Car insurance is mandatory in the province of Ontario, but that doesn’t mean that all insurance policies are created equally. Despite the fact that it’s overseen by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRAO), Ontario’s auto insurance industry is privatized, which means its a competitive marketplace.
For savvy consumers, this can be a major advantage.
Every auto insurance policy in Ontario must include certain minimum mandatory coverages (Third-Party Liability, Accident Benefits, Underinsured Motorist Protection, and Direct Compensation Property Damage), but beyond that, policies can vary substantially. Many vehicle owners simply renew the same insurance policy year after year, but the truth is that there are many potential ways to reduce your car insurance rates if you’re willing to invest just a little bit of time and energy.
Below, we’ll provide our top 15 tips for helping Ontarians save money on their auto insurance premiums. While not all of the factors that determine your car insurance rates are within your control, many of them are, and taking a few minutes to get informed can end up saving you a bundle in the long run.
After browsing the tips in this post, get in touch with the team at your nearest Westland Insurance location to apply them and begin saving. We look forward to serving you!
15 Tips To Save On Car Insurance
1. Don’t Pay For Coverage You Don’t Need
It may sound obvious, but paying for coverage you don’t need is definitely a waste. Beyond the coverage you’re required to carry by law, take time to consider whether or not additional coverages are warranted based on your needs, circumstances, and comfort level with risk.
Your Ontario Health Insurance may not cover all medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care expenses associated with a car accident, which is why many Ontarians opt for enhanced car insurance coverage that will. But if you’re already covered for some of these expenses through health benefits provided by your employer, investing in more expensive car insurance may not be necessary.
Is the total value of your car less than $2,000? If so, it may not be worth purchasing enhanced car insurance since any claims made may barely exceed your deductible payment (the portion of a loss you’re responsible for paying out of pocket).
Take time to weigh the cost of your auto insurance policy against the expenses you believe you may realistically incur in the event of a loss. Which policy you ultimately select is a personal decision, but it always pays to be informed.
2. Consider a Policy With Higher Deductibles
The deductible is the amount you’re responsible for paying in the event of a loss. Low deductibles may seem attractive, but they’re also usually associated with higher premiums (the total amount you pay annually for your auto insurance).
Conversely, by increasing your deductibles, you can usually lower your annual premium. But bear in mind that, in the event that an accident or loss does occur, you’ll be on the hook for paying a higher deductible at that time.
Every policyholder must find the solution that makes them most comfortable, but being aware of the options available empowers you as a consumer.
3. Compare Quotes From Different Insurance Providers
This is a big one. When you’re looking for the best price on a new electronic device, pair of shoes, or even groceries, you probably comparison shop online or in stores (or both) until you understand the market and are ready to make your purchase—hopefully at a steal of a deal.
Buying vehicle insurance is exactly the same.
While getting just a single auto insurance quote may be easy, it’s unlikely to yield the best savings possible. To truly find the most competitively priced insurance for your vehicle, shop around and find out what different insurance providers have to offer.
At Westland Insurance, we can help you compare quotes. Working with all of Canada’s top insurance providers, we assist our clients in finding affordable solutions that are good for their security and peace of mind as well as for their wallets.
4. Seek Out Insurance Bundles
Have you heard of insurance bundling? It’s when you purchase multiple insurance policies through the same insurance company—and are eligible for savings in return.
If you’re in need of home insurance, car insurance, boat insurance, and business insurance, you may be able to receive additional discounts on each subsequent policy by purchasing them through the same insurance company. Talk to your insurance provider for details, as savings can often range between 10% and 50%, depending on the circumstances.
5. Drive Less
The whole point of owning a car is to drive it, but are there ways you could reduce your vehicle usage? If so, you could be saving on car insurance.
Do you bus or carpool to work on certain days? Drive primarily within a few kilometre radius of your home? Or mostly drive on evenings and weekends?
When, how, and how much you use your vehicle can impact your insurance rates. Every policy is different, but if you drive less than you used to or are actively working to reduce your driving habits, a friendly Westland representative can help you determine whether or not you may be eligible for additional savings as a result.
6. Ask About Potential Discounts
When purchasing auto insurance, be sure to find out if you’re eligible for any specific discounts. Alumni and professional associations you belong to as well as factors such as age, lifestyle choices, and investments in safety features such as winter tires or security systems, can all have an impact on your insurance premiums.
7. Maintain a Clean Driving Record
Maintaining a clean driving record is a key factor in keeping your auto insurance rates affordable. Tickets, traffic violations, and at-fault collisions all contribute to a higher-risk driving profile and result in increased insurance rates. Accidents happen, but taking responsibility for safe driving habits can be a game-changer for both your safety on the road and your pocketbook.
8. Drive an Insurance-Friendly Vehicle
Did you know that the type of vehicle you drive impacts your auto insurance rates? When purchasing a new vehicle, keep insurance costs in mind by paying attention to its safety features, theft ratings, cost of repairs, and the statistical likelihood of being in a collision. Of course, the age of the vehicle is also an important consideration.
9. Invest in Taking Additional Driver Training
Some insurance companies offer reduced insurance rates to drivers who complete additional driver training, such as a defensive driving course. Before enrolling in a course, you may wish to look into exactly what your insurance provider requires and ensure that the course is approved by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
10. Make Sure to Always Pay Your Premium on Time
Paying your insurance premium on time is a great way to avoid additional penalties and fees that can ultimately land you in a high-risk category (which, needless to say, means paying more for your insurance).
If it’s financially feasible for you to do so, paying your auto insurance premium in a single lump sum can also be a great way to save. When you pay monthly or quarterly, you’re usually subject to additional administrative fees, which increase your total annual costs.
11. Install a Dash Cam
Investing in a dashboard camera is a straightforward way to ensure that collisions or other losses are accurately documented. This can save you time and money when filing a claim (or help you prove that you don’t need to because you weren’t at fault).
12. Combine Insurance With Your Partner
When you combine households with a spouse, partner, you may be eligible for savings on your auto insurance premiums. Talk to Westland Insurance for more information about your specific circumstances.
13. Don’t Swap Insurance Providers
In the insurance industry, loyalty is rewarded. This doesn’t mean that you should never switch providers, but it does mean that you should factor in loyalty discounts you may be eligible for and should avoid switching providers mid-term (which can result in additional cancellation fees).
14. Go Paperless for Your Insurance Payments and Documents
Some insurance providers offer discounts to policyholders who go paperless by opting into electronic billing and services. Since many people prefer digital transactions anyway, this can be a simple way to receive a discount on your car insurance without having to make any major shifts in your habits.
15. Our Tips for Young Drivers
As a young driver, it can be challenging to find ways to save on auto insurance. In part, this is because they don’t yet have an established driving record. That being said, there are a few potential avenues that young drivers can pursue when it comes to saving on auto insurance in Ontario:
- Get yourself listed on the policy of a parent or guardian instead of becoming the primary driver on your own insurance policy.
- Take additional driver training courses approved by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
- Seek out insurance providers that offer discounted rates for students (if you’re a student).
Start Saving on Car Insurance in Ontario With Westland Insurance
If you’re seeking affordable car insurance in Ontario, Westland Insurance is ready to help you find it. Our professional team of experienced brokers will take the time to get to know you and your circumstances to ensure that you’re provided with the most comprehensive coverage of auto insurance options at the best rates.
To get started, contact Westland Insurance online, by phone, or in person today!