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Find the right insurance to fit your needs

The price of auto insurance can be a little daunting, especially if you don’t know what type of coverage you need.
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It is important to know that regardless of who is driving your car, if it gets into an accident, the registered owner is held responsible. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The price of auto insurance can be a little daunting, especially if you don’t know what type of coverage you need. There are a number of variables to consider when shopping around for insurance, and while factors like your driving record and the make, model and year of your car can alter your rates, there are other things to take into consideration.

What your vehicle is being used for
Whether you drive for pleasure, to commute to and from work or school or drive for business purposes or delivery, there are different types of insurance for each rate class. Rate classes vary as well, depending on how far you commute daily.

Who will be driving your car?
Will you be the sole driver or do you have a partner or child who will also be using your vehicle? It is important to know that regardless of who is driving your car, if it gets into an accident, the registered owner is held responsible. If there will be multiple drivers, a higher level of coverage beyond the standard $200,000 third-party liability coverage included in standard insurance is likely needed.

Where you live
The area where you live will affect your insurance premium due to certain areas of the city being more prone to theft and break-ins. Unfortunately, regardless of where it is parked, on the street or in underground parking, your postal code will determine how much you pay.

What discounts you might be eligible for
While having 10 or more years of driving experience qualifies you for a discount, there are other money-saving discounts that might apply to you. Anti-theft devices such as immobilizers offer a discount and will also qualify you for rebates. Drivers over 65 years of age who aren’t using their vehicle for commuting can also receive up to 25 per cent off their insurance. Being a member of BCAA and insuring through them can also offer you a 10 per cent discount.

Do you drive your car year-round?
While most people opt for year-long auto insurance, which can be divided into a monthly payment plan, if you are away for extended periods of time, you might go for a short-term plan, which offers coverage from three to 11 months. It’s important to keep in mind that when the car is not in use, it still needs to be insured under what is called “vehicle in storage” coverage.

The most important thing is to be upfront about what your needs are. Cutting corners or being underinsured will only have a negative effect, and if you do get in an accident, you don’t want to end up paying out of pocket to cover damages and medical expenses. It is also worth shopping around and getting different quotes from different insurance brokers to ensure you find the right fit for you. For more information on car insurance, visit icbc.com/autoplan