How can I lower my car insurance?
Everyone is consistently looking for the “cheapest” or “lowest cost” car insurance. At KBD, we are constantly trying to help out our customers by providing them with helpful tips to lower the cost of their car insurance and other products, and this blog goes into detail on how you can pay the lowest cost possible for your auto insurance. In the meantime, here are some important details that contribute to the cost of your car insurance.
Your postal code – individuals who live in postal codes that have a higher traffic density will pay more for their car insurance, as the chances of theft and collision accidents are more likely to occur.
Pay on time – Make sure to pay your insurance premium on time to avoid unnecessary charges. Additionally, paying your bills on time will help improve your credit score, which in turn will also help lower your car insurance premium.
Download the Intact “My Driving” Application – Yes, insurance companies are collecting data on your driving habits. However, this is not a gimmick. Good drivers will absolutely be rewarded in the short and long term. Be in control of what you pay.
Purchase the right coverage – Make sure you understand exactly what you are covered for when it comes to your car insurance; in almost all cases, we suggest on purchasing full coverage, also referred to as “two-way” insurance.
How Car Insurance Works
Liability Insurance – By law, every driver in Quebec needs to have a minimum of $50,000 in liability insurance. This is also referred to as “one-way” insurance. With this coverage, you will be paid out by the insurance company if it’s considered a non-responsible accident. If you were the person who caused the accident, then unfortunately you would not be covered.
Comprehensive Coverage – For the non-insurance experts out there, this covers you for “fire, theft, vandalism and glass breakage” claims. We can provide this coverage with deductibles in the amount of $250 – $2,500. Keep in mind, the higher your deductible, the lower amount you will pay in insurance.
Collision Coverage – This protection covers you for responsible accidents. An example of a responsible accident can be you hitting another car from behind; a less obvious example of a responsible accident would be in the event you were to lose control of your car during the winter, and slide into a guard rail on the highway.
Definition of “two-way” insurance The famous term used throughout the province of Quebec; many of our clients say that they are insured for “two-way”. In short, it means that you have insurance for liability, comprehensive, and collision accidents. If you’re still confused, this phrase means that no matter what type of insurance related incident that you suffer, you are covered!
What is “replacement cost” insurance? KBD offers this product on both new and used vehicles. Simply put, replacement cost insurance will pay you for the difference between the value of your car (actual cash value) on the day of the loss and what it would cost to purchase a new vehicle. When you purchase a new vehicle, the value diminishes over time. If your car loses $10,000 in value after one year, and you were to suffer a total loss accident (your car is considered scrap) the replacement cost contract would pay out $10,000. Another way to look at it, it’s a product that protects the value of your car, so that over time, if ever you suffer an accident, you will not be receiving the depreciated value, but the value of what it costs to buy a new automobile.
How does insurance work when I am involved in a claim? When you are involved in an accident in Quebec, with another Quebec driver who has his/her car registered in Quebec, you are never responsible to pay for the other person’s damages. Pretend your car is in a bubble; when you get into an accident, even if it was 100% your fault, you do not need to pay for the damages that are caused to the other vehicle. We hear stories all of the time where people who are in an accident want to exclude insurance company involvement; this is completely unnecessary and we definitely suggest against this. Your insurance covers the damages that are done to your car, 100% of the time. You are never required to pay for the damages that are done to another vehicle.
What data points do insurance companies use to determine the price of my auto insurance?
Insurance companies have evolved over the years to more accurately determine a fair rate for their clients. These are the data-points that are used today:
- Your age
- Your gender
- Your postal code
- Your driving record (how many tickets or license suspensions)
- Driving history (how many years experience you have as a driver)
- The annual KM driven
- Yours claims history over the past 6 years
- Your credit score
- (New) Your “My Driving” application score
- Like most companies in today’s digital era, insurance companies have started to track their clients’ driving habits through a smartphone application. As mentioned earlier, this is not a gimmick, and it is helping insurance companies to segment their clientele. Good clients will be rewarded, and customers with poor driving habits will see their premiums increase over time. The insurance company that we work with who offers this product is with Intact Insurance.
Is there ever a situation where I should pay for a claim out of pocket? Yes, there certainly is. A perfect example would be if you accidentally backed up into a wall and scratched your bumper, causing $800 in damages. Not only will you have a claim on your file, but this claim will be considered responsible. In Quebec, responsible claims are penalized more heavily than non-responsible claims. If the damages are below $1,000, we always suggest to try and pay for this cost out of pocket.
Is car insurance offered through the government or through private companies? In Quebec, coverage for your vehicle is offered strictly through private insurance companies. Quebec, as a matter of fact, is the most competitive industry in Canada, which is one of the main reasons that Quebecers pay the lowest premiums for car insurance in all of Canada (we pay an average of $717 / year). The only time the Quebec government will pay for any type of accident is when you or another driver suffer from bodily injury. In this example, the SAAQ (Societé de l’Assurance Automobile du Québec) would pay for this.