In short, the answer is yes. Auto insurance rates appear to be on the rise.
For the first time since 2006 when Kanetix.ca introduced the quarterly auto insurance premium study, a 1.5 per cent increase in the average of the lowest auto insurance premium quoted to shoppers was noted. (To read the study's press release, click "For the first time, Kanetix study sees increase in auto insurance premiums in Q3 2007".)
The study looked at the lowest car insurance quote obtained by Ontario insurance shoppers during the months of July, August and September of 2007, came up with the average, and compared it to the same for 2006.
Thus far, shoppers had enjoyed a year-over-year decrease in the rates they were quoted. That was then, because now for the first time ever, Kanetix.ca recorded an increase of 1.5%.
For the last while, the insurance industry has found themselves in what is commonly called a "soft market". A soft insurance market is typically characterized by a strong focus on building new business, where insurance companies aggressively market their products in an attempt to attract new customers. Often this is accomplished by offering innovative features and discounts, and most importantly, lowering rates. Kanetix.ca's study suggests that this soft market is "hardening", and that insurance consumers may soon get dinged with higher auto insurance premiums.
Compare car insurance quotes from competing insurance companies to find the best auto insurance rate.
If your insurance starts to creep up in price, what can you do? The following are some tips that will help you keep your auto insurance premiums as low as they can be:
Make sure all your cars are on the same policy
Most insurance companies offer a "Multi-vehicle discount" for customers who insure more than one car on the same policy. This can bring you a savings of up to 10 per cent off both cars.
Insure both your car and home with the same company
Again, this will qualify you for a discount called the "Multi-line discount". Most companies offer this savings as an incentive to get your property insurance business too. It's a great way to get usually another five per cent off your premiums.
Ask about other discounts you might be able to get
Other than the multi-vehicle and multi-line discounts, other common discounts include the:
- Age discount: A discount on your insurance as you pass certain age milestones. If available, the qualifying age differs from insurer to insurer.
- Anti-theft discount: Obtainable if your vehicle has certain anti-theft devices installed.
- Low mileage discount: Available if your vehicle is not driven often.
- Occupational discount: Offered if you work in a certain field or hold a certain degree.
- Auto club discount: Available if you are a member of an auto club, like CAA.
While the availability of discounts will vary depending on your insurer, where you live and whether you meet the eligibility requirements, asking about them could save you significant money.
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 $1000 repair job, then raise your deductibles to $1000 and pay less for your insurance.
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 $1000, and your deductible was $1000, that collision coverage is not going to be worth much.
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.
Compare car insurance quotes to see if you could save money on your auto insurance premiums.