Hi, I’m Dmytro Lazarchuk, and I’m your local Allstate Canada Insurance Agent here in Etobicoke. I regularly encounter people who want to learn more about what affects their car insurance, and how they can save money on their premiums. Today I’d like to focus on a few elements that can affect your premium and more importantly, how you can take control of your premium.
Determining Your Premium
There are a few things consumers should understand about how premiums are calculated. Three things all insurance companies consider are:
1. The Kind of Vehicle You Drive. If you’re shopping for a new car, it’s a good idea to think about your insurance before you’ve decided on a vehicle. Premiums are based on historical claims and statistical data for the make, model and year of your vehicle. This data takes into account the likelihood of a type of car being stolen, the damage it is likely to sustain in an accident, the cost to repair it, and the likelihood and severity of physical injuries experienced by the passengers in an accident. A good tool for comparing cars is on the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s website (ibc.ca) where you can review “How Cars Measure Up”.
2. Where you Live. Large urban centres and high-traffic regions have a higher potential for accidents, theft, or damage to your vehicle, resulting in a higher premium. Insurance rates are partially based on the historical claims data of the customers they insure in a particular area.
3. How you use your car. Individuals who use their cars for business-related purposes, for example, tend to drive their vehicles more frequently. As usage increases, so does the potential of being involved in a collision. The greater the potential of being in an accident, the higher the premium you may be required to pay.
Keeping Your Premiums Low
Once you’ve selected your vehicle and are on the road, avoiding accidents, and moving violations are among the easiest ways to keep your premiums down.
Here are four things you can do right now to keep yourself in the best position to have the lowest premiums possible for you:
1. Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Distracted driving causes eight out of every ten collisions. Distractions include changing your music, tending to a child in the back seat, or using your cell phone without a hands-free device. If you get a ticket for using a hand held device while driving, this will impact your insurance.
2. Slow down. Driving at high speed reduces reaction time when responding to unexpected driving situations and is often a factor in collisions. Just one speeding ticket can increase your premium by approximately 20 per cent.
3. Maintain your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is in top shape. Regularly check to ensure all the lights are working, including headlights, reverse lights, taillights, turn signals and any hazard lights. Also check that the wiper blades function properly and the windshield washer reservoir is full.
4. Think About Bundling. An easy way to save money on your auto insurance is to bundle it with your home policy. Allstate’s Take Two Advantage® is a program that many of our customers utilize to save money.
Shopping for insurance can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’d like to learn more, I’m only a phone call away, or better yet, feel free to stop by and visit me at my office. For more helpful tips and information, give me a call at 647-294-6871 or you can also visit us online at www.allstate.ca.