One of the best ways to keep one’s auto insurance costs down is to have a clean driving record things like traffic tickets, demerit points, and multiple accidents on a driving record can negatively affect how an insurer calculates your coverage.
Multiple driving violations could spike your rates, which could mean that you’ll be spending more compared to someone with a clean driving record.
How you drive has a huge say on how much your car insurance will be, so not only is it important to keep this in mind when you’re shopping for quotes, but it also means that you must comply with the law if you want to prevent a price rise.
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Listed below are other things an individual can do to lower their auto insurance costs.
1) Shop Around
In Alberta, rate changes are approved every three months. Compare quotes before renewing and prices can and will vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around.
Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the Internet. The state insurance department may also provide comparisons of prices charged by major insurers.
Get quotes from different types of insurance companies. Some sell through their agents. These agencies have the same name as the insurance company.
Some sell through independent agents who offer policies from several insurance companies. Others do not use agents. They sell directly to consumers over the phone or via the Internet.
Don’t shop by price alone. Ask friends and relatives for their experience, opinions, and recommendations.
Contact the state insurance department to find out whether they provide information on consumer complaints by company.
Pick an agent or company representative that takes the time to answer your questions. Insurance is not a one-and-done purchase.
2) Increase Deductibles
Deductibles are what one pays before an insurance policy kicks in. By requesting higher deductibles, an individual can lower the costs substantially.
For example, Save in the neighbourhood of 5 to 10% by increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000.
Before choosing a higher deductible, be sure you have enough money set aside to cover the costs if you have a claim.
Some companies could let you go higher than that.
3) Bundle Policies
Many insurers will give you a break if a person buys two or more types of insurance. A person may also get a reduction if you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company.
Some insurers reduce the rates for long-time customers. But it still makes sense to shop around! You may save money buying from different insurance companies, compared with a multipolicy discount.
4) Ask About Group Insurance
Some companies offer reductions to drivers who get insurance through a group plan from their employers, through professional, business, and alumni groups, or from other associations.
Ask your employer and inquire with groups or clubs you are a member of to see if this is possible.
5) Maintaining Loyalty And A Good Credit Record
Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Most insurers use credit information to price auto insurance policies.
Research shows that people who effectively manage their credit have fewer claims. To protect your credit standing, pay your bills on time, don’t obtain more credit than you need, and keep your credit balances as low as possible.
Check your credit record regularly and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate, depending on the company, it may benefit you more to stay with your existing provider.
Some companies do offer nice loyalty discounts when their customers reach milestones. Check in every few years, or call them upon renewal time and ask if they have a loyalty discount.
Gaps in insurance history could keep your premium higher.
Even if you don’t have a car right now, see if you can get yourself added as a secondary driver to a family or trusted friend member’s policy to keep gaps off your driving history.
6) Review Your Policy Annually
Each year, optional coverages should be reviewed to ensure what is still necessary and what should be added.
Getting rid of these excess coverages will lower your premiums and most Canadians don’t know that adding features that improve your road safety, like snow tires or an upgraded alarm system, can reduce your premium! The rules vary province-to-province.
If you regularly change your tires every winter, keep your receipt and tire information when you call your provider.
Let your provider know about your winter tire change routine. They may offer a slightly smaller discount for using them
7) Pay Your Premiums All At Once
Pay your premiums annually, in one lump sum, to avoid administrative fees that sometimes accompany monthly payments.
Some insurance companies offer a decent discount on your premium if you pay all at once at your policy renewal time.
They may offer a slightly smaller discount if you pay bi-annually, too. Another bonus to this is that you’ll naturally avoid the risk of missing a monthly payment and incurring policy cancellation.
8) Ask About Discounts
Some insurers offer discounts to members of local organisations like the Alberta Motor Association, AUPE members, or university alumni.
Ask your provider about the member discounts they offer and see if you qualify.
9) Depending on the age of your car, where you live, and what your driving habits are like, you may not need a fully-loaded policy. Reviewing your policy annually, how much your car would go for if it had to be written off (collision coverage), etc., and cutting the excess could lower your annual premium.
Of course, find the right balance with what you’re comfortable doing. If you feel better having the coverage “just in case”, then your peace of mind may not be worth saving a few extra bucks every month. Just like with a higher deductible, this is all based on your comfort level.
10) Before You Buy A Car, Compare Insurance Costs
Before you buy a new or used car, check into insurance costs. Car insurance premiums are based in part on the car’s price, the cost to repair it, and its overall safety record as Vehicles that have excellent crash test ratings, have low-theft scores, are not sporty, or attract lots of attention generally get cheaper rates.
Sure, it may be fun to drive a hot red sports car, but is it worth the premium? You decide that, and the likelihood of theft.
Many insurers offer discounts for features that reduce the risk of injuries or theft. To help you decide what car to buy, you can get information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.