Car insurance is a major expense. In some provinces, it can go upwards of $1000 per year. With rates like this, it is no wonder people look for ways to lessen the costs. But can you actually lower the cost of your insurance? This all depends on the factors that make your coverage expensive in the first place. Some factors are in your control. Others, however, are not. By knowing what these factors are, you would know where to look.
One of the factors people think of is their occupation. People often ask whether their occupation affects their insurance costs. While this is the case in the US and the UK, it is not the case in Canada. Instead, provincial governments have set in place a logical basis for assessments.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Car Insurance?
Several things influence your car insurance premium. At the top of the list is your personal data. This includes your age, gender, residential address, vehicle type, and driving history. Combined, these factors determine the risk of you making a claim. The higher the risk is, based on these factors, the higher your premium. Another thing insurance companies look at is vehicle use. Are you using your car for pleasure? Maybe you use it for your daily commute. Or maybe you use it for business and deliveries. What you use it for determines where and how often you drive. According to statistics, the more you are on the road, the more risk of getting in an accident.
Other things that determine your premium include your deductible. This is the amount you pay before the insurance company takes over. This is better for some because you only have to pay if you get in an accident. In contrast, you pay for your premium each month. Finally, the cost of your insurance is in the hands of the insurance company. Different insurers have different rates. This is why shopping around is always a good idea.
What Factors Don’t Affect the Cost of Car Insurance?
Some provinces in Canada have specified what should not affect car insurance. This means insurance companies cannot legally use it to make their assessments. As such, you also cannot leverage these to get cheaper insurance. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario includes the following:
- credit history
- credit card ownership
- not-at-fault accidents
- how long you have been living in your current home
- employment status and occupation
- whether you own or lease your car
Employment status and credit history are big factors abroad. However, they do not really affect your chances of getting in an accident. All they affect is your ability to pay, which should not be an issue in this case. In other words, whether you are a logger or a telecommuter, you may pay the same rates.
Is Car Insurance Cheaper If You Are Employed?
It does not matter whether you are employed or not. What industry you are in does not matter either. Finally, your employment history or job description does not give you cheaper insurance. What does affect your premium is how you use your car. Commuting to work daily guarantees you get a higher premium. Using your car for business also means higher premiums. This is because you are spending more time on the road. In turn that exposes you to more chances of getting in an accident. At the same time, if you use your car for deliveries or if you keep work tools in it, you may also pay more. Not only are you spending time on the road, but you have business-related cargo in there too.
On the other hand, if you work from home, then you can probably qualify for cheaper insurance. However, this has nothing to do with your occupation. This is because you would only be using your car for pleasure. Vehicles used for pleasure are not used often so they cost less to insure. As such, you have little exposure to risks and accidents. Unemployed people may pay lower rates too because they do not commute to work. This means that they will be paying the rate of pleasure vehicles.
How Can I Get Cheaper Insurance?
At the end of the day, you can get cheaper insurance by making changes to the factors that affect its cost. You can move to a neighborhood that has fewer accidents. You can also stop driving to work, and just take public transport. Or you can change your car model to a cheaper one. But in truth, these lifestyle changes are too major. The cost of car insurance alone cannot define these changes. Instead, you can maintain a clean driving record to make sure your premium does not spike. You can also pay a higher deductible. Finally, you can shop around and compare rates to find the best deals.
Car insurance costs in Canada are not affected by occupation. One profession does not have higher costs than another simply because of the profession itself. It also is not affected by credit history and history of not-at-fault accidents. Instead, insurance rates in Canada are affected by other things. A person’s age, gender, address, and driving history are only some of these factors. Perhaps the major factor though is how a person uses their car. Pleasure vehicles cost less because they are on the road less. Thus, unemployed people or those who work from home may qualify for cheaper premiums.
On the other hand, vehicles used for commute cost more because they are more exposed to accidents. As such, whatever your job, if you commute every day then you may be paying more. Finally, business owners may be paying even more if they use their car for running their business. Not only are they on the road more, they may also be carrying equipment. Real estate agents, tradesmen who make house calls, and the like fall under this category.