Having adequate home insurance coverage to protect your dwelling, property, and possessions is a must-have. After all, buying a home is the most expensive purchase most of us will make in our lives. Therefore, protecting your most valuable asset with a well-rounded insurance policy is a matter of common sense.
While you don’t want to skimp on home or condo insurance protection, it’s also worthwhile to try to save as much as you can. There are different ways to do that, including choosing higher deductibles on specific coverages, maintaining and improving your digs, and taking advantage of home insurance discounts.
Home insurance discounts: finding ways to save
Here are 10 home insurance discounts your insurer may offer that you should inquire about:
- Multi-Policy or Bundling Discount. Most insurers will offer you a 10% to 15% discount if you insure both your home and vehicle with them.
- Claims-Free Discount. Whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant in a rental unit, if you have never filed a property claim, you may qualify for a discount. As years pass and you don’t file any claims, this type of discount may increase over time.
- Affinity or Group Discount. Some insurers will offer discounts to their customers who are members of specific professional associations, trade unions, or post-secondary school alumni groups.
- Multi-Property Discount. Do you have a cottage or second home or condo? Like when bundling your auto and home policies, most insurers will provide a discount if you purchase home insurance for more than one property.
- Mortgage-Free Discount. Some insurers will offer a discount for homeowners who are mortgage-free and who do not have a secured line of credit on their home.
- New Home Discount. Is your home newly built? Depending on the age of your dwelling, an insurer may reduce your premium if it’s under a certain threshold.
- Home Alarm Discount. If you have a security and fire monitoring and alarm system installed in your home, most insurers will lower your premium.
- Water Damage Prevention Discount. Insurance companies love “responsible homeowners”. In other words, homeowners who make an effort to avert problems by taking proactive action around the house. One way to do that is to offset the threat flooding poses by having a sump pump, backflow valve, and leak detection systems installed. A word to the wise: most standard home insurance policies do not include overland flood or sewer backup mitigation protection. Ask your broker or insurer about adding those coverages to your policy if need be.
- Renewal Discount. While it’s always prudent to shop around before renewing your home policy, some insurers will provide you with a discount if you keep your property insurance with them for several years.
- Mature or Seniors’ Discount. If you’re 55 years old or older, it may earn you a discount on your home, condo, or tenant insurance policy.
Other potential ways to save on home insurance
Here are a few other things to consider that may reduce your home insurance costs:
- Your Credit Record. If you have a good credit score and history, insurers will regard you as a lower risk because it suggests you’re less likely to file a claim. Ask if your good credit record can knock a few dollars off of your premium where allowed.
- Reduce Your Coverage. There are different kinds of home insurance coverage available. One coverage type some insurers offer is referred to as “no-frills”, another is known as a basic or named perils policy. There are trade-offs for opting for these coverages, though. Namely, it is you what will carry the financial risk of some potential losses if you go this route.
- Pay Your Premium Annually. If you can afford to pay your home insurance premium in one-fell-swoop at the beginning of the year instead of paying installments each month, it may save you a few bucks. Ask your insurer if paying upfront for the year is cheaper.
- Shop Around. As a homeowner and consumer, you hold the balance of power between your finances and the companies from which you choose to buy goods and services. The same logic applies when purchasing home insurance. Take a few minutes to find out what your options are.