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 know how to unlock the ways to maximize your car insurance savings.
1. Make sure all your cars are on the same policy
Most car 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 or 20 per cent.
2. 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 discount as an incentive to get your property insurance business too. It's all perfectly legal and it's a great way to get another five to 15 per cent off your premiums.
3. Change your tires seasonally
Did you know that consumers who use winter tires could save up to five per cent with some insurance companies? With winter tires, not only can you benefit from cheaper car insurance but your vehicle will be equipped with tires designed specifically for driving on ice and snow.
- Did you know? Starting January 1, 2016 all Ontario car insurance companies must give Ontario drivers who change their tires seasonally a discount. Learn more about it and read: Ontario Drivers To Get Winter Tire Insurance Discount
4. Ask about discounts
Discounts are a great way to save money on your auto insurance. Ask your insurer for their list of discounts 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. Park in a private garage at night? Some insurers offer a Preferred Parking discount if where you park means your vehicle is less likely to be stolen or vandalized.
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 a $500 deductible to a $1000 deductible you'll save between five and 10 per cent. Make sure it's affordable though; in the event of a claim, the deductible is the portion you have to pay.
6. 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's worth $1000, and your deductible was $1000, that collision coverage is not going to be worth a hoot.
7. Pay your premium all at once, rather than in monthly installments
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.
- Related Read: Traffic Tickets, Fender-Benders And Your Car Insurance
9. Consider a usage-based insurance program
A usage-based car insurance (UBI) program can save you typically five to 10 per cent just for signing up, with additional savings of up to 25 per cent for good drivers. Basically, how it works is that the UBI program monitors your driving habits; for example, it takes into account how fast you accelerate and brake, the time of day you're typically on the road, trip duration, and speed, among other factors. UBI programs can only help lower your rate; it cannot be used to increase what you pay.
- Did you know? You can take UBI for a test drive. To see if a telematics program could help you pay less, try Kanetix's free DriveSmart app for Apple or Android, which will give you an indication of whether or not you could receive savings through a UBI program.
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, the more you'll pay for insurance. If you are buying a new car, Kanetix.ca makes it easy to see which cars cost more (or less) to insure. Let us help make your purchase decision easier. Compare car insurance quotes for multiple vehicles, side by side.
- Related Read: Auto Theft-The 10 Most Stolen Cars In Canada
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.
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.
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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 "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 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 and shops the market for you. Compare car insurance quotes today for a better price. It's easy, secure and free.