5 ways to lower your car insurance rate

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Posted on February 27, 2023 | Updated on January 14, 2024

Car insurance rates in Ontario are a major source of stress and anxiety for many drivers in the province. However, car insurance is a must if you own a vehicle and the law if you live in Ontario. Car insurance makes owning a vehicle more expensive, but you should never pay more than necessary.

Here are 5 ways you can lower your car insurance rate.

Shop around for the best car insurance rate

If you already have car insurance, the best time to look for a better car insurance rate is when you receive your renewal policy from your insurance company. This way, you know what your renewal rate and you have something to compare to other quotes. You can ask your broker to work out some numbers for you, or, you can get a car insurance quote online in minutes.

Take advantage of car insurance discounts

Insurance companies offer a wide range of discounts that will lower your rates.

Bundle your home and auto insurance – If you insure your home and auto insurance with the same company, you can get a multi-policy discount of up to 15% on your car insurance. If you are renting an apartment, you can buy contents and liability insurance for between $200 and $300. The 5% savings on your car insurance will go a long way in paying for your tenants insurance. It only takes a minute to get a tenants insurance quote online.

Multi-car – Insure all your car on one policy. Insurance companies will add a multi-car discount of at least 10% to each car.

Winter tire – Change out your tires in the winter. Since 2016, insurance companies in Ontario have offered a winter tire discount. The discount varies from one insurer to the next, but you could get a discount of up to 5%.

Ask your broker about other discounts.

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Choose your vehicle wisely

The type of car you drive can affect your premium. The insurance industry gathers information on the number and cost of claims for the most popular Canadian models of cars, passenger vans, SUVs, and pickup trucks. Some cars cost more to repair than others, are not as safe, and may be the preferred target of car thieves. These cars will have higher car insurance rates.

If you are interested in seeing how a car ranks for repairs and theft, the Insurance Bureau of Canada can help.

How Cars Measure Up – The results for 2002 through 2020 models where at least 1,500 of each of the models were insured between 2015 and 2020. The information comes entirely from actual insurance claims data, collected from most of the car insurance companies in Canada.

Top 10 Stolen Vehicles – Every December since 2003, IBC has published an annual list of the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada. The statistics IBC publishes are wholly based on actual insurance claims data collected from nearly all automobile insurance companies in Canada. These companies write almost all of the automobile insurance in the country.

If you have an older or low-value vehicle, think about removing collision and comprehensive coverage. The annual premium for this coverage can be anywhere from $200 to $1,000 or higher. In case of a collision, the insurance company might not fix your car and may decide to write off your car. On top of that, you will have to pay the deductible. Of course, you will have to weigh the cost savings of removing the coverage against having no coverage for collision and theft.

You can also decrease your rate by increasing your collision and comprehensive deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower your rate will be.

Practice defensive driving to keep your rates low

Speeding tickets and other convictions, at-fault accidents, or claims frequency can increase your premium. Insurance companies can add a surcharge or remove the claims-free discount or conviction-free discount. If you have too many claims or convictions, the insurance company can cancel your policy or decline to offer coverage on renewal. Should that happen, your only choice may be a high-risk insurance market and your premiums may double or triple.

Consider buying a usage-based car insurance policy. This type of policy bases your rate on your driving skills and behaviours. Most insurance companies now offer usage-based car insurance policies for a lower rate. Using an app on your phone, the app will collect information including the distance you drive, the time of day you are on the road, and when and how you accelerate and brake.

Pay your insurance premiums in full

Paying your premium on a monthly basis is a great way to spread out your car insurance but there is a cost to this. The financing fee is 3% of the premium which is $45 on a $1,500 car insurance policy. If you can afford the large, up-front payment, you can save some money in the long run.

In conclusion, auto insurance can be a significant expense for drivers in Ontario, but there are several strategies you can use to save money on your coverage. By shopping around for quotes, increasing your deductible, bundling your policies, driving safely, choosing the right vehicle, avoiding unnecessary coverage, looking for discounts, considering usage-based insurance, and paying your premiums in full, you can lower your auto insurance premiums and still get the protection you need on the road.

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