The more you know about how insurance works, the more you'll be able to shave off your premiums. Follow these simple tips and you'll know how to unlock the ways to maximize your car insurance savings.
1. Insure all your cars on the same policy
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. Bundle your auto and home insurance policies
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.
3. 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 change their tires seasonally. Outside of Ontario, the winter tire discount may be available too, but it will vary by insurer.
4. Ask about discounts
There are oodles of auto insurance discounts that can help you save on your auto insurance. Ask your insurer for their list because you never know how the details about your life could save you money. Have a smarty pants in the family? There's the Good Student Discount that may be available. Is your child away at college or university? If they only drive the car when home visiting, some insurers offer a Student Away At School Discount. Have you recently signed up for a roadside assistance program? There's often a discount for that too.
5. Increase your deductibles
In a nutshell, the higher your deductibles, the lower your insurance premiums. Insurance was really meant to cover damages you could never afford on your own. If you switch your deductibles from $500 to $1,000 you'll likely save between five and 10 percent. Make sure it's affordable though because in the event of a claim, the deductible is the portion you have to pay.
6. Older car? It may be time to rethink your collision and/or comprehensive coverage
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. You need to think about this one though as it's not always a clear-cut decision. You need to weigh the cost of the coverage with the value of your car and your chosen deductibles. For example, if you have a 10-year old car that's worth $1,000 and your deductible are set to $1,000, that coverage is not going to be worth a hoot.
7. Pay your premium all at once, rather than in monthly instalments
Many companies charge a little extra to cover the cost of administering payments every month, so if you can afford to pay your premium annually, rather than monthly, at the end of the day you'll pay less for your coverage.
8. 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 premium over the years.
9. Consider a usage-based insurance program
A usage-based car insurance (UBI) program 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 that 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. UBI programs can only help lower your rate, it cannot be used to increase what you pay.
10. Drive a "low-risk" car
Insurance rates for cars are based on the claims history for that vehicle. The more likely a car is to be stolen, for example, the more you'll pay for insurance. If you are in the market to buy a new car, Kanetix.ca makes it easy to see which cars cost more (or less) to insure.
11. 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 too.
12. New driver? Take a driver's training course
Most insurance companies offer a discount to newly licensed drivers who have completed an approved driver training course in the last 3 years. Safer drivers pay lower insurance rates.
13. Check in on your car insurance rates as your life changes
Life events like getting married, moving, adding teen drivers to your policy, or changing jobs (or retiring) are all key 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, two years ago or even last year, may no longer offer you the best deal today.
14. Have an anti-theft device installed in your car
Some insurance companies recognize 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 this 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 in your car, insurance companies will take this into account when determining your rate.
15. Shop around
Car 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 price for your policy is to compare, compare, compare. Kanetix.ca makes it easy for you to compare car insurance quotes for a better price. It's easy, secure and free.