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The Ultimate List on How To Save on Car Insurance – Over 37 Genius Ways!

May 19, 2016


There are many ways to save money on your car insurance. In fact, we’ve identified 37 of them. Some of the tips could even save you as much as $700. Take a moment and think about what that $700 could mean to you; maybe it could go towards that vacation you need, or that new laptop you’ve got your eye on. Read on to see what tips could help you save money on your car insurance today.

1. Shop around online and compare quotes
Did you know that on average InsuranceHotline.com customers save up to $700 after shopping their car insurance rates? Shopping around will likely net you the biggest savings on your car insurance, and it takes less than 10 minutes to do. Compare quotes in no time even while cooking dinner or during long commercial breaks!

2. Pay per year, not per month
If you pay your premiums monthly, chances are you end up paying more than drivers who pay their premium in one lump sum. The reason is because many companies charge a little extra to cover the cost of administering payments every month, so if you can pay your premiums in full you’ll avoid these pesky extra fees.

3. Buy a vehicle with the insurance costs in mind
The car you choose to drive is a factor in what you pay for car insurance; some simply cost more to insure. Is the car more likely to be stolen? Is it more expensive to repair? How well does it protect you and your passengers if involved in a collision? The answers to these questions are all taken into consideration and your insurance rates will reflect it.

The Experts Weigh In:
Personal finance expert, Sean Cooper recommends that when you buy a vehicle you consider the cost of coverage, but admits that “many drivers don’t consider the insurance premiums” when they go to make the purchase.

 

4. Encourage new drivers to take a driver’s education course
New drivers who take, and pass, an approved driver’s training course save on their insurance premiums because they’re learning how to be safe and responsible drivers. These are lessons that will pay off for the rest of their life.

 

5. Winter Tires
Winter tires make driving in the winter safer; they offer up to 50 per cent or more traction than all-seasons. Having more control of your vehicle during the cold, snowy winter is worth the investment, and that’s why many insurers offer drivers a winter tire discount (in Ontario this discount is available from all insurers). This discount can be as much as five per cent.

 

6. Increase your deductible
You’ll save money on your policy each year, and if you don’t make a claim over the years, then that is money saved. Be careful though; a higher deductible means that if you do have to submit a claim, you will pay more out of pocket. Don’t set your deductibles so high that it will cause financial stress.

 

The Experts Weigh In:
Frugal Trader adds to this thought: If you have some cash savings, then check out the price difference in premiums if you increase your deductible. This essentially means that in the case that you need to make a claim with your insurance provider, you’ll pay a little more out of pocket. Increasing your deductible from $500-$1000 should decrease your premiums by 5-10%.

7. Sign up for Usage Based Insurance (UBI)
A 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.

8. Be a member of a roadside assistance program
Having roadside assistance is not only helpful when you’re in a jam on the side of the road in need of help, it’s also a way you could save on car insurance as some insurers will offer you a discount for eligible programs.

9. Seek out alumni, professional or employer group discounts
Graduates can maximize their savings on auto insurance because many schools, especially post-secondary schools, take part in a group insurance program. Same goes for many professional associations, societies and employers.

The Experts Weigh In:
Robin Taub, explained to InsuranceHotline recently, that she gets “preferred rates for being a Chartered Professional Accountant.”

That’s why, when comparing quotes at InsuranceHotline.com, it’s important to make sure you include any affiliations you, or your family, may have.

10. Bundle your policies
Notice how you save by bundling your home services like cable, phone, and Internet? You can do that with your insurance too! Buying your home insurance from the same insurer who covers your auto insurance will likely qualify you for the multi-line discount. This discount, which may apply to one, or sometimes even both policies will usually range from five to 15 per cent.

11. Review your coverage regularly
Each year, review your optional coverages to make sure they still make sense to keep. For example, if you drive an older car how much exactly are you paying for collision coverage? Comprehensive coverage? And, given the value of the car (and the deductible) does it still make sense to have these optional coverages? Another example is the optional “Rental Car” coverage. If you no longer rent cars as much or perhaps have coverage available through your credit card, then maybe it’s time to remove this from your policy.

12. Verify the details of your policy
Look over your policy to see if there are details in there that are inaccurate. For example, does it accurately reflect your daily commute and annual kilometres driven?

13. Keep it in the family!
Insurance companies offer a “multi-vehicle discount” to customers who insure all vehicles in the same household under the same policy. This discount usually comes in at about 10 per cent, off each vehicle’s premium.

14. Have you revoked your child’s driving privileges? Consider excluding them from your policy.
If you’ve pulled your child’s driving privileges, and don’t intend to ever allow them to drive your car, you may be able to exclude them from being covered under your policy. If available (not all insurers offer this option), the drivers who have been excluded will not be insured to drive your car ever at any time. For example, they would not be insured to drive your vehicle in an emergency or even if you’ve given permission. There are no exceptions.

15. Install an anti-theft device in your car
New cars nowadays come with a factory-installed alarm, but if you’re driving a vehicle without one, it might be worth the investment; not only will it mean your car is less likely to be stolen, but it could also net you a five per cent discount on your comprehensive premium (which is one part of your car insurance rate.)

 

16. Park in a garage or private driveway
The safer you keep your car, the cheaper it is to insure. Some insurers offer a Preferred Parking discount if where you park at night means your vehicle is less likely to be stolen or vandalized.

17. Drive carefully
It goes without saying, but everything else being equal, drivers with no at fault accidents or tickets will pay less for insurance than a driver with a spotty record. Drive carefully and spend less on your auto insurance.

18. Save some green by going green!
If you fancy a hybrid or electric car, it may qualify for a car insurance discount off your premium that can range from five to 10 per cent. So not only will your eco-friendly ride save you at the pump, it may also help you save on your car insurance.

19. 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.

 

20. Instead of buying a second car, consider a rental
If you only occasionally need a second car, instead of buying another vehicle that’s only going to sit in the driveway most of the time, why not consider renting? Not only will you save on insurance, you’ll also save on the cost of the purchase and maintenance too.

21. Consider car sharing services too
Services like ZipCar, Car2Go and AutoShare are great options for drivers or families in need of a second (or third) car. You’ll save on the added insurance and all of the associated expenses of owning a car.

22. Rent your car out with Turo
This is not a way to save on insurance, but it is a way you can earn money from your car. A company called Turo is like an Airbnb for cars. Basically you can list your car and someone can rent it with your approval. The service is currently available in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

There is a catch. Most auto insurance policies in Canada won’t cover personal vehicles for commercial purposes; however, there are a couple of auto insurers who have modified their guidelines to accommodate this type of peer-to-peer rental: Intact and belairdirect (both who are available through InsuranceHotline.com).

If you’re thinking about joining Turo, you’ll need a policy from one of these two companies, and they’ll need to know your plans because the Turo-friendly guidelines are not automatically a part of your policy; they need to be added.

23. To be loyal or not to be, that is the question
Loyalty discounts are a real thing, and if you stay with the same insurance company and continually renew, there are savings to be had. But the loyalty discount only truly works if your current insurer is still the one that offers you the best rate.

Don’t be afraid to look into other options by shopping around and becoming another insurance company’s loyal customer instead, as many will try to woo you with “new business” discounts to offset any loyalty discount you may currently benefit from.

24. Compare apples-to-apples when shopping around
When you compare car insurance rates, make sure you’re consistent and include the same deductibles, coverages (like collision and comprehensive), and limitations so you’re comparing like-rates. At comparison sites like InsuranceHotline.com where you can actually compare competing rates online, this is done for you.

The Experts Weigh In:
Stephan Weyman of HowToSaveMoney.ca agrees. “Spend some time analysing the policies you’re given,” he says. “You’ll want to ensure you are comparing apple to apples.”

25.Moving? Decide if your insurer will move with you
We’re not advising you to move out of your lovely home to save on car insurance, but if you’re in the market for a new home, or plan to move in the future, don’t assume that your current car insurer will continue to offer you the best rate in your new neighbourhood. Chances are your car insurance rate will change, which means that another insurer may now offer you the best deal on car insurance. After you’ve settled in to your new residence, make sure you’re still getting the best rate out there and compare quotes.

26. Consider the benefits of a dashboard camera
Dashboard cameras on their own won’t lower your insurance rates, but the footage can be helpful in multiple situations including a car accident, theft, getting out of a ticket, or fighting insurance fraud.

27. Steer clear of car modifications
You might want to pimp your ride, but if you do, you may end up paying more for your coverage depending on the modification. Non-performance enhancements, valued in the neighbourhood of $1500 or less (the number varies by insurer) typically won’t affect your rate; but if they’re worth more, you may find your premiums increase—after all, you’ve increased the value of your car.

Performance enhancing modifications, on the other hand, make your car go above and beyond what it was designed to do, which means it can no longer be rated the same as a non-modified factory-built vehicle. If you make performance enhancing types of changes, they’re going to affect your car insurance rate and potentially your coverage.

28. Improve your driving record
Maybe you’ve gotten a speeding ticket or two, or been in a collision that has hiked up your insurance rate. The only thing you can do is wait for your record to clear, so learn from your mistakes and drive carefully going forward.

29. Don’t have a lapse in insurance
Keep your insurance going for as long as possible. If there is a gap in your coverage, it could impact your premiums. Even if you don’t regularly drive, it’s always best to be listed as an occasional driver to build up, or maintain, your insurance history.

30. Pay your bills on time
An insurer can cancel your policy for non-payment, which can result in substantially higher premiums going forward. Keep your premiums in check, by paying them each month.

31. Tie the knot
Getting married can be really expensive, but there are savings to be had for married and common law couples. Couples that consolidate their insurance policies may qualify for a multi-vehicle discount and now only need one property insurance policy.

32. Be choosy who drives your vehicle
You can pick who can and can’t drive your vehicle, so be picky! Because, if you lend your car to a friend, you’re lending them your insurance too.

33. Don’t drive year round? Amend your policy for the time it’s in storage
If you’re not driving your vehicle year round, you can amend your policy and keep the comprehensive insurance on it to protect it against damage and theft. Storage insurance is typically for the following:

      • You have a “summer only” car
      • You’re leaving the country to travel or work for several months
      • You’re a snowbird that takes off for warmer weather come winter and leaves the car behind
      • You prefer not to drive in the winter

Remember though, if you do this you’ re not covered to drive on the roads. When you want to take your car out of storage you’ll need to give your insurer a call to make sure you have all of the legally required coverages.

34. Get your full, unrestricted licence as soon as possible
With a clean driving record, a driver with a full unrestricted licence will typically pay less for insurance than someone who hasn’t yet passed the final road test.

35. Have a smarty pants in the family? Let your insurer know
It’s true that new, young drivers can be expensive to insure, but a young driver can easily save money by hitting the books. Some insurance companies offer a “good student” discount. It may apply to college and university students as well, and simply requires that the student maintain a specific average and provide transcripts as evidence.

36. When your child goes away to school, it’s time to call your insurer
If you’ve got a college or university-bound child, and the school is out of town, you may be able to benefit from a “student-away at school” discount. This discount recognizes the fact that your young driver no longer has regular, easy access to your car, which often results in lower premiums.

 

37.Keep your insurer in the loop about your retirement plans
If you’ve retired, or plan to soon, make sure you call into your provider to let them know that you’re giving up the daily commute for good. Since you’ll be spending less time on the road, you may qualify for a lower rate. Plus, you may also end up qualifying for a retiree discount!

There you have it! Chances are, you already do a few of these things, but for those of you that may not have known about some of these options, it may help you to save even more.

If you have any great ways to save on car insurance that we didnt mention – please share it in the comments!