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Two Safety Features That Can Lower Your Auto Insurance Premiums

August 14, 2014

The key to paying less for auto insurance is to minimize any possible risks to the vehicle and to yourself. Insurance companies want to ensure that every precaution has been taken to keep the vehicle safe and secure. Therefore, it makes sense that drivers who enhance their car’s safety features will get rewarded with lower premiums.

Here are two safety features that can keep you safe and could save you money.

1) Winter Tires

If you live in Canada, you might want to consider installing winter tires on your vehicle. Not only does it protect you on the road, but it can save you money on your insurance.

With the sheer amount of ice and snow that is unleashed upon many Canadian cities every winter, it might be wise for certain drivers to invest in winter tires. Regular all-season tires sometimes won’t cut it. All-season tires start to lose elasticity when the temperature hits below 7°C. Snow tires, however, are made with a special compound that allows them to retain more elasticity in cold temperatures. This gives the tires better traction, stopping, and handling in cold temperatures and snowy roads. Winter tires have been proven to help reduce braking distance on snow-covered roads by up to 25 per cent.

In order to qualify for the discount, all four tires must be winter tires and they usually must stay on the car from November until March.

Not all insurers offer the winter tire discount. However, the insurers that do offer the discount will give you an average of five per cent off your premiums.

For more information on the importance of snow tires, check out this guide created by Canadian Tire.

2) Anti-Theft Devices

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, automobile theft costs Canadians nearly $1 billion every year. A whopping $542 million of that is paid by insurers to fix or replace stolen cars. It’s no wonder then that many insurance companies reward their clients to invest in anti-theft devices.

The typical anti-theft discount is five per cent off the comprehensive premium (which is only one part of your car insurance). In total, people can expect a discount of one to two per cent on average. In the event that your car is stolen, some insurers may still offer a reduced deductible on the claim if there was an anti-theft device installed. It should be noted that the anti-theft discount is available only for approved after-market anti-theft devices. Most newer cars have anti-theft devices already factory installed. If this is the case, your car insurance premium will likely have already taken this into account.

Before buying and installing any anti-theft device, make sure to contact your insurance company to determine whether or not it will qualify for a discount.

Let’s take a look at the different kinds of anti-theft devices. There are basically two types of automobile anti-theft devices: passive and active. A passive device is one that will automatically protect your vehicle without any set up or activation. Conversely, an active device requires you to manually set up or activate it each time you leave your car. Passive devices are generally recommended as there is less hassle and a smaller chance that the driver will forget to activate the device. Passive devices are also the mostly likely to net you a discount.

Here are a few different types of anti-theft devices that could help you deter would-be thieves from stealing your car.

  • Immobilizers: A device that prevents the vehicle from starting by cutting off ignition, contact, or fuel supply. These have become standard factory-installed features in cars since 2007.
  • Electronic alarm: When someone touches or even gets too close to a car, a very loud alarm will go off to scare the potential thief away.
  • Locking Device: The most famous anti-theft locking device is “The Club” which you can lock over the steering wheel. There are also devices to lock the clutch and the accelerator pedal.
  • Marking or Engraving Serial Numbers: Thieves will generally avoid cars that have parts with the vehicle’s serial number engraved on them. It’s tough to sell stolen car parts with incriminating serials numbers engraved into them.
  • Satellite Tracking System: A GPS system that can locate a stolen vehicle.

Safety Features And Your Car Insurance

Remember, different auto insurance companies offer different discounts. Compare rates to find out if these safety features could be saving you money on your auto insurance.