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We created this periodic table so you have a handy reference for all possible savings opportunities, discounts and tips for buying car insurance. You can download a PDF version of the infographic Cheap Auto Insurance – Periodic Table of Insurance Savings here
Cheap Auto Insurance Ideas: Driver Profile
The first category relates to the driver profile and includes eight saving elements.
Ps: Get a policy as a second driver: If you do not regularly use a car and it is shared between multiple family members, you can look into second driver insurance. This policy is significantly cheaper than a standard policy, but insurance companies look attentively at these policies to ensure that there is no insurance fraud (such as young drivers using this option to get cheaper insurance when registering as second driver, while being the main driver).
Pt: Avoid tickets and maintain clear driving record: The more tickets or documented accidents you have on your record, the more expensive your policy will be, reaching sometimes several hundred percent when compared to a standard policy. An average rate for somebody with a clean driving record in Ontario is $151/month whereas an average rate for somebody with more than 2 violations in the last 3 years or license suspension in the last 6 years is $271/month. Interested to find out more about rates for high-risk auto insurance?
Pa: Growing up: As you get older, your insurance premiums go down. Young drivers pay the highest premiums since they are believed to represent a higher risk on the road. According to our data, somebody in age of 56 – 60 age range pays almost 2 times less those aged 25 – 30 ($141/month and $236/month – insurance rates in Ontario) .
Pm: Being married: Being married can further reduce your insurance premiums in a number of provinces as married people, especially those with children, tend to be safer drivers.
Pr: Retirement/Seniors: Being a senior definitively pays off in auto insurance. Some insurance companies, such as Grey Power, offer special discounts to seniors.
Pd: Disability: Some companies offer discounts to drivers with disabilities. An example of such a company is ICBC in British Columbia with a 25% disability discount. ICBC says, “If you’ve been approved for a fuel tax refund under the B.C. government’s Fuel Tax Refund Program for Persons with Disabilities, you may also qualify for a 25% discount on your Basic Autoplan”. See Discounts and savings at ICBC
Pg: Being a woman: Statistically, women appear to be safer drivers than men (based on major accidents) and thus they often enjoy lower insurance rates.
Pl: Being a student: Some companies, such as State Farm, have customized policies with discounts for students.
Cheap Auto Insurance Ideas: Insurance Policy
The second category describes your insurance policy and associated features. Here are six elements showing ways you can save money:
Id: Increasing deductibles: You may consider increasing your deductible if you feel that you are able to cover higher payments in case of an accident. You will be rewarded with lower insurance rates.
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Ir: Getting a rental car rider: That’s a very useful feature if you occasionally rent a car. If you purchase rental car insurance from a rental company, it will cost you around $20 per day. Often you can buy an additional rider for your auto insurance that costs around $20/year and ensures that your auto insurance also covers your rental cars. Some auto insurance providers, like TD Insurance, already covers your rental car without buying an additional rider.
Ig: Dropping glass coverage: Sometimes it is meaningful to drop glass coverage if your car has an inexpensive windshield. You might be paying more in case of an accident if you combine both your additional monthly premiums and deductibles. Each situation should be analyzed separately.
It: Completing a training course for drivers: Many companies will grant you some kind of discount if you can demonstrate successful completion of a driver’s course.
Ib: Getting an insurance bundle: A multi-policy auto insurance policy may be cheaper than separate policies for each car in the household. Also, if you bundle home and auto insurance, most insurance companies reward you with a discount. Find out more about insurance bundles and multi-car insurance in our Knowledge Center.
Cheap Auto Insurance Ideas: Location
The third category of savings describes the impact of location on your insurance premiums. This category includes four elements.
Lp: Living in a province with lower insurance premiums: Insurance rates among different provinces vary significantly. The lowest monthly insurance premiums are obtained in QC (~76/month), PEI (~$54/month), NB (~$94/month), NL (~62/month) and NS (~$54/month). The province with the highest car insurance premiums is Ontario (~$160/month).
Ll: Moving to a location with cheaper insurance rates: Having a car in some locations is cheaper than in others. For example, getting a car insurance policy for a car located in Brampton, ON can be quite expensive. The differences are often driven by the history of claims, cases of car theft and frequency of accidents in various neighbourhoods.
Ld: Having a short distance to work: Living close to work means your daily commute is short and thus chances of an accident are lower than somebody with a long commute. Insurance companies recognize this with slightly lower premiums.
Lg: Storing a car in a garage: If you store your car in a private garage, the risk of theft or damage is lower than for somebody who parks one the street. That is recognized with lower premiums. It is even better if your garage has a monitored security service.
Cheap Auto Insurance Ideas: Insurance-related habits
The fourth category of savings opportunities deals with insurance-related habits and includes six elements:
Hs: Shopping around: Comparing results across multiple providers and platforms, including InsurEye, will allow you to find the best insurance rates.
Hc: Having a clean claims history: If you have not claimed anything in the past, insurance companies consider you to be a lower risk and will probably reward you with lower insurance rates. In some cases, you might consider fixing a few scratches on your car without making an insurance claim. Also, do not forget deductibles that you will be required to pay if you make a claim.
Hl: Being a loyal insurance customer: Some insurers reward their long-term insurance clients with better insurance rates.
Hf: Adjusting payment frequency: Some insurers may reward their customers for using an annual payment model instead of monthly since it saves them on administrative costs such as billing and insurance statements.
Ha: Completing an annual review: Your vehicle loses value every year and thus, from a particular moment, it might be not feasible to get a full protection. You might only get insurance policy elements that are important for you (e.g. accident benefits) or required by law (e.g. liability).
Hb: Benchmarking your cost: Comparing your insurance premiums with other people can offer very interesting insights and revelations. Some insurance companies are focusing on particular customer segments e.g. seniors, high-risk drivers and young drivers. Asking others what they pay or using online tools such as an insurance premiums comparison chart can inform your decisions. Also a handy InsurEye tool can help to find out if you overpay for your insurance.
Cheap Auto Insurance Ideas: Vehicle and its Features
The fifth category of opportunities deals with insurance savings resulting from your vehicle and its features. It includes eight savings elements:
Cm: Choosing a car make and model: Insurance rates for different vehicles vary. It does not always directly relate to the vehicle price, but also to insurance claim history and theft history associated with each vehicle.
Ca: Installing an anti-theft system: A car that is protected by an anti-theft or alarm system has a lower chance to be stolen and thus, insurers might reward it with lower insurance rates.
Cw: Using winter tires: Driving in snow without proper winter tires is quite dangerous as many drivers in Ontario experienced last year. Some insurance companies recognize the use of winter tires with an insurance discount.
Ch: Choosing a hybrid vehicle: Hybrid vehicles might be a better option not only for nature, but also for your wallet when considering insurance costs. Some insurers have special pricing related to hybrid vehicles.
Cu: Avoiding extra vehicle upgrades: Many significant upgrades might increase the value of your vehicle and should be mentioned to your insurance provider. Otherwise you’d be running the danger of upgrades not being reflected your vehicle’s price when submitting your claim. Avoiding any significant upgrades, on the contrary, means that coverage will be more reasonable.
Cy: Considering vehicle year: Insurance premiums for a new vehicle vs. 2 – 3 years old and vs. 10 years old differ significantly for the same car make and model. Be careful though; when a vehicle becomes too old, it might start falling into the category of classical cars and that results in significantly higher costs. Find out more about classic car insurance in our Knowledge Center
Cp: Switching to pay-as-you-drive insurance: Pay-as-you-drive is an innovative insurance solution that adjusts your insurance rates based on your driving pattern. This pattern is being captured through either a special device installed in your car or through your smartphone. Some companies cater this solution to high-risk driver categories such as young drivers. Find out more about pay-as-you-drive insurance in our Knowledge Center.
Cd: Installing a dashboard camera: Another high-tech car feature is a dashboard camera which captures what’s happening in front of your vehicle (sometimes also behind and in the vehicle as well). Such cameras typically cost between $50 and $300 dollars and can clarify an accident situation, which, if you are not at fault, can help you avoid insurance premium spikes after your claim. Find out more about dashboard camera and insurance in our Knowledge Center.
Cheap Auto Insurance Ideas: Memberships
The sixth and the final category of savings relates to different memberships. This includes five savings elements:
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Mc: Being a CAA member: If you are a CAA member you can expect insurance discounts through several insurance companies, and of course with CAA as well.
Mc: Having a professional membership: Many insurance providers offer special discounts for professional groups such as teachers and doctors. Examples of companies that do this are Meloche Monnex (TD Insurance), and Johnson Insurance (RSA Insurance).
Ma: Being an alumni: If you have graduated from a particular university you can expect some insurance discounts. That includes institutions such as e.g. University of Toronto or McGill University.
Me: Having a particular employer: Working for particular companies comes with some insurance benefits since these companies agreed with insurers on discounts, given the amount of people they employ. Check if your employer has something like this in place.
Mu: Being a union member: Members of some unions may get some insurance discounts. If you are a part of a union, check with your representative to see if there is a way to save a money on your insurance.