Canada is on a COVID-19 lockdown until further notice, and for a good reason. Government and medical officials have made it clear that one of the most effective ways to prevent the deadly coronavirus infection from spreading is to stay home and practice social distancing.
Non-essential businesses across the country are following this sage advice by allowing their employees to work from home, or temporarily laying off their workers until the threat passes. Either way that means people are driving less often than they usually do. With that in mind, here are seven ways you may be able to reduce your car insurance premium during the COVID-19 pandemic:
If you have two vehicles, and you think your family can manage by driving only one car, look into temporarily suspending your car insurance coverage on the vehicle not needed. Know that if you choose to park one of your two cars and suspend the insurance on it, you must not drive it for any reason at any time. It is illegal to drive a vehicle without insurance in Canada. If a police officer catches you driving without insurance, the penalty can be severe, and it will detrimentally impact your auto insurance premium.
Another option may be to reduce your coverage to the minimum for a vehicle you are not driving. If you do, the good news is you will still have the mandatory coverages required by law. In Ontario, accident benefits, third-party liability, uninsured auto and direct compensation-property damage are mandatory.
Another way to save funds may involve reducing the amount of annual kilometres you drive as listed on your policy. If you use your vehicle to commute to work or occasionally for business, let your broker or insurer know you’re driving less, since there could be savings you can tap by changing your vehicle classification from “commuting/pleasure” to “pleasure”. However, once the lockdown ends, don’t forget to contact your insurer and inform them you are returning to driving the same distances you once did.
Enroll in your insurer’s usage-based insurance (UBI) program. You may earn a monthly discount based on how you drive, how often, and how far you drive.
Think of it this way: the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium. A deductible is the portion of your insurance you must pay if you file a claim to get your vehicle repaired before your insurance policy is activated. Raising your deductibles can make a small difference. But it can be a double-edged sword. Your financial situation should dictate the deductible you choose. In other words, make sure you can afford to pay the higher deductible.
If your car is 10 years old or older, you may want to consider removing the comprehensive coverage on it, if you have it. Comprehensive coverage is optional. It pays for losses other than those covered by collision coverage such as theft, fire, or hail.
All insurance companies offer their customers discounts. For example, there may be discounts available for the types of driver-assist technologies your vehicle has, such as lane mitigation or a rearview camera. You can also get a discount for bundling your home insurance, condominium insurance, or tenant insurance with your auto policy. Find out what other discounts your insurer may provide. Give us a call at 519 941 2266 or email us to find out more.