13 Insider Tips to Cheaper Auto Insurance

  • Whether you own or rent, if you insure your property with the same insurer covering your vehicle, you’ll save 5% to 15% off your combined premiums.
  • If your deductible is set to $500 or lower, increasing your deductible (or deductibles) could lower your rates by 5% to 10%.
  • Look for lower rates when you buy a new car or move.

Summer car insurance savings tips that will take the sizzle out of your premium.

Auto insurance can account for a big chunk of your regular expenses, and if left unchecked, it's easy to overpay for it. So this summer, seize some cool summer savings with this round-up of insider tips to cheaper auto insurance.

1. Bundle it

We all know bundling phone and television services nets a lower bill, and the same is true for insurance. If you get your property insurance (home, condo, or tenant insurance) from the same company as your auto insurance, then you’ll save five to 15 percent off your combined premiums.

2. Look to what’s parked in your driveway for another bundling discount

Another way to benefit from a bundling discount is by insuring all your vehicles with the same company. If you live in a home with two or more vehicles, a multi-vehicle discount will typically save you in the range of 10 to 20 percent. What’s even better is there’s more to this discount than just the autos you regularly drive; think of motorcycles and recreational vehicles as well.

3. Drive carefully

Your driving record has a direct impact on the rate you pay. At-fault accidents and tickets can quickly add up and end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, over the years it takes for them to fall off your record.

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4. Consider a usage-based insurance program

A usage-based insurance program monitors your driving habits, usually speed, braking, acceleration, and the time of day when you’re typically behind the wheel. Drivers who join a UBI program are typically eligible for discounts of up to 25 percent.

5. Pay your premium annually, instead of monthly

Many companies charge a little extra to cover the cost of administering monthly payments. If you can afford to pay your premium annually—in one lump sum—then you’ll likely pay less for your coverage.

6. Increase your deductibles

Save five to 10 percent on your auto insurance premiums by raising your deductibles. A deductible is the portion of an insurance claim you pay, so the higher your deductible, the lower your car insurance premium. Increase your deductibles with care because this is the amount you’ll have to fork over if you need to submit a claim.

7. Older car? It may be time to drop some of your optional coverages

Many owners of older vehicles don't realize that some of the optional coverages (like collision and comprehensive) that once made sense on a new car may no longer be worth it now that the car is years older. You must weigh the cost of the coverages with the value of your car and your chosen deductibles. For example, it might not make sense to pay for coverage with a $1,000 deductible if the vehicle isn’t worth much anymore.

8. Change your tires seasonally

Winter tires are a great way to tackle the winter season safely, and in Ontario, having them will ensure you get a discount, usually about five percent. The Ontario winter tire auto insurance discount has been in place since 2016, and all insurers in the province must offer it to drivers who change their tires seasonally. Outside of Ontario, the winter tire discount may be available too, but it will vary by insurer.

9. Ask about discounts

There are loads of auto insurance discounts that can help you save on your coverage. Ask your insurer for theirs because you never know how the details of your life could save you money.

Have an academic in the family? There's the Good Student discount that may be available. Is your child away at a post-secondary school? If they only drive the car when home visiting, some insurers offer a Student Away at School discount. Have you recently joined a roadside assistance program? There's often a discount for that too.

10. Take an accredited driving course

Young new drivers (under the age of 25) who complete (and pass) an accredited driver’s training course will be eligible for a discount. The discount generally lasts for three years. That’s because insurance companies know that drivers who are taught by professionals tend to be better, safer drivers and thus reward these young drivers with auto insurance premiums lower than what they would otherwise pay.

11. Keep insurance top of mind when buying a car

New or used, what you park in your driveway is one of the factors in calculating your car insurance rate. Cars that are more likely to be stolen, for example, may come with a heftier insurance bill. When shopping for a new car, keep in mind to shop for insurance to find a premium that's as nice as your new set of wheels.

12. Find a lower rate if you move

Where you live factors into what you pay, and chances are your premiums will change when you move. However, your insurer may no longer offer you the best rate in your new neighbourhood. Make sure you’re getting the best deal at your new address and compare rates for a lower price once you’re settled.

13. Don’t let your renewal (and savings) pass you by

When your insurance nears its expiry date, your insurer will send you a renewal reminder, usually about six weeks ahead of time. That gives you plenty of time to compare quotes to see if another insurance provider will provide you with a better price.

Even though your current provider gave you a great rate last year (or the year before that), it doesn’t mean they’ll continue to provide you with the best rate this time around. Rates often change, and they change a lot, making it well worth the few minutes it takes to quickly compare quotes for a better price.