What I Learned When I Renewed my Car Insurance

I’ve been harping about having to move for a couple of weeks now. Please forgive me, but it affected me on so many levels, including, among many things, having to change my car insurance policy.

Firstly, my home address has changed. And because of it, my husband no longer has to drive to work. Rather, he can take advantage of Toronto’s excellent public transportation system. So, I thought taking out the “drive to work” mileage would decrease our premium.

Wrong! As it turned out, I now live within a postal code associated with a bit more affluent neighborhood, which, in spite of the neighborhood watch and a police station nearby, is prone to frequent visits from people who–how should I politely put it– have an alternate view of personal property.

To alleviate my frustration, my insurance broker suggested a few money saving tips, the result of which was, indeed, a lower premium. For starters, she suggested increasing my deductible. Sure, I don’t like the idea of having to pay $500.00 right off the bat instead of zero dollars. But, then again, we were fortunate enough to be claim-free so far. This is why the decision to pay a higher, and still hypothetical, deductible in exchange for a lower premium turned into a money saving idea.

We drive newer cars, so dropping out our comprehensive coverage was out of the question. However, if you drive an older car, which, for example, is likely to be written off in case of a serious accident, it does not warrant having a comprehensive coverage.

If you can, reduce also your “drive-to-work” mileage. It did not help us much because of the area we moved into. However, there are ways to reduce that mileage by carpooling to work or using public transit partly or all the way.

Also, make sure your car is properly rated. We loaded one of our cars, because, well, alright, it was vanity. But, number of doors, color, sunroof, type of engine, spoilers, and especially if the car is foreign, can greatly, and often negatively, impact your insurance rate. On the other hand, anti-theft systems, monitored garage parking both at home and work, etc. can help lower your premium.

There are other discounts you should be looking for, and make sure to ask your insurance broker about them, such as your risk rating. Your risk rating is impacted by how many cars and insured drivers you have, whether you are employed or retired, your age, whether you received drivers’ education, had no DUI charges, etc. Ask about every discount your insurance company might be offering. It could save you loads of money.