Auto insurance is a bill that everyone would like to see reduced, and fortunately, there are a number of ways to help lower car insurance rates. A few simple changes—some of them that you can make with ease, others that might happen on their own—may save you a lot of money on your car insurance bill. Being aware of what they are and how to make them happen keeps you ahead of the game when it comes to getting the best rate on your insurance coverage.
1. Changing Your Deductible
The deductible you choose can make a big difference on the car insurance premium you pay, but many people are afraid to carry a higher deductible because they don’t want to have to pay it in case 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 five to 10 percent off your premiums.
A driver can go for years without having to pay a deductible—if they ever have to at all. That means that every year that you go claim-free, the savings had by increasing your deductible is money in your bank.
2. Buying 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.
3. Shopping Around for Your Lowest 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 regularly, 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 a cheaper car insurance premium can be found.
- You get married. Depending on your spouse's driving history, you may find that the company that provided you with the best rate as a single person may not be the same company that provides you the best rate as a couple.
- Your teen gets their driver's licence. Some insurers are more teen-friendly than others.
- You change jobs or retire. When your daily commute changes, your insurance could change as well.
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4. Tickets or Accidents Falling off Your Record
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. 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. Moving to a New Home
Moving is a major change in your life, and it can change your car insurance rates for the better in more than one way. First, each postal code has its own risk level in terms of theft and accident statistics. That means that if you move to a neighbourhood where these statistics are lower, you will likely see a reduction in rates.
Additionally, if you move closer to where you work, the shorter commuting distance can mean another reduction in your auto insurance rates. While you wouldn’t move just to reduce your rates or choose a new home based on it, it’s good to be aware of how moving can affect your premiums.