Home insurance is an essential cost, but most of us wish our premiums could be lower. Over the years, the cost of home insurance can add up—but you probably don’t have to be paying as much for home insurance as you are.
In this article, we’ll offer ten key tips that can help you save money on home insurance. We want to offer you as much advice as possible, so we’ll follow up those tips with other ways you can save. Want to benefit even more? Contact us directly. Many factors can affect your home insurance premiums, and we’re here to help you make sense of them all.
10 Ways You Can Save Money on Home Insurance
1. Bundle Your Home and Auto Insurance
You can get discounts from companies like Rogers when you bundle your cable, internet, and phone bill—and the same is true for insurance. When you bundle your auto and home insurance, your insurer may offer discounts on both premiums. You may even be able to arrange for discounts if you have insurance for boats, other properties, or almost any other form of insurance—talk to your insurance provider!
2. Buy a Home or Condo Less Than 10 Years Old
Insurance premiums are based, in part, on the age and condition of your home. By purchasing a home or condo that’s less than 25 years old, your home insurance provider will be able to offer lower premiums—they’ll know that the condition of the building, and the materials and techniques used in its construction, are up to the latest standards.
3. Increase Your Deductible
Your deductible is the portion of any claim that you have to pay out of pocket. Imagine you have a $1000 deductible, and you successfully make a $10,000 claim—you’d receive $9000, paying the $1000 deductible out of pocket.
A higher deductible means you share more risk with your insurance company. This means you’ll make fewer claims (there’s no point in claiming when the total is lower than your deductible) and that when you do claim, your home insurance policy will pay out less.
4. Eliminate Coverages You Don’t Need
In most places in Ontario, you won’t need earthquake insurance—just look at Canada’s seismic hazard map. On the other hand, flood insurance is often a good choice, especially in areas with a lot of waterways like Ottawa.
Eliminating coverage that you don’t need is an excellent way to keep your premiums lower. You can talk to your insurance broker or your home insurance provider about the risks of various natural disasters in your area. Keep the coverages you need, and get rid of the coverages you don’t, but keep in mind that the premium you pay for a coverage reflects the risk of that coverage for your area. For example, earthquake coverage could be $20 a year in Ontario where flood coverage will certainly be more expensive and more of a risk.
5. Don’t Over-Insure
There’s no reason to over-insure—you can only claim the value of the property you’ve lost. Worried that the coverage you’ve purchased for your home doesn’t offer enough protection? Consider purchasing guaranteed replacement cost coverage for your dwelling building—in the event that your home insurance doesn’t offer enough coverage to replace your house, guaranteed replacement cost coverage will step in and increase your coverage.
6. Take Care of Your Home
By caring for your home, you can decrease the risk of fires, water damage, vandalism, and other perils that may cause you to claim. Fewer claims mean a lower insurance premium, so it’s always a good idea to stay on top of maintenance.
Certain renovations can also help you lower the cost of your home insurance—consider renovating your roof or updating your electrical system or plumbing.
7. Install a Monitored Alarm System
A monitored alarm system can help you lower your home insurance premium—these systems dissuade criminals from breaking into or vandalizing your home. On the rare occasion a criminal does decide to break in, these alarms can cause them to flee before they cause extra damage—reducing the likelihood that your home insurance policy will have to pay out.
8. Don’t File Small Claims
You might be tempted to file every claim that comes up—as long as it’s over your deductible, you might as well get some money back, right?
Unfortunately, the math usually doesn’t add up when it comes to filing small claims. Your home insurance premium may increase enough that you’ll lose more money than you’ll gain. What’s worse, insurance companies share claims history with each other—so your insurance premium will likely increase with any insurer.
9. Shop Around for the Best Insurance Rates
We recommend reviewing your home insurance policy every year and looking at several different insurance companies to see if one of them has a policy that better suits your needs. Rates change regularly, and by shopping around, you may be able to find a better policy with a lower premium.
10. Allow for a Credit Check
Your home insurance provider may ask if they can conduct a credit check—and if you’re looking to get a discount on your policy when renewal comes around, it’s something your insurance broker may recommend, as well.
The credit checks performed by home insurance companies are soft credit checks—this means they won’t impact your credit score and are only visible to you and the home insurance company. A high credit score can lead to lower premiums because it indicates that you don’t engage in risky behaviour.
Other Ways to Save on Home Insurance
- The claims-free discount: Many insurance providers offer a claims-free discount—if you’ve never made a claim, you can save money on your home insurance premium.
- Discounts for safety systems: Many insurance companies offer discounts for automatic sprinklers, automatic water shutoffs, and other safety features.
- Pay your premiums annually: You can save by paying your premiums on a yearly basis instead of making monthly payments. Don’t worry—if you need to cancel your insurance for whatever reason, you can get a prorated refund or short-rate refund, assuming your premium isn’t fully earned, which is rare. Insurance companies can make more interest on annual payments, so it’s in everyone’s financial interest if you pay annually!
- Pay off your mortgage: Some insurance providers offer a mortgage-free discount to homeowners who have paid off their mortgage—it shows a level of fiscal responsibility and good homeownership that insurance companies appreciate. Just keep in mind that a Home Equity Line of Credit with a zero balance against it still counts as a mortgage, in this case. Essentially, there has to be no loss payee present to qualify for this discount.
- Stay with the same home insurance provider: Changing home insurance providers regularly can help you get a discount on premiums—but staying with the same company can earn you a loyalty discount. Talk to your broker about which is best!
- Work with an insurance broker: Insurance brokers are trained to find you the best deals on home insurance and to help you find home insurance discounts.
Start Saving on Home Insurance in Ontario Today With Westland Insurance
When it comes to getting homeowners insurance, one of the best ways to save money is to work with an insurance broker. They can compare home insurance quotes on your behalf and help you secure a discount on your premium based on a variety of factors.
We know home insurance in Ontario – call or connect with Westland Insurance today, and see how we can help you save money on your home insurance premiums!