In our last blog we discussed why auto insurance rates are going up. Unfortunately as an individual driver many of those factors are out of your control. But there are some things you can control and they can help lead you to savings on your auto insurance premiums this year.
The pandemic has changed daily lives and routines, and for many us, our driving habits. With workplaces shifting to home offices, escalating travel restrictions, and stay at home orders, there’s been a lot less use of our cars.
1) Change the Use of your Vehicle
If you’re not driving to and from the office every day, there’s no need to have your car considered a commuter vehicle. Ask your broker to change from “Commuter use” to “Pleasure use only.” That alone will change the rating the insurance company gives your vehicle and puts it in a lower risk category.
It is important to remember that if your daily commute returns, you must call your broker again to ensure that your vehicle’s commuter use in reinstated.
2) Park Your Vehicle
A general rule is that a vehicle needs to be parked for 45 days or more for coverages to be reduced. Not all companies allow you to reduce your vehicle to comprehensive only if there is only one vehicle on the policy. In that instance, the OPCF 16/17 are utilized and the premium savings reduced slightly. Some companies do not provide the credit until the coverages are reinstated, so the savings are not up front like when a vehicle is parked on comprehensive only.
The things to keep in mind if you delete road coverages are:
1. Before driving the vehicle again, you need to call your broker to re-add the road coverages. Your liability coverages would not be there to protect you otherwise. You would be personally responsible for any damage or injury you cause to someone else while driving your car.
2. If you delete coverages and your birthday occurs before adding it back on, you will not be in position to renew your license plate.
3. If you do not have road coverages on any other vehicle or are not listed as a driver on any other policy; you would not be protected for your injuries under the policy’s accident benefits or for an accident you had with an uninsured driver.
When we utilize the OPCF 16/17 coverage, it allows you to suspend the coverage rather than delete it. Essentially providing you with liability and accident benefits coverage should you need it. It suspends the coverage for a period longer than 45 days. The credit is issued after the coverage is reinstated. In other words your credit is delayed and applied once when you reinstate coverages.
3) Increase the Deductible
When you first purchase auto insurance you’ll be asked about the “deductible.” That’s the portion you are required to pay during a claim. Then rest of the claim is covered by insurance. Deductibles range by much as $250 to $2000 for standard auto insurance. Generally the lower the deductible (the less you pay during a claim), the higher the premium will be. But on the flip side if you increase the deductible (the more you pay during a claim), it will lower your premium. Be sure to discuss these options with your broker to ensure the deductible makes sense for your situation.
4) Snow Tires!
This is a common one but many clients forgot to mention that they have snow tires installed during the winter months. The biggest benefit is that snow tires save you money year round. Not only does the second set of tires provide added safety and security but the annual premium savings will pay for the tires over time. Some clients don’t think it makes much of a difference but don’t forget to tell your broker if you have snow tires.
Bonus Tip: Use a Broker
It should be obvious by now but the best way to make sure you’re receiving the best price for the best coverage is to use a licensed insurance broker. You can trust a broker who works for you and not the insurance company. Staebler brokers are able to dig into a policy and find additional ways to save. If you’re in a bind, optional coverages, such as rental and emergency road service, can be reviewed and discussed as possible ways to save.
You’ll have the added peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong you have the backing of a broker. Get started today: Staebler.com/Quote
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Be Wise. Staebler Insurance is a general insurance broker specializing in auto insurance, home insurance, small business and commercial insurance. Staebler brokers proudly serve Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Wellington County, Listowel, Fergus, Elora, and all of southern Ontario.