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Looking for that new car? That means looking for insurance, too. When it comes to insurance, auto insurance is often the most expensive. Ontario drivers pay, on average, $1,917 a year on car insurance. BC drivers pay close to $1,429 per year, and Alberta drivers pay $1,372. That’s a good chunk of cash to set aside just to insure your vehicle; however – and fortunately – there are ways to make this amount much more manageable. Here’s a comprehensive overview that will help you save money while still getting the coverage you need—and some of these ideas can be combined to help you save even more.
- Age:Senior drivers enjoy lower auto insurance premiums. So, in several years your premiums will go down.
- Seniors:Check to see if your senior status makes you eligible for an insurance discount through your provider.
- Students: Check to see if your school has an insurance affiliation, or if your insurance provider offers student discounts.
- Driving Course:Completing a driver’s training course can help you reduce your premiums if it is recognized by your provider.
- Being a Second Driver: If you only drive occasionally, you can get added on as a second driver so you won’t have to pay the same rate as a primary driver.
- Claim History:Weigh your options when it comes to submitting claims. Sometimes the amount you get from a small damage claim isn’t worth the increase in your premium. An insurance provider/broker can help you weigh the financial pros and cons.
- Being Married:In most provinces, except Nova Scotia, your insurance premiums may be influenced by your marital status.
- Disabilities:Your insurance company may offer discounts for people with disabilities, too.
- Improving Your Driving Record:A bad driving record can add up, but after three years, your previously incurred tickets are removed from your insurance history. If you steer clear of infractions, you can help your insurance premiums drop.
- Good Student:Did you know that good grades can have a positive impact on your auto insurance rates?
- Retiree Discounts:Check and see if your insurance company offers discounts for retired drivers.
- At-Fault Accidents:Drive safely. Going six years without accidents after you’ve been in an at-fault accident will improve your risk profile and allow your premium to drop back down.
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- Car Insurance Deductibles:If you are an experienced driver, you can increase your car insurance deductibles to lower your premium—but only do this if you can manage higher payments for damages in case of an accident.
- Direct Insurers:Sometimes you can get a better rate on auto insurance when you deal with a direct insurer, like Belairdirect or TD Insurance, because no broker or agent is collecting a commission off of your policy.
- Drop the Glass Coverage:How much does it cost to replace your windshield? If your car has an inexpensive windshield, it may make sense to drop your glass coverage and save that money on your premium.
- Bundle:Some providers offer you a discount when you get multiple types of insurance through them, like home and auto insurance. Bundling your insurance needs can get you a better discount.
- Multiple-Cars-Bundle:Do you have multiple cars to insure? Bundle them and save more on your policy.
- Minimal Coverage:You can adjust your policy to match the value of your vehicle. If you drive an old car that has a lower value, you can cut your policy back to liability only, the minimum coverage required by law. You’ll still be covered if you damage somebody else’s car, but damages on your car will not be covered, which means you won’t have to pay as much each month for your premium.
- Welcome Discount:Some insurers will offer you a welcome discount, which can make a significant difference on the overall amount you spend on insurance.
- Rental Car Rider:You can often add a rental car as a rider to your policy using a policy extension. This may cost you $20 -$30 dollars a year, which is a lot better than the $20/day you pay when renting a car.
- Leverage Your Credit Card: If your credit card insurance includes rental car protection, paying with that card can save you around $20 per day in collision damage waiver fees. You can use a credit card navigator tool to help you find rental car insurance on your credit card.
- Leverage Rental Car Coverage:If your own auto insurance policy covers rental cars, you may be able to save on the collision damage waiver costs for renting a vehicle.
- Location, Location, Location:Car insurance costs different between provinces, but you may also find better rates between varying locations within your province (for instance, Burlington has one of the highest car insurance rates in Ontario). Check for changes in car insurance costs when changing locations, and remember to consider car insurance rates when planning a move, too.
- Short Distance to Work:Reducing the distance that you need drive daily to get to work can save you money on your auto insurance premium. Consider relocating closer to work.
- Private Garage:Do you park in a private or secure garage? Letting your insurance company know that you park in a safe location can lead to lower insurance premiums.
- Shop Around:Don’t feel indebted to your parents’ insurers. Look around, compare prices, and feel free to switch companies when you find a better rate. There are a lot of insurance providers out there, and sometimes they use competitive pricing which means different providers may offer the same policies at vastly different prices. Use online tools or talk to a broker to see who can offer you the right coverage at the best rate. Also reading auto insurance reviews can help you to avoid unexpected pitfalls.
- Loyalty: Staying with one insurer longer can sometimes result in a long-term policy holder discount.
- Annual vs. Monthly Payments:Making annual payments instead of monthly payments can save on administrative costs, which means you could save a lot on your annual premium.
- Annual Review: Our lives are always changing. New discounts could apply to your new situation, so make sure you review your policies and coverage each year.
- Benchmark Your Costs:Consult other insurance consumers in similar situations. Knowing how much they pay can help you find the most cost-friendly providers. You can also use an insurance price comparison tool to compare insurance premiums.
Dashboard Camera: Getting a dashboard camera for your vehicle won’t result in any specific insurance discount, but it can prove you are not-at-fault in the case of an accident, which can protect you from unfair premium increases.
- Pay-As-You-Drive: If you don’t drive much, why not just pay for coverage while you are on the road? You may be able to install a device in your vehicle that will keep track of your driving profile, allowing you to reduce your insurance premiums based on when you drive.
- Winter Tires:You can reduce your insurance premiums by installing winter tires on your car. Insurers know this lowers your risk of getting into an accident, and they reward you accordingly.
- Car Make and Model: Take a look at insurance rates before you buy your car. Some models, like the Toyota Camry, Acura MDX, Toyota RAV4, and Honda Civic, are more expensive to insure because they are more susceptible to theft or are notoriously driven recklessly.
- Anti-Theft System:Installing a certified anti-theft system in your car lowers its risk of theft, which means you can enjoy a lower insurance premium as well.
- Hybrid Vehicles:Thinking of buying a hybrid? You might save more than gas money. Look to see if your insurance company offers discounts for hybrid vehicles when pricing out options.
- Repair Costs: Some cars cost more than others when it comes to repairs. For instance, replacement parts for a Mini Cooper or a BMW cost more than a Ford Focus, which means your insurance rates need to increase to cover those costs.
- Professional Membership: Some insurance companies offer discounts for members of professional organizations, like Certified Management Accountants of Canada or The Air Canada Pilots Association. Make sure you check to see if your professional membership can get you a discount with any specific providers.
- Alumni:Certain insurance providers also form affiliations with Canadian universities (e.g. University of Toronto and McGill University). Check to see if you can get a discounted rate with your alumni status.
- Employee / Union Members:Are you a union member or employee? You may be able to get a discount on your insurance.
- CAA Member:If you are a CAA member, you may be eligible for lower insurance premiums through your provider.
If you are looking for ways to save on your insurance, following these tips will help. For more information about the auto insurance discounts you may be eligible for, check out our periodic table of car insurance savings. Of course, auto insurance isn’t the only insurance expense that can add up. If you are looking for more ways to save on insurance, check out these helpful articles to learn a few 14 things to keep in mind when you are in the market for a new home, as well as a few 44 ways to reduce your home insurance rates when shopping for home insurance.