Why I paid $4500/year for Car Insurance and How You Can Avoid That

August 27, 2013

It’s no secret. I’m somewhat of a bad driver. Not bad as in unsafe, but bad as in I have an issue with speed limits. Oh, and I may have totalled my car once before.

It has taken 4 years to slowly reduce that rate down to $2300 a year. I know what you’re thinking; paying $200/month is insane. I happen to agree with you. But I need my car for work. While I do have the perk of working from home more often than not, living an hour away from Toronto makes running a fashion and beauty magazine very difficult. It also makes getting to the airport every difficult. Nevermind the fact that 90% of the time that I drive my car happens to be on the highway. But hey, who’s counting.

Some of the reasons that contributed to my high insurance rates:

Numerous speeding tickets: I try very hard to not speed, but it’s very tempting when you’re the only one on the road at 2am.

Write-off of a 3 year old car: I’m not sure if the age of the car has anything to do with it, but I add it in there just in case. Also, I do want to say that weather was HUGE factor in this.

Frequently changing insurance companies: Let’s face it, once you get enough tickets, it becomes difficult to stay with the same company. Some raise their rates, others find you to be high risk. Either way, you forego some of the loyalty discounts when you shop around.

Location: Not sure if you know that living in certain areas raises your rates 1.5 to 2x. It’s always a great idea to check the insurance rating before you move somewhere (if you’re renting)

Type of Car:  I drive a red 2 door sports car. I’m pretty much asking for trouble.

Red sports car


Tips on how to reduce your insurance rates:

Don’t speed: Ok, I know this is a stupid statement, but thinking about what I can do with the money instead of paying it to my insurance company makes me ease up on the gas pedal, sometimes.  I can use that extra $2200/year on a few vacations.

Find a broker who likes you: I love mine. He goes out of his way to look for lower rates for me, and proactively calls me to let me know. He is also willing to answer questions about my friends’ insurance policies.

Disclose your entire history: I know most people don’t think to insure learner driver, but being on an insurance policy even if you’re a learner driver helps with your history.


  • Josh from C.N.A. August 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks for the great tips. I had really high insurance rates from my stupid teenage driving habits until this year…I’m 25! Anyway, I like that you mentioned finding a broker that likes you. Most people don’t realize that brokers have quite a bit of power over your premium. If the broker likes you, your premiums will probably be much better! Thanks for the great post!

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Thank’s for stopping by, Josh. Yeah, people forget that having great relationships help a lot.

  • Michelle August 27, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Wow that’s crazy high! We have two brand new cars (Camaro 2SS which can hit 150 mph in 10 seconds and also a Jeep Wrangler), which should both be the definition of high car insurance. However, for some reason it’s less than $100 ALTOGETHER for both cars for the both of us each month. I guess we are lucky! 🙂

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      WOW. That’s amazing!

  • The Frugal Exerciser August 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    My husband just finished traffic school so he doesn’t have to pay at higher rate. They offer this program in Illinois but I don’t know if your state has that program.

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      No, Canada sadly doesn’t anything similar. 🙁

  • Liquid August 28, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Great tips. I know how speeding can be tempting sometimes. Last year I got a ticket on a straightaway going 142 in a 120 zone. Maybe some cops have to make a monthly quota or something. Here in BC it doesn’t matter which broker we go with for insurance (unless we want to buy extra coverage) because all basic insurance has to go through the provincial crown corporation, ICBC. I wish we would adopt the same rules as Ontario and let insurance companies compete for customers but I don’t see a change any time soon.

    • Marissa August 29, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      I didn’t know about ICBC! And yes, police officers do have quotas to meet.

  • Demaish @ Borrowed Cents August 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I learned the hard way when I accumulated tickets and points in 2007 but I was young. These days I know better. Also moving has affected me but I moved to an apartment complex that is cheaper and so my insurance went up…lol Means the cheaper place is less secure than the expensive. Have to find some balance next time I move.

    • Marissa August 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Yeah, most people don’t think about car insurance rates when they move to different cities/neighbourhoods.

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter August 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I think I pay around $4000/year for my insurance. It all came from this stupid, tiny little fender bender which was my fault. It’s expensive, but I think it’s worth it to drive. I don’t like public transit 😉

    • Marissa August 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      I hate public transit, too.

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup August 30, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Ouch, that price hurts. I don’t pay anywhere near that price and now seeing it, I will make sure and try harder to keep it that way. I don’t know if you were trying to inspire, but that is what you did.

    • Marissa August 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      I was trying to scare my scary tale.

  • jefferson @See Debt Run August 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    staying with the same insurance company for a long period of time has always helped us keep our costs down.. our “loyalty” discount is over $25/month!!

    • Marissa August 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      That’s not bad. It adds over the year!