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Canadian auto insurance rates seem ever on the rise. Like any other product or service, it's tough to finger one commodity in 2019 that hasn't escalated in cost or even remained level over time. In the case of auto premiums, price increases don't stem directly from a hike in raw materials or labour costs. Rather, an insurance company's claims experience largely drives the direction in rates, whether it's up or down.

Rising Cost of Auto Insurance

This fact remains true in provinces where auto policies are issued by either the province or a private entity. Overall, the Insurance Bureau of Canada reports an approximate threefold increase in auto claims from 1992 through 2016, from just over $4 billion annually to almost $12 billion. Beyond the reach of consumer influence, technological advances and greater numbers of automobiles on the road have contributed to higher costs, leaving you to search for lower premiums in ways that you can control.

What Can You Do?

While you can't slow automaker innovation or shape Canadian consumer habits, there are a number of ways to help mitigate the cost of auto insurance. One surefire method for families entails barring your teenagers from driving until age 21. But that won't win you any love.

A more practical approach involves developing safe driving skills for all drivers on the policy, as well as shopping the policy for lower rates where and when possible. Naturally, you can do your part to drive responsibly, yet that effort alone won't prevent accidents from happening. In between policy renewals, investigating all auto insurance discounts and leveraging the applicable ones serves as a banner method of lowering premiums. Policyholders are often surprised to learn they have been foregoing certain discounts for years, so broach the subject with your insurance professional or search your carrier's website for all cost-saving possibilities.

Types Of Auto Policy Discounts

Auto insurance companies continue to offer newfangled ways to save customers money. Some carriers offer collision deductibles that disappear after a certain number of claims-free driving years, and some insurers place gadgets in cars to monitor driving habits (good and bad) and mileage. Along with the more novel concepts come some of the more common auto policy discounts:

  • Safe drivers receive financial rewards for avoiding accidents or violations for a period of three years, for example.
  • Multi-policy customers experience lower premiums on both sides of the fence for insuring home and autos with the same company.
  • Affinity discounts-- often overlooked-- have you obtaining discounts through an employer relationship or association membership.
  • Anti-theft devices and their corresponding price breaks are one way that tech works in favour of your budget.
  • Good student discounts motivate young drivers to stay academically focused and value their licensed status in those turbulent teenage years.
  • Loyalty discounts arise at prescribed time intervals after you've remained insured with the same carrier for a number of years.
  • Defensive driver programs give you a chance to lower premiums by participating in coursework aimed at improving road awareness and applying safe driving skills.

Saving Money on Your Auto Insurance

It's tough to influence the auto insurance market as a whole but you can do your part to keep personal premiums in check. Have a conversation with your auto insurer to see which discounts you currently qualify for and which ones you might strive toward. In the meantime, visit rates.ca to get the most competitive quotes from more than 30 Canadian insurance providers.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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