Generally speaking, when you think of insurance brokers in Barrie, you don’t necessarily think of money savings. Automobile insurance is indeed something you need to have for safe driving (and it’s required by Ontario law), but for most people, paying for it is something they’d rather not do. Every dollar is important, which is why there’s so much competition amongst insurance companies to present more attractive offers to potential customers.
At Will Marshall Insurance Brokers, we’ve never hidden the fact that we put our clients first, and we’re always looking for ways to help you save money where you can. Today, we’re going to let you in on a secret to help you save money on your automobile insurance. Well, actually, four secrets. Whether you use them or not is your choice, but we think you’ll be surprised at how much you can save by following their advice.
1. Practice safe, defensive driving.
We know, we know. This one sounds more like a tip from your mother than advice from an insurance brokerage. But we’re serious when we say that defensive driving can actively reduce the amount you pay for your automobile insurance. You could save as much as 30% off your insurance premiums just by demonstrating (and maintaining) your record as a safe driver. Your insurance broker will be able to tell you if you’re eligible or not, but it never hurts to ask!
There is, for example, a telematics option that monitors the time of day driving, cornering, speed, and braking. You can save 30% when allowing your insurance company access to this information. And it’s worth the effort to commit wholeheartedly to safe driving, even where talking on the phone is concerned. A handheld conviction is now considered a major offense, so it becomes equivalent to carelessness. This will increase your insurance by over 50% in some cases.
2. When you’re not actively using your vehicles, minimize their liability and collision coverage.
You’ve finally gotten the sleek, retro, roofless roadster you’ve been dreaming of for years, and you spend the summers cruising along all the country roads you can find. But chances are good that your ride won’t see pavement during the winter. If your car is in storage for a good portion of the year, you don’t need to be paying as much as you are for liability and collision coverage – but unless you ask specifically to reduce it, you might keep right on paying as much as you do when you’re using it every day.
Now, we should be clear: when it comes to automobile insurance, liability coverage is mandatory. Period. But you can reduce the amount of coverage that you want. If your car’s going to spend the next six months in the garage, you likely won’t need as much coverage as you do normally (especially if you’ve got collision coverage; a parked car shouldn’t be rolling into anything!). In fact, you can reduce a 3rd car to comprehensive only (fire and theft) coverage – if you reduce all of your vehicles, you’ll want to make use of an OPCF 16, as this will provide you optional accident benefits while parked.
Accident benefits apply to any car accident in North America when listed on an Ontario auto policy. So it is important that you maintain that coverage and understand the optional accident benefits available, coverage can be increased from $65,000 to $1,000,000 for sometimes less than $100 annually.
Talk to your insurance broker about your plans for off-season storage and what they’d recommend. You should still keep theft and vandalism coverage active, just in case, but taking the time to ask a few questions now could leave you with an extra few hundred dollars in your pocket for the holidays.
3. Shell out for winter tires.
Ontario drivers know that winter roads are no joke, and winter tires are always recommended to help improve safety and maneuverability during the winter months. However, what you might not know is that in Ontario, all automobile insurance providers are required by law to provide you with a discount of 2-5% if you buy and install winter tires (the ones with the snowflake insignia; all-season tires don’t qualify for a discount) on your car.
There are some specifications you have to follow to qualify, though. Different companies will all have their unique way of verifying the discount and applying it to your automobile insurance package, so ask your insurance broker to help explain the details. Generally, you’ll need to make sure your winter tires have been bought and installed by December 1st at the very latest. You’ll also need to provide proof of the transaction.
Sure, coordinating all of that can be a pain, but we strongly believe that the safety winter tires provide and the discount on your insurance bill will help you forget the trouble.
4. If you change your driving habits, tell your insurance broker.
When you initially purchased your automobile insurance in Barrie, your insurance broker likely asked you to describe how often you drive your vehicle, how far you drive it, and whether or not you drive out of province or internationally in the United States. Especially in the wake of the 2020 pandemic, many people may not drive as far or as frequently as they once did – and that could mean a reduction in your premium. The same holds true if you travel abroad for an extended period or if you switch from one main vehicle to primarily using another.
Any time your driving habits or circumstances change, check in with your insurance broker. Your new normal might mean more money in your pocket. Of course, we’ll always review your coverage when you make changes, or when renewal time rolls around. When something has changed, we make sure that you, the client, are always the one to know first.
We hope you’ve found the above information useful. Remember, if you have any questions about your automobile insurance and how to better adjust it to align with your daily life, the team at Will Marshall Insurance Brokers is only a phone call away. With over 35 years of experience proudly serving Barrie, Orillia, and the rest of Simcoe County, we know insurance inside and out, and we’ll make sure you get the coverage you need for a price you’ll love.
To learn more about vehicle and automobile insurance from Will Marshall Insurance Brokers, give us a call at (705) 726-2551. You can also request a free quote for vehicle insurance online.