Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or you’re getting ready to downsize, there’s a lot to think about when you’re buying a new home — and once you’ve found your humble abode, the last thing you want to worry about is the cost of insuring it. Fear not!
1 Newer is better. If you’ve got the choice between an older home and a newly constructed one, keep in mind that many insurers give discounts on newer homes. It stands to reason — most new builds come with some sort of warranty and repairs aren’t generally an issue for the first few years of ownership. And to an insurer, that means fewer claims.
2. Skip the bank (if possible). If you’ve worked hard to set aside a large down payment or have access to savings, consider opting for a less expensive home and go mortgage free. That move could really pay off with a discount from your insurance provider.
3. Pay it forward. Although most insurance companies offer a range of payment options (like monthly or quarterly), you’ll get the best deal if you choose to pay your premium annually. Keep this in mind when you’re considering your closing costs and real estate fees so you can set aside an appropriate amount for home insurance.
4. (Sometimes) less is more. We get it…when you’re excited about your new home purchase and you see all of the things you hold dear in it, you want to make sure you’re protected. The key here, though, is to avoid over insuring your home. Take a good, hard look at exactly what types of coverage you need and don’t need, and choose accordingly. For example, if you live in a condo unit and the roof is covered by the condo corporation’s insurance, don’t pay extra for roof coverage when you don’t need it. For expert guidance on finding just the right amount of coverage to meet your needs, have a chat with your insurance broker.
5. Don’t ditch the deductible. Choosing to pay a deductible in the event of a claim is a sure-fire way to reduce the premiums you pay. It works a bit like a seesaw — the higher the deductible you choose to pay, the lower your insurance rates will be. Just be sure that it’s an amount you’re comfortable paying should you have to make use of your policy.
6. Keep claims to a minimum. Of course, you want your home policy to have you covered when you really need it, but keep in mind that many insurers give discounts to customers who are claims-free for a set period of time. It might pay to look at a low-value claim and assess if it’s really worth filing, or if it’s better to pay for minimal losses or damage yourself and keep your hard-won claims-free standing.
7. Embrace your age. Insurance companies love mature homeowners — and what’s not to love? You’re generally more established financially, and past your “wild party” (read: damage-inducing) days. Look for a discount on your home insurance if you’re 45 and older.
8. Secure the perimeter. Or at least install a home security system to ward off break-ins. It helps to reduce the risk of damage and theft, and most insurance companies will reward your efforts with a discount.
9. Butt out. Smokers get chastised a lot, but this is one case where quitting will benefit both your health and your wallet. It’s no secret that smokers pay more for home insurance due to the inherent risk of starting a fire. And that’s not without merit — smoking is one of the leading causes of house fires in Canada. Consider quitting to reduce your risk (and get a discount on your rates).
10. Shop around (with the help of a broker!). Let’s face it; most people consider saving a buck at the grocery store more intensely than the hundreds of dollars they could save on home insurance if they just opted to work with a broker. Why pay more than you have to? A broker will listen to your needs and find coverage options at varying price points for you to choose from — and there’s no upfront cost to you for these consultations. Why not see for yourself? Talk to a broker today.
This article was originally posted on www.economical.com