Moving to a new home can be exciting, but it may also change what you’re currently paying for both your car insurance and home insurance policies.
Where you live is one of the variables insurers use when calculating the premium for both of your policies, so when you move, your premium will likely change.
Many people may figure they'll just tell their insurance company of their new address and assume nothing will change. That isn't always the case. Each insurance company calculates their rates differently, and the insurer who offered you the best rate at your former address may not offer you the best rate at your new address.
So, what can you do about it?
Bundling your home and car insurance policies
One common way to reduce your overall insurance costs is to bundle your policies.
Bundling your insurance policies means you’re buying your auto insurance and home coverage from the same provider. Many insurers will offer what’s known as a multiline discount if you choose to do so. The discount will vary among insurers, but in general, it may range between 10% and 15% off your total insurance bill.
For most people looking to save on their policies by bundling, the car insurance bill is often the most expensive. There are other ways to manage your car insurance costs, over and above bundling, including:
- Asking your insurer to add accident forgiveness protection to your policy. That way, if you are in a collision for the first time and you are found to be at fault for the accident, the accident forgiveness protection will ensure your premium does not rise as a result of it. Accident forgiveness protection is a usually inexpensive add-on to your policy, but it can only be used once.
- Signing up for a usage-based insurance (UBI) program, also known as telematics, may provide you with additional savings for allowing your insurer to monitor your driving behaviour for things such as such as sudden acceleration, hard braking, speed, and the time of day you’re on the road. Consistently exhibiting good driving behaviour can earn you a discount. However, as of November 2020 in Ontario, drivers who demonstrate high-risk behaviours behind the wheel may pay more upon renewal.
- Adjusting your coverage deductibles. Generally, if you opt for a higher deductible (the amount you must pay for damages if you file a claim before the insurer pays), your annual premium will be lower.
- Reviewing your coverages and finding out what your options are by comparing premiums from a broad range of insurers.
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How moving may affect your home insurance policy
Moving to new digs means you may face different risks. Insurers will consider several factors when assessing your home insurance premium like:
- The neighbourhood you’re moving into
- The age of the house, and the condition of the roof, plumbing, electrical wiring, and heating systems
- Your home’s proximity to fire hydrants and fire stations
- The replacement cost of the dwelling
- The square footage of the home
- Whether you’ll be running a home-based business or if you intend to have tenants or boarders in your new home
There are ways to save on home insurance by taking advantage of possible discounts you may be eligible for as well as improving certain features of the dwelling.
As your life changes, so will your car insurance premium
Moving isn’t the only time when you should compare car insurance rates. There are many life events when spot-checking your rate makes sense, such as:
- Buying a new car
- Getting married
- If you are convicted of a traffic violation or are involved in an accident
- If past traffic violations or accidents are no long part of your driving and insurance record
- Adding newly licensed teenage drivers to your policy
- Changing your vehicle classification from ‘commute’ to ‘pleasure’, and revising the number of kilometres you drive annually (for example, if you are working from home because of the pandemic)
Each of these scenarios will likely affect your premium and, because each insurance provider calculates their rates differently, it represents an opportunity to potentially pay less for insurance. There are a few strategies you can use to help reduce your auto premium.
Insurance isn’t one of those things that you can “set it and forget it,” because if you do, you may be leaving money on the table. Bundling your home and car insurance policies is beneficial for both you and your provider. You get to streamline your insurance with one bill and renewal date, while your provider can receive business on more than one product. Be sure to notify your provider of your change of address before your moving date.