Let’s be honest: there’s nothing “fun” about shopping for car insurance. Getting coverage for your pride and joy means considering all manner of different unsavory scenarios, from cracked windshields to fender benders, and worse. And even after all of that, the moment you first lay eyes on your quote, you’re still left wondering whether you’re getting the best possible deal, or you’re leaving money on the table unnecessarily.
We’ve been there, and we’re here to tell you that shopping around for the best deal on car insurance doesn’t have to be such a stressful experience – so long as you keep a few money-saving tips in mind. We’ve partnered with TD Insurance to compile a list of ten tips to help keep your insurance premiums lower and ensuring you have the right coverages to fit your needs, leaving more money left over for the things that are a little more fun, like vanity license plate frames and fuzzy rearview mirror dice.
Your deductible – the amount you would pay out-of-pocket for repairs after making a valid claim with your insurer – is one of the most important figures to consider when obtaining car insurance. It’s meant to limit your share of the repair bill to only what you can comfortably cover yourself, at which point your insurer steps in and pays the rest of the tab, so opting for a $1,000 deductible on your collision coverage is akin to saying: “If I’m unexpectedly in an accident, I could pay as much as $1,000 out-of-pocket toward repairs, but no more.”
If you ever need to file a claim, a low deductible is nice in the moment. But, the deductible is also a factor in determining your premiums. That nice, super-low $250 deductible might not be worth it in the long run if it means paying more each month for your insurance premium. If you’re comfortable with a higher deductible and you lease or finance your vehicle, keep in mind that the lender may have a maximum allowable deductible for certain coverage.
When you set your deductibles, be honest with yourself: how much can you really afford to pay for a claim, in the unfortunate event that you actually have to file one? We recommend comparing prices with a couple of different deductibles selected, and considering the trade-offs between paying a lower premium, or paying less out-of-pocket after an accident.
For most insurers, car insurance is just one of multiple products they offer, and that means potential savings for customers if they bundle their home and auto insurance together through the same provider. Why is that? Think of it like a bulk discount, where the more volume you buy in toilet paper, foodstuffs, or other consumer goods, generally, the more you save.
When you insure both your car and your home through the same insurer, they will typically offer you reduced premiums for giving them more business.
Just like bundling your home and auto insurance together under the same provider can help you save, so, too, can covering multiple cars under the same policy.
For anyone living in a household with more than one vehicle, insuring multiple vehicles with the same insurer can usually save you some cash. TD Insurance customers can save even more by bundling their car insurance with coverage for an ATV, snowmobile, motorcycle, or motorhome.
One of the ways to save on auto insurance is simply by making a wise decision when it comes to your choice of chariot. Some vehicles are more crashworthy than others – meaning they are better able to protect vehicle occupants in a collision – and there is no hard-and-fast rule for assessing crashworthiness based on vehicle type; you may “feel” safer in a crossover, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will protect you better than a sedan when it counts.
Additionally, some vehicles have safety technology in place that can help you avoid an accident in the first place. Features like blind-spot monitoring and automatic lane-centering can help keep you safe, which can also help keep premiums down. However, those systems also depend on a number of high-tech gizmos like cameras and sensors, which can become easily damaged in a crash, representing a different kind of risk to insurers.
Our advice to you, if you happen to be searching for your next set of wheels: get insurance quotes before you make a purchase, and consider comparing several different vehicles that you might be interested in.
There’s good news for those of us who may be driving less these days. With vehicle usage being a rating factor that helps determine your premiums, driving less will likely mean lower premiums. If your driving habits have changed, for example if you are no longer commuting to and from work, it’s worth reaching out to your insurer to understand if there are some savings to be had.
One note of caution – this does work both ways. If your driving habits change again (for example your mileage increases or you begin to commute), remember to once again reach out to your insurer so you have the right coverage in place.
No matter what type of car, a driver is only as safe as their driving style, and modern technology has made it possible for insurers to assess how you drive, while you drive. Often, you can save money on your car insurance simply by volunteering to transmit relevant driving data – what times of day you drive; how aggressively you brake, accelerate, and take corners; how fast you cruise; etc. – to your insurer. In the old days, this was accomplished using a dongle that you would plug into your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port, but these days, it’s even easier to get set up; all it takes is a mobile phone app.
Sending your driver data to your insurer could help lower your premium because it represents yet another tool your insurer can use to more accurately gauge your risk level. Aggressive drivers are seen to be higher-risk than average, so if you can demonstrate safe driving habits, you could save on your premium; qualified drivers in Ontario or Quebec covered by TD Insurance who sign up for the TD MyAdvantage program can get up to a 25% discount on their renewal for good driving behaviours, including 10% (5% in Quebec) just for signing up, downloading the app, and using it to submit consistent driver data.
One of the best ways to save money on your car insurance is to simply keep a good, clear driving record. Obey all traffic laws, drive defensively, and pay close attention to the speed limit. Speeding to the store to reserve your copy of Halo Infinite might seem worth it at the time, but it won’t be if it means an expensive ticket and a higher insurance premium.
Newly licensed drivers typically benefit from additional savings for completing an accredited driver training program. Even experienced drivers can benefit from more advanced driver training courses to keep their driving skills sharp. Being a safer driver can translate to insurance savings in the long term, as you are less likely to be involved in an accident.
Are you a member of an alumni group or professional association? Some insurers offer preferred home and auto insurance rates for college or university students or alumni, those belonging to certain professional associations, and other groups. TD Insurance, for instance, offers discounts for over 750 alumni groups, employee groups, and professional organizations.
Individually, each of these discounts tends to be for only a modest amount, but every penny counts – especially when you look at the total savings over the years you will be driving your car. And your insurer might also be able to make recommendations on other ways that you can save. TD Insurance puts those savings in terms that are easy to understand -- new customers, on switching both their home and car insurance policies, reported an average annual premium savings of approximately 24%*.
Remember: your insurer wants to keep your business. That means that they will do what they can in order to keep you satisfied with your coverage.
When shopping for car insurance, price should not be your only consideration; you are also purchasing what support you’ll receive after an incident, so the quality of the customer service is also important. Learn more about TD Insurance and get a quote to see how much you can save.