Top 11 Home Insurance Tips
Disasters can happen at any time, as all it takes is one raving storm strike to destroy properties within minutes.
Naturaldisasters such as thunderstorms, drought, wildfires and floods are quite recurrent in Canadian climate history—with the Regina Cyclone disaster in 1912 that left 28 dead, more than 300 residents injured and a damage cost of approximately $4.5 million, still prominent in the city’s history books. However,residents can be proactive by protecting their home’s valuable investments from harsh weather and extreme climate changes through the services of renowned and reliable home insurance providers like Desjardins Home Insurance.
Canada has the second highest number of tornadoes in the world, second to the United States—with majority occupying north of the American tornado alley and in Quebec and Southern Ontario. More people are being affected by extreme weather events due to urban development and increasingly dense population distribution and there has been an exponential rise in the costly effects of property damage.
“We think that these are things that should go in building codes to keep our houses resilient and safe, and when they are option they tend to not be done, and we think the best option is to just put it in there so homeowners do not have to think about it,” said Western University professor, Dr. Kopp, when asked about the implications of his research for building code policy.
“When you lose a roof, it flies off and it flies somewhere, and if you’re in a neighbourhood it usually hits your neighbour, a lot of deaths that occur from tornadoes are usually from flying debris.”
While insurance policy costs are expected to rise due to the increasingly high rates of disasters across Canada, here are some top home insurance tips to keep you covered and not leave holes in your pocket.
1. Search for the best coverage and insurance rate
Staying loyal to your current provider might seem like a great plan. Unfortunately, purchasing a home and auto insurance from your current provider doesn’tnecessarily guarantee that you’re getting the best coverage or insurance rate. You’re a lot more likely to find a better deal using Desjardins Insurance as they aim at providing cost effective insurance policies for residents and ultimately securing more lives and properties.
2. Insure only personal belongings
A lot of home insurance policies include $6,000 of coverage for fur coats and $5,000 for gold bullion. To save cost on insurance, if you don’t own this type of items, it’s important to find a provider that allows you to personalize your policy to suit your needs and ultimately save you some money.
3. Pay in advance
Most insurance companies offer a range of payment options—whether monthly or quarterly—however, you are most likely to get the best deal if you pay for an annual ‘premium’ plan.
4. Increase your policy deductible
Paying a deductible in the event of a claim is an effective way to reduce the premium you pay. The standard policy deductible on most home insurance policies is usually around $500, however, the higher the deductible you decide to pay, the lower your insurance rates will become.
5. Reduce claims
It’s normal to want your home policy to cover your losses when you require it to, but keep in mind that quite a number of insurers offer as high as20% discount to customers who are claims-free for a fixed period of time. Therefore, before filling a claim, it might be cost effective to asses low-value claims or even pay for minimal damages yourself and claim the discount.
6. Never over-insure your home
For house owners, it’s important to only purchase a home insurance plan that insures it for the amount it would cost to rebuild it, not the amount you paid to buy it. Home insurance only covers your home, and houses are bought based on the market price for both the house and the land it was built on.
7. The newer, the better
When looking to purchase a house, keep in mind that many insurers give heavy discounts on newer homes over older ones. This is because newly built homes carry some form of warranty and maintenanceor repair costs are usually quite minimal—or even non-existent—for the first few years of ownership.
8. Refer others
Once you’re satisfied with your insurance provider, inquire if they have a referral program. Some insurance companies like Desjardins Insurance offer account credits to customers for each person they refer that purchases a policy. This will not only save you money but would help your friends save money too.Customers can also get ‘multi-line’ discounts when they insure different products with the same company, like for their home and auto insurance.
9. Declare your age
Most insurance companies are quite comely to mature homeowners as they’re perceived as generally more established financially and ‘well behaved’.
Ask your provider if they offer any discounts if you’re above a certain age—preferably 45 and older.
10. Install home security devices
Every insurance provider offers discounts to home owners who have home security devices installed, activated and constantly monitored in their homes—the most common being a burglar alarm system. Doing this would not only help you save money but would reduce the risk of damage and theft.
However, some insurance providers allow customers to enjoy home security services as part of their product offerings. For example, Desjardins Home Insurance has an Alert program on mobile where customers receive a water and gel detector and in the case of a water leak in their home, they will receive the notification on their phone, so they can effectively minimize the damages.
11. Live ‘smoke-free’
Living a smoke-free life in your home would not only be beneficial to the health of smokers but also save them money on home insurance.
Insurance companies offer more pricier policies to smokers due to the inherent risk of starting a fire, as smoking is one of the leading causes of house fires in Canada. Therefore, it’s necessary for smokers to consider dropping the habit to reduce their risk and get more discount on insurance policies.