Our credit counsellors help our clients become debt free through a variety of ways depending on the clients debt situation. Here we’ll look at how saving on car insurance is great credit counselling advice for those suffering with debt.
Everything you do to keep vehicle costs down helps you to strengthen finances and to avoid debt problems. For the best value for your dollar on car insurance look no further as we outline the ten most important things you should know before signing on the insurance policy’s dotted line.
1) Keep your driving record clean.
Establish and maintain a good driving history and you’re sure to keep your insurance premium low. Just remember accidents and convictions can haunt you for years through your driving record. It’s the top consideration of insurance companies when they determine your rate. While we can’t help with your previous driving record our credit counselling services help Canadians move forward.
2) Shop and compare.
Car insurance rates vary significantly simply because each insurance company takes an independent approach to assessing how much risk you pose as a driver. Your risk profile is created on the basis of where you live, the type of vehicle you wish to insure, how long you’ve been licensed, and of course your driving record. Rates vary because each company relies on varying data concerning different claims and losses.
3) Consider the coverage that’s best suited to you.
You might consider contacting an insurance broker or agency about the coverage that’s best for you. For instance, if you drive an older vehicle, you may be able to save significantly on your premium by removing or opting out of collision and comprehensive coverage.
4) Understand the capabilities of the insurance broker.
Many mistakenly think that brokers are able to shop the whole market for the lowest insurance rate available, but that’s not so. A broker provides quotes from the limited number of insurance companies he or she represents – usually four or five – and the quotes you get are limited to what those companies offer. For assurance that you are getting the best rate, obtain competitive quotes from as many insurance companies as possible. To this end, help is available through InsuranceHotline.com and a number of other online sources.
5) Think about increasing your deductible.
Find real-time gas prices (gathered by a network of volunteer price spotters) at stations near you. For every gas price you report, you earn points toward a giveaway. Go online to http://bit.ly/ecCyHz for the free app. Compatible with Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Windows.
A deductible is what you pay before you receive insurance money for expenses related to a claim. Generally speaking, the more you are willing to pay on a deductible, the lower your premium costs. So boosting your deductible can be an effective way to lower your rate. Just remember, you must be in a position to pay the higher out-of-pocket costs on the deductible in the event of making a claim. If you are working with our Credit Canada credit counselling experts we can help you set aside a budget for the deductible so when the need arises the cost is not a burden.
6) Ask about discounts.
You know the old saying, it never hurts to ask. This holds true when buying insurance. The insurance company can say no when you ask for a discount, but on the other hand the company might bend a little to get or keep you as a customer. Commonly, discounts are offered by companies when you bring them all your insurance business. Discounts can also come with keeping a good driving record and installing an anti-theft device on your vehicle.
7) Look into accident forgiveness coverage.
You may wish to get protection for accidents that result in “at fault” losses. In the event that you are at fault, accident forgiveness coverage helps you protect your driving record and avoid rate increases. Through the coverage you stand to save hundreds of dollars on your next renewal.
Costs for this coverage vary from one company to the next. You need to determine if the coverage is available from your insurance company. Some companies provide it free of charge.
8) Question loyalty discounts.
If you are a loyal, long-term customer then your insurance company may offer you discounts come renewal time. That’s fine. Just be sure to maintain a shop-and-compare approach to buying insurance because even with a promised discount from your current company there may be a better deal to be had in the insurance marketplace. Talk to your credit counsellor. Canada has unique insurance discounts and we can help you choose which best suits your expectations.
9) Benefit from driver’s training.
New drivers can qualify for significant insurance discounts by successfully completing an accredited driver training course. Not only that, but the training makes you a better driver less apt to get into accidents, which in turn positively influences your driving record and positions you as a good risk deserving of lower insurance rates.
10) The type of vehicle you drive matters.
Insurance rates are influenced by the type of car your drive. Obviously, new cars cost more to insure than older cars, and luxury and sports cars cost more than family sedans or compacts. Purchase a vehicle only within your financial means – taking all vehicle-related costs into account – to avoid financial strain and possibly even debt problems down the road.
Insurers consider a number of factors relating to the kind of car you drive. Statistics on theft, safety ratings, and claims history influence rate settings. Visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada for more information about vehicle types.
* Blog content provided through the support of platinum sponsors of Credit Education Week Canada’s Focus Magazine.