Published on August 31st, 2012 | by Jordan
How to Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium
First time auto-insurance shoppers often wonder how their rates are calculated. Though it’s true that each insurance provider utilizes its own set of statistics and formulas to determine what to charge their policy holders, it’s important to note that they are, in fact, heavily regulated by the Canadian government. Any changes to rates must be filed and approved by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, so no matter what you’re paying, it should comfort you to know that you’re not being unfairly treated.
Nothing affects how much you pay more than your driving record; maintaining a clean, infraction-free history is the first thing you should strive for in the pursuit of a low rate. Secondly, increasing your deductible (how much you’re willing to pay if anything were to happen) will decrease your premium as well. You should also evaluate how protected your vehicle is from damage and theft. Though the majority of recently-manufactured vehicles come standard with alarm systems, those drivers with older, classic or vintage vehicles could benefit from having one installed. Not only will your premiums go down, but you’ll be able to rest easier knowing your vehicle is that much safer. There are a number of discounts that vary from company to company that may impact your buying decision, one being a winter tire discount. Winter tires offer a much needed increase in handling and stability during our tough Canadian winters, and by installing them, you could save on your insurance. If you have an older vehicle that, if involved in a collision, would likely cost more to fix than it’s worth, consider dropping collision coverage for some additional savings.
What a lot of people fail to realize is that significant life changes can have a large impact on your premiums. For example, getting a new job could drastically affect how much you use your car, as one of the main factors in calculating your premium is how many kilometers you drive on an annual basis. Some larger companies and Ontario colleges and universities have agreements with insurance providers to give their employees/members/alumni preferred rates. And loyalty discounts exist out there as well, so once you find the right insurance provider, stick with them! Much like bundling other home services, bringing your home and auto insurance together under the same provider can reduce your rates too. Even if you’re not sure, it never hurts to call and ask.
Though you can’t control most of the factors that insurance companies use to calculate your rate, you do have the power to affect it. Compile a list of possible savings and call your insurance representative to find out more.
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