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4 easy ways to save on home insurance

April 1, 2022
3 mins
A mom starting to do laundry with her son

This article has been updated from a previous version.

Having adequate coverage to protect your home from the unexpected is a vital part of your overall financial security. In most cases, lenders insist a homeowner secures a home insurance policy when they take out a mortgage.

And since home insurance premiums continue to rise in Canada, efforts to lower your rate are now more crucial than ever.

Fortunately, our RATESDOTCA home insuramap shows you the estimated average cost of home insurance in your area when you plug in your postal code. That way you can see if you’re overpaying and if it might be time to adjust your policy or provider.

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 of materials required to rebuild your home if it’s destroyed has increased.
  • Climate change and the frequency and severity of storms are driving an increase in expensive claims in your area.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, data from disaster analysis firm Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. found severe weather caused $2.1 billion in damages in 2021, with the British Columbia floods in November ($515 million), and the hailstorm in Calgary in July ($500 million) among the most expensive. The costliest year for insured losses in Canada was 2016 ($5.4 billion), primarily due to the Fort McMurray wildfires.

Even if you’re like most homeowners and you’ve never made a claim against your home insurance policy, your premium could still go up. That’s because the losses of the few are paid for by the premiums of 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?

Below 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 premium 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 premium would be in a savings account. That way, when the deadline to pay your annual premium 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 sewer 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 home from a 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 multi-line discount of up 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 a set dollar amount to start. But it isn’t written in stone. By simply making a phone call, you can increase your deductible, 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. RATESDOTCA has made comparing insurance premiums easier than ever. In less than five minutes, you can get a quote.

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Don't waste time calling around for home insurance

Use RATESDOTCA to shop around and compare multiple quotes at the same time.

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Liam Lahey

Liam Lahey is a versatile marketer with experience as a staff and freelance writer for many business and technology publications and newspapers. He previously worked as the editor and media spokesperson for RATESDOTCA, handling home, auto, and travel insurance topics.

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