Part 2 of a two-part series on saving on Ontario auto insurance. Check out part 1 here.
This is the second part of our series on Canadian car insurance in Ontario and factors to get the cheapest possible rate. Here are more factors to consider:
- Driver's Education Course: professional opinions vary on the cost-benefit analysis for a driver's ed course. As a rule of thumb, it is definitely a good idea to take a course offered by your local driving school to get your insurance down. This is especially true if you are a young driver. For older drivers and recent immigrants, it is a good idea to check if your insurance company will offer discounts prior to enrolling in these courses. Many times, the discounts don't extent to adults.
After you take the course, go to your ServiceCanada office and ask for a driver's abstract (driver's history). It will cost you $18 CAD. Scan and send this to your insurance company and hopefully, they will get the rate down.
- Professional organizations or memberships: this is a big one. Check to see if any organization you are a part of offers discounts on insurance. Many unions, professional organizations and alumni associations offer discounts on insurance. Check to see if your university alumni association or your work group has a plan. The discounts can be huge, and in rage of 25-50% lower of what you'd get otherwise.
- Brokers: brokers might be helpful. I personally have not had much luck with securing lower rates through them, but there are documented success stories. In any case, it would not cost you too much money to call one up and have them do the legwork. You can wait and see what kind of rate they would be willing to find and compare against what you managed to find on your own.
- Online shopping: there are many, many sites that will claim to be the best. Do a quote with all of them. It might be time-consuming, but finding the best rate takes a while. Consider it an investment. Do not give up or be discouraged by the initial high rates.
- Get a driving habits tracker: these are discussed in more details in another article, but they can be a great way to save if you do not mind insurance companies tracking your every move for a few months.
- Maintain a high star rating: it goes without saying that one of the most important factors in your insurance is how safe you drive and whether you had any claims in the past. This is not really a practical point in your search, but it is something to keep in mind.
- What is star rating?
- Many companies use star ratings to determine how safe you are. A 6-star rating is generally the highest and it means you have been accident free for 6 years (assuming you have been driving for 6 years). The better your rating, the better your premiums will be.
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