5 Changes That Can Lower Your Car Insurance Rate

By Lesley Green
A couple sitting at their home office's desk high fiving each other because of a great deal they found online.

Your auto insurance premium will change when there are changes in your life.

  • Save in the neighbourhood of 5% to 10% with higher deductibles.
  • COVID-19 has changed how we drive. Has your premium changed too?
  • Moving homes may mean moving insurers too. Rates vary based on where you live.

Auto insurance is a bill everyone would like to see reduced, and fortunately, there are ways to cut your car insurance costs. A few simple changes — some you can make with ease, others that might happen on their own — can save you a lot of money. The key is knowing what they are and how to make them happen to get the best rate on your insurance coverage.

1. Change your deductible

The deductible you choose can make a difference to the car insurance premium you pay. However, many people avoid increasing their deductible because they don’t want to pay it should they need to submit an insurance claim. The truth is that carrying a higher deductible can save you a fair bit of money over time. A change in deductible from $500 to $1,000, for example, could save you 5% to 10% off your premium.

A driver can go for years without having to pay a deductible — if they ever have to at all. That means every year you go claim-free, the savings had by increasing your deductible is money in your bank.

2. Buy a new (or new to you) car

New or used, what you drive factors into your car insurance rate. Avoid buying a vehicle that is more likely to be stolen or costs more to repair or replace, for example, to keep your insurance rates as low as possible. When shopping for a new car, keep in mind to shop for auto insurance too.

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3. Shop around for your best rate

Changing to a new insurance company could be the change that brings your auto insurance rates down the most, but unless you take the time to shop around, you will never know how much you could save.

Put your insurer’s rates to the test when:

  • Your policy comes up for renewal. There's no better time than renewal time to see if you can find a cheaper car insurance premium.
  • You get married. Depending on your spouse's driving history, you may find the company that provided you the best rate as a single person may not be the same company that gives you the best rate as a couple.
  • Your teen gets their driver's licence. Some insurers are more teen-friendly than others.
  • Your commute changes. Whether it’s because you’ve retired, switched jobs, or now work mostly from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when your daily commute changes, your insurance premium could change as well.

4. Your driving record clears up

In general, tickets will stay with you for three years, and at-fault collisions will follow you for six years. Set up a reminder to follow up with your insurance provider when the ticket or collision is a distant memory and clears off your driving record. While most insurance companies are on top of this and will take that charge off at renewal, it’s good to be aware of when you should no longer be charged. If you don’t see a reduction, give your insurance company a call and find out what’s going on.

5. Move to a new home

Moving is a major change in your life, and relocating will likely change your car insurance rates; for the lucky, it might mean paying less for car insurance. For others, it might mean paying more. Too often, though, when it comes to moving, people figure they'll tell their car insurance company of their address change which will then adjust their rate, and whatever the rate ends up being, it is what it is. After all, they'll still give you the best car insurance rate just like they did last time you shopped around, right?

That isn't always the case. Every insurance company has a different claims experience with your new neighbourhood, and this will be reflected in the new rate you're offered. If you’re planning to move, it’s wise to compare quotes for your cheapest rate to make sure you’re getting the best deal at your new address.