If you just got your driver’s license, congratulations! Alternatively, if you’re a parent of an inexperienced driver, it’s your responsibility to ensure they are properly educated and protected before they get on the road. Now is the time to think about auto insurance!
The truth is, there are plenty of factors that an inexperienced driver needs to consider, since they may influence your auto insurance rates. Auto insurance is required by law in Ontario for all vehicles on the road, and the fines can be hefty for drivers who don’t have appropriate auto insurance coverage. An important way to be equipped as a new driver is to spend time understanding how your auto insurance rates may be affected, and the options available to you.
Here’s what every driver needs to know about auto insurance:
Enroll in an Accredited Driving School
By enrolling in a driver’s education course, it signals to auto insurance companies that you’ve completed training that could help reduce your chance of an accident. Not only will completing driving school help your auto insurance rates, but the education will help you become a skilled defensive driver. Ensure that the drivers’ education course you enroll in is accredited by the Ministry of Transportation. Some courses even offer additional perks like CAA memberships or oil change vouchers.
2. Maintain a Clean Driving Record
As a new driver, maintaining a clean driving record can go a long way towards helping keep your auto insurance rates low. By driving safely and responsibly it will reduce your chance of collisions, which decreases your risk in the eyes of insurance providers. Another way to maintain a clean driving record is to pay your insurance premiums on time.
3. Get Insured on Your Parent’s Policy
If you’re not in a rush to purchase a car of your own, you can ask a parent to add you to their auto insurance policy as an occasional driver. Being listed on auto insurance as an occasional driver is a great, cost-effective option if you’re not planning on driving your parent’s vehicles often. This will help you save on insurance premiums as you continue to build your driving experience. Once you get some experience under your belt and have a history of coverage, you can purchase your own car and have separate auto premiums from your parents. As a more experienced, skilled driver, you’ll save more on your insurance premiums down the line.
4. Choose the Right Car
The type of car you choose to purchase will affect your auto insurance premiums. Cars are assigned rate groups (injury, collision, fire, and theft) and the higher the rate groups, the more expensive your insurance will be. You can check how much insurance premiums may cost based on the type of car you want to purchase.
Hybrid models and those with factory-installed features such as anti-lock brakes, airbags, and rear-view cameras may lower your premiums since they can reduce the risk of an accident. Luxury high-end vehicles or sports cars may be more costly to insure since the insurance company will be on the hook for an expensive payout in the event that the vehicle is stolen.
5. Pay Higher Deductibles
In the event of an insurance claim, a deductible is your out-of-pocket expense before your insurance company covers the rest of the expenses. It may seem counterintuitive to pay higher deductibles to lower your auto insurance premiums, but if you can afford it, paying higher deductibles can lower your premiums in the long run.
Hire an Insurance Broker
Finding appropriate auto insurance can be overwhelming since there are many car insurance companies across Ontario to choose from. As a new driver you will be considered inexperienced by auto insurance companies, so they’ll be weighing a range of factors to determine what your rates should be.
An insurance broker is a trusted advisor who can assist you in finding the right auto insurance policy for you. They’ll shop around on your behalf and present you with a variety of options within your budget. As a new driver, you likely have plenty of questions and concerns about how auto insurance works and how you can ensure you have the appropriate coverage for your needs.
At Keller & Associates, our insurance broker team is highly knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated to finding you the most reliable auto insurance plan that offers the best value for your money. Further, we’ll share even more tips and solutions for minimizing your premiums as a new driver. Get in touch with our team today!