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Car Insurance: Safe Driver Discount

Did you know that having a good driving record can make you eligible for a car insurance discount? Years of driving safely and obeying the rules of the road can result in some serious rewards. Continue reading to learn more about how safe drivers can benefit from reduced auto insurance premiums.

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Auto insurance discounts for good driving

Want to be rewarded for good driving? You can be! Many insurance companies in Canada offer a “good driver” or “safe driver” discount to those who exhibit safe driving habits. More specifically, this discount is available to drivers with clean driving records. A clean driving record is one that has minimal claims, accidents, tickets, and other infractions over a specific amount of time. The length of time varies depending on the insurance company, however, the average number of years that a clean driving record must be maintained to qualify for a discount is three.

How much can I save with a safe driver discount?

Safe driver discounts vary between insurance companies, with some offering discounts as high as 25% and others as low as 5%. Even better, some insurers offer increasing discounts over time if you continue to maintain a clean driving record as a way of incentivizing drivers to drive safely.

If you think you qualify for a safe driver discount, contact BrokerLink. One of our knowledgeable insurance advisors will be pleased to shop around on your behalf to ensure you find the best possible safe driver discount on your car insurance policy.

How can I get a safe driver discount on car insurance?

Practice safe and responsible driving! Always drive the speed limit (or below it) and obey traffic signs. You may even wish to take the additional step of honing your skills in an approved driving school or through a defensive driving class. Furthermore, to ensure you qualify for a safe driver discount on car insurance, contact a trusted insurance broker at BrokerLink. They can explain the ins and outs of the safe driver discount and inform you of the conditions you need to meet to qualify for it.

Why safe driving matters

Save driving matters for several reasons. First, the safer you drive, the less likely you are to get into an accident on the road. Not only can accidents be expensive but they can also be dangerous and even life-threatening. Therefore, drivers should always aim to obey the rules of the road, which include driving the speed limit and following all traffic lights and signage.

However, beyond keeping yourself and others safe, good driving can have a positive influence on your car insurance premium. Since car insurance is mandatory in Canada, all drivers stand to benefit from cheaper premiums.

There are many factors that insurance companies consider when calculating insurance rates, from age and location to annual mileage and type of vehicle. However, there are few factors as important as one’s driving record. Anytime you apply for car insurance, your insurer will carefully examine your driving record, as they see this as a clear indication of your risk level.

If your record has speeding tickets, accidents, DUIs, and claims for all sorts of driving infractions, your risk level increases and so too will your insurance premium. Oppositely, if they see a clean driving record, you will be considered less risky and your premium may go down. Even if your record doesn’t qualify you for a safe driver discount, your insurance rate is still likely to be less than someone with a poor driving record. However, driving safely without incident for multiple years in a row can make you eligible for such a discount, which means even greater savings.

Ultimately, if you drive regularly, driving safely and responsibly is crucial. It can save lives, reduce your odds of getting into an accident, and result in cheaper auto insurance rates.

Other factors that determine auto insurance premiums

As mentioned, your driving record is just one factor that influences car insurance premiums, albeit an important one. More than your driving record, insurance companies in Canada will take into account other factors when calculating rates. Below is a list of factors an insurer may consider when determining your auto insurance premium:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Driving experience
  • Past claims
  • Annual mileage
  • Make, model, and year of the vehicle
  • Prior insurance coverage
  • Your deductible
  • Local laws
  • How you use your vehicle
  • Marital status

10 other car insurance discounts in Canada

A safe driver discount is one of the best car insurance discounts available to drivers in Canada. But it’s far from the only one. In fact, insurance companies typically offer a wide range of discounts. The trick is understanding what discounts are available and if you qualify for them. The experts at BrokerLink break down some of the most common types of car insurance discounts in Canada below. If you need help understanding whether you qualify for them, don’t hesitate to give us a call:

Driving school discount

If you successfully complete an approved driver training or education program, your insurance company might give you a discount. Driving school discounts can be especially helpful to young drivers whose insurance premiums are usually the highest. Therefore, enrolling in and graduating from an approved driving program in your province can give you an advantage right off the bat. Beyond lowering your insurance premium, attending driving school can allow you to advance through Ontario’s graduated licencing system even faster. If you complete a driving course (and can show proof of doing so), you can take your G2 road test within eight months of getting your G1, rather than having to wait the full twelve months. To be eligible for the driving school discount, make sure you attend an approved driving school, such as the Young Drivers of Canada program.

Winter tire discount

Since January 2016, all insurance providers in Ontario offer a discount to clients who install winter tires on their vehicles between specific dates. Both dates and discounts vary, though the former typically falls between December and March and the latter around 5%. Before you run out to buy snow tires, make sure to research the specific conditions you must meet to qualify for the winter tire discount with your insurance provider. A few conditions drivers commonly need to meet to be eligible for the discount include:

  • You must purchase a set of four winter tires (ensure they are winter tires by carefully checking that they have the winter tire emblem - a snowflake inside a mountain peak)
  • You must install the winter tires on your car before your insurance company’s specified date and leave them on until the specified end date
  • You must notify your insurance provider that you’ve bought and/or plan to install winter tires (keep a copy of the receipt or invoice)

Increased deductible discount

One of the simplest discounts available to drivers in Canada is the increased deductible discount. If you increase your deductible, even by as little as $1,000, the insurance company is likely to lower your premiums. Keep in mind that increasing your deductible can be risky and should not be done unless you can afford to pay the deductible in the event of an accident. To learn more about insurance deductibles, get in touch with BrokerLink today.

Telematics discount

Installing a telematics device in your car, or using a similar app that tracks your driving habits, is another way that you can earn an auto insurance discount. Telematics devices work to track a driver’s habits. The safer you drive, the higher your discount will be. Many insurance companies in Canada offer telematics-based discounts or discounts for drivers that use specific driving apps.

Bundling insurance policies discount

Bundling multiple insurance policies and buying them from the same provider is another way to save big on car insurance. For example, if you purchase car insurance and home insurance from the same provider, you could save between 15% and 20% on each respective policy. Bundling insurance policies is often a win-win: more money for the insurance company and major savings for you. Plus, buying insurance policies from the same provider at the same time is usually more convenient than dealing with multiple providers and their unique terms.

Private parking discount

Where you park your car matters, especially if you live in a city. If you park your car in a private area, whether it be a driveway, garage, or laneway, you may be eligible for a car insurance discount. Insurance companies know the risks that come with parking a vehicle on the street overnight compared to parking it in a private garage or driveway. So the next time your car insurance policy is up for renewal, be sure to mention that you park your car somewhere safe and private.

Retirees discount

Did you know that senior drivers over a certain age can get you a discount? For example, if you’re an experienced driver at a certain stage in life who is retired and living in Ontario, you may be able to save up to 15% on your auto insurance premium.

Insuring multiple vehicles discount

Just like how bundling insurance policies together can make you eligible for a discount, so too can insuring multiple vehicles together. The principle behind them is the same - by spending more money with the same insurance provider, you can save money. So if you’re looking to insure more than one vehicle in the same household (e.g. your and your spouse’s vehicles), consider purchasing them together and you could receive a discount of up to 15% off your premiums.

Policy renewal discount

One final type of car insurance discount that may be applicable to some drivers in Canada is the policy renewal discount. Some insurance companies will reward you if you’ve been with them for a certain number of years and have had zero at-fault accidents. If this sounds like you, ask your insurer about policy renewal discounts the next time your plan is set to expire.

Electric vehicle discount

Go green and save big in some Canadian provinces. Insurance providers in certain parts of Canada offer discounts to drivers of eco-friendly vehicles, such as hybrid and electric vehicles. Discounts vary but may be 5% or more. Before purchasing an EV, contact BrokerLink to learn about relevant discounts in your province.

Mandatory auto insurance for drivers in Canada

Even though you may qualify for a safe driver discount, it doesn’t mean you can skimp out on mandatory coverage. Regardless of your status as a safe or good driver, you will still need to ensure your car insurance policy complies with the minimum coverage requirements in your province. For Ontario drivers, this means a policy that includes $200,000 in third party liability coverage, uninsured automobile coverage, accident benefits coverage, and direct compensation - property damage coverage. Read on to learn more about each mandatory coverage type:

Third party liability coverage

Third party liability coverage provides legal protection if you injure someone else or cause property damage to another person’s property on the road. This type of coverage can help pay for medical expenses associated with bodily injuries or repairs of damaged cars, as well as any applicable legal fees and settlements up to the coverage limit. In Ontario, all drivers are required to hold a minimum of $200,000 in third party liability coverage at all times.

Direct compensation - property damage coverage

Direct compensation - property damage coverage protects an insured vehicle and its contents against property damage, so long as the policyholder is not at fault for the collision that caused said damage. Under this type of coverage, the insurance provider typically pays for the repair or replacement of your car directly.

Note that to be eligible for direct compensation coverage, the collision must meet the following circumstances: it occurred in Ontario, it involved more than one vehicle, and it involved at least one vehicle that participates in the province’s car insurance program.

Uninsured automobile coverage

Uninsured automobile coverage is designed to protect you and any passengers in your vehicle if you get into a collision with an at-fault driver who is either uninsured or underinsured. This type of coverage can also protect the policyholder in the event of a hit-and-run.

Accident benefits coverage

If you, a passenger, or a pedestrian requires medical attention following a collision, accident benefits coverage can help. This type of coverage is provided no matter who was at fault for the accident and it can help cover a wide range of medical expenses like prescription medications, physical therapy, or rehabilitation, as well as loss of income.

Optional auto insurance for drivers in Canada

Furthermore, being a safe driver doesn’t mean you won’t need additional insurance coverage. The three optional coverage types below are some of the most popular in Canada and can protect you from a wide range of circumstances beyond standard coverage. From collision coverage to accident benefits coverage, keep reading to learn more about the three optional coverages below:

Collision coverage

If you get into an accident with another vehicle or object on the road, no matter who is at fault for the accident, collision coverage can help cover the costs. Under the collision coverage section of your policy, you can receive compensation to help pay for any property damage that resulted from the accident, such as a damaged car.

Comprehensive coverage

G1 drivers may find comprehensive coverage worthwhile. This optional type of coverage protects against a wide range of circumstances other than collisions. Sometimes referred to as parked car insurance, comprehensive coverage will compensate you in the event of damage caused by an insured peril. Examples of insured perils are theft, vandalism, water damage, fire, riots, falling objects, and more.

Accident forgiveness coverage

One final type of optional car insurance coverage popular among drivers is accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness is additional coverage that can be added to your car insurance policy as an endorsement, to protect your driving record and to help prevent your insurance premium from increasing if you have an at-fault accident claim.

Note: coverage varies by province.

How to save even more money on car insurance as a safe driver

As a safe driver, you may already be eligible for a good driver discount. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to save even more money on car insurance. Follow the tips below and your premium may be reduced even further:

1. Enrol in a defensive driving course

Enrolling in a defensive driving course indicates to an insurance company that you are taking the necessary steps to improve your driving schools, and they may reward you for it. To continue down the path of being a safe driver, research defensive driving courses in your area. Not only will such a course inform you of the safest driving techniques but it can also lower your rates.

2. Work with a broker to compare rates

One final way to save money on car insurance as a safe driver is to work with a reputable insurance brokerage. The only way to ensure you’re getting the best coverage for the best rate is by shopping around, and that’s exactly what brokers do. For example, here at BrokerLink our knowledgeable insurance brokers take the time to understand your needs and budget, obtain and compare quotes on your behalf, and present you with the best, most affordable options. Quality car insurance at a great rate is just a click away.

Safe driving habits all drivers should adopt

Being a safe driver is easier said than done. If you want to achieve the status of a safe driver and benefit from a good driver discount, start by adopting the following habits:

Focus on the road at all times

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents in Canada. Multi-tasking is hard under normal circumstances let alone when you are driving. To avoid getting into an accident with serious consequences, make sure to focus on the road at all times. Put your cell phone away, program the GPS or the radio before pulling out of the driveway, and save eating, drinking, or smoking until you’re safely parked.

Practice defensive driving

Defensive driving is a type of driving in which you anticipate the actions of other drivers and defend yourself against these actions. Such skills can make a huge difference when it comes to safe driving. Generally speaking, defensive driving is made up of three core principles: observe the road, identify and adapt to road hazards, and expect other drivers to make mistakes. If you can get on board with these three principles, you can become a safer, more responsible driver. To hone your defensive driving skills, consider enrolling in an approved defensive driving course, either online or in-person.

Don’t crowd the car in front of you

Maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you is another habit all drivers should aim to adopt. Many accidents occur because a driver has miscalculated the amount of space to leave in front of them. Experts recommend leaving two car lengths’ worth of space between vehicles on non-highway roads. On highway roads, this should double, as the faster you’re going, the longer it will take you to stop safely. If the car in front of you brakes suddenly for any reason, maintaining a greater distance can help prevent an accident.

Stay informed about traffic and weather conditions

Keeping up to date with local traffic and weather conditions can increase your ability to drive safely. Before you leave the house, get into the habit of looking up the current and forecasted weather conditions, any traffic updates or route disruptions, and any planned roadwork or construction.

Read your car insurance policy and vehicle manual from cover to cover

Knowledge is power, especially before getting behind the wheel. So before you hit the road, make sure you carefully read your auto insurance policy and vehicle manual. Understanding all aspects of your policy - especially your coverage limits and potential penalties - can make a world of difference. Similarly, reading through your manual and understanding the inner workings of your vehicle can also help you avoid an accident.

Obey the law at all times

Though this might seem obvious, it is imperative that all drivers obey the law at all times. Driving safely means driving legally, and to do that, you must abide by all traffic and driving laws in your area. Examples of traffic laws include yielding to pedestrians, driving the speed limit, using appropriate turn signals, wearing your seatbelt, fully stopping at all stop signs, and never using your cell phone while driving.

Learn more about the car insurance safe driver discount with BrokerLink

Get in touch to speak with an expert BrokerLink broker who can fill you in on the safe driver discount. They can even work with you to determine if you qualify. If you do, we can help you find a car insurance policy with the right safe driver discount, and if you don’t, we can let you in on some top tips for improving your safe driving skills. We can also inform you of the many other car insurance discounts available to drivers in your province.

What are you waiting for? Contact BrokerLink to save money on your auto insurance policy today. We can be reached by phone, email, or in person at one of our many locations across Canada. We also encourage drivers to take advantage of our free quotes. Use our online quote tool and receive an accurate and competitive auto insurance quote in minutes. It couldn’t be easier.

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