There are multiple articles titled “7 ways to save on car insurance” or “5 Tips to lower your auto insurance costs” etc, but would it not be great to have all those saving tricks and discounts at one place? Below you will find such a list for Auto insurance. This list is a comprehensive overview of all opportunities to save on car insurance in Canada, and was compiled based on the results of numerous discussions with insurance brokers and through analyses of different insurance offerings.
1. Shop around: Search, Compare, and switch insurance companies. There are many insurance providers and their price offerings for the same policies can be very different, therefore use multiple online tools and talk to several brokers since each will cover a limited number of insurance companies.
2. Bundle: Do you need Home and Auto Insurance? Most companies will offer you a discount if you bundle them together.
3. Professional Membership: Are you a member of a professional organization (e.g. Certified Management Accountants of Canada or The Air Canada Pilots Association)? Then some insurance companies offer you a discount.
4. Students: Being a student alone can result in a student discount.
5. Alumni: Graduates from certain Canadian universities ( e.g University of Toronto, McGill University) might be eligible for a discount at certain Insurance providers.
6. Employee / Union members: Some companies offer discounts to union members.
7. Seniors: Many companies offer special pricing to seniors.
8. Direct insurers: Have you always dealt with insurance brokers / agents? Getting a policy from a direct insurer (i.e. insurers working via call-center or online) often can be cheaper (but not always) since they do not pay an agent/broker commission for each policy sold.
9. Annual vs. monthly payments: In comparison to monthly payments, annual payments save insurers administrative costs (e.g. sending bills) and therefore they reward you lower premiums.
10. Loyalty: Staying with one insurer longer can sometimes result in a long-term policy holder discount.
11. Annual review: Review your policies and coverage every year, since new discounts could apply to your new life situation if it has changed.
12. Welcome discount: Some insurers offer a so called welcome discount.
13. Benchmark your costs: Knowing how much other consumers similar to you pay for their insurance can help you identify the most cost-friendly insurance providers.
14. Car Insurance Deductibles: Increase your car insurance deductibles if you believe that you are capable of incurring higher payments for damages in case of an accident. This is especially suited for more experienced car drivers.
15. Being a second driver: Driving a car only occasionally? Become a second drive instead of being a principal driver
16. Minimal coverage: Driving an old car without large value? Get a minimal coverage required by law (mainly liability) w/o collision damage (you are still protected if you damage somebody’s car but damages on your car will not be covered)
17. Minimal Coverage: Driving an old, inexpensive car? Then only get a minimal coverage plan which is required by the law (mainly liability) without collision damage coverage (does not cover damage costs for your vehicle)
18. Leverage your Credit Card: Check if your credit card insurance includes rental car protection. Paying with a card that has insurance for rental car protection can you save you around $20 per day in Collision Damage Waiver fees.
19. Leverage rental car coverage: If you frequently rent cars and have an auto insurance policy, you should check if your own auto insurance policy actually covers the rental car. If it is the case, you can save on all Collision Damage Waiver costs for rental vehicles.
20. Rental car rider: If your existing auto insurance policy does not cover your rental car, you can often add it as a rider (policy extension) for $20-30 dollars a year. Compared to $20/day you would pay when renting a car, it’s not a bad deal!
21. Location, location, location: Car insurance costs are different from one province to another (e.g. moving from Ontario to Quebec will surely reduce your insurance costs by half). If you move within a province, you should check for any changes in car insurance costs, and ideally you should move to where costs are lower (e.g. Burlington, Ontario has one of the highest car insurance rates in Ontario)
22. CAA member: CAA Members: Are you a member of the CAA? Some insurance providers will reward you with lower insurance premiums, including, of course, the CAA.
23. Dashboard camera: Get a dashboard camera for your vehicle. Even though installing a dashboard camera does not result in direct savings (insurance companies do not offer any insurance discount related to dashboard cameras) but it can prove you not-at-fault when it is the case in an accident. It results in you avoiding unfair premium raises.
24. Driving Course: Successfully completing a driving course is sometimes recognized by some insurance providers and could help you reduce your premiums.
25. Improving your driving record: Do you have a bad driving record? Every three years previously incurred tickets are removed from your insurance history and your insurance premiums can go down.
26. At-Fault Accidents: Have you been in a couple of accidents in the past where you were at fault? With a little patience (six years with no accidents), your risk profile will improve allowing you to once again enjoy reasonable insurance premium rates.
27. Age: Senior drivers enjoy lower auto insurance premiums. Thus in several years your premiums can go down.
28. Car Make and Model: Wisely choose your car, as some car models are more susceptible to theft or even have a history of more risky drivers (e.g. Toyota Camry, Acura MDX, Toyota RAV4, and Honda Civic are usually quite expensive to insure)
29. Good Student: Yes, having good grades can have many positive impacts, and even on your auto insurance rates! E.g. one insurance company rewards students who are younger than 25 and have good grades (grade average of B or higher) with a discount up to 25%.
30. Multiple-cars-bundle: Bundle several cars on one policy and your rate can go down
31. Anti-theft system: Installing a certified anti-theft system in your car results in a lower risk of theft and thus can lead to insurance discounts.
32. Winter Tires: Having winter tires is important for driving safety during the winter, but can also help reduce your insurance premiums.
33. Repair costs: Choose a car that would cost less to repair in case of damage. The repair costs for certain cars (e.g. Mini Cooper or BMW) are higher than other (e.g. Ford Focus) and insurance providers are aware of that.
34. Claim History: Keeping a clean claims history can sometimes be more financially feasible than submitting claims for small damage repairs which could result in increased premiums. Contacting an insurance provider/broker could help you find out what makes sense.
35. Being married: In most provinces your marital status affects your insurance premiums (except in Nova Scotia)
36. Short distance to work: Finding a house close to your place of work reduces the distance that you need drive daily to work and thus results in lower insurance premiums.
38. Drop glass coverage: For cars with inexpensive windshields, it can be more economical to drop the glass coverage since in combination with the deductibles to be paid in case of an accident you’d pay more. It is up to you to calculate.
39. Retiree Discounts: Some insurance companies will offer different retirement discounts for drivers.
40. Disabilities: Some companies offer discounts for people with disabilities.
41. Hybrid vehicles: Many companies award driving a hybrid vehicle with lower insurance premiums.
42. Private Garage: Parking your car in a safe location (e.g. private or secure garage) normally results in lower insurance premiums with auto insurance providers.
Alex Saltykov is a Co-Founder of InsurEye Inc, a Canadian company that provides online tools for consumers to educate them about insurance, create transparency in insurance market place in Canada and connect consumer with insurance brokers in Ottawa, insurance brokers in Montreal and all across Canada.
Alex spent years advising insurance clients both in North America and Europe while he was working for one of the leading management consulting companies. His areas of expertise are insurance, interactive consumer services, innovation, IT and operations.