High car insurance rates and young drivers seem to go hand in hand in Canada. Drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 years old continue to bear the brunt of costly auto insurance premiums nationwide.

Insurance companies, as we all know, are notorious for using risk assessment techniques and accident statistics do not favour drivers in the 16 to 24 age group.

For example, young drivers represent 13% of the driving population in Canada but account for a disproportionate amount of accidents. Figures show 24% of fatalities and 26% of serious injuries can be attributed to younger motorists. Additionally, the Traffic Injury Research Foundation of Canada, report that drivers aged 16-19 have a fatality rate that is about four times that of drivers aged 25-34, and nearly nine times that of those in the 45-54 year old group.

With the odds stacked against them, young drivers must seek every possible opportunity to save money and each avenue available to curb the high costs of their auto insurance coverage.

One of the best ways is to complete a defensive driving course or accredited driver's training program. Insurance companies look upon this action favourably and have been known to issue up to 20% discounts. Also, in keeping with the education theme, achieving good grades and maintaining a high grade point average may also be the ticket to lower insurance rates, as many companies offer specific discounts for those drivers under 25 years.

If Trigonometry or Advanced Physics are wreaking havoc on your academic life, don't despair. There are other ways to cut costs on insurance. Convince your parents to list you as an occasional driver on their insurance policy. Parents realize that the cost of being a principal driver on your own vehicle is excessive and establishing an insurance history is a solid route to save money in the future, providing of course, that you stay free of at-fault accidents and practice safe driving habits.

Another big reason to remain optimistic lies with the recent introduction of usage-based insurance in Canada. Basically, this form of insurance requires installation of a telematics driven device, or black box, in your car that monitors driving habits including rapid acceleration, sudden braking, average and top speeds, and time of vehicle operation. The technology will continue to evolve to include GPS tracking that will pinpoint location to thwart theft and also alert authorities of emergencies as airbags deploy.

Currently, many Canadians are opting for this new insurance program as it saves 5% to 10% just to do a trial and if your overall driving habits prove to be safe, insurance companies have the hard data required to reduce premiums by up to 25%.

As you can see, building a good record behind the wheel is still the best way to ensure more affordable car insurance premiums in the future.

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