Canadians tend to be complacent when it comes to their finances. You bank at the same place where you first opened an account. You get your car insurance through the same company year-after-year, blindly accepting their annual increases because it’s a pain to shop around

But the fact is we need to shop around regularly in order to get the best deal. Banks and insurers, in particular, rely on our loyalty and complacence to pass along price increases while their new customers get the good incentives and discounts.

My car insurance comes up for renewal this month and since I’ve been with the same insurance company for several years I decided to shop around and see if I was still getting a good deal. Follow these tips I used to save money on car insurance:

Tips To Save Money On Car Insurance

  1. Shop around – Many people aren’t happy with their insurance rates, but surprisingly they aren’t doing anything about it. The first thing you need to do is shop, and the easiest way to shop now, rather than calling a lot of companies and explaining the same thing to them, is to do it online through a comparison site.
  2. Multiple vehicles – Having multiple vehicles under the same insurer can save you 10% or more on your premiums.
  3. Bundle other policies – Better yet, insure your home with the same company and save up to 10%.
  4. Increase your deductibles – Increasing your deductibles by $250-$500 can reduce your collision and comprehensive costs by 15%-30%. The trade-off is that you are required to pay more for small claims.
  5. Self-Insure the small risks – By increasing your deductibles you avoid unnecessary coverage, and since small claims increase your premiums anyway, filing fewer claims will reduce the chance of your premiums rising in the future. Besides, if you’re an above average driver (who isn’t?) the savings in premiums should more than pay for any claims you might make over the life of your vehicle.
  6. Avoid Collision on older cars – Collision coverage protects damage to your own vehicle, but if your car is worth $2,000 or less, are you really going to salvage it after a major wreck?
  7. Low mileage discount – This might not apply to many people, but I live less than 10 km away from work, and since that is my major daily commute, insurance companies offer a discount for low mileage drivers. This can also apply for your secondary vehicle that perhaps doesn’t get out on the road as often.
  8. Good driving record – Being accident and ticket free over the past 10 years is a great way to save money on car insurance and has saved me between 5%-20% on my premiums. Savings kick-in after 3 accident and ticket free years.
  9. Value of Car – Expensive cars cost more to repair and therefore cost more to insure. Check the insurance rates before you decide to purchase a new car.
  10. Pre-pay your insurance – Most insurance companies will charge you up to 3% to set-up a monthly payment plan. Avoid this by pre-paying your insurance in full at the start of the year.

    Tips To Save Money On Car Insurance

    Annual meeting of the summer tires club

  11. Winter tire discount – Winter tires are not only essential for driving in our harsh winter climate, but most insurance companies offer discounts if you actually use them.
  12. Show your certificate – If you’ve completed a certified driver-training program in the last 3 years you may be entitled to a lower insurance premium.

Final thoughts

I managed to save $300 off our annual premiums just by going through these steps again with our insurance broker this year. We now pay less than $1450 to insure our two vehicles (2013 Sante Fe and 2007 Tucson).

Related: Why I took a cash settlement for the hail damage claim on my vehicle

Readers – Do you have any other tips to save money on car insurance?

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