8 things you probably didn’t know could lower your home insurance premium

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With the cost of what seem like everything getting higher and higher each year, you may be intrigued to find out that there are ways that you could be saving on your home insurance. While it is most commonly known that shopping around and comparing rates each year, could result in potential savings, there are other less commonly known opportunities for discounts on your insurance.  

Install a monitored security system 

A monitored alarm system can help to protect your home from intruders, and your valuables from being stolen. According to Aviva Canada, the average cost of a burglary claim had increased by 27% over a five year period – from 2009 to 2014. It is believed that this is due, in part, to the higher value of easier to steal and sell items such as tablets, cell phones, gaming consoles and jewelry.  While the discount varies based on the company, homeowners can typically receive a discount by having a monitored alarm system installed. 

Replace and maintain your home’s roof 

The age and condition of your roof plays a role in calculating your premium. An older roof can result in a higher rate, whereas a newer or well maintained roof could bring savings. It is recommended that homeowners perform a regular roof inspection at least twice a year (in the spring and fall). Once your roof has reached the 20 year mark, a replacement may be a good idea. To take advantage of a reduced rate, you should share the information on maintenance and replacement with your insurance company. 

Regularly maintain your hot water tank, and replace if needed 

One of the main questions insurance companies ask, aside from your roof, is related to the age and the condition of your hot water tank. This is because 50% of home insurance claims involve water damage, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. As the hot water tank is an essential appliance, insurance companies take the age and likelihood of its leaking into account. As with the roof, an older tank may contribute to a higher rate, whereas a newer or well maintained hot water tank could bring your rate down. Although the service life of hot water tanks can vary (based on the type of water, and quality of the tank), it is typically a good idea to consider replacing it after about 10 years.  

Give consent for a credit check 

In all provinces, except Newfoundland and Labrador, credit history can be used to help determine home insurance premium. If you have a good credit score, there is potential that your rate could be lowered. 

Inform your insurance company when you are mortgage-free 

While it is not a commonly known discount, paying off your mortgage could result in savings. Many insurance companies offer additional savings for when you own your home free and clear. However, it’s important to know that your bank won’t share this information with your insurance company – It is your responsibility to inform them to take advantage of this discount. 

Install sewer backwater valves and sump pumps and perform regular maintenance 

If you haven’t already, you may want to consider installing sewer backwater valves and sump pumps to keep your basement dry, and help to prevent property damage. When city sewer systems are overwhelmed (perhaps due to a heavy rainstorm), a backwater valve stops this sewage from backing up into your basement, helping to prevent flooding inside your home. The sump pump collects any water from the weeping tiles around your basement, and redirects this water to the outside of your home. 

The presence of a properly maintained sewer backwater valve and sump pump reduces the likelihood that you will have a water claim, and therefore insurance companies typically offer discounts or price breaks as a result. 

Bundle your home and auto policies with the same insurance company 

This is one of the more commonly known ways of taking advantage of insurance discounts. By insuring your home and vehicle, or multiple products (such as two cars, or two homes) with the same company, you can receive multi-line discounts on both products.  

Use an insurance broker 

An insurance broker can offer you the best of both worlds – access to several insurance companies where they can shop around on your behalf, and the knowledge and experience as licensed professionals with your best interest in mind. The licensed brokers at A.P. Reid Insurance can help ensure that you are taking advantage of all the available discounts to reduce your home insurance rate. 

Give our knowledgeable brokers a call today to discuss your home insurance rate.