Tips from an insurance broker: Five ways to save on your car insurance

Dec 2, 2019 4 minute read

Tips from an insurance broker: Five ways to save o...

One of the great things about insurance brokers is that we really know insurance. This means we have the inside scoop on the best ways to save money on insurance. Abimbola Edwards is a BrokerLink insurance broker in our Toronto office. She has over ten years of experience in the industry, so she has tons of tips and tricks that can result in more money in your pocket. Check out her five ways to save on insurance below.

How to save on your car insurance premiums

If you own a vehicle then it goes without saying that you pay premiums (or at least someone else is paying for them.) You don’t want to be caught driving without insurance. That is a potential $6,250 penalty you will be toying with. At a time when premiums are going up in a hard market, there is no better time to find a way of cutting down on those premiums. This will be of importance if you live in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta in that order as these are the top three provinces for auto premiums paid in Canada.

Residents of Ontario might be especially eager to save money. In the third quarter of 2019, 81% of insurers in Ontario had rate increases approved by the the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) for auto insurance.

If you are wondering how to keep those bills in your pocket, hang on tight and we will share them with you.

1. Shop around

You knew this will be on the list, right? It goes without saying that you should shop around before settling for a provider. The flip side is that you don’t want to do it every year as you miss out on the renewal free discount that your current carrier may have given you if you had no claims.

The good news is that as brokers, we can do the shopping for you. Thanks to technology, we have the tools to compare rates at the speed of light. You don’t have to do the work of calling multiple companies yourself because we can do it for you. This means you spend less time worrying about insurance and more time doing things you want!

2. Disclose the correct use of your vehicle

This is one of the questions you will be asked before setting up your policy and there is a reason for this. If you are carrying tools, supplies or samples in your vehicle, you should be rated commercially. Also, if you are using your vehicle for any ride-sharing or deliveries such as Uber, Turo, Skip-the Dishes, please disclose. Your insurance options vary depending on what exactly you participate in.

Here’s a word of caution for the drivers that participate in deliveries: don’t lie about it! Maybe you can fool the insurer for some time, but you don’t want to be the victim that gets caught as the consequences are far reaching. You risk the policy being cancelled for misrepresentation. If this happens, finding another provider becomes difficult and more expensive and a claim could be denied.

3. Combine your home and auto policies

Your company will give you a discount for combining both polices. Not taking advantage of this is leaving dollars on the table. Why give an insurance company money you would rather save? In addition to a multi-policy discount, some companies will give a multi-vehicle discount if there is more than one vehicle in the household. The result? Staggering savings in insurance premiums!

Some people think they don’t need home insurance because they’re renting. Here is a good article that busts that myth. Tenant insurance can also be combined with your car insurance policy. Don’t feel left out, renters! You can save too.

4. Pay-As-You drive a.k.a telematics a.k.a. usage based insurance (UBI)

We depend on technology to save money in different areas of our lives, why not insurance? Telematics monitors your driving habits to reduce your premiums. We like to think of it as a win-win for the customer and the insurer: the customer gets reduced premiums while the insurer gets drivers with good habits.

To enjoy the discount, you will need to either download an app or install a device in your vehicle. Driving habits such as hard braking, distracted driving and rapid acceleration is used in rating. Intact Insurance, who was one of the early adopters of the technology offers up to a 30% discount for customers who take advantage of this technology. More money to be used for groceries!

There is no need to fear what is going to happen to all your private information. Data collected is subject to strict privacy rules and regulations.

5. Stay clean

Yes, it is good to have your car kept tidy, but what we mean is clean driving and payment habits. Your insurance premiums will jump up by what you have on your reports. Cancellations for non-payments, tickets, suspensions and accidents will result in your premiums sky-rocketing. Do what you can to avoid them.

Some infractions have higher impacts. For example, distracted driving will cost you up to $3,000 in fines in Ontario and will also move you to the high risk markets which always require a down payment.

Lastly, move up from a G2 driver to a full G driver. Staying at a G2 caps your star rating and therefore increases your premiums.

Brokers can help

BrokerLink is always here for you as professionals and we can help you swim through the unclear waters of insurance premiums. Give us a call!