How to Lower your Home Insurance Premiums
With building and material costs on the rise in BC, we’ve all noticed a
subsequent increase in our homeowners insurance. This cost associated
with home ownership doesn’t go away but we can find ways to lower
your homeowners insurance premium without compromising protection
of your most valuable asset.
Here are 12 suggestions to lower your home insurance premiums:
It’s that simple. Insurance companies won’t offer you
discounts…it’s up to you to ask for ways to reduce your premiums. Don’t
be shy. Call your current insurance company and inquire what discounts
they offer and talk about your eligibility. For example, some insurance
companies offer discounts for good behaviour (ie: claim free), security
systems, neighbourhood watch programs, hard-wired smoke/carbon
detectors, etc. If you’re over a certain age and retired, you may qualify for
2. Shop Around
It’s easy to get free quotes for homeowners insurance rates. We
recommend 3 agents – and don’t be afraid to tell them that you’re
shopping around. If you’ve been with the same insurance company for
several years, ask about a longevity or loyalty discount.
3. Credit Score
A good credit score will keep you in good standing with your
insurance company because providers have found a direct correlation to
lower claims incidence. Ask about a ‘soft credit check’, which allows your
insurance provider to check your history without leaving a mark on your
credit score. Mortgage free homeowners enjoy lower home insurance
premiums and paying your premium in full, rather than monthly
installments, often results in overall lower costs to the homeowner.
4. Professional Associations
Select providers offer members discounts on home insurance;
through professional associations, memberships, unions, and alumni.
Certified Management Accountants of Canada, Chamber of Commerce,
BCAA members, graduates from certain universities, are a few examples.
5. Bundle Policies
Some insurance companies offer lower insurance rates if you
bundle your policies by purchasing through the same provider, such as
homeowners and car insurance. While you may be offered a lower price,
we recommend you double check to make sure this is the BEST discount
rather than 2 lower priced policies from 2 different companies.
Non-smokers often pay less premiums. This is a no-brainer. Stop
smoking to improve your health, longevity, and risk of fire within your
home. Insurers actually look at many factors within your personal profile,
including your marital status (married clients are considered a lower risk
according to some insurers) and occupation, so reduce your risk and
save money. Retirees typically pay less premiums because it’s thought
they are home more during the day, so will be able to detect trouble early
to prevent a bigger loss.
7. Home Improvement
– Fire-resistant siding – such as Hardie Board
– Asphalt or metal roofing – rather than cedar shingles
– Copper and plastic (PVC) pipes – rather than galvinized or
lead which can build up corrosion and potentially burst
– Copper wiring – rather than knob and tube or aluminum
– Installation of a stronger garage door (particularly in high
– Replace rubber washing machine hoses with no-burst
stainless steel hoses
Water claims make insurance companies squirm because of the
residual mold risk associated with the water damage. Mitigate water
damage with extra home protection measures. Many companies offer
extra credit for green initiatives and major renovations, etc.
8. Lower your Risk Factor
Swimming pools, hazards causing past claims such as driveway
tripping hazards, and owning certain breeds of dogs, can all raise your
homeowner insurance premiums. The #1 insurance claim is dog bites.
9. Safeguards and Trouble Protectors
Hard-wired carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, temperature
sensors, leak protectors, water shut-off valves, install deadbolt locks on
all exterior doors, and video cameras, security, alarm, high-tech and
smart home systems (particularly centrally monitored systems) are all
helpful with lowering your rates, not to mention giving you peace of mind.
10. Increase your Homeowners Insurance Deductible
Insurance companies certainly don’t assume all the risk when it
comes to protecting your property. It’s typically not in your best interest
to file small claims without raising your premiums significantly…so save
your money with premiums to pay the deductible in the unfortunate event
of a worthy claim.
11. Location, Location, Location
Your neighbourhood could be affecting your insurance premiums.
BC has a history of earthquakes, so that is factored into costs. Flood
zones affect premiums; remember High River in Alberta? High crime and
break-in areas pay higher rates. Proximity to fire hydrants or a fire station
may affect rates with some companies. While you may not be able to
control some location factors, it’s good practice to be aware so you can
12. The Right Protection
Don’t skimp on essential coverage to protect you and your family,
but are you paying extra premiums for jewellery/wine collection/art when
you don’t own those particulars? Or hurricane coverage inland? Or
including the value of your land with your policy? Be sure to keep your
policy up to date with any changes. If you are renting, you won’t be
protected by your landlord’s insurance for your contents…that requires
your own tenants insurance policy.
Most of the suggestions are a win-win situation* for both your and
your insurance company. Hopefully, these serve as a reminder that it
never hurts to ask for ways to lower your rate, while maintaining a
comfortable level of protection.
*Disclaimer: the information contained in this blog is for general education purposes only.
Please contact your home insurance provider directly for an accurate audit of your needs.