Do you want to spend more on auto insurance? Of course not.
Okay, we admit it. We didn't conduct a poll to ask Canadians if they wanted to spend less on auto insurance. That would be silly. After all, when you spend an average of $1,664 per vehicle on Ontario auto insurance and about $1,316 for Alberta car insurance, I think we can all agree it's a lot of money. No poll is necessary.
When virtually everyone wants to pay less for car insurance premiums, there must be ways to save on the coverage you need. There are ways, and we’ve rounded up 10 of the most popular means to keep your premium at bay.
Let's start with the car(s) in your driveway
1. Are all your vehicles insured under one policy?
If you own more than one vehicle, most car insurance companies offer a multi-vehicle discount to customers who insure all their vehicles on the same policy. This discount will typically save you in the range of 10-20%.
2. Does having collision and comprehensive coverage still make sense?
If your car has seen its fair share of mileage, you may want to think about dropping some of the coverage options you may have on your policy.
Collision coverage, for example, pays for repairs to your vehicle resulting from an accident you’re found to be partly to blame for causing. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage caused by things like fire and theft. Both have a deductible usually to the tune of $500 to $1,000. Depending on your car’s value, you may find these coverages aren't all that helpful after you’ve paid the deductible.
It's a balancing act and a personal choice, but it's an option worth considering. The good news is you don't have to decide on your own. Talk to your insurance provider, and they can walk you through what dropping one or both coverage options would mean.
3. What are your collision and comprehensive coverage deductibles?
If driving without collision and comprehensive coverage sounds like a bad idea, or it just doesn't make sense to drop these coverage options yet, turn your attention to your selected deductibles.
A deductible is the portion of an insurance claim you agree to pay on your own. Your insurance company picks up the rest. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower your insurance rate because you’re taking on more financial responsibility in the event of a claim.
If, for example, your collision and comprehensive deductibles are set to $500, increasing them to $1,000 could help you save between 5-10%. However, it's important you set your deductibles to an amount that you can comfortably afford.
4. Does your insurer know you change your tires seasonally?
Winter tires are a great way to tackle the winter season safely. In Ontario, having winter tires will ensure you get a discount, usually in the neighbourhood of about 5%. The Ontario winter tire auto insurance discount has been in place since 2016, and all insurers must offer it to drivers who swap out their all-season tires to winter tires when the temperatures drop. Outside of Ontario, the winter tire discount may be available too, but it will vary by insurer.
5. Is it time to buy a new, or new to you, car?
New or used, what you drive factors into your car insurance rate. Cars that are more likely to be stolen or cost more to repair or replace, for example, may be more expensive to insure. When shopping for a new car, keep in mind to shop for insurance too.
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Now let's move beyond the car you drive
6. Bundle your policies. The more the merrier!
If you get your home insurance from the same company that covers your auto, you'll usually get what's called a multi-line discount. This discount is an easy way to save 5-15% off your combined premiums. But don't stop there! See if additional savings are to be had if you own a motorcycle, RV, trailer, ATV, or snowmobile too.
7. Ask your provider about the auto insurance discounts they offer.
There are loads of auto insurance discounts that can help you save on your coverage. Ask your insurance provider for a list of their discounts as there may be opportunities to save money you didn't know existed and that your provider didn't know to offer you.
Is one of your kids on the honour roll? There's the Good Student Discount that may be available. Have you recently signed up for a roadside assistance program? There's often a discount for that too.
8. There's a new discount (sort of) in town!
Have you heard of usage-based insurance? Usage-based car insurance (UBI) can save you typically 5-10% just for signing up, with additional savings of up to 25% for good drivers. It's a device you plug into your car that then monitors things like how fast you accelerate and brake, the time of day you're typically on the road, trip duration, and speed. It's ideal for drivers who consistently stick to safe driving practices when behind the wheel.
9. Nothing stays the same, and the same goes for your insurance.
Life events like getting married, moving, adding teen drivers to your policy, or changing jobs (or retiring) are all times when you should make sure your current provider is still giving you the best deal on car insurance. Car insurance rates often change, and the company that provided you with the best rate five years ago or even last year may no longer offer you the best deal today.
10. Shop around
Car insurance coverage may be standard throughout your province, but insurance premiums are another story. Insurance premiums from one company to the next can vary by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. With InsuranceHotline.com, it takes just a few short minutes to compare quotes from our network of over 30 insurance providers. Make sure you’re not missing out on ways to save and shop for a lower price today.