A nice family home in a suburban neighbourhood

How to Reduce Your Home Insurance Premiums

I am sure that many of you have seen your home-owners insurance policies increase over the past several years and have wondered what you can do to bring it down. The saying today is that water claims are the new fire losses. In the past, most policies were geared to fire and smoke claims. Today, water claims are the new terror. For those who have not taken steps to prevent water claims rates will be going upwards, but there are a number of things that you can do to help bring your insurance rates down:

  1. Look at increasing your deductible. Increasing your deductible from $300 to $500 or $1,000 can bring significant reductions to your premiums.
  2. Combine your auto policy with your homeowner's policy or place both products with the same insurance carrier within the same office. It doesn't help if they're with the same company but with different brokers.
  3. If possible, pay annually or on a 3 pay rather than monthly which carries a 3% monthly charge. 
  4. Give your broker all of the updates on your house such as how old is the water tank, the electrical box, the furnace, the roof, if a backwater valve has been installed or a sump pump and if there is a battery back-up for it. Some companies are giving better rates for these updates.
  5. Install a monitored burglar and fire alarm. The reduction will sometimes pay for the cost and you have peace of mind.
  6. Do you need a comprehensive package or will a broad form policy be enough? Check with your broker and see how much this can save you and understand the difference.
  7. Non-smokers get a better rate than smokers.
  8. Do a realistic calculation on the replacement cost if your basement is finished. A lot of companies give full coverage high premiums, but, if your basement is unfinished do you really need that amount of coverage?
  9. If you have an oil tank, check on the age of it. If it’s past its prime then get a new one and tell your broker.
  10. Ask for a soft credit score. This allows you a substantial discount and in some cases several hundred dollars can be saved. A soft credit score does not reflect on your credit rating.
  11. Are you over insured or, worse yet, underinsured? Insurance companies target certain limits of insurance and offer preferred rates at these limits. You may actually be able to increase coverage for the same money. However, if you are over insured it’s best to sit down with your broker and determine the best coverage for you.
  12. Are you age 65 or older? Seniors get better rates than first time buyers.
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