Inertia is expensive. To lower your premiums, you can redouble your efforts by contacting dozens of insurance companies over the phone and on the web or let a broker do the work. But one thing is for sure if you don’t do anything you are probably paying too much.
Auto insurance 101
In Quebec, it is possible to obtain 3 types of coverage for your vehicle:Liability Insurance: This coverage is mandatory and must cover a minimum of $ 50,000, but typically covers between $ 1 and $ 2 million. It protects against damage to third party property, such as eg. if you damage a cedar hedge or hit a stranger’s outdoor furniture (also known in popular parlance as “one-sided insurance”).
Your own property damage: You can also obtain insurance covering damage to your automobile in the event of a collision with another vehicle (“Be insured on both sides”). If you have a car loan or a leased vehicle, this coverage is mandatory.
Damage without collision or payment: This type of insurance covers damage caused by fire, theft, vandalism, glass breakage …
Moreover, in Quebec, all citizens are automatically covered by public insurance from the SAAQ for their bodily injuries, without the need to hold a driver’s license or own a car.
The 8 commandments to lower your auto insurance premiums
There are factors of your insurance that are impossible to control, such as your years of driving experience, your age, your gender, your place of residence (or almost) …
However, there are several elements that are under your control:
1-Your deductible, will decrease
Probably the most common way to reduce your insurance premiums, both for cars and homes. However, ask yourself what impact this new deductible (often called a deductible) will have on your personal finances. If the damage to your vehicle costs you $ 2,000 and you have to pay $ 1,000, can you afford it? Ask your broker or insurance company to give you the premiums with different deductible values ($ 250, $ 500, $ 1000). When you compare with other companies, you will be surprised at the results.
2- Buy car that thieves don’t care about it
BEFORE buying that shiny sports car or luxury vehicle of your dreams, contact your insurance company/broker to find out how it affects your premiums. There is also a series of vehicles, without being luxury or sport, which are prized by thieves.
These vehicles will therefore cost you much more to insure. For 2010, according to Protégez-Vous magazine, the most stolen in 2017 are the Honda Civics, Cadillac Escalade, Acura RSX, and Integra, Audi S4 Quatro, and Hummers.
The premium surcharge on some vehicles can be quite impressive. Find out before rather than after.
3- Reduce your trips
Do you travel 15,000 km per year with your vehicle to get to work (270 days x 55 km)? Try to carpool or use public transit and your premium will go down. Aside from work, your total annual mileage also has a noticeable impact on the premium. This clause represents compensation for residents of large cities, who often pay more for their insurance than outside large centers.
4- Keep your file clean to get the best insurance rate
This is arguably the most important principle of insurance. If you’ve never had a complaint, you’ll always get the best insurance rates. Remember that all your claims are kept in a central file accessible to all insurers. And an accident will “stick” to your file for 6 years (equivalent to 5 renewals).
Even if you haven’t made a claim, but the other party has reported it to their insurer, it will appear in the central file. Be aware of the road, avoiding makeup, eating, playing with your GPS, MP3 player or other distracting gadgets.
Only claim damages from your insurer that greatly exceed your deductible. Payout of pocket for small damages to your damaged paint or mirrors that will avoid increasing your premium.
Even in the event of an accident at fault, you will often see your premiums increase because you will be viewed as an increased risk. After a few years, increasing your premiums will cost you more than paying your damages.
6- Install an immobilizer, tracking system or intensive marking
For some models of vehicles prized by thieves, some insurers require you to install a tracking or immobilizer system. An anti-theft device and intensive marking of your vehicle will reduce your premiums, and your investment will pay for itself in a few years. Be vigilant by not leaving any object in sight and by parking in well-lit and safe places.
A reduction in age, profession, occupation or association, you will look for
There are discounts offered to members of certain associations (such as CAA or FADOQ). Insurers try to join groups with the same interests or the same profession (Order of engineers, nurses, accountants, etc.), to more easily target a key clientele. For those who are not part of any association or corporation, there are several other discounts eg. if you are part of a large company with more than 25 employees.
Sports cars or cars with very powerful engines are more likely to generate high premiums since their drivers will generally tend to drive more aggressively and recklessly.
The same goes for non-standard cars which will tend to cause greater damage to other vehicles (non-standard bumpers, heightening, oversized wheels, equipment intended for off-road driving, etc.). Consult this SAAQ document to find out what is and is not authorized before modifying your vehicle.
In the event of a collision, imported, luxury, or collector’s vehicles cost much more to repair. If you want to save on your premiums, consider these factors in your purchasing decisions.