There’s no way to avoid it; if you own a car in Canada, then you must purchase car insurance. The rough part is dealing with the cost each year, which, depending on the province you live in (along with a whole list of other factors), can really end up thinning out your wallet.
Ontario drivers pay the highest insurance premiums – the average rate in 2012 fell around $1,544.86, almost 50 per cent more than the cost over in Alberta, which ranks number two in the most expensive category.
For drivers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba the cost isn’t nearly as high, but that’s in large thanks to accessible public auto insurance. Private insurance can judge drivers on things like age, gender and driving history, while public insurance offers up the same standard rates to all drivers no matter your personal details. Pretty nice, huh?
But don’t worry, private car insurance buyers! Staying informed on what companies look for before quoting you helps in winning the best rate, and we’ve got the nine factors that can help lower it.
9. Getting Married
Apparently married couples have fewer car accidents than single people, so if you weren’t thinking about getting hitched before it might be time to reconsider. At least before you go buying new car insurance.
8. Where You Live
“…Because different areas have different rates of things like theft, vandalism, and even accidents,” says icandrive.ca, car insurance companies can quote people living in the same city at different rates. Choose where you live carefully and be sure to call your provider for specific area information if you’re aiming for a lower rate!
7. Your Driving History
Driving convictions, at-fault accidents, driving courses – they all factor into how you’re viewed by car insurance companies. Want lower rates? A clean history is the key!
6. A Good Credit Score
Word on the street is that a lot of companies look at your credit when making their decision on rates, so if you’ve got a higher score, chances are you’ll get a lower quote.
5. Your Gender
It’s no secret that young male drivers are the hardest to insure at a bargain, but it may come as a surprise that older women get hit with higher premiums too. Studies show that older females get into more minor accidents than their male counterparts, which means grabbing that lower rate basically depends on your chromosomes.
4. The Size of the Car You Drive
Got a big car? A larger vehicle with a great safety rating actually works in your favour when it comes to buying insurance. Getting into an accident while riding in a small car is a more dangerous scenario and the chance for passenger injury is high…just like insurance quotes for smaller vehicles.
3. Your Car’s Safety Rating
When buying a car it’s important to consider the safety rating, and not just for the reasons you think! Car insurance companies base some of their quotes on how high your vehicle’s rating is and what features (think: airbags, traction control, etc.) come standard.
2. How Much You Drive
Commuting to an office that’s far away? The more time you spend on the road (and the greater the distance is) the higher your insurance! According to icandrive.ca, “The longer you drive each day, the more you are likely to pay.” So, those looking for lower rates might want to consider carpooling into work or taking transit.
1. Your Age
If you’re 25 or older than lucky you, because car insurance premiums for mature drivers are significantly lower than those offered to young people. Obviously a driver with less experience poses a greater risk to insurance companies, which is why this ageist factor still gets to play into the conversation.