- Several reasons may be behind an increase in your home premium.
- In 2020, severe weather caused $2.4 billion in damages in Canada.
- It’s worth your while to shop around for home insurance.
Having adequate coverage to protect your home from the unexpected is a vital part of your overall financial security. In most cases, home insurance is a requirement mortgage lenders insist a homeowner has.
The J.D. Power & Associates 2019 Canada Home Insurance Study notes the median homeowners’ insurance premium that year was $1,200. In Atlantic Canada and Ontario, homeowners paid the highest for insurance coverage at $1,260, followed by Western Canada ($1,248) and Quebec ($984).
Home insurance rates typically increase at policy renewal time. There are many things that influence the cost of home insurance, including where your home is located, its value, and the age of the dwelling. If your premium has gone up, it could be due to several reasons, including:
- You’ve made renovations to the dwelling.
- The cost to rebuild your home if it’s destroyed.
- Climate change and the frequency and severity of storms are driving an increase in expensive claims.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, data from disaster analysis firm Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. found severe weather caused $2.4 billion in damages in 2020, with the Fort McMurray flood in April ($562 million), and the hailstorm in Calgary in June ($1.3 billion) among the most expensive. The costliest year for insured losses in Canada was 2016 ($5.2 billion), primarily due to the Fort McMurray wildfires.
Even if you’re like most homeowners and you’ve never made a claim on your home insurance, your premium could still go up. That’s because the losses of the few are paid for by the many. If your neighbours made a lot of claims, you could be hit with a higher rate. So, what can you do about it?
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Here are four easy ways to save on your home insurance premium:
1. Pay annually instead of monthly
It’s fairly common to receive a discount for paying your home insurance premiums annually instead of monthly. If you can afford it, it makes sense to pay annually. You’ll avoid paying the costly administrative charge that comes with paying monthly. Coming up with that much money all at once can seem challenging, so budget ahead of time. Put what your monthly premiums would be in a savings account. That way, when the deadline to pay your annual premiums rolls around, the money will be already waiting for you.
2. Weatherproof your home
Safeguarding your digs and property from the threat floods, extreme wind, and wildfires pose can be mitigated to a degree by taking preventative measures. Installing a backwater valve in your sewer line, ensuring eavestroughs are clear of debris and downspouts drain water away from your abode, and having a sump pump with an alarm and battery backup can help reduce flood risks. Installing home-protecting systems that detect water-related problems before they escalate can be a big help. But be aware a standard or basic property policy doesn’t automatically include coverage for overland floods or if the municipal sewer backs up and makes a mess inside your house. There is optional coverage available you can add to your policy to protect yourself from these threats.
For other weather-related threats, like extreme wind, keep an eye on your roof to see if repairs are needed and if so, don’t hesitate to get it fixed. To protect your digs from wildfire, it helps to maintain a 1.5-metre non-combustible zone around your house.
3. Combine your home and car insurance
If you’re already paying for car insurance, many insurance companies will give you a discount for also getting your home insurance with them. By bundling your home and car policies, you’ll often receive what’s known as a multiline discount ranging from 5% to 15% off your insurance bill.
4. Increase your deductible
Many homeowners aren’t aware they can increase the deductible on their home insurance. Your deductible will often be set at $500 to start. Your deductible isn’t written in stone – by simply making a phone call, you can increase your deductible to $1,000 or $2,000, which will lower your insurance premium and save you money.
Your deductible is how much you’ll have to cover out of your pocket if you make an insurance claim. Before you increase your deductible, be sure you can afford it in the event you need to file a claim.
To get the best price, explore your options
Just like when you’re shopping for a big-screen TV or any other product, it’s worth your while to shop around for home insurance to find the best price for what you need. The internet has made comparing insurance premiums easier than ever. In less than five minutes, you can get a quote.