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Ontario Car Insurance Saving Tips

Avoiding car insurance isn’t an option for Ontario drivers; however, that means most Ontario drivers are paying more than $2,000 per year in insurance premiums. That’s a lot of money to add to the everyday expenses of car ownership – gas money, routine maintenance, and those unexpected incidents that can end up pushing your premiums even higher. Fortunately, there are ways to save up to several hundred dollars per year on insurance. Here at InsurEye, we’ve crafted an extensive list of strategies that can help you save more.

From A to Z, here are the ABCs of car insurance savings in Ontario:

  • Age: Your insurance premiums decrease as you get older and develop more on-the-road driving experience. One of the monumental price breaks occurs when you hit 25 (this tends to be more of a significant break for men than for women), but senior drivers get to enjoy lower auto insurance premiums, too.
  • Alumni: Are you a graduate? Some insurance providers have affiliations with Canadian Universities. The University of Toronto and McGill University are just a couple of examples. It’s definitely worth checking to see if the money you’ve spent on tuition can help you get a discounted rate.
  • Annual Review: Is everything in your life the same as it was last year? How about five years ago? It isn’t likely. We are continuously changing, but those changes may mean you are eligible for new discounts on your car insurance. Reviewing your policies and coverage each year can help ensure you don’t miss out on any of the savings for which you are eligible.
  • Anti-Theft System: Did you know that there are options you can install on your vehicle that can actually lower your insurance premium? A certified anti-theft system is just one of those solutions. It lowers your risk profile by lowing your car’s risk of theft, and that means a lower premium.
  • At-Fault Accidents: Being at-fault in an accident can increase your insurance rate since you are considered a higher risk driver as a result; but remember, those rates don’t have to be permanent. Showing you’re a good driver (and a lower risk) can help drop those rates back down. Going six years without another accident will allow your premium to drop back down.
  • Being Married: Did you know that your marital status can influence your insurance premiums? In Ontario, being married may mean you are eligible for a lower premium. It’s worth looking into—either before or after you decide to pop the big question to your significant other.
  • Being a Second Driver: Did you know that insurance premiums can be broken down into primary and secondary drivers? It’s a good thing for you if you only drive occasionally. You can get added on as a second driver instead of paying higher premiums as a primary driver.
  • Benchmark Your Costs: Doing a little consultation and comparison before you purchase your insurance can help you find cost-friendly providers for your specific insurance needs. Consult with other insurance consumers for recommendations, and use comparison tools (there are many available online) to learn more about your potential provider.
  • Bundle: Don’t be afraid to bundle your different insurance needs; doing so may make you eligible for a better discount through your provider.
  • CAA Member: Don’t forget to use your CAA card. Your membership may increase your eligibility for lower insurance premiums.
  • Car Insurance Deductibles: There is an option that will allow you to lower your premium. Increasing your car insurance deductibles will grant you a reduced rate—but you will have to make higher payments for damages if you are involved in an accident.
  • Car Make and Model: Make sure you do your homework before you buy that shiny new car. Some models cost more to insure because they are more often driven recklessly—and we can often thank their appearance in films like The Fast and the Furious for that. The Toyota Camry, the Acura MDX, the Toyota RAV4, and the Honda Civic are a few examples, so be sure to check your potential rates before you sign that ownership.
  • Claim History: Think twice before you file that claim. Your claim history, no matter how small the list of incidents, can increase your premium, and sometimes the amount you get back from a small damage claim isn’t worth the amount your premium will rise. Being able to choose when it’s right to file a claim and when it’s okay not to can help keep your premiums low.
  • Dashboard Camera: Dashboard cameras are all over YouTube and social media right now, but they aren’t just around to help you catch entertaining footage (or incriminating videos of your local police officers). A dashboard camera can also help you prove your case when you are not at fault, and that can protect you from unfair premium increases.
  • Direct Insurers: Going through a direct insurer, like Belairdirect or TD Insurance, can sometimes get you a lower rate. You won’t have any commissions taken off of your policy, but you may also have a harder time finding the right insurance provider for your specific needs when you don’t have a broker to provide you with their expertise in the industry.
  • Disabilities: If you have a disability, you may be eligible for discounts through your insurance provider. It’s worth taking a look to see if you can get a lower rate.
  • Driving Course: Ever thought of going back to school? You don’t need a university degree to get a lower rate; a driver’s training course will do just fine! Just make sure it is recognized by your provider before you sign the attendance sheet.
  • Drop the Glass Coverage: Have you looked into the cost of your windshield? You might want to. Some cars have more expensive windshields to replace than others, but if yours is on the lower end of the price range, then you might want to drop your glass coverage and lower your premium.
  • Employee / Union Members: Do you have a union? A lot of insurance providers offer discounts to certain union members or employees. Check to see if your union makes you eligible for a discount.
  • Good Student: Good grades can get you extra scholarships and bursaries, but did you know that they can get you better insurance rates, too? It may make studying a little harder for that exam all the more worthwhile.
  • Hybrid Vehicles: If you are looking into buying a new vehicle, you might want to think about buying a hybrid. Not only can you save more on gas money, but the discount your insurance company offers may sweeten the deal even more.
  • Improving Your Driving Record: Accidents aren’t the only things that can drive your insurance premiums up; tickets can, too. However, using that cruise control and paying attention to those ‘no parking’ signs for a minimum of three years can clear up your driving record on your insurance history, making you eligible for a drop in your premium.
  • Leverage Rental Car Coverage: Your own auto insurance policy may cover rental cars. Be sure to keep that in mind when renting a vehicle; you may be able to save yourself those collision damage waiver costs.
  • Leverage Your Credit Card: Worried about the cost of insurance on that rental car? Don’t be. A lot of credit cards include rental car protection, which means you can save close to $20 each day in collision damage waiver fees simply by paying with that credit card.
  • Loyalty: Some insurers even offer loyalty discounts for long-term policy holders, so staying with one insurer could end up paying off.
  • Location, Location, Location: Did you know that where you live within your province can impact your car insurance rates? Burlington, for instance, has one of the highest car insurance rates in Ontario. It’s worth looking into if you are planning on moving soon—check those insurance rates before you buy.
  • Minimal Coverage: Having to have insurance on your car doesn’t mean you have to have full coverage. You can adjust your policy based on the value of your vehicle. For instance, an older car has a lower value—so why pay the same rates as you would for a newer model? You can put your policy back to liability only, the minimum coverage required by law, so you can pay less each month for your premium.
  • Multiple Cars Bundle: You already knew you could save a bit by bundling your home and auto insurance, but owning multiple cars can actually save you a bit on insurance, too. You can bundle the insurance to save more on your policy.
  • Pay-As-You-Drive: Does your car sit in your garage for most of the month? Why pay for insurance when you aren’t driving? You can opt to limit coverage to when you are actually on the road to save a bit more on your insurance—you’ll just have to install a device on your vehicle that will accurately keep track of your driving profile.
  • Payment Frequency: Did you know you have options for when you pay your insurance, too? You do, and choosing the right one can actually save you money. It might seem daunting to pay your insurance annually instead of monthly, but you’ll save enough in administrative costs to make it worth your while.
  • Private Garage: Any security you can offer your vehicle is going to help lower your risk—and your premium. Make sure you notify your insurance company if you have private parking, park in a secure garage, or have any other security measures in place.
  • Professional Membership: Do you have a membership to a professional organization, like Certified Management Accountants of Canada or The Air Canada Pilots Association? Your membership might make you eligible for discounts on your premium.
  • Rental Car Rider: Do you rent cars frequently? There is a rental car rider that can be added to your policy. It may cost you an extra $20-$30 per year, but it will save you the $20 a day you would otherwise spend insuring your rental car.
  • Repair Costs: Some cars come with higher premiums because of their reputation, but some cars have higher premiums because the cost of parts is so much higher. Replacement parts for a Mini Cooper or a BMW cost way more than a Ford Focus, for instance, and that means your insurance rates will be higher to cover those higher costs. Looking into the repair costs of your vehicle before you buy may be a good way to save quite a bit on your insurance.
  • Retiree Discounts: Are you retired? You may not have to worry about dwindling away those retirement savings. You may be eligible for a discount through your insurance provider.
  • Seniors: Seniors are often entitled to discounts, and it’s no different when it comes to your insurance. Make sure you check with your provider to see if your senior status can save you some cash.
  • Shop Around: One of the most important things to remember is that you have options when it comes to choosing your provider. You aren’t locked in based on who you’ve gone with before or who your family members are with. If a different provider offers you a better rate, don’t be afraid to make the switch.
  • Short Distance to Work: Have you considered moving? The neighbourhood you live in doesn’t just impact your home insurance premiums; living further from work means you need to drive further each day, thereby increasing your risk profile. Moving a little closer to work can lower that risk and thus lower your premium—and it can help you save more on gas money to boot.
  • Students: Are you still in school? Your school may have an affiliation with a particular insurance company that could save you money, or you may be eligible for a student discount.
  • Welcome Discount: Most insurance policy holders want you to sign a policy with them, and that means many are willing to offer incentives, like welcome discounts, that can help lower your premiums.
  • Winter Tires: Have you been putting off purchasing those winter tires? You may want to think twice. Winter tires lower your risk of getting in a collision, which means you can benefit from lower insurance premiums simply by having winter tires installed—plus, changing tires each season will help lengthen the life of both sets of tires, and that can end up saving you money, too.

If you are looking for ways to save on your insurance, following these tips will help. Searching for a cheap car insurance in Ontario? We might be able to help.