In 2018, home insurance policies are as expensive as ever. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the total amount claimed per year has risen steadily ever since 1995, hitting upwards of $5.72 billion in the past three years.
IBC suggests that this is in large part due to extreme weather conditions, including ice storms and flooding. But another culprit, which might make more sense on the west coast, is that repairs are simply becoming more expensive.
Considering these costs, homeowners should be on the lookout for any opportunity to lower their home insurance premiums. Let’s take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts for Victoria homeowners who are trying to spend less on home insurance.
Do: Compare Rates
Or, in other words, hold your horses! By spending a few moments to compare insurance quotes, you’ll often be able to reduce your premium. There’s no sense signing up with the first broker you see without checking in on other sources. It’ll take a little bit of time, sure, but it will end up saving you money.
Don’t: Insure Belongings You Don’t Own
Sometimes you’ll find that home insurance policies include coverage for material items you don’t own. Think fur coats and gold bullions. It’s bizarre, but that’s the way insurance companies choose to do business.
Find a provider who will allow you to personalize your plan. This way, you can insure the items you want replaced, while also cutting costs on ridiculous gold bullions.
Do: Increase Your Deductible
When making a claim, you pay what is called a deductible — or in other words — an amount of money to make use of your insurance. Although most policies require a $500 deductible, this could leave you with inflated annual costs. According to David Browne, president of insurance brokers Martin Merry & Reid Ltd, by agreeing to a $2500 deductible, you’ll lower your annual rates.
Don’t: Over Insure Your House
Find out what it would cost to rebuild your home, then insure for that price. The trick here is not to include the value of your land also. Most insurance brokers will come up with a particul price to rebuild, using a system that has been approved by insurance companies.
Do: Pay Annually
This isn’t always the case, but sometimes you’ll find that monthly payments will include additional administrative fees. Paying once per year is a simple way to save money.
Even if you’ve been with the same insurance provider for years, it’s in your best interest to shop around for the best coverage and rates. If something better pops up, you shouldn’t stick around. You may find there is money to be saved right around the corner.
Do: Combine Your Car Insurance
Believe it or not, but by combining your car insurance with that of your home, you could save up to 10% on your home insurance premium. This is only available with some insurance providers, specifically those that work with ICBC, so be sure to ask yours!
Don’t: Forget about an alarm system
According to Rob Carrick of The Globe and Mail, installing a monitored alarm system could save you $100 per year on your coverage.
Do: Consider Basic or Broad Coverage
Comprehensive coverage may be the most inclusive home insurance policy, but that doesn’t mean it’s an absolute must. Most homeowners can make do with a less expensive policy and save money while they’re at it.
For instance, a basic or named perils policy will only cover that which is specifically stated. This does tend to be a bit riskier but will help you cut costs. Another option is broad coverage, a mid-priced compromise that covers big-ticket items. For more information on all types of coverage, click here.
Don’t: Cancel Your Coverage
Don’t think just because you can cut corners with your coverage that you can cancel it entirely. It’s always a smart decision to have some sort of backup, even if you own your home outright. Not only will it protect you from weather and repair, it will cover you for liability if anyone is ever injured on your property.
We would like to stress that these are all just basic recommendations formed by being the in real estate industry, and that we are NOT an insurance company! None of the above is guaranteed to ALWAYS work and you should check with your insurance company before making any decisions about your policies or changes to your policies.
And for all of your real estate Victoria BC needs, contact us any time!