Saving money where you can is a good idea. But when it comes to car insurance, you shouldn't have to give up protection for yourself or your family in order to save.

Personalizing your coverage and finding ways to lower your costs by working with a licensed insurance advisor can help you stay protected and keep more money in your wallet.

Short-term hacks

Did you know that you might be eligible for savings because of things you’re already doing?

Car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who do things that help reduce their risk of getting into an accident or making other types of claims. For example, installing snow tires on your car in the winter, only driving your vehicle for low-mileage pleasure use, or having an anti-theft device may all save you money.

New Driver or Student in the House

Newly licensed drivers may be eligible for savings when they graduate from a beginner’s license class and move to another license level. Also let your insurance company know if children listed as drivers on your policy are attending school away from home. There might be some savings on your insurance premiums because they will have limited access to your car.

Are you a new driver? Check out these tips on smarter choices you can make for car insurance.

Bundling your car insurance

You can also save money on car insurance by bundling your car insurance with your home or renter’s insurance or by having multiple cars in your house insured with the same company.

Employers and associations

You might be eligible for insurance discounts as a member of a union, a professional association or other organization.

Customize your coverage

Another way to reduce the cost of car insurance is to personalize your coverage. There is mandatory coverage required such as third-party liability and accident benefits, which provide coverage if you get into an accident that causes personal or property damage. But there are other types of coverages that may be optional like collision and comprehensive coverage and emergency roadside assistance.

Make sure your plan fits your needs today. While you shouldn’t give up the coverage you need, one size does not fit all — and your needs may change over time. Is your car several years old? Its value might have gone down significantly, which could affect your need for something like collision and comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. You might also consider increasing your deductible which is the amount you pay when you make a claim. If you get insurance with a $1,000 deductible, you may pay less premiums than if you get insurance with a $500 deductible.

Overall, customizing your coverage can help you:

  • Save money by only paying for what you need
  • Protect you and your family
  • Adjust your coverage as your life changes

Longer-term strategies

Now that you’ve found some quick saving opportunities, you’re likely wondering if there are longer-term changes you can make that might help you save money on car insurance in the future. The good news is that there are.

Tickets and Accidents

Your driving record is a key factor in determining how much you pay for insurance. It includes your class of license, number of years licensed, traffic convictions, and claims.

The most important thing is to drive safely and don’t get driving violations like speeding tickets, failing to yield or distracted driving to name a few. Thankfully parking tickets don’t affect your insurance rates, but avoiding them still helps to keep money in your wallet.

So what about accidents? Unfortunately mistakes happen—it is, after all, called an “accident” for a reason. Getting accident forgiveness coverage in advance is another long-term strategy to protect you against future premium increases after your first at-fault accident. But remember: accident forgiveness coverage helps to protect your premiums from increasing only after your first at-fault accident. Any accidents you have after that will likely affect your insurance premiums.

Credit Score

Another way you could decrease your premium in certain provinces is to have a good credit rating (excluding Newfoundland, Labrador and Ontario, where credit scores are not allowed to be used for auto insurance premium calculations). The better your credit score is, the lower your insurance premiums may be should you choose to disclose it.

Vehicle Type

Get insurance quotes for the vehicles you are thinking about leasing or buying before you close the deal. The year, make and model of a vehicle may affect the cost of your insurance. Some cars have a higher likelihood of being stolen or being in more accidents, so insurance companies charge more to insure those vehicles. By checking on rates in advance, you might save a significant amount in insurance premiums over the life of your vehicle.

Be sure to check your policy every year to ensure that all the information is accurate and up to date. Ask questions in case there are discounts your insurance company offers that you qualify for. An RBC Insurance advisor can help you do that. Call 1-877-749-7224 or get a quote online today.

If you’re interested in learning more about car insurance, check out How Car Insurance Premiums are Calculated next.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.