Mackay Insurance Blog
In the world we live in today, insurance is a fact of life. We need insurance for our homes, our possessions, our vehicles, and even our lives.
Shopping for insurance of any type also comes with a learning curve. For example, the first time you buy an auto insurance policy, you may overpay. But as you learn the ropes, you pick up tips for how to get the most insurance for a lower rate.
In this post, shorten your learning curve by finding out what questions to ask and what perks to look for to save the most on the auto insurance you need!
Tip 1: First, check rates with the insurer you’re with
Let's say you already have a homeowners insurance policy with a particular insurer. But now you need auto insurance as well. Before you start calling around to gather quotes, check with the insurer you already do business with.
Often, a current insurer can help you save money through a multi-policy discount. This means that you get a discount for adding another insurance product to your account. This is called "bundling" or "consolidating," and it may save you as much as 10 percent on the combined cost of your insurance policies.
Not all insurance companies offer perks for bundling, but by choosing an insurer that does, you stand to save more than just cash. It is often simply easier to juggle insurance renewals, premiums payments (especially if you use direct deposit or e-pay), information updates, and other chores when you only have to work with one insurer.
After all, your time has a dollar value too, and if you can spend less of it managing your insurance products, even better!
Tip 2: Choose the right level of coverage for your vehicle and driving habits
Regardless of where you live in Canada, you will be subject to certain minimum auto insurance requirements. These minimums vary by province. You can use this helpful resource to find out what the minimums are in your province.
Beyond these minimums, you still have a menu of options to pick from based on your garaging situation, driving habits and vehicle type. These options should reflect what insurers call your "risk tolerance." For example, if you have an older vehicle that is paid off, you may want to retain only the province minimum insurance levels. But if you own a vintage or high-value vehicle, or you still owe a lot of money on the vehicle, you may want to add extra insurance in case you are involved in an accident.
Choosing the right level of coverage is not always about finding the cheapest possible price—it should be about covering your risk without putting you out of pocket, and having a deductible you can afford should anything happen.
Tip 3: Ask your insurer about family auto insurance plans
If you have young drivers and/or occasional drivers in your family, you may be able to save money by purchasing a family auto insurance plan instead of buying individual plans.
For young beginning drivers in particular, taking an accredited driving course often qualifies them for lower insurance rates on their first auto insurance policy. As well, according to the Globe and Mail, when your young driver works hard to keep excellent grades, drives only during certain hours or days, has no driving incidents (of course), and is listed as a secondary occasional driver on your household's primary vehicle, these can all help in getting you the most affordable family auto insurance policy.
By asking the right questions of your insurance provider and educating your young driver about how they contribute to rate changes on the family auto insurance policy, you can make sure you get the best rate of insurance for the most expensive kind of driver—a young driver.
Tip 4: Check auto insurance rates first before buying a new vehicle
If there is one thing that feels really awful, it is finding out you just purchased more car than you can financially afford to insure. The Toronto Star calls this "The Porsche Factor," citing statistics on the frequency of theft as one way to gauge your level of risk when purchasing a new car.
Some vehicles are simply more expensive to insure. This can be due to poor crash safety test ratings, a more powerful engine, special after-market modifications that may be more costly to repair or replace, a vintage status, or other factors.
Price out the cost of insuring a new vehicle before you sign the purchase agreement. This way, you ensure you haven't just bought too much car for your budget!
Tip 5: Consider adding extra safety features on your vehicle
While this may require an initial upfront investment on your part, it benefits both you and your insurer to make your vehicle as theft-resistant as possible.
Insurers are often willing to provide policy discounts in exchange for insuring a more theft-resistant vehicle, because their risk of having to pay out on policy claims decreases correspondingly with each additional theft deterrent option your car carries.
Contact Mackay Insurance Brokers Today
If you have questions about auto insurance and other insurance products, Mackay Insurance Brokers is here to help! We are a family-owned and -operated business with 35 wonderful years under our belt, serving customers throughout the Belleville and Quinte, ON, areas.
We offer a variety of individual and bundled insurance products, including auto, motorcycle, home, mobile/RV, commercial, and life insurance policies. You can generate a free quote right from our website! If you prefer, we can talk you through policy options and discounts over the phone or in person. Contact us at 888-853-5552 or online.