Auto insurance tips for first-time buyers
Getting your first car? Congratulations! This is an exciting time. A car of your own means you can enjoy way more freedom, finally take that road trip you and your friends have been talking about all winter, and do some bulk shopping—no arduous trips on the bus needed. However, a car also entails a lot of responsibility. If you have a car, you’re also going to need to buy insurance for it. But what insurance is best for you?
We’ve got the answers right here.
First off, here’s a quick rundown on how auto insurance works in Québec. Every resident is automatically covered by a public auto insurance scheme called the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). However, this plan only covers very specific things: You can only expect compensation in the case that you’ve been injured in a traffic accident. This plan covers damages, regardless of who’s at fault. So whether you caused the accident or were a victim of a car accident due to someone else’s actions, the SAAQ will spring into action.
However, the law also requires you to have additional private auto insurance with a civil liability policy that covers at least $50,000. This additional coverage covers any property damage that you’ve done with your car. So if you accidentally backed into your neighbor’s fence while practicing your parallel parking, your private auto insurance would cover the repair costs. Also, remember that the $50,000 coverage is simply the minimum you must be insured for. Depending on your situation, you may want a higher coverage. In fact, many insurers only offer a minimum of $1 million in civil liability coverage. So let’s dive in. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when first shopping for auto insurance:
Consider your car model
If you haven’t purchased a car yet, it’s a good idea to remember that your auto insurance premiums will be influenced by what kind of car you drive. While you may be tempted to spring for a really special model to celebrate your very own first car, we highly advise against that. Certain cars are expensive to repair, have parts that are hard to source or are particularly popular among thieves. Do your research and go for a car with high safety features and less bling. If you’re in doubt, the Insurance Bureau of Canada has a good rundown of what kinds of car models are associated with the lowest claims, thereby increasing the chances of a lower monthly premium payment. Your wallet will thank you.
Reduce your driving time
Insurance providers will ask you how often you drive, and what you use your car for. Someone who drives to and from work every day is, statistically speaking, at greater risk for an accident than someone who only occasionally uses their car for errands on the weekends or to drive to the beach. If you can, consider using public transport as much as possible when going about your daily routine, or consider setting up a carpooling system with neighbors or friends. Taking the metro to work during the week or taking the train for a weekend getaway is not only environmentally friendly, but it’ll also help keep your monthly premiums down since insurance providers will see you as less of a risk.
Increase your deductible
A deductible refers to the amount you have to pay in case of a claim before your insurance kicks in and covers the remaining amount. While every insurance provider is different, the average rule of thumb is that a high deductible equals lower monthly premiums, and higher monthly premiums equal lower deductibles. The trick is to find a happy medium. If you’re willing to pay for a larger part of the damages in the eventuality of an accident, then insurance companies will lower your monthly payments. Just make sure you’re agreeing to a deductible you could realistically afford.
Reduce the risk of theft
Auto insurance providers are very wary of situations that can lead your car to being stolen, so any proactive measures you take to ward off theft will reflect itself positively on your monthly rates. Whether that’s choosing a car that’s less attractive to thieves, installing an approved theft-deterrent system in your car, or parking in a secured location at night, insurance providers will look favorably upon these steps and may be convinced to consider lower premiums.
Compare providers before buying a car
Since the make and model of your car affect rates, it’s a good idea to shop around and see what kind of prices auto insurance providers are quoting before you commit. This will also give you an idea of what kind of car will best suit your needs and budget. Good thing that YouSet does all the heavy lifting for you and compares prices from the best insurers in the province!
Consider usage-based insurance
Usage-based insurance (UBI) is a type of coverage that uses technology to track how much you’re actually using your car, including how fast you usually drive and how often you’re making full breaks. Based on this information, insurance providers will create a hyper-personalized rate for you. The way it works is that your providers give you a device you plug into your car, or an app on your phone, that tracks all the relevant information. This type of insurance can be particularly attractive for young, first-time drivers whose rates would otherwise be very high.
Ask for bundled policy options
Some insurance providers will give you discounted rates if you purchase multiple insurance policies from them. If you’re looking for both auto insurance and renter’s insurance, for example, and you find a provider offering the coverage you need, it’s worth it to ask whether they’ll offer you a discount for purchasing both policies.
As always, it’s worth doing your research and seeing what your options are. At YouSet, we do the legwork for you and compare various policies and prices based on your specific needs and criteria. And with YouSet, you can be sure that you’re always getting the best price. Check us out!
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