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If you ask any driver how much they pay for car insurance, chances are the response you’ll get is too much. Fair enough. Car insurance is one of those expenses that we begrudgingly pay; we need to have it if we want to drive. There are ways however, to make sure we’re not paying more than we should.

Don’t wait until renewal time to shop around

Bought a new car? Compare car insurance quotes. Moving? Compare car insurance quotes. Adding a teen driver to your policy? You guessed it, compare car insurance quotes. In each of these scenarios you’re calling your auto insurance provider, and chances are they’ll update your rates to reflect the changes. The thing is though, another insurer may now offer you a better rate. They may have a better claims experience (which may result in a lower rate) with your new car, new neighbourhood, or teen drivers.

Don’t wait until you get your renewal notice to compare car insurance quotes, otherwise you could be overpaying for your coverage.

Pay premiums all at once rather than in monthly installments

Many insurance companies charge a little extra to cover the cost of administering monthly payments. If you can afford to pay the cost of your annual premiums in one lump sum, you’ll ultimately pay less for your car insurance.

Increase your deductibles

If you have collision, comprehensive or both coverages on your policy, you’ll want to take a look at what your deductibles are set at. If you switch your deductibles from a $500 deductible to a $1,000 deductible you'll save somewhere in the region of 5% to 10%. Of course, increasing your deductibles means you’re increasing the amount you’ll have to pay in the event you need to make a claim, so increase your deductibles with care.

Drive carefully

If you drive carefully and avoid getting tickets or into accidents you’re already on the right path for lower car insurance premiums. Tickets and at-fault accidents will result in higher premiums, so it’s best just to avoid them all together. And, if you end up with a ticket or are involved in an accident, make sure you compare rates on renewal because the increase you may see with your current provider may mean they’re no longer the provider who gives you the best car insurance rate.

See if you can save with a multi-line discount

Multi-line is insurance jargon. Basically what it means is you’re buying at least two insurance products (say auto insurance or home insurance) from the same insurance provider. As a reward, most policyholders will benefit from a discount. This discount can range from anywhere from five to 15 per cent off of one, or even both of your policies.

Often people think only a homeowner’s insurance and auto insurance policy qualifies for a multi-line discount, but there’s actually more to it. Snowmobiles, RVs, motorcycles, or tenant insurance can all usually be bundled to qualify for a multi-line discount too.

Buying a car? Choose your car wisely

Before buying a new car, make sure the car insurance for it doesn’t stretch your budget. Car insurance rates are calculated, in part, by the car you drive: the chances it'll be stolen, its repair costs, and how well it protects passengers from injury if involved in a collision, for example. Cars, like the drivers behind the wheel, are all rated differently and if you pick the “wrong” car you could be paying hundreds of dollars more in car insurance each year. Don’t find out until it’s too late, compare car insurance quotes before you buy to see if another car on your short list ends up saving you money on your car insurance.

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