How to reduce insurance costs during the winter
Here are some ideas:
- If you have vehicles that you do not use during the winter months, like motorcycles and campers, you can reduce your premiums by minimising the amount of liability insurance. Liability insurance is mandatory, so you cannot drop this altogether, but you can reduce the amount of liability coverage to the lowest legal requirement in your province.
- Another idea is to remove the collision coverage on summer vehicles during the winter. Do not cancel your auto insurance policy altogether. Short-term policies are typically more expensive, so holding a policy for only half the year will not save you anything. Moreover, you do want your summer vehicles covered against theft and vandalism while they are in storage.
- If you drive less during the winter, either because you work from home or because you leave the country temporarily for cities with warmer climates, indicate this on your insurance policy application. The less you drive, the smaller the risk to your insurer, and the smaller the premium you will have to pay.
- Some insurance companies give discounts to owners of vehicles that are driven only in good weather, so mention to your insurer that you use your vehicle during summer months only.
- Install winter tires at the beginning of winter. Most insurers reward their clients for this safety precaution.
- Drive especially carefully during the winter months when it is wet, slippery and dark. An accident will increase your auto insurance premium.
- Store your vehicle in a covered, enclosed space during winter to prevent water damage and in some areas salt damage (rust).
- Insulate the water pipes at your home. If they do not freeze, you will not have to claim and your insurer may reward you for it.
- Install smoke and carbon dioxide detectors to minimise the damage to your home in event of a gas leak or fire.
- Do regular maintenance on your house’s roof, doors and windows to minimise potential wind and hail damage. Some insurers may reward you with lower premiums for roof bracing, hurricane shutters and retrofitted doors.
The rule of thumb is to provide as much information as possible on your policy application and to ask about discounts.