Are you overpaying on car insurance? Want to get a better deal and keep more money in your pocket? Before making a decision, assess your options and shop around for the best auto insurance quotes on the market.
In August 2015, the average cost of car insurance in Canada was 1,368 CAD. Drivers living in Ontario paid as much as 1,920 CAD on auto coverage. These numbers have increased ever since.
Car insurance premiums are even higher for young drivers and those who've been unlucky enough to accrue points on their license. The same goes for those who own sports cars or live in high-risk areas. Luckily, there are ways to lower your rates.
High-risk auto insurance doesn't come cheap. But what is a high-risk driver in the first place? Keep reading to find out whether or not you fall into this category, and how to reduce your monthly premiums.
What Is a High-Risk Driver?
Auto insurance companies determine your premiums based on several factors. One of them is the likelihood of getting involved in a car accident. Others include your age, type of vehicle, number of at-fault accidents, and more.
Drivers who are more likely to have an accident on the road will end up costing them more money in the event of a claim. That's why they charge higher auto insurance rates to compensate for the risk.
The definition of a high-risk driver varies from insurer to the next. In general, drivers who meet one or more of the following criteria are considered high risk:
- Two at-fault accidents over the past five years
- One major ticket in three years
- Three minor tickets over the past three years
- A poor driving record
- Lapses in auto insurance coverage
- No previous car insurance
- Multiple traffic violations
- Being a teen driver or a new driver
- Being over 70 years old
- DUI and DWI violations
- Driving high-risk vehicles
Let's take high-risk vehicles, for example. Driving supercars, sports cars, or exotic cars can significantly raise your auto insurance premiums. Collectible cars fall into this category too.
Someone who is driving a sports car is more likely to exceed the speed limit and cause accidents compared to those driving a sedan.
Exotic cars are more likely to be stolen and cost more to repair or replace in case of damage. Therefore, they carry higher insurance rates.
If you're a young driver, you can expect to pay more on coverage. In 2010, drivers ages 16 to 25 made up 33.4 percent of traffic deaths. Additionally, those who fall into this category suffer more injuries on the road than any other age group.
Things to Know When You're a High-Risk Driver
The good news is that being a high-risk driver doesn't last forever. If you maintain a good driving record for years, your status may change.
Plus, you can always switch to a safer vehicle or add safety gear to your car to lower your premiums. Just because you're labeled "high-risk," it doesn't mean you must pay a fortune a car insurance.
Beware than auto insurers look beyond your driving record when calculating your premiums. They also check your credit score, your location, and even your job.
DJs, for instance, pay higher auto insurance rates because they're more likely to go out partying and drive at late hours than a nurse or an accountant. Therefore, their risk of getting involved in a car accident is higher.
If your office is located in a high-risk area, your car insurance premiums will reflect that. Insurers will assume that you're likely to have an accident on the road or get your car stolen while you're at work.
As a high-risk driver, you might not enjoy certain perks, such as accident forgiveness.
Additionally, your insurance provider might not fully cover the repairs your car needs. Plus, they might check your driving record more often than that of a low-risk driver to ensure you follow the rules.
However, this doesn't mean you can't save money. Comparison shopping is the key to lower insurance rates.
The more you shop around and compare quotes, the higher your chances of getting a good deal. Nowadays, the Internet makes everything a lot easier.
Ready to give it a try? Here's how to find a high-risk auto insurance policy that meets your needs and get lower rates!
Compare High-Risk Auto Insurance Quotes
First, determine how much coverage you need. This will have a major impact on your car insurance premiums. Research the different types of auto insurance so you can make an informed decision.
Next, go online and get multiple insurance quotes from different providers. Compare them on a like-for-like basis.
Our website offers a free, easy-to-use tool that allows you to compare high-risk auto insurance quotes from top rated companies in Canada and North America. Simply enter your contact information, and you'll get dozens of quotes within one to five minutes.
Hire an Insurance Broker
Another option is to hire a car insurance broker. However, beware that most brokers either charge a commission or service fees. Since you're looking for high-risk auto insurance, you might end up paying a few hundred dollars extra.
Working with an insurance broker has its perks, but it comes at a price. Online shopping, on the other hand, is free. Weigh the pros and cons, and then decide what works best for you.
Increase Your Deductible
A surefire way to get lower rates is to raise your deductible. This represents the amount of money you're willing to pay out of your pocket in the event of a claim.
The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly rates will be. Just make sure you have enough money set aside to cover the cost of repairs or damage in case of an accident.
Bundle Insurance Policies
Most companies offer discounts to those who purchase two or more insurance policies.
For example, you can insure both your home and your car with the same agency. If you don't own a house, combine auto coverage and renters' insurance.
This strategy could help you save up to 10 percent on your monthly car insurance premiums.
Take Defensive Driving Courses
In general, insurance providers will lower your rates by 5 to 10 percent if you take defensive driving courses. The Canada Safety Council and Jardine Lloyd Thompson Canada Inc. are just a few of the organizations that provide this kind of training.
Defensive driving courses will not only reduce your premiums but also improve your skills behind the wheel. You'll gain a better understanding of braking distances, learn how to communicate with other drivers on the road, and develop the skills needed to stay safe when driving in bad weather.
No matter your age or experience, you can benefit from taking defensive driving courses. Just make sure you choose a reputable school.
Install Anti-Theft and Safety Equipment
Each year, car theft costs Canadians about one billion dollars. Many times, thieves use these vehicles to commit other crimes.
The 2015 Lexus GX460, the 2007 Ford F350, and the 2006 Ford F350 are the most likely to be stolen. The risk is even higher for luxury vehicles.
Considering these facts, it makes perfect sense to safeguard your car. This will lower your auto insurance rates and reduce the risk of theft.
Most insurance companies charge less for vehicles with anti-theft and safety equipment. Depending on your needs and budget, consider adding the following to your car:
- Electronic tracking system
- Electronic immobilizers
- Vehicle alarm system
- Steering wheel locks
- Tire locks
- Kill switch
A vehicle tracking system, for instance, allows you to track your car's location in real-time. In case it gets stolen, you'll be able to find it within minutes.
Apply for Car Insurance Discounts
The best way to save on high-risk auto insurance is to apply for discounts. These will vary from one insurer to another.
Car owners may qualify for loyalty discounts, senior discounts, good student discounts, homeowner discounts, or low-mileage discounts. If you maintain a clean driving record, consider applying for accident-free discounts.
Want to save big? Pay for auto insurance in full.
Are you a member of an auto club? You might qualify for affinity discounts.
Renew your car insurance policy before it expires to receive an early renewal discount. If you have two or more vehicles, insure them all with the same company for further savings.
Tired of your old car? Switch to a new model to save even more. If you purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle, you'll get a bigger discount.
Get the Best Deal on High-Risk Auto Insurance
As you see, saving money on high-risk auto insurance isn't that difficult. All it takes is a little planning.
Take the time to shop around and get at least three different quotes. Compare them side-by-side and check the discounts that are being offered. Remember to read the fine print before you sign up for a new policy.
For other car insurance tips, check out our blog posts! We'll show you how to choose a policy that meets your needs and budget, what to look for when comparing insurance quotes, and much more!