If you want to drive a vehicle in Canada, car insurance is a necessity. How much you pay for coverage, however, depends on many factors, including tapping discounts that may be available.
It never hurts to talk to your insurer or broker about finding ways that can make your coverage cheaper without sacrificing the protection you need.
Here are eight things you can do that may result in a reduction of your auto policy premium:
1. Install an Alarm System
If your car doesn't already have an anti-theft device, adding one can make your insurance more affordable. The logic is pretty obvious: lower risk of your car being stolen equates to a lower likelihood you'll have to make a claim under your policy.
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2. Take High-Risk Drivers Off Your Policy
Everyone needs car insurance, but not everyone is viewed the same way by insurers. Newer drivers and those with poor driving records are usually more expensive to insure, and they may be considered a high-risk driver by insurers. Review your options to either give them their own, separate insurance or ask your insurer how to lower the risk and premium rate. For example, novice drivers should enrol in a safe driving course.
3. Choose a Less Desirable Car Model
Flashy vehicles may make others envious. They are also a target for thieves. Insurers know this, which is why it costs more to insure models that are often stolen. Older cars may even be cheaper to insure because they can cost less to repair. Newer cars have more high-tech components that are more difficult and expensive to fix, leading to higher cost of claims.
4. Bundle Your Auto and Home Insurance
Insurers and brokers want as much of your business as possible. So you can get a better rate if you buy a package that includes several policies. It's not uncommon for people to combine home and auto insurance for less money than the same coverage might cost through separate insurers.
5. Limit How Much You Drive
Sometimes, less is more. In this case, driving less can help you save more money. Moreover, less time on the road means reducing your risk of getting into a collision. If you only use your car occasionally, let your insurer know you want your vehicle classification to be listed as “occasional” or “pleasure” instead of “commute”. Also, tell the company if your vehicle is for seasonal use. For example, an RV or motorcycle that you only drive in the summer. That can broaden your options for cheaper coverage.
6. Use Your Connections
Often, professional and alumni associations can be gateways to cheaper car insurance. Check out whether your insurer offers special rates to specific groups.
7. Ask About Special Discounts
Although they may not advertise them, most insurers offer their customers a broad range of discount options. For instance, you may wish to enrol in a usage-based insurance program, or if your vehicle features assisted-driving technologies such as lane departure warning or a collision-avoidance system, your insurance provider may reduce your premium. Have a chat with your broker or insurer to see if there are any other ways you can demonstrate you deserve a lower rate.
8. Shop Around for the Lowest Rate
Whether your car insurance policy is up for renewal or not, it never hurts to compare policies and prices from a broad range of insurers to find out if there are cheaper options available.