The cost of owning a car has continued to increase lately, in spite of fewer drivers on the road, fewer miles been driven, and fewer accidents and claims.
The price of gas is being driven higher by a number of factors and looks to rise further in the months and even year ahead. Maintenance and repairs aren’t getting any cheaper, prices of harder-to-source car parts and upgrades are going up. Even the supply of actual vehicles themselves is being constrained by manufacturing and shipping issues, leading to higher prices.
The price of car insurance can vary from province to province, and even city to city. BC and Ontario have the highest average insurance premium costs in Canada, and Toronto’s average premiums are higher still. Younger drivers and anyone else in higher-risk categories are facing substantial insurance costs, sometimes too high to start, or continue to drive.
Additionally, COVID has negatively affected the incomes of millions of people across Canada over the last two years, and some have found the privilege of driving suddenly unaffordable on reduced monthly budgets.
If money is a deciding factor, let’s look at a few ways you can reduce your insurance premiums so you can stay insured, and hopefully stay driving.
1. If you’re driving less, adjust your annual distance driven
Driving fewer kilometers means less risk that you’ll be involved in an accident, and depending on the level, will lead to a reduction in your premium. If you’re driving less for any reason, whether due to COVID, a change in jobs, a move or just a desire to save money (or the environment) – let your insurance broker know, it may save you some money.
2. Increase your deductible
When you are in a minor collision, your deductible is the amount of damage you will pay yourself; with your insurance company paying anything above that if you make a claim. By raising your deductible, from $500 to $1000 for example, your insurance rate will come down as there is less payment risk for your insurer. Just make sure you drive extra safely, and have an emergency fund, or someone who will help out just in case something does happen.
3. Reduce your insurance coverage
If the value of your vehicle is particularly low, as in the case of an older car or one that has simply seen better days, you may consider that the extra money you’re paying for collision and comprehensive coverage may be reduced or eliminated if the car isn’t worth fixing or rebuilding in the case of a damaging accident.
4. Consider a different car
Insurance rates range widely based on the vehicle you choose to buy and insure. This is obvious when comparing a Lamborghini with a Honda Accord, but sometimes the differences between cars are less obvious. If you’re looking to save money, compare rates between models before you choose to buy your vehicle. If you already have a car, perhaps your current vehicle could be traded for one with lower insurance costs, even if it’s the same price on the resale market.
5. Have a safer car and park in a safe garage
Insurers often recognize safer vehicles (such as those rear cameras or with theft deterrent systems installed) and may offer rates to reflect lower claim risk. This can also be the case if you can show your vehicle is being parked indoors, whether at home or in a secure condo garage. Ask your broker.
6. Be a good driver – avoid tickets, and higher rates
While it may not help you immediately with a rate reduction, there is no better way to ensure you stay at your lowest premium rate over the years than by being a safe driver, avoiding tickets and accidents due to your own fault. If it’s been years since you’ve adjusted your car insurance policy you may want to check with your insurance broker, those years of safe driving may be rewarded in reduced rates, if only a little bit, on your next renewal.
7. Pay your premium on time
It’s important to always pay your insurance premiums on time, late or missed payments can affect your rating as a good customer, and possibly affect you ability to get the best rates, or insured at all.
8. Ask for discount options
Remember that generally risk-free advice: it never hurts to ask. Insurance companies often have several discounts they offer that may just apply to you. Many may be related to the other tips we’ve listed in this article but they may be others that you may not even have considered. From discounts for multiple vehicles to being a retiree to using winters to being a member of the military – ask and you may receive!
9. Bundling insurance
You do it with your mobile phone, internet and cable to save money, and to simplify payments. Bundle up your insurance for the same benefits. Consider moving your car or home/tenant insurance (and other insurance you may have) to the same company for extra savings.
10. Compare rates, or better yet use a trustworthy insurance broker to do it for you
There are many auto insurers in Canada with a lot of different plans available, and some are simply better value than others, depending on your special circumstances and needs. Whether you do it yourself or have a good insurance broker do it on your behalf, shop for the best valued policy to match your budget.
The brokers at LLP Insurance have been helping Canadians protect their homes, businesses and families for over 50 years. For all your personal or commercial insurance needs, please contact us to talk to an experienced and knowledgeable LLP broker at 1-800-667-4018 or firstname.lastname@example.org/new. We are here for you now, and in the years ahead.