With Canadians facing another year of steep price increases on everything from fuel to food, it’s a good time to talk to your insurance broker about whether you’re taking advantage of discounts that can add up to $300-$1,500 in annual savings. Want to see how much you can save? Give us a call at 647-490-8145.
Prices continue to go up. The inflation rate in Canada has jumped between 5% and 8% for all of 2022, and economists expect only moderate relief in the new year, predicting that we will average 3.5% inflation in 2023.
So with costs rising for most essentials, more and more Canadians are looking for ways to offset these increases. One area worth looking at is insurance. Not to say that insurance prices in general are immune from inflation, but when it comes to your own monthly bill, there are lots of ways to save.
How to save on premiums
Let’s start with the basics. There are some ways to save that are available to everyone. Others only apply to young drivers or older drivers, or students, or people with older cars. Some require you to install a device in your vehicle or an app on your phone. Either way, now is a great time to take advantage of as many discounts as possible.
(Note that every insurance company has slightly different discounts, so it’s a matter of talking to your broker about which discounts are available and whether it might make sense to switch insurers. We’re always happy to help. Give us a call at 647-490-8145.)
1. Switch insurance providers (auto, home, motorcycle, cottage, etc.)
As a brokerage that works with more than 70 of the best insurers in Ontario, we know that every company offers slightly different options and prices for different types of people. If you’ve been with the same insurance provider for several years, there’s a good chance that your circumstances have changed, and that another insurer may be a better option. The best way to find out is to have one of our experienced brokers take a look at your insurance needs and run some quotes. You could save $600 or more just by switching.
2. Bundling (auto, home, motorcycle)
You hear about bundles all the time in insurance, but how much can they actually save you? The answer is, a lot. In insurance, a bundle is a called a multi-line discount. Usually that means you have your auto insurance and your home, condo or tenants coverage with the same company. Bundle discounts vary, but some companies will give you 15% off your home and auto premiums if they insure both of them. If you were paying $2,300 a year for car insurance and $350 a year for your apartment, you can save close to $400 just for putting the two together. And if you ride a motorcycle, you can save up to 50% for placing your bike insurance together with your home and car. That number can be in the thousands.
3. Group discounts (auto and home)
Some insurance companies offer a discount just because you belong to a particular group or organization. If you’re a CAA member, you may be able to save 10% on auto and home insurance. In some cases there’s a discount related to where you work or if you’re part of a union. If you’re entitled to a group discount, our brokers will find it for you. It can save you $200 or more.
4. Pay up front (auto, home, motorcycle, cottage, etc.)
Most insurance companies expect customers to pay their premiums monthly. If you have the money to pay your entire annual premium at the start of your policy, that can save you 5%, or as much as $200.
5. Telematics (auto)
Telematics programs offer savings based on how you drive. You install an app on your phone, and it measures your speed, acceleration, turns, braking and what time of day you drive. You usually save 10% automatically just for signing up. Then assuming that you drive safely, you can save even more. As much as 25% in some cases. If your regular annual premium is $1,300, that’s $325. Not bad for just driving safely, which you do anyway!
6. Multi-vehicle discount (auto)
Let’s say you’re married or living with someone, and you each have your own auto insurance. Did you know that because you’re part of the same household, you can put both your cars on the same policy, and save as much as 10% on each one? Well now you do. If your regular rate is $1,700 and he pays $3,200 because of a few tickets on his record, you could save up to $490 just for bundling your cars together.
7. Monitored security (home)
If you have a home security system that is monitored by a security company, that can get you 5 – 15% off your home insurance premium. That could mean $100 or more in annual savings.
8. Winter tire discount (auto)
Winter tires are recommended by safety experts and can quite possibly save your life. They can also get you a 5% discount on your auto insurance. If you pay $2,600 a year, that means $130.
9. Non-smoker discount (home)
Quitting smoking is good for everybody and it also leads to insurance savings. Most insurers offer a discount of 5% if there are no smokers in the house. It doesn’t matter if the smokers go outside to smoke. It also doesn’t matter if you smoke cigarettes, cigars, cannabis or a vape. To qualify for the discount, everyone in the home has to be a non-smoker. If they are, that’s $20 – $50 in your pocket.
10. Don’t get a new driver their own car (auto)
If you have a new driver in the house (especially if it’s a boy), it can cost as much as $1,000 or more a year to add them as an occasional driver on a parent’s car. To get insurance as a primary driver on their own vehicle, you could easily pay over $5,000. It just doesn’t make sense to get a new driver their own car until they’ve been driving for at least four years. Even then, they’ll pay more than double the provincial average premium. Letting your kids gain experience as occasional drivers is a great way to save money.
11. Driver training (new drivers)
Drivers with less than three years’ experience can save 5 – 10% on auto insurance by completing an approved driver training course. For an occasional driver that can mean up to $100 a year. If they do get their own car, the driver training discount can save them $500 or more.
12. Good student (auto)
Drivers under 25 that are enrolled full-time in high school or a post-secondary program can sometimes get a discount of 10% if they maintain an average of 80% in school. That’s another $100. But only if you let your broker know.The reasoninsurance companies offer this discount is because they know that certain behaviours are good predictors of other behaviours. People who work hard in school and get good grades are usually more likely to be safe drivers and avoid accidents.
13. Mortgage-free discount (home)
If you finally finished paying off your mortgage, be sure to let your broker know. Some insurers offer a discount of up to 15% on your home insurance if you can prove that you’re mortgage free. The reasoning for this is similar to the good student discount. Homeowners who are disciplined enough to pay off their mortgage usually do a good job maintaining their home, and that reduces the chances of a claim.
14. Kids away at school (auto)
If you do have kids on your auto insurance policy and they go away for university or college (100 km away or more), you can sometimes cut their premium in half, because they’ll only be driving your car in the summer, at Christmas or on the odd weekend when they come to visit. Make sure to let your broker know. It can save you a tidy $500.
15. Low kilometres (auto)
If you drive less than 12,000 km a year – and especially if you’re under 7,000 km – you really need to look into an auto insurance program called CAA MyPace. You pay for your insurance as you go in 1,000 km increments. Say you usually pay $2,000 a year. If you only drive 5,000 km this year, you’ll save $600! If you work from home and only use the car occasionally for short trips, you can save 30, 40 or even 50%. It’s definitely something to look into if your lifestyle is such that you can limit how much you drive.
16. Retiree discount
Many insurers offer a discount of up to 15% if you show them proof that you’re retired. The idea is that you usually don’t drive as much, and you’re not driving at rush hour when heavier traffic means a higher risk of an accident. People between the ages of 60 – 70 typically pay some of the lowest premiums in Ontario anyway, but even if your rate is $800 a year, you could save an additional $120.
17. Increasing your deductible? (auto and home)
This is something that’s thrown around in the insurance industry as a great way to save, but we’d say be careful. Increasing from a common deductible like $500 to a high deductible like $2,000 for both your home and auto insurance might save you $100 – $250 a year, but if you have a claim, you have to come up with $2,000 all at once. We recommend setting the deductible at an amount that you know you can pay at a moment’s notice if you need to. Think hard about this one.
18. Removing collision and comprehensive coverage on an older car? (auto)
Again, going to basic coverage isn’t something you should take lightly. You may think of your 10 or 15 year old car as an old beater with no value, but consider that a 2010 Honda CRV in 2022 still has a street value near $15,000. More importantly, you rely on it to get around. Going to basic coverage could save you $200 – $500 a year, but if you get in an accident, can you afford $2,000 for repairs, or for a down payment on another car? Also consider that these coverages can get you a rental car while yours is being repaired.
How much can I actually save?
Your total possible savings depend on you, but unlike groceries, gas or your mortgage, insurance offers you myriad combinations and options to suit your needs. If saving money is important to you and you’re willing to limit your kilometres or track your driving habits, there’s no reason you can’t save $500 or even a $1,500 a year. Even if those options don’t work for you, simply talking to a broker and thinking about switching to a new insurance company could have a big impact on your monthly budget.
Want to see how much you can save? Give us a call at 647-490-8145.
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