will vary by insurer.
5. Is it time to buy a new, or new to you, car?
New or used, what you drive factors into your car insurance rate. Cars that are more likely to be stolen or cost more to repair or replace, for example, may be more expensive to insure. So when shopping for a new car, keep in mind to shop for insurance too.
Now Let's Move Beyond the Car You Drive
6. Bundle your policies. The more the merrier!
If you get your home insurance from the same company that covers your auto you'll usually get what's called a multi-line discount. This discount is an easy way to save five to 15 percent off your combined premiums. But don't stop there! See if there's additional savings to be had if you own a motorcycle, RV, trailer, ATV, or snowmobile too.
7. Ask your provider for lower premiums through discounts.
There are loads of auto insurance discounts that can help you save on your auto insurance but only if you know about them. Ask your insurance provider for a list of their discounts as there may be opportunities to save money that you didn't know existed and that your provider didn't know to offer you.
Is one of your kids on the honour roll? There's the Good Student Discount that may be available. Is your student attending an out-of-town college or university? Since they only come home on the occasional weekend to do laundry, you may qualify for a Student Away at School discount. Have you recently signed up for a roadside assistance program? There's often a discount for that too.
8. There's a new discount (sort of) in town!
Have you heard of usage-based insurance? Usage-based car insurance (UBI) can save you typically five to 10 percent just for signing up, with additional savings of up to 25 percent for good drivers. Basically, it's a device you plug into your car that then monitors things like how fast you accelerate and brake, the time of day you're typically on the road, trip duration, and speed. It's ideal for drivers who consistently stick to safe driving practices when behind the wheel.
9. Nothing stays the same and the same goes for your insurance.
Life events like getting married, moving, adding teen drivers to your policy, or changing jobs (or retiring) are all times when you should check in on your rates to make sure your current provider is still giving you the best deal on car insurance. Car insurance rates often change and the company who provided you the best rate five years ago or even last year, may no longer offer you the best deal today.
10. Shop around
Car insurance coverage may be standard throughout your province, but insurance premiums are another story. Insurance premiums 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 price for your policy is to shop around and Kanetix.ca makes this easy-peasy to do.
Spend a few quick minutes completing our brief questionnaire and we will show you the lowest rates for car insurance. We work with over 50 of Canada's top insurance providers, so you can be confident you are getting the best deal.