5 car insurance tips for first time buyers

So, you’ve saved up the money, bought your first car and put the days of driving your parents old mini-van behind you. Now what?

Well, you’ll be off your parent’s insurance and needing to find some of your own. Finding an insurer that meets your needs while also staying within your budget may seem like a tall order. But, don’t stress, here are some tips to help make the process of finding car insurance for the first time a little less daunting.

1. Utilize online sites to compare prices

Online auto insurance comparison tools are a quick and easy way to measure different prices from many leading Canadian insurance companies. By taking a couple minutes out of your day to answer some quick questions about yourself and your car, you will be given access to competitive quotes from a number of different insurance providers. Whether you go with a quote from a site like this or not, it is a beneficial process to go through as you gain a good understand of the ballpark price range you're dealing with.

2. Be mindful about your choice of vehicle

Insurance companies use all sorts of things to determine the cost of your coverage, and a large contributing factor is the type of car you are looking to insure. For example, as a general rule of thumb, newer cars cost more to insure than older ones, and flashy sports cars cost more than family friendly sedans.

Stats, including those regarding theft and safety ratings, also factor in. Visiting the Insurance Bureau of Canada is a great way to see how the stats of various cars can affect the cost of insurance.

3. Don’t skip Driver’s Ed

Not only will taking an accredited driver’s education course make you a better driver, it will also lead to discounts on your car insurance. Even though there is an initial cost involved with these courses, you will see the return over time on your insurance. Additionally, some courses offer extra incentives, like CAA memberships or vehicle services, such as vouchers for oil changes or car washes.  

4. Familiarize yourself with insurance terms and practices

While searching for insurance for the first time, speaking with a broker or reading a policy may seem overwhelming. Something as simple as looking up common insurance terminology will give you a better understanding of what you are hearing and reading. For example, learning what a deductible is and what it means to raise or lower it will help you understand your policy and what you are paying for. The more knowledge you acquire the easier it will be for you to spot and obtain a fair rate.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

When first entering the world of insurance, remember that there are no stupid questions. Do not be afraid to ask your insurer about anything you are unsure of regarding your policy. For example: What sorts of things can I do to lower my rates? Are there any discounts for students, clean drivers, being over 25, being over 50? What exactly does my policy cover? If I need to file a claim, what do I do? Do I get a discount for paying annually instead of monthly? The more questions you ask about your policy the more knowledge you will gain, and in turn, you will be more capable of finding the coverage that is right for you.

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