11 Money Saving Tips
How to Get the Most for Your Money: 11 Ways to Save Money on Your Car Insurance...
So you’re shopping around for auto insurance. What do you need to know? Well, there are lots of ways – at least 11 – that you can save money. Many of these money-saving ideas may apply to you.
- One Insurer, Multiple Policies – Do you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy? If so, is it with the same insurance company that provides your auto insurance? If the answer is no, you’re paying too much – for both policies. Almost every insurance company that sells auto insurance wants its policyholders to also buy homeowners or renters insurance from that company.
These insurers offer so-called multi-policy discounts. Usually, these discounts are at least 10% and some insurers apply the discounts to both the auto and the homeowners/renters policy.
* Tip. Talk to your broker about multi-policy discounts.
- Good Driver, Good Price – It’s no secret that the better your driving record, the less you will pay for auto insurance. But did you know that most people qualify as “good drivers” and are eligible for discounted premiums? Some good drivers pay a lot more than others, however.
As a broker we represent a collection of several insurance companies in which each caters to a certain type of driver. The worst drivers go in one company, the best in another, and a lot of people wind up in one of the middle companies.
These middle people pay less than the worst drivers, but more than the best. The thing is, many of these middle people have driving records that are just as good as those who are insured by the companies that offer the lowest rates. Yet these middle people are paying more. Why?
The usual reason is that they don’t know any better. No one told them which insurance company had the best prices. And, odds are, no one even told them there was a group of insurance companies to chose from. Call centre type insurers like banks and Insurance Company agents typically only represent one insurance company so if there is a better price for you with another company you won't here it from them. If you have a spotless driving record, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be paying the lowest price a group of insurance companies has to offer. Chose a broker like Colley Insurance to provide you with the best prices offered by several insurance companies.
* Tip. Make sure you’re getting the best discount for your driving record. Talk to your broker. And remember, be a safe driver. It will save you money.
- The Beauty of the Bus (or Other Mass Transit) – Do you drive to and from work? If you do, you are literally paying a premium to do so. Insurance companies charge you significantly higher premiums if you drive to work. And, the longer your commute (in miles, not minutes), the higher the premium.
* Tip. Some drivers should consider mass transit. Yes, there’s a price there, too. But you will reap the savings of gas and lower insurance costs.
- Low Mileage, Low Price – On average, people drive 1,000 to 1,500 kilometers a month. That is what insurance companies consider average use.
* Tip. If you drive less than the average, you could be eligible for low-mileage discounts, which some insurers offer.
- High-Profile, High-Cost – The type of car you drive is a major factor in what you pay for insurance. Is your vehicle a magnet for thieves? Is it more expensive to repair than most cars? If the answer to either of the last two questions is yes, you’re paying more than the average car owner for insurance.
- Raise Your Deductible – The deductible is the amount you pay before insurance kicks in if you have a claim. For example, if you have a $300 deductible and you have an accident in which your car sustains $1,000 in damage, you pay the first $300 and your insurer pays the balance, $700. The lower the deductible you choose, the more you pay in premiums. If you have assets, you can probably afford to absorb at least $300 - $500 if you have a claim.
* Tip. If it’s been years since you’ve had an accident, you may be better off raising your deductible and paying less each year for insurance.
- Drop Unnecessary Coverages – Let’s say you have an older car, one not worth very much. There’s really little point in having collision and comprehensive coverages. You don’t have much to protect. Remember, too, that you have to subtract your deductible from any potential payout you might get.
* Tip. As a general rule, any car worth less than $1,000 shouldn’t have collision and comprehensive coverage. Between the deductible and the extra expense of these coverages, the cost is probably greater than the benefit. How much is your car worth? An auto dealer can tell you, or there are plenty of books that have values of vehicles going back many, many years.
- Discounts, Discounts, Discounts – Auto insurance companies offer several discounts for a variety of reasons. Most recently all provincial insurance companies are to provide a discount for drivers who buy and install winter tires. The car has air bags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices, etc. The driver is a good student, which is especially valuable if you have teenage children who will be on your policy.
* Tip. Make sure you are taking advantage of all the discounts available to you!
- Taking the Defensive – Insurance companies also offer discounts to new drivers who have recently taken approved driving training courses.
- Low-Cost and High-Cost Areas – Are you planning to move? If you are, you should take into account the cost of insurance. Generally, the more urban the area, the higher the premium. The costs can vary even within a community.
* Fact. Rates can vary greatly from city to city. For example, someone living in Toronto, Mississauga, or Hamilton pays significantly more, on average, than someone in Guelph, Kitchener or Cambridge
- Credit Where Credit Is (Or Is Not) Due – Do you always pay your premium on time or has your policy been cancelled once or twice for non-payment.
* Fact. Most insurance companies surcharge for those that have been cancelled for non-payment in the past. While insurance companies in Ontario aren't permitted to use credit scores to determine your auto insurance premium, statistics show them that those with poor payment history also have a higher probability of putting a claim through. There are several payment plans available to make paying your premium on time more affordable. Talk to us to discuss which plan is best for you.