8 ways to save money on auto insurance
Getting a brand new car is probably one of the most exciting purchases you can make, even if it’s a beat-up, second-hand Toyota Camry that you got during a sale. The feeling of freedom and independence that a car can give you is unparalleled. However, you shouldn’t let the excitement of your new car cloud the fact that this new vehicle also requires a much less exciting purchase: Auto insurance.
In Canada, having auto insurance is mandatory, although you’ll have to check with the laws and regulations of your individual province or territory to determine the exact terms. Some places, like Québec, automatically cover injuries obtained through a car accident via a government plan and require you to additionally purchase a private policy that covers up to $50,000. In British Columbia, all vehicle owners are required to at the very least be enrolled in the ICBC Basic Autoplan, which provides basic coverage.
Regardless of where you’re based, you’ll probably have to purchase some form of private coverage if you want to protect yourself, your belongings, and your vehicle. However, not all policies are created equally, and your monthly premiums—the amount you pay on a monthly basis to your insurance provider—will depend on a number of factors. But there are a couple of strategies you can employ when trying to save money on car insurance.
1. Shop around
The best way of ensuring that you’re getting the best price is to study the market and see what’s being offered. Ask different providers for a free quote, and compare the different types of coverage and price points in order to find the policy that suits you. Some providers may have discounts for new customers, while others may offer more coverage for the same price. Of course, this strategy would usually require quite a bit of time and effort on your end: You’d have to research different insurers, get a free quote from them online or even on the phone, or perhaps get sucked into a time-consuming chat with an independent insurance agent.
Thankfully, YouSet makes it incredibly easy to compare quotes from different providers. It only takes a couple of minutes, and you don’t even have to get up from your sofa to do it. All you have to do is answer a couple of questions online and receive a personalized list of recommended policies, with the lowest price guaranteed. And once you find the right quote for you, you can easily purchase that policy online, right on our website.
2. Choose a higher deductible
Your deductible is the dollar amount that you have to pay out of your own pocket before your insurance kicks in and covers the rest of the damages. Higher deductibles often mean lower monthly premiums, since you’re showing insurers that you’re willing to shoulder more of the risk upfront. If you’re keen on lowering your monthly premiums, consider raising your deductible. Just be sure you’re choosing an amount you would realistically be able to pay if you do have to make a claim.
3. Ask for a multi-car discount
If you live in a household with multiple cars, it’s worth asking insurers if they’ll provide a discount for insuring multiple cars or drivers with them. There are usually certain requirements in order for you to qualify for this kind of deal: The multiple drivers all need to live in the same household, and oftentimes they also need to be related by blood or by marriage. So if you were hoping to get a discount by signing you and your best friend from college up for car insurance, you might not be so successful.
Also keep in mind that insurers have different prices for different drivers: If one of the drivers is a teenage kid, or if your cousin who lives with you has multiple speeding tickets to his name, you may not be getting the kind of discount you were hoping for.
4. Choose your car carefully
If you haven’t yet purchased a car and are currently shopping around for auto insurance, you should consider that the make and model of your car will affect your monthly premiums and choose accordingly. When calculating your rate, an insurer will ask about your car’s model, make, the year it was built, whether it was customized, and more.
If you buy an oldtimer with difficult-to-source parts, your quote will be higher than if you go with something simple like a 2009 Dodge Journey. Insurers like cars that are considered safe and affordable, with parts that are easily replaceable, and no customized features.
If you already have a car and are keen to lower your premiums, you should consider downsizing your current car for a model that would incentivize your insurer to lower their rates. Some insurers also provide discounts for electric cars or hybrids, so it’s worth asking your insurer what your options are when it comes to switching to another vehicle.
5. Be a safe driver
If your driving record is squeaky clean and you’ve never even gotten as much as a speeding ticket, then that’s definitely something you should be bragging about to insurers. There is nothing insurance providers hate more than risk, and someone who regularly speeds, disregards traffic rules, and constantly gets bumps and scratches on their car is definitely considered a risk.
Show insurers that you have a clean driving record, and ask whether there are any discounts they’d be willing to extend your way.
6. Use alternative methods of transportation
If you use your car every day to commute to and from work, plus drive several hours on the weekends and after work, then your premiums are going to be much higher. That’s because frequent driving increases the likelihood of you getting into an accident. And as we know, there are few things insurers hate more than risk. So reduce that risk and take alternative methods of transportation where you can. You can ask for a discounted rate for using your car less frequently, or you could ask to switch to a pay-per-usage system, where you only pay by the kilometers that you drive (although this latter option is only recommended if you really are a very infrequent driver). Whether that’s carpooling, cycling, or taking the bus or the train, you’ll be able to lower your premiums while also doing something good for the environment.
7. Ask to bundle your policies
Another classic strategy for lowering your premiums is to ask for a discount if you buy multiple policies from the same provider. If you’re shopping for both home insurance and vehicle insurance, buying those policies from the same insurer could certify you for a discount.
8. Improve your credit
Yes, we know this is the same advice that’s given to everyone, whether they’re trying to get a mortgage or some type of insurance. But it holds true. If you have good credit, insurers will consider you to be less of a risk.
If your credit isn’t great, you should focus on paying off high-interest debt, like credit card debt, and refrain from opening new lines of credit until you’ve gotten the debt under control and have been making regular loan and credit card payments.
Finding the right kind of auto insurance that meets all of your criteria and doesn’t hurt your wallet either shouldn’t be a tedious endeavor. YouSet helps you cut through the noise and save time and money by presenting you with a curated list of policy options you can choose from. All it takes is a couple of minutes of your time and an internet connection. And once you find a policy that works for you, you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting the best price there is. Curious? Come check us out and get your free quote today
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