7 Tips for Lowering your Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance can be one of the most important investments a Canadian homeowner will make. Not only can homeowners insurance replace your property in case of a fire or natural disaster, but it can also help you cover the costs of home repairs after a bad storm.
One of the things that intimidate people about homeowners insurance is that it can be expensive. But if you know the seven ways to save money on your homeowners insurance, then you can offset your costs and get the protection you need at a price you can afford.
A common practice among most of the larger Canadian insurance providers is something called bundling. If you get your car insurance and homeowners insurance through the same company, then the two policies bundled together can entitle you to a discount.
If you have other insurance needs such as life insurance or insuring a recreational vehicle such as an off-road vehicle, then these may also create a money-saving bundle for you. Ask your insurance agent if your current company offers a discount for bundling your insurance needs together.
2. Shop Around
When people get into a homeowners insurance policy, they can often make the mistake of getting into the routine of staying with the same company for years. People who pay their homeowners insurance through an escrow account may not even review their insurance bill each year.
When the time comes for your next homeowners’ insurance renewal, ask your agent for the declarations page of your policy that outlines your coverages and get some quotes from other companies. If you find a better deal, then give your insurance company the chance to match it, or make the move to a new company.
Your home insurance rates often depend on the area you are living in. If you live in a town that has a high rate of burglaries, then your insurance premiums may be higher. There are things you can do to protect yourself and save money on your homeowners insurance at the same time.
Home security items such as deadbolt locks, door chains, iron bars for the windows and alarm systems can all carry homeowners’ insurance discounts. Don’t forget that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors may also save you money. Before installing any security devices, check with your insurance agent to make sure you are eligible for a discount.
4. Raise Your Premium
Your homeowners insurance is designed to help in times of a major crisis. If the front gutter falls off your house, you will probably not be calling your insurance company to help pay for it. But if the front gutter falls off and takes half of the front soffit with it, then that may be grounds for a claim.
Since you will not be relying on your homeowners insurance for every home repair need, it can be a practical decision to raise your deductible and save money on your premiums. In some cases, raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 can save you as much as 20 percent on your monthly premiums.
5. Home Maintenance
Maintaining your home is something that you do to help keep things in working order and make sure that you are not overspending on your utility bills. But many homeowners may not realize that upgrading some of your home elements can save you money on homeowners insurance.
Installing a new furnace lowers the potential for a fire hazard and can be a deduction on your homeowners policy. If you change your siding from flammable wood to non-flammable aluminum or brick siding, then you may be eligible for a reduced homeowners insurance premium.
6. Reduce Claims
Some Canadian homeowners feel that they need to call their insurance company and make a claim for every incident of damage. The truth is that you should avoid making claims as much as possible.
Utilize your homeowners insurance for major repairs and problems. But if you can take care of the problem yourself, then you can lower your premiums by reducing the number of claims you make.
7. Reduce Hazards
Reducing the potential hazards to your home can help you keep your homeowners insurance costs down. If you quit smoking, then you may be eligible for a discount off your insurance. Installing a swimming pool in your backyard offers a source of water in case of a fire and could be a homeowners insurance deduction.
Before installing items such as a wood burning stove or a fireplace, ask your insurance agent how it will affect your homeowners insurance rates and if there are any alternatives that you can install to keep your rates down.
Another way to reduce hazards is to attend to regular maintenance items such as repairs to your roof, porch steps, walkways and driveways. Some of these may not help you reduce your homeowners insurance rates, but they will help to avoid having your rates raised after the annual insurance inspection.
Ask your Agent
Ask your insurance agent about all of the ways that you can save money on your homeowners insurance. The lower you can get your premiums, the more money you will have to spend on maintaining and remodeling your home.