Cars are very affordable in Canada. In fact, it is possible to buy a used vehicle for just a few hundred dollars. But finding affordable auto insurance is another matter, and it is not unusual for a new driver to pay auto insurance that is more costly than the actual value of the vehicle. This is a tough situation to be in, and I’d like to provide some insight into how you can get the best insurance value as a new driver.
What Factors Affect Your Auto Insurance?
If you are a new driver and are looking to purchase a vehicle, please be aware that the characteristics of your vehicle will impact your auto insurance. Factors such as the vehicle’s safety features, the average cost of repairs and likelihood to be stolen will all have an effect on premiums. Therefore be sure to do your homework before you purchase a new vehicle. Even if you get a great car deal that saves you money, you might end up paying for it in the auto insurance.
It is highly recommended that a new driver takes a Ministry of Transportation approved driver training course. A driver training course can save you hundreds of dollars or roughly 10-20% of your auto insurance. This is especially important for first-time drivers or drivers who have not been behind the wheel for a long time. Without a reliable driving record to look to, insurance providers will look to education as the next best point of reference to determine the appropriate premium.
The standard within the industry is Young Drivers of Canada as its road safety and collision avoidance is second to none. Take a course that teaches you something and that could save your life. According to their website, they are the only driving school to have ISO 9000 registration, which is the international standard for quality products and services. They have a number of programs that can help you become a safer and more confident driver.
Safe Drivers Pay Lower Premiums
A few years ago, Intact Insurance introduced telematics which is a device that monitors your driving habits. It can be easily installed in your car, and if you practice safe driving techniques you can reduce your auto insurance by up to 25%. So exactly what is measured and how can my driving impact my premiums? Intact will provide you on-line feedback in three areas: the time of day you drive, how hard you brake and how hard you accelerate. The measurement period is 1,000 kilometres. If you’re a safe driver you do not accelerate, therefore it’s unlikely you’ll need to brake hard. If you don’t drive during peak (rush) hours you will maximize your discount. And of course, always drive free of distractions and impairments. This will lower your chances of being penalized under the law. Safe drivers clearly pay less for their premiums than careless or aggressive drivers.
Take Advantage of Discounts and Deductibles
Another common way to reduce your auto premium is to increase your deductible. There are many combinations of coverage and in most cases, there is a specific deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Essentially, a deductible is a form of self-insurance.
All insurance companies will offer you a discount for additional or multiple policies. So for example, by combining your auto insurance with your home, condo or tenant policy, you will receive another discount. Discounts for multiple vehicles on one policy can also reduce premiums. If you happen to be a full-time student, that is another way you can qualify for a discount. Always ask about your Broker about discounts, there are many!
Finally, constantly educate yourself about insurance. Considering the high cost of insurance premiums, you need to understand what’s out there and how to maximize your purchase. Find the solution that best fits your budget and lifestyle; a qualified broker can shop the marketplace for you. We have relationships with some of the best auto insurance providers in Canada, and we always get the best rates for our clients!
Auto insurance can be costly, but if it doesn’t have to be if you practice safe driving, educate yourself and shop carefully for the right insurance coverage. If you are completely new to driving or need to become reacquainted, then taking a full course at a reputable driving school is a good start. You will have the skills you need to be safe on the roads and qualify for lower premiums. If you own or rent a home, then take advantage of package deals that many insurance companies provide. A Navigators Insurance broker can help you find the right coverage you need at an affordable rate. Don’t hesitate to contact one of them today. Call us to book an appointment or contact us.