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Young Drivers: 12 Tips to Help You Save on Car Insurance

In collaboration with Promutuel Insurance

You’ve just gotten your driver’s permit, you want to buy a car, or you’re already the proud owner of one – congrats! You’re on the way to greater independence. But, given that you might be operating on a budget, have you thought about your car insurance? Do you know about the different options available to you?

To give you a helping hand, we prepared for you a list of tips that will help you save money on your car insurance premiums. And if you have any questions not answered here, please feel free to contact a representative at Promutuel Insurance, who can answer you and help you through the process of getting insured.

Use your parents’ vehicle
Before making the decision to buy a car, first evaluate your needs and the vehicles that might already be available to you. Do you really need a car every day? If your parents have two vehicles (or even just the one), maybe they’re willing to lend it to you! See if that’s a good solution for all concerned, and you’ll save by becoming an added driver on your parents’ insurance contract. Talk to them about the possibilities and come to an agreement with them.

Buy an inexpensive car that won’t cost much to repair
If you really do need a car of your own, consider a pre-owned vehicle and try to find one that’s affordable. The ideal solution is if you can pay for it with your savings, so you don’t have to borrow money. Remember that the more expensive a car is to buy, the more expensive it is to insure – the value of a vehicle is one of the most important elements that go into determining insurance premiums. If its value is low and if you don’t have a car loan connected to it, you can more easily limit your insurance protection and lower your premiums.

Try also to choose a car brand or model that’s easy to repair, and for which replacement parts are not too expensive. Again here, the more expensive a car is to repair, the higher the insurance premiums will be. Don’t hesitate to speak to your local service centre before making any buying decision.

Stay away from models that are in strong demand
Another factor that’s sure to increase your car insurance costs is the risk of theft associated to it. That’s why it’s in your interest to opt for a basic vehicle, one that’s not so eye-catching and prized by others. You can also consult the website of the Groupement des assureurs automobiles and view their statistics on car theft.

Photo: D.Boshouwers

If you’re a student, live with your partner and/or have a good credit rating, you could save!
Are you at college or university? You could be eligible for a discount on your car insurance under certain conditions. Make sure to tell your insurance agent so they can see what can be done for you. If you’re living with someone and have common-law or married status, tell your insurance agent that as well. They will consider your civil status and might be able to decrease your insurance premium under certain conditions.

To get the best offer possible, you can also allow your insurance agent to obtain your credit score. A strong credit rating helps prove that you are a responsible person and will be able to pay your monthly premiums on or before the due date.

Combine your insurance contracts
If you currently have insurance on your dwelling, for your belongings or even another vehicle, you can combine them with the car insurance you’re seeking! Some insurers will offer substantial discounts if you group different insurance plans together with them. Keep that in mind when you’re shopping around.

Keep a clean driving record – drive carefully!
You insurer can consult your driving record, ask you some questions related to it and take it into account when determining your insurance premiums, factoring in any accidents, claims, infractions, suspension or loss of driving permit, etc. Adopt good, safe driving habits, and hold on to them!

Demonstrate that you drive well!
If you maintain good habits behind the wheel, that will help reduce your insurance premiums. Today, insurers increasingly offer telematics solutions that, thanks to an app on your smartphone, analyze your behaviour and habits on the road in real time, measuring things like speed, accelerations, braking, distances driven, routes taken, etc. This is a way for you to maintain good driving habits, prove that you drive well and get the rate discount that you deserve.

Photo: Ford

Reduce the number and distances of your trips
That’s right, the number of kilometres you drive in a day or in a year has an influence on your insurance premium. If you decide to reduce your daily trips, for example by using public transit to get to work or school, and if you cover fewer kilometers with your car day in and day out, your insurance premiums will go down.

Increase your deductible
The deductible is the maximum amount you will have to pay when you make an insurance claim. For example, if with your insurance contract you have a $500 deductible, when you make a claim, you have to pay the first $500 of the repair cost; the rest is covered by insurance.

Therefore, the lower your deductible, the higher your insurance premium will be. Increase your deductible and your premium goes down. Before you do this, however, consider carefully. You should always be in a position to cover the deductible amount you choose if ever you have to make a claim.

Photo: D.Boshouwers

Limit your protection
When you insure your car, you automatically get the minimum required protection: civil liability. This insurance covers:

- damages suffered by your car during a collision in Quebec for which you are not deemed responsible (the Direct Compensation Agreement must be established)
- financial burdens you will have to bear if you are found civilly responsible for damages or injuries suffered by others when using an insured car
- costs entailed in the defence of insured persons

As for any additional protection, that is up to you. If you have bought a used vehicle or one with low value, and if you also don’t have a car loan attached to it, you can choose to limit your protection to the required civil liability coverage. That does mean that damages to your vehicle are not covered, for instance in case of theft, vandalism, accident, etc. Choosing to limit your protection will do a lot to reduce your insurance premiums. Just remember that you could simply lose your vehicle in case of an accident you were found to be responsible for. The question to ask yourself is, “Is my car worth the cost?”

Photo: Auto123.com

Shop around for your insurance
Like you do for the car you buy, you can shop around for insurance and see what different insurers and brokers have to offer you. But don’t forget to:

- compare insurance plans with similar coverage and conditions (deductible, what’s covered, information provided to the insurer, etc.)
- evaluate the warranties, because a very low price doesn’t mean it’s the best insurance plan: read your contract carefully before accepting it
- choose an insurer you can trust and that will provide you with excellent service

And there you have it! You now know how you can save money on your car insurance. Now it’s up to you to decide which tips will work best for you and apply them. If you’re in need of more information about the insurance plans offered by Promutuel Insurance, visit the company’s website or contact a representative.