This article has been updated from a previous version.
In the world of car insurance, the best time of year for drivers is renewal time. It's the time of year when your current policy is approaching expiry and you can easily switch auto insurance providers, for any reason. Yet many drivers allow their policy to auto-renew, which may seem convenient but can end up being a costly mistake.
Don't auto-renew out of habit
As habits go, letting your car insurance policy auto-renew may seem minor. However, automatically renewing your policy without ensuring you're getting the best deal possible can have a major impact on your annual finances. You could end up spending hundreds of extra dollars for your coverage each year. But how is this possible when your current provider offered you the best rate last time around? Well, a lot can happen in the span of a year that can affect your rate, and renewal time is the ideal time to see if another company is a better match for you and your changing lifestyle.
- Your provider’s rates changed. Every company regularly reviews the premiums they charge and adjusts their rates based on their claims experience with the drivers they cover. As a result, premiums often change and the only way to know if your provider's rates are still the most competitive is to compare their rates with other companies.
- You got married or moved in with someone. Until now, your own driving and insurance history dictated your auto insurance rate. Depending on which province you live in, your insurance company may be allowed to use marital status as a factor in determining your rate. If that’s the case, with another driver in the house, you may find the company that provided you the best rate as a single person may not offer you the best rate as a couple.
- You moved to a new neighbourhood or city. Your address is factored into your insurance rate, and if you moved in the last year, you'll want to make sure you're still getting the best deal at your new address. Each company uses its own algorithm to assess the likelihood of collisions, theft or vandalism in your new neighbourhood, and each company has a different claims payout history in a given neighbourhood, which means there's a chance you could be overpaying for your coverage if you don't comparison shop your rate at renewal.
- You bought a new car. The vehicle you park in your driveway is also factored into your car insurance rate, in part due to theft rates as well as repair costs. If you switched to a new vehicle that boasts a lot of advanced technology and safety features, you may find your rate has gone up because those parts are costly to fix in the event you make a claim. This could signal it’s time to compare rates if you find your premium has jumped.
- Your teen is licensed now. Some companies are more teen-friendly than others and if you have a new driver in your household, it's worth checking to see if another provider will give you a better rate when your policy is up for renewal.
- You got a ticket or were involved in an at-fault collision. Collisions and tickets happen to even the best drivers, but some insurance companies are more forgiving than others.
- You changed jobs or retired. If the amount of time you spend commuting changes, your insurance could change as well. By spending less time behind the wheel, you may find you could spend less on your coverage with a different provider.
A year is a long time to overpay for your coverage
This year, compare your renewal rate with the best insurance rates in your province available through RATESDOTCA. In a single search, you can compare rates and find a new insurance provider for the year ahead.
Don't waste time calling around for auto insurance
Use RATESDOTCA to shop around, and compare multiple quotes at the same time.