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How to Reduce Your Insurance Rates

Looking for that new car? That means looking for insurance, too. When it comes to insurance, auto insurance is often the most expensive. Ontario drivers pay, on average, $1,917 a year on car insurance. BC drivers pay close to $1,429 per year, and Alberta drivers pay $1,372. However – and fortunately – there are ways to make this amount much more manageable. Here’s a overview that will help you save money while still getting the coverage you need—and some of these ideas can be combined to help you save even more.

Deductible
A higher deductible reduces your premium because you pay more out of pocket if you have a claim. Hiking your deductible from $200 to $500 can cut your premium on collision by 15 to 30 percent. Go to $1,000 and you could save 40 percent. If you have a good driving record and haven’t had an at-fault accident in years, if ever, opting for a higher deductible on collision might be a good bet. Just make sure you can afford to pay that cost if your luck runs out.

Review All of Your Coverage
Your liability coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage that you cause in accidents. Don’t get caught short by reducing your liability limits to the minimums. Buying more coverage might seem like an odd way to save, but the benefit comes if you have a costly claim.
If you have another car that you can use while your vehicle is being repaired, you don’t need to pay for rental-reimbursement coverage. Dump roadside assistance if you have an auto-club membership that’s a better deal, or if it’s part of your new car’s warranty.

Take Advantage of Discounts
Car insurers offer a whole range of modest but worthwhile discounts that are essentially based on a low-risk lifestyle. Here are some to ask your insurer about if they don’t mention them to you first:

New drivers who have taken a driver-training course.
Older drivers who have taken a refresher course.
Any driver who takes a defensive-driving course.
Members of affinity groups, such as college alumni and certain occupations and professions.
Anti-theft and safety equipment.
Multiple-Policy Holders
Insurers also offer fairly hefty auto discounts if you also buy your home­owners, renters, or life-insurance policy from them. But be sure you check out total costs both ways: premiums from different insurers compared with single-insurer packages.

Manage Teenage-Driver Risk
Adding a teenager to your policy can hike your costs by 50 to 100 percent. Make sure your child takes a safe-driving course before getting a license. Make it a rule that unsafe driving will mean loss of driving privileges.

Inform your insurer if the child isn’t licensed, or if your child is a college student residing more than 100 miles from your home and doesn’t have a car.

Report Reduced Mileage
A major cost component in auto insurance is miles driven per year. The average is about 20,000. But if you’re driving a lot less than usual for some reason, like a job change or retirement, let your insurer know. Your reduced driving could cut 5 to 10 percent off your premiums.