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10 simple tips for getting an auto insurance discount

June 16th, 2016  |  Auto Insurance

If you have a car, the last thing you want to think about is its insurance. In an ideal world, you would just buy a great policy at a good price, set up the payments, and hit the road.

Unfortunately, if you really want the best price for auto insurance, you will likely have to spend a little bit of time when choosing your policy to make sure you’re taking advantage of all the discounts available.

Get an anti-theft device

There are all sorts of things you can do to make your car harder to steal. Most insurance companies in Canada reward you for taking those steps. While every company is different, it certainly won’t hurt to mention any anti-theft measures you have installed on your car, such as an alarm, a tracking device, or a steering wheel lock.

Take a driver's course

Young drivers have to pay through the nose to get insured. However, they can save a little money by taking government approved driver training to get an auto insurance discount.

Every province is different, but if you find your province’s transportation department website and search for approved driving schools, you should be able to find a course near you.

Increase your deductible (if you can afford to)

Insurance companies like it when they don’t have to give you any money. That’s why they offer lower premiums for raising your deductible. Raising your deductible means you pay more money in the event of a claim. If you get into lots of car trouble this will be more expensive than if you’d left your deductible alone. Make sure you can afford it before you make this choice.

Winter tires

Winter tires are essential for safety in Canadian winters. They can also give you a small benefit when it comes to your insurance costs. Many companies give a discount for installing winter tires on your vehicle. In Quebec, there’s actually a legal obligation to install them as well. This past winter, Ontario made discounts mandatory if a driver uses winter tires throughout the winter

The cost of tires and installation is pretty high and you might think that the discount won’t make up for that, but when you factor in the lifespan of the tires, as well as the discount over that period of time, it actually can be cheaper to buy the tires. More importantly, the tires will keep your car safe on the road and help you avoid getting into a collision, which will in turn save you from getting into a situation where you need to pay for repairs in the first place.

Be loyal (but still shop around)

While not every company offers a loyalty discount for auto insurance, there are some that will give you a discount for sticking with them for long periods of time. You should still shop around and compare rates to know if you would be better off making a switch. Sometimes the auto insurance discount for loyalty is no match for a better premium elsewhere.

Electric vehicle discount

A few insurers reward drivers who have gone green. If you want this discount you need to drive an electric or hybrid car. For those (few) who already do, be aware that you could be saving more money on your car than just gas and maintenance, thanks to an auto insurance discount.

Get usage-based insurance

Telematics-based insurance discounts aren’t very common yet, but if you’re confident in your driving you could save hundreds of dollars a year just by letting your insurer install a telematics device in your vehicle. Not every company has this option, so inquire about it if you’re interested.

Bundle policies

Most insurers offer at least 10% off your policies if you have both a home and auto policy with them. This discount shouldn’t dictate where you buy your policies, but it can be a factor when shopping around.

Pay for your coverage annually

There was a time when you could only pay for auto insurance one way: monthly. Paying monthly is the easiest way to handle insurance payments for those who aren’t the best with saving up or who live paycheque-to-paycheque. However, many auto insurance companies in Canada offer good discounts if you pay for your coverage once for the whole year.

Paying annually cuts down on the company’s processing fees, saving you money. It also gets it out of the way so for the rest of the year you have one less payment to think about every month.

Drive safely

The longer you go without making a claim, the lower your premiums should be. Most companies provide a discount for every year you drive without making a claim. This policy differs from one insurer to the next, but the savings are usually quite deep.

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