Shopping for auto insurance could potentially save you money, but it may also feel daunting – mainly if it has been long since you last checked for better rates. The way you decide to shop for auto insurance is entirely up to you. Some people will opt for the convenience of shopping online while others will want to use an agent.
Whichever method you choose, you’ll need a little info about car insurance, an idea of the coverage you require and a few minutes to compare quotes.
These seven tips will help you get the right car insurance policy for your needs.
1. Understand Your Provincial Insurance Laws
Almost all provinces mandate car insurance coverage, but the specifics may vary depending on your province of residence. For instance, the minimum insurance requirements will vary by region, and so will the penalties for breaking those laws.
Even if you have auto insurance, you could still be breaking the law by not carrying the right amount of coverage. Familiarizing with your provincial car insurance requirements will prevent you from attracting penalties that could cost you money, driving privileges and time.
2. Gather Your Driving and Vehicle Information
You will need to provide your insurance company with some information before getting a quote. Here’s the info you’ll need to provide to your insurance provider:
- Your name and date of birth
- Your license number and the issuing date
- Current mileage on your car
- Vehicle information number
- Name and address of the registered owner
- Previous insurance carrier and expiration date
- How you use the vehicle
With this information, an insurance company will assess your driving record for any accidents and speeding tickets. Your insurance provider will also factor all these details when calculating your premium.
3. Decide How Much Coverage You Need
Understanding the amount of coverage you need will help you obtain the right car insurance policy. Different drivers have unique insurance needs, so find a plan that meets your needs. For instance, if you own an old car, you may not consider collision coverage since your old vehicle may not be worth the extensive repair work needed.
4. Compare Quotes
Car insurance isn’t created equal – you need to obtain a handful of quotes from various companies to compare coverages and costs. Don’t always take anyone’s word that they have the best deal for you – you need to do your research.
Cheapest isn’t always the best, and don’t ever assume that the biggest providers are the best. You can look through insurance comparison websites to determine what different carriers will charge you or visit your provider’s office for first-hand information.
5. Dig for Discounts
If you’re interested in saving money on coverage, don’t be shy to ask about discounts. Insurance carriers will often give a wide range of auto insurance discounts to attract customers and give them incentives for their good character. For instance, you can score a discount for insuring your home and car with the same company.
Your clean driving record may also pay off if your insurer offers a safe-driver discount. Be sure to ask about all the discounts you qualify for since they will help bring down your policy’s cost.
6. Learn About Optional Coverage Options
Beyond the provincial liability requirements, uninsured auto coverage and a basic level of accident benefits, you may also have the option to buy supplemental coverage in these areas:
- Comprehensive. You can purchase comprehensive coverage for various car damage types, including fire, theft, vandalism, earthquakes, flooding and hail.
- Emergency roadside service. Emergency roadside coverage protects you in the event your car breaks down, and you require emergency assistance.
- Increased accident benefits. You may also increase the benefits for medical rehabilitation, income replacement, attendant care and funeral.
Optional coverages may help provide supplemental coverage so that you are protected in full.
7. Choose Your Desired Deductible and Premium
If you want to pay a larger share of your insurance claim, you can choose a higher deductible, lowering your monthly premium. You would pay a higher premium if you chose a low deductible. Be sure to evaluate both aspects to determine whether you should pay more on an ongoing basis or potentially later.
After going through these steps, you are guaranteed you performed your due diligence to ensure you are getting the best auto insurance policy rates. Even at this stage, do not be afraid to ask your insurer questions regarding aspects you feel unsatisfied with.