6 ways to save on car insurance
The key to lowering your premium lies in how you drive, what you drive, and the coverage you choose.
1. Keep a clean driving record
Your driving record helps determine your auto insurance rate. Protect your driving record and you could see savings.
- Maintain a conviction and accident-free track record.
- Take the speed limit seriously. In some cases, speeding and other moving violations may mean you pay more.
2. Choose your vehicle wisely
You might find a great deal on a new car right now, but you might have to brace for sticker shock when you buy your insurance policy. Luxury automobiles can be expensive to insure, for example, because they are more expensive to repair and replace.
- Check your insurance rate before you buy. Call or get a quote online from your insurance company before you buy a new or used car.
- Check your car's rating. Use the Insurance Bureau of Canada's (IBC) How Cars Measure Up to get an idea of which makes/models could cost less to insure.
- Know what thieves want. Check the IBC's Top 10 Most Stolen Cars in Canada.
- Help thwart thieves. In some cases, installing an approved aftermarket immobilizer or purchasing a vehicle with one already installed may help lower your premiums.
3. Rethink how you use your vehicle
Insurance rates vary depending on how much you drive and for what purpose. To keep your insurance costs down:
- Don't take the car everywhere you go. If possible, take public transit or car pool to work.
- Avoid unnecessary long hauls. Keep your annual mileage as low as possible.
4. Review your coverage
There's flexibility in your choice of coverage limits and deductibles, but you do need to be smart about what you choose:
- Carry as much coverage as you need. If you have an old car, for example, consider canceling or reducing your collision and/or comprehensive coverage.
- Consider who drives your car. If possible, remove any high-risk drivers from your policy.
- Increase your deductible. You may pay less for insurance if you're willing to pay a higher deductible should you file a claim.
- Keep your coverage up-to-date. If you've installed a safety or theft-reducing device, you may be eligible for a lower rate.
- Combine your home and auto insurance. If possible, carry both your home and auto policies with one insurer. It could lower both premiums.
- Choose one provider for multiple vehicles. You may reduce your overall premiums by insuring more than one vehicle with the same provider.
- Mind the details. Even a small error in your policy (for example, an incorrect Vehicle Identification Number — or VIN) may mean that you're paying more than you should.
5. Look for discounts
Review your automobile policy annually and hunt for a good deal. And don't forget to ask about discounts.
- If you're a member of a professional group or alumni association, you may qualify for special rates with a particular insurer.
- Your employer may have negotiated a group discount with an insurance provider.
- You may be eligible for special rates if you have both home and automobile insurance policies with a single provider.
6. Speak to your insurance provider
As your life changes, so do your insurance needs. If you haven't spoken to your insurance provider for some time, call to find out about ways to save that make sense for you.