5 safety features that could lower your auto insurance premium

The cost of your auto insurance is based on many different factors, for example the type of car you drive, where you live and how often you are on the road. When you invest in devices and products that minimize wear and tear or protect your vehicle against theft or damage, not only do you protect your investment and personal safety, you also minimize the chance you will need to make a claim.

When you go to purchase a new vehicle, everyone has a few must-have features in mind.
For some, it’s hands-free calling and a sunroof, for others it’s power windows or air conditioning. But have you considered how much you might save by opting for certain safety features, too? Read on to find out more about how these safety features can potentially lower the cost of your auto insurance.

1. Evaluate your driving habits with on-board diagnostics

Telematics is a way for drivers to track and record their driving behaviour. While each program is slightly different, most monitor, at a minimum, rapid acceleration, hard braking and time of day on the road. This information is not only helpful when talking to your insurance company, but also to identify ways to become safer on the road.

2. Install an engine immobilizer

An engine immobilizer is a state-of-the art anti-theft system that uses a smart key or key fob to transmit an electronic code to the vehicle. The engine will only start if the code in the key matches the code in the engine. Be forewarned: this type of key or key fob can be expensive to replace, and you may have to contact your dealership or a qualified locksmith if you lose it (so keep track of your keys!).

3. Add an anti-theft alarm

An integral part of an anti-theft system, the alarm is an electronic device used to alert the owner of an attempted break-in. The loud siren or repeated sounding of the horn is sometimes combined with the vehicle’s lights flashing and is a strong deterrent for would-be thieves. If you have such a system installed on your vehicle, contact your dealer. Who knows, you might be entitled to a discount by making this addition!

4. Consider a GPS tracking system

Many modern tracking systems use GPS to locate a stolen vehicle in real time, helping to improve the odds your stolen vehicle can be recovered and acting as a deterrent for potential thieves. The satellite navigation network calculates the vehicle’s current location. Some GPS systems can also track where the vehicle stops and starts, as well as its speed and direction.

With this type of system, your vehicle is more likely to be recovered if it is stolen, and therefore your insurer assumes less risk, which could lower your premium. Call on a professional to install your security system as it may affect your eligibility to qualify for cost-saving benefits.

5. Use the right tires for the season

Just as you change your footwear to suit the season, so should you equip your car with proper tires. Made of a special rubber compound for a better grip and with a unique tread design, winter tires are designed to improve traction and stopping distance on slippery roads. Make sure to install four Transport Canada-certified winter tires (look for the engraved pictogram of a peaked mountain with a snowflake) on your vehicle before the first snowfall of the season and remove them only once the milder weather has returned. Winter tires are mandatory from December 15 to March 15 in Québec, and from October 1 to March 31 in British Columbia.

When spring arrives, it’s time to change to summer or all-season tires. The soft rubber compound on winter tires will wear out quickly in warmer temperatures, and could result in longer braking distance, compromised grip and handling and tire replacement costs. When you change your tires with the season, you increase your safety on the road and improve the overall handling and performance of your vehicle.

Contact your broker to see if any of these safety features could help you save on your insurance. A little investment could go a long way!

SOURCES
1 Transport Canada - Winter Tire Safety Tips:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safevehicles-safetyfeatures-wintertires-index-468.htm?campaign=Facebook_eng
2 http://www.autofocus.ca/news-events/news/winter-tires-in-summer-5-reasons-it-s-a-bad-idea
3 Intact Insurance – my Driving Discount®:
https://www.intact.ca/my-driving-discount

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