Road Today - - Contents -

Al­though ba­sic in­sur­ance stan­dards vary from province to province, all Cana­dian car own­ers are legally re­quired to have au­to­mo­bile in­sur­ance on each of their ve­hi­cles. Here Lisa Purves, di­rec­tor of per­sonal auto at In­tact In­sur­ance, ex­plains how you might be able to save your­self money and a headache by avoid­ing th­ese sim­ple but com­mon mis­takes. 1. Not ask­ing. Al­ways in­quire about dis­counts when you’re ne­go­ti­at­ing your in­sur­ance. Your provider may be able to of­fer you bet­ter rates based on a good driv­ing record. Bundling your in­sur­ance into a home­au­to­mo­bile pack­age might also help save you money. Or con­sider sign­ing up for a us­age­based in­sur­ance pro­gram, avail­able in some prov­inces, that re­wards you for safe driv­ing habits.

2. Pay­ing by in­stal­ments.

Some in­sur­ers charge in­ter­est if you pay your pre­mi­ums by monthly in­stal­ments. If pay­ing up­front isn’t an op­tion, pri­or­i­tize pay­ing on time. Late or missed pay­ments may re­sult in fur­ther fees or even a pol­icy can­cel­la­tion, which could all lead to more ex­pen­sive fu­ture pre­mi­ums. You can set up pre-au­tho­rized pay­ment ar­range­ments with your bank so you’ll never miss a pay­ment or be late.

3. Long com­mutes.

Driv­ing for an ex­tended pe­riod of time to work ev­ery day means more mileage and time on the road, which both in­crease col­li­sion risk and wear and tear on your ve­hi­cle. Th­ese in­creased risks could po­ten­tially raise your in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums, even with a good driv­ing record. You may be able to re­duce your mileage and time on the road by car-pool­ing, tak­ing pub­lic tran­sit or work­ing from home for a few days each week.

4. Disobey­ing the law.

Traf­fic vi­o­la­tions such as speed­ing, driv­ing un­der in­flu­ence, and dis­tracted driv­ing may cause your pre­mi­ums to spike. Al­ways pay at­ten­tion on the road and never rush. This will help keep you, your pas­sen­gers and other mo­torists safe.

5. Lend­ing your car.

Be­fore hand­ing over your keys, think about how it may im­pact your ve­hi­cle and in­sur­ance record. Of­fer a lift and some help in­stead. Re­mem­ber that any­one bor­row­ing your car needs a li­cense and per­mis­sion to use your ve­hi­cle. If some­one is bor­row­ing your ve­hi­cle reg­u­larly, you should con­sider up­dat­ing your pol­icy to in­clude them un­der your cov­er­age.

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