Car Insurance Discounts

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Car insurance is a smart investment. It’s also required by Canadian law. So when you shop for a car insurance policy, make sure you get one that offers all the protections that bring you peace of mind as well as the coverage that helps you comply with the regulations of your province. Make sure, too, that you are getting the absolute best price for your car insurance. Get competitive quotes, and ask about each insurance company’s discounts.

Here are some ways you might be able to save on your car insurance: 

Choose your car wisely. If you are buying a new or used car, truck, van or SUV, research it before you close the deal. If your make/model appears on the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s annual Most Stolen Vehicles list, you are likely to pay a higher insurance premium. In addition to theft frequency, your premium can rise if your car is expensive to repair or if that model is known for lack of durability. Keep in mind, too, that older cars are typically less expensive to insure than new ones.

Install (or make sure your new car is equipped with) an anti-theft system or device. Often an alarm system, electronic immobilizer, steering column lock or other anti-theft device will reduce your premium. However, not all anti-theft devices or systems qualify, and every insurance company has different requirements, so check with your licensed insurance professional to find out which equipment will earn you a discount.

Use one insurance company for all of your vehicles and policies. Nearly every insurance company offers a multi-vehicle discount, and many will discount one or both of your premiums if they carry your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy as well as your car insurance. Bundle your policies to save! 

Be a safe driver. Insurance companies reward drivers who haven’t been involved in an at fault accident during a specified time period. Some also offer accident forgiveness, waiving or reducing the rise in premium that typically occurs after you are involved in an at fault accident – provided this is your first at fault accident. Many insurance companies use the star rating system to determine a customer’s premium. The star rating system works like this: A driver is granted one star for each year of accident-free, ticket-free driving. Drivers with more stars earn lower premiums. Insurance companies calculate this discount differently; in fact, some offer a maximum of six stars while others go as high as 10. 

If you are a student driver or have one on your policy, share those good grades! Tell your insurance representative if you (or your student) has a high grade point average, because most companies offer a good student discount. You might also get a discount for completing a driver education class. If your student is away at school a good part of the year, you could earn yet another discount. 

Limit your mileage. Don’t drive often or over long distances? Ask about a low-mileage discount. 

Increase your deductibles. One way to reduce your premium is to go with higher deductibles. That simply means that you are prepared to paid more toward the costs should an accident or incident cause damage.  

Consider forgoing collision and comprehensive coverage. This advice is sound only if your car is an older model and if the cost of the coverage adds up over a year or so to be more than the value of the car. Collision protects your car if a rock, roadside object or another vehicle damages it. Comprehensive pays for damage to your vehicle caused by theft, vandalism, fire or weather-related incidents.  

Ask about special discounts. Sometimes when insurance companies are looking for new customers, they make special offers simply because you are a new customer. Some companies offer group discounts to businesses or associations. And some offer a discount if you are a member of an auto club. To learn about all of the discounts your insurance company offers, ask your licensed insurance professional.