Hot Under the Collar Because of Your Car Insurance Premiums? Tips to Help You Save

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

Enjoy some cool summer savings on your car insurance with these hot tips.

Shop around

An oldie but a goodie. For the sake of convenience, you may be tempted to simply renew with your current auto insurer, but this could end up costing you big time.

Auto insurance rates often change, and in Ontario especially, rates have changed a lot. To date, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has approved auto insurance rate increases for each of the last six quarters. With more than a full year of rising rates on the books, it’s especially prudent that Ontario drivers heed FSCO’s advice to “shop around for auto insurance.”

Did you know? An auto insurance survey showed that when it came time to renew, more than half (52 per cent) of Ontario drivers simply paid the new renewed premium without question, or took no action, making their renewal automatic. If you haven’t compared auto insurance quotes lately, there’s a good chance you’re overpaying. Compare car insurance quotes today to beat the heat.

Bundle, bundle, bundle

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 likely qualify for a discount that could save you from five to 15 per cent off of one, or even both of your policies.

Increase your deductible

Increasing your policy’s deductibles will lower your premiums. Many people plan for the “what if” scenario when choosing deductibles, but the fact is you can save anywhere from five to 10 per cent today if you increase your collision and comprehensive deductibles to $1,000. If you can afford to have a higher out-of-pocket cost if something happens to your car, this is worth considering.

Pay your premium all at once, rather than in monthly installments

Paying your premiums monthly is convenient, but that convenience comes at a price because 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 ultimately pay less for your coverage.

Consider a usage-based insurance program

You may not know what usage-based insurance is exactly but chances are you’ve heard about it. It typically involves a device that you plug into your car. The device monitors your driving habits, things like acceleration, braking, and when and how often you drive. If you join a usage-based program you can typically save five to 10 per cent just for signing up, with additional savings of up to 25 per cent for good drivers. The device itself is free and the information gleaned from it can only help you lower your rate; it cannot be used to increase your premiums.

Drive safely

It cannot be overemphasized the impact a good driving record will have on what you pay for car insurance coverage. At-fault accidents, tickets…they all add up and can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in unnecessarily high insurance premiums over the years. Your driving record is literally in your hands, so steer clear of high premiums—drive safely and within the laws of the road.

Ask for a list of discounts

Ask your insurance provider for a list of discounts. There may be ways to save money that you didn’t know existed, and that your insurer didn’t know to offer you. Have a smarty pants in the family? There’s the Good Student Discount that may be available. Is your child away at college or university? If they only drive the car when home visiting, some insurers offer a Student Away At School Discount. Asking your insurer for their list of discounts will start a chat that could result in you saving money on your premiums.

Getting married? Moving? Buying a new car?

As your life changes, so will your car insurance rates. Getting married, moving or buying a new car will likely affect your car insurance premium and, because each insurance provider calculates their rates differently, represents an opportunity for you to potentially pay less for your coverage. Compare auto insurance rates during times like these, when life events happen, to make sure you’re still getting the lowest car insurance rate possible.

Updated annually to ensure accuracy and relevancy.