When it comes to auto insurance, there is no option to avoid the necessary expenses. Auto insurance is a mandatory cost of owning a car or truck. As a vehicle owner, you most likely have two key considerations: getting the right insurance coverage and finding the best possible insurance rates. You want the peace of mind of knowing that you are adequately covered in the event of an accident, theft or vandalism. However, you don’t want to overpay or pay for the insurance coverage you don’t need.

There are plenty of ways to reduce insurance premiums. You need to make sure you have just the right coverage and you’re able to take advantage of potential discounts. The good news is that there are many insurance brokers to choose from and knowing the right questions to ask can get you the coverage you need without extra fees.

Below are ten basic auto insurance tips to help get you started. We hope this list of auto insurance tips will teach you how to conduct research and potentially save money!

Tip #1: Think of auto insurance in multiples.

While it can be time-consuming to make the calls, your best bet for auto insurance is to get multiple quotes. Once you have some basics to compare between insurers, you will be able to analyze differences in coverage and rates. For example, while one insurer may have less expensive annual rates, you may pay more in the event of an accident or mishap.

An insurance broker can be a valuable partner in your search, doing some of this legwork with valuable insight and experience. Consider using a broker if you have a limited time but want to compare the coverage and rates of multiple insurers.

Tip #2: Examine your auto insurance coverage closely.

In thinking about your auto insurance, it is worthwhile to examine your auto insurance coverage closely. Are there items you don’t need or might have the option to remove? For example, if you have a second car at your home, you may want to remove the coverage for rental reimbursement, in the event that your car is in the shop for repairs.

Tip #3: Combine insurance policies.

One of the basic tips to lower your auto insurance premium is to combine this coverage with your other insurance needs. There are often significant savings to be had if you combine auto insurance with your home, life or other insurance. Be sure to check total costs with each insurer.

Tip #4: Adjust your deductible.

Choosing the right deductible for your auto insurance comes down to your budget and instinct. Setting a higher deductible will reduce your insurance premiums. For example, if you raise your deductible from $500 to $1,000 you could significantly reduce your collision premiums.

Keep in mind, however, while this change is tempting to invoke, you need to make sure you can afford the deductible, should something happen.

Tip #5: Ask for auto insurance discounts.

Not all insurance providers make an effort to advertise the discounts they offer. It is worth asking whether your insurance company offers discounts for things like belonging to an alumni or affinity group. Discounts may also be offered for having taken defensive or safe-driving courses, or having anti-theft equipment in your car and much more. It doesn’t hurt to ask about these discounts and you could find yourself with extra savings.

Tip #6: Insure the right car.

Your insurance rates will depend heavily on a few things, including the type of car you drive. If you are in the market to buy, you might be surprised to learn how variable insurance rates are, based on the age, make and model of your car. Online tools can help you do a quick search before you buy, to help you know how much to build into your overall budget.

Tip #7: Change your payment frequency.

Some insurers offer discounted rates for paying premiums for six months or a year at a time. By paying your premium in full, as opposed to monthly, you may be eligible for a small discount.

Tip #8: Report reduced mileage.

Insurers often use average kilometers driven as a basic calculation for rates. If your kilometers / year drops substantially for some reason, perhaps a change in your commute for work or school, be sure to let your insurer know.

Tip #9: Make your rate-check an annual tradition.

It is easy to fall into the habit of using the same insurance provider, especially if you have been with them for a number of years. However, it is worthwhile to check your rates annually. You can do this bit of legwork yourself or use the help of an insurance broker, who can help to make quick comparisons for your auto insurance needs.

Tip #10: Drive your car safely.

While this is an obvious solution to reducing insurance rates, the cleaner your driving record, the better. Driving defensively, observing federal, provincial and local traffic laws, will serve you well when you go to renew your insurance.