MoneySense

If you’re like me, you dread seeing the brown envelope in the mailbox every year signalling it’s time to pay your auto insurance again. But look at it another way. There’s so much in savings to be had if you see this as an opportunity to lower your rates. That is to say that if you’re budget conscious. Shopping around once a year for cheaper auto insurance, as well as home and life insurance, is a way to get substantial savings and put some much-needed extra cash in your own pocket.

In fact, a Kanetix.ca auto insurance survey released Thursday uncovered key findings. For instance, a majority of Canadians would consider switching insurance providers for a savings of $150 or more. With car insurance rates on the rise, this may be the incentive Canadians need to take a closer look at their policies and compare rates for potential savings. The survey also found that while 57 percent of Canadians review their insurance policy once per year, fully  27 percent never review their policy—relying solely on their broker/agent.

“A lot can happen over the course of a year that can translate into significant savings on your existing insurance policies,” said Janine White, vice president of marketplaces and strategy at Kanetix.ca.  “For example, if you installed winter tires this season for the first time you could save up to 5 percent off your auto insurance premium. This example also highlights why it’s so important to update your insurance company regularly because the savings can be realized as soon as you make the changes, instead of waiting until renewal time.”

But don’t just stop at auto insurance—review home and life insurance annually as well. Circumstances change. Other common lifestyle activities that may help Canadians save money on home, auto or life insurance premiums include changing your daily commute, upgrading or installing a home alarm system or anti-theft device (if your vehicle doesn’t already have one), paying off a mortgage, and even quitting smoking. Plus, one often overlooked trick. “Bundle several insurance policies with one provider because it may make you eligible for the multi-line discount,” says White.

And, of course, shopping around is likely the best way to save on your coverage. That means you should be putting your current premiums to the test each year. It’s an easy way to potentially save hundreds of dollars in the few minutes it takes to place a phone call.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Only 13% of Canadians would be motivated to shop for a new policy driven by lifestyle changes (new car, moving or home renovations)
  • The youngest respondents were more likely to switch or shop online for a savings of $50-$99 (59 percent for 18-24, compared to 18 percent for 25+)
  • Half of Canadians said they would be comfortable purchasing their insurance online (52 percent)
  • Men (57 percent) would feel much more comfortable transacting online versus women (46 percent)
  • Over half of all respondents said they review all or parts of their insurance policy coverage once a year (57 percent)

**The Kanetix.ca survey, was conducted by Forum Research between December 5 and December 7, 2018, and polled 812 respondents across Canada. The sample’s age ranged from 18 to 72+ years old. The survey results are considered accurate to within +/- 4%.

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