As a homeowner, you know that carrying insurance is necessary to protect your property (and to qualify for a mortgage), but did you know that the price you pay for insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars? Discover how to save on home insurance with these quick tips.
There may be more to it than you think, but we have you covered.
How to save on home insurance before buying
First and foremost, get a home inspection! Insurance policies in Ontario come with the understanding that you will maintain your home to avoid accidents within a reasonable amount of effort. Home inspections let you know if the home you’re looking to buy has a serious problem that could become an insurance risk down the road.
For example, ask a home inspector if he or she can find any cracks or leaks in the foundation. Insurance companies would expect you to fix this as a reasonable measure to prevent flooding and any other kind of flooding. Make sure you protect yourself with a proper inspection, and you won’t have to worry about how to save on home insurance maintenance-related claims.
Once you have the home inspection results in hand, get an advance quote on the home in question to see how much it will cost on a monthly basis. Home insurance policies take just about everything into account, including:
- How many claims occur in that neighbourhood.
- Distance to the nearest fire hydrant.
- Age of the home.
- Quality, material, and age of the roof.
- Prior claims on the home.
- Heating systems and the type of stove.
- Electrical wiring.
- If the basement is finished or not.
- The presence of pets.
- Rental units on the property.
- The cost to rebuild the home.
Make sure you get a quote with a home and auto bundle as well, while you’re at it. It’s one one of the best ways to get a solid discount—especially if you combine that with any potential multi-vehicle discounts insurance companies may be willing to provide to couples.
How to save on home insurance for your current location
There are simple ways to reduce the cost of your homeowner’s insurance, starting with simply getting quotes from multiple insurance carriers. You may be surprised how much rates may vary from one company to another. Our own 3-minute quote process automatically applies the most affordable rate for you among our partners, but that shouldn’t stop you from shopping around from any new insurers you haven’t explored before. It’s always a good first step when figuring out how to save on home insurance.
Consider raising your deductible to save on premiums. Paying higher deductibles up-front will reduce the number of claims you file, which lowers your rates in turn. Just make sure you can afford that deductible in case you ever need to pay it in a claim. This is also a good time to re-evaluate if your contents coverage might be too high. Update your home insurance policy if you find that your contents coverage far exceeds the value of the items in your home.
After that, make sure that all of your home and auto policies are under the same roof. As we mentioned above, insurance companies almost always offer discounts to people that insure both home and auto policies together with them. In fact, it’s one of the first things we tell people trying to figure out how to save on home insurance.
If you’re a new homeowner of 12 months or less, you may qualify for a new homeowner discount, too! New home discounts may also apply for newly built homes or homes purchased in the last year. If you and your family are non-smokers, many carriers will give a discount for this. If either you or your spouse is 55 or older and retired, you may qualify for a mature insured credit too.
How to save on home insurance in other ways
There are a variety of other actions you can take that may entitle you to other reductions on your home insurance premium. Here are some examples of actions that may help you to get discounts:
- Installing a security system alerting police and fire department directly
- Replacing outdated wiring or pipes
- Updating your roof with impact-resistance materials
- Living in a gated community
- Joining a neighborhood homeowner’s association
- Installing gas and water sensors
- Maintaining a good credit record
If you are considering home renovations, talk to your insurance agent to see if he or she has information on how tweaking your project could maximize your savings on home insurance. Also, talk to your agent about how to save on home insurance with other tactics unique to your situation.
Whenever it’s time to renew your home insurance policy, be sure to sit down with your agent to find out how to save on home insurance. Taking a proactive approach to your home insurance cost is the best way to be sure you are not paying too much.