How safe driving can lower car insurance rates
Smiling woman behind the wheel of a car

Safe driving is about more than just keeping yourself and your passengers safe while on the road – it can also pay off by lowering your car insurance rates. Whether it’s keeping a clean driving record or using apps to check your driving habits, driving safely is worth it.

Here’s how you can save on car insurance through safe driving!

Connecting safe driving and insurance rates 

Driving safely can lower how much you pay for insurance in a few ways. First, the safer you drive, the less likely you’ll be in a car accident. How does this relate to your insurance? Well, a car accident usually means you’ll have to file a claim. If you don’t have any car insurance claims, your car insurance will stay lower for longer.

On top of a history of no accidents, some insurance companies offer apps that monitor how you drive. Used with usage-based insurance (UBI), these apps detect your driving habits – including not texting and driving, following the speed limit, and not driving at night. If you’re signed up for UBI, insurance providers usually offer a discount if you have good driving habits!

Having both a driving history without any accidents and a record of safe driving has a positive impact on your insurance profile, which leads to lower insurance rates for you. 

What influences car insurance rates

Your car insurance rates aren’t just determined by your accident history and driving habits. Insurance providers also look at other factors, such as where you live. For example, insuring a vehicle that you’ll drive in downtown Toronto – where there’s lots of traffic and a higher chance you’ll get into an accident – could cost more than insuring a car you’ll drive in a smaller town.

Here are a few other things that can have an impact on your premium:

●      Number of kilometres you drive per year

●      The model and trim level of your vehicle

●      Your coverage

●      Your deductible

●      Your years of driving history

Benefits of safe driving

We know that driving practices impact your car insurance premium, but by how much? It depends whether your provider offers usage-based insurance, or if they just rely on your driving and accident history. 

If your insurance provider offers a usage-based insurance app that tracks your driving in real time, you could save big. For example, if you’re a good driver you could save up to 35% on your auto insurance with Sonnet – and while that might not sound like much, it can really add up over time. If you pay the average cost of car insurance in Ontario ($1,655 per year) then 35% comes out to $579.25 per year in savings. That’s huge! Keep in mind, riskier drivers who have UBI could end up paying more – and nobody wants to see their insurance costs go up. It’s simple: safe driving pays off.

Safe driving practices that can lower insurance rates

Safe driving practices can help you save money on your car insurance – but what exactly counts as safe driving? Here are a few good practices to help improve your driving safety:

●      Pick the right time: Driving during the daytime means better visibility and less traffic – just try to avoid rush hour.

●      Take a break: If you’ve got a long drive ahead of you, make sure you plan to take a few breaks to help keep you focused.

●      Look around: Check your mirrors often and keep an eye on your surroundings. You should look 20 to 30 seconds ahead and be ready for what’s coming.

●      Don’t drive distracted: Don’t text on your phone or do other things like putting on makeup while driving.

●      Maintain a safe following distance: Use the three-second rule to keep a safe distance from other cars. If another car is moving strangely, increase your distance.

●      Keep a steady pace: Don’t accelerate too quickly or brake too hard. It’s the safer way to drive – and it’s more fuel efficient!

●      Lower speed in poor conditions: Not only should you always stick to the speed limit, but when road conditions aren’t great, you should lower how fast you’re driving.

●      Take a defensive drivers’ course: A safe driving course can prepare you to take action if other drivers make dangerous mistakes.

These are just a few of many safe driving practices that can reduce your risk of being in an accident. When you begin to use these habits, start with one at a time until it feels natural, then add in others more in slowly. Trying to do too many at once when you aren’t used to it could actually cause an accident because you’re so distracted!

Maintaining safe driving and tracking your progress

If you’re ready to improve your safe driving, today’s the best time to start! But remember that adopting new habits doesn’t happen overnight – you’ll need to be consistent before they start to become second nature. You can use a safe driving app to monitor your progress, since they identify your bad habits and provide tips on how to improve your driving. You can set yourself up for success in driving safely by using distraction-free driving apps and smartphone holders, too.

Keeping up good driving habits

Safe driving is all about using safe driving techniques to lower the chance of getting in a car accident or having a traffic violation. For those with a long history of driving safely or who use driving apps and usage-based insurance, practicing safe driving habits can lead to lower car insurance rates, in some cases saving hundreds of dollars per year.

If you want to improve your safe driving habits, you can start by downloading safe driving apps, taking a defensive driving course, or signing up for usage-based insurance.

There’s no time like the present to start driving more safely, and you can get started on this by choosing an insurance provider like Sonnet that rewards safe drivers.

Jordann Kaye is a freelance writer with over ten years of experience writing about insurance, homeownership, credit cards and more. She has been featured in many publications including The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and CBC News.

Jordann Kaye is a paid spokesperson of Sonnet Insurance.
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