Now that you know the ins and outs of car insurance policies , it’s time to learn how to save money on your policy. Vehicle insurance policies can be quite expensive, especially if you’re young or if you live in certain areas. Luckily, there are some simple steps that you can take to lower your premiums and increase the amount you can put into savings every month. Who knows, you can then use these additional savings for some cost effective monthly gym membership or so.
- Shop around. By comparing policies online and asking for quotes, you can get a cheaper policy. Look into buying your insurance directly from a company instead of going through a broker, because this is often cheaper.
- Buy a bundle. The more different things you purchase from the same company, the cheaper each thing can be. If you want to insure more than one car, see if you can get a discount by buying both policies from the same company. You could even looking into getting your home insurance, life insurance and car insurance all from the same company for extra savings. This doesn’t always get you the best deal, so it isn’t a substitute for shopping around, but it’s a good place to start.
- Choose your vehicle carefully. Insurance companies look closely at the average cost of claims for different makes and models. The more your car costs to repair after a collision, the more your insurance company will charge you. Generally, more expensive cars cost more to repair, but there are statistics online about this. Theft statistics also come into play here, and this isn’t only a problem for exotic cars. Popular modification cars also have a habit of going walkabout, and insurance companies also tend to rate the people who drive them as more risky. Think carefully before buying, say, a Honda Civic. Theft statistics by make and model can be found online. Of course, if you have a private garage to park in, that will go some way towards reducing the theft-associated insurance cost. If you drive a hybrid, some insurance companies will reward you with lower premiums.
- Equip your car. Here in Canada, insurance companies will often offer incentives for equipping winter tires. As if they weren’t already important enough, it can reduce your premiums. Check your insurance policy carefully, though, because they often want them installed by a certain date. Anti-theft devices can also help to bring down your premium. Once again, check with your insurance company. Finally, while it won’t affect your premium, a dashcam can help you to demonstrate that you weren’t at fault when you make an insurance claim. On the other hand, be very careful and read the small print if you have a modified car, or if you plan to do some tuning. Insurance companies base their risk calculations on the stock vehicle, so they don’t like your aftermarket turbo and dropped stance. Declared modifications can increase your premiums, and undeclared modifications can void your insurance entirely. Height adjustments and any change to the engine or brakes are particularly risky.
- Go to school. If you’re under 25, you can expect to pay eye-watering prices for car insurance. However, some insurance companies offer student discounts. For the more academically-minded, some will even offer bigger student discounts for students with good grades. Spending more time in the library can have an immediate impact on your budget. Even once your university days are behind you, they can exert a downward force on your premiums. Some insurers offer discounts for alumni of certain Canadian universities. If you graduated from the University of Toronto, for example, TD Insurance has a special bundle for you.
- Use your car less. The more you drive, the greater your chance of being in an accident. Insurance companies will calculate how many miles you drive each year and charge accordingly. The closer you live to your workplace, the cheaper your premiums. If you are a secondary driver in the family, get insured as a secondary driver for cheaper prices. If you want to prove to your company that you barely use your car, some companies offer a pay-as-you-drive scheme that uses a special tracking device installed in your vehicle.
- Be a good driver. Most people think that they are above average at driving, but being genuinely safe is good for your budget as well as your health. When you get your initial quote, the figure will depend on your driving patterns, your vehicle, and your vital statistics. Over time, insurance companies get a better idea of how risky you are to insure. If you total a couple of cars, your premiums go up. If you go a couple of years without so much as chipping your paint, they go down. If you want to prove your skills, some insurance companies will offer a discount if you successfully complete an advanced driving course.
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