Anyone who owns and drives a car understands the need for car insurance, but not everyone is aware of the options available to them, what their best choices are, or how to save money.
The cost of your insurance will be influenced by the perceived level of risk, so for example, if you have been driving for many years and have never had an accident, your experience and clean record will help reduce your insurance costs. Being a new driver, or having had multiple collisions, you will be seen as a greater risk to insure. If you have other drivers using your car, their history and experience will also be considered.
Driving risk will also vary based on location and usage. Do you drive in a high-traffic area, or one that is generally quiet? If you will be using the car to drive to work every day, how long is your commute? Using your car to run errands close to home and pick up groceries once per week will present a lower risk than an hour-long commute every morning and evening.
Some other factors include features of the car itself. Aside from age, make, and model, does the car include anti-theft devices, or advanced safety features?
In addition to the above, optional products for additional protection and your deductible will all contribute to the overall cost.
When you are looking for ways to save money on your insurance, there are some ways to help reduce the amount that you will need to pay.
This seems obvious, but it goes beyond simply driving carefully. If you add features that improve your safety on the road, provide this information to your insurance provider.
If you feel that you will be able to cover a greater portion of the cost of an accident, you can raise your deductible to save on your regular insurance payments.
If you can pay your entire premium at once, or even bi-annually, inquire if this will make you eligible for a discount.
Go over your coverage each year to see what’s right for you. If your car is getting older, or your driving habits change, you may not need the same level of coverage anymore.
Driving less than 5,000 kilometers a year can receive a 10% discount. This is determined by a reading of your odometer from the previous policy term, and another at the policy’s renewal a year later. The discount is based on the mileage driven over the 12 months.
Having a passive electronic immobilizer installed on your vehicle could get you a $100 deductible rebate. Electronic immobilizers disable your car’s engine when the ignition is turned off. A vehicle with an immobilizer needs a special key (computer chipped) or an electronic device (key ring with computer chip) to start the engine. If you have a passive immobilizer installed on your vehicle, you are likely eligible to save on your special perils or comprehensive coverage.
If you have five eligible vehicles for business or commercial uses, you could save up to 63% on your auto plan premium. Using a Fleetplan, you can protect all your vehicles in the fleet.
Vehicles equipped with factory-installed autonomous emergency braking are eligible for a 10% discount. AEB systems have been statistically proven to help prevent crashes in motor vehicle accidents.
British Columbia is divided into 14 different geographical areas which can be a factor in your insurance premium. Urban, more densely populated areas generally have more risk of a crash due to increased traffic. Whereas rural locations may be more likely to have other risks, such as damage due to road conditions or weather.
ICBC designates rate classes to classify different ways British Columbians use their vehicles.
Pleasure – Driving for typical day-to-day activities, like errands, driving kids to school or going on vacation. Under a pleasure use rate class, you can also use the vehicle for up to six days in a calendar month for commuting, business or delivery.
Commuting – Driving to work or school, in addition to pleasure use. There are different rate classes, depending on how far you commute.
Business – Driving for business purposes – for example, a salesperson or realtor who drives to meet with customers, or a taxi or limousine driver.
Delivery – Driving for delivery. There are different rate classes depending on the type of vehicle, what it delivers and the distance travelled. New types of online delivery services include companies like Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes and DoorDash.
Each class will receive a different insurance rate. Contact us to help determine which rate class you will fall under.
For the first time in almost a decade, ICBC didn’t increase basic insurance rates. With enhanced care, the cost of auto insurance in BC has been lowered by 20% on average.
For more information about ICBC’s enhanced care, read our in-depth article on the upcoming changes to your insurance.
There are always ways to save on auto insurance. To learn more, contact us today and we will help you explore your options.
For an instant ICBC auto insurance estimate, you can use the ICBC estimation tool here.