After all of the costs associated with buying a property, your wallet might be feeling a little light — and it might be tempting to go for the cheapest home insurance policy you can find. But the reality is, your home is likely one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life, and getting the right insurance is the best way to protect that investment. That means making sure you have enough coverage, choosing a deductible that will work for you, and getting the best price possible in a time when insurance rates are on the rise.
When you’re shopping for home insurance, a licensed insurance broker can get you quotes from a few different insurance companies and help you work out which policy will be best suited to your needs and your budget. Whether you’re working with a broker or shopping for insurance elsewhere, consider these tips when comparing your quotes.
Find out what’s covered by each policy
The most important thing to consider when you’re comparing home insurance quotes is the coverage included in each policy and whether or not it will be enough to support you in the event of an emergency. Most home insurance policies are broken up into these basic coverages, which usually have their own limits:
- Your house (or dwelling): This covers your house and any attached structures, as well as outdoor equipment like swimming pools.
- Detached structures: This covers other structures on your property, like garages and sheds.
- Personal belongings: This covers your belongings, regardless of where they are when the damage occurs.
- Extra expenses after a loss (or additional living expenses): If you can’t live at home following an event covered by your policy (while repairs are being done, for example), this covers things like moving expenses, accommodation, food, and much more.
- Personal liability (or third-party liability): This protects you in the event that you’re held legally responsible (or sued) for an injury or damage to someone else’s personal belongings.
- No-fault medical benefit: This covers reasonable medical expenses that occur when you’re responsible for accidentally injuring someone else, or when someone is injured on your property. This is available even if you aren’t sued.
- No-fault property damage: This protects you if you accidentally damage someone else’s belongings and you have to replace them. This is available even if you aren’t sued.
Be sure to look at the different coverages included in each policy, as well as their individual limits (many of which you’ll be able to customize based on your needs). Make sure the limits are high enough to put you in the same financial situation you were in before a loss — the whole point of having insurance. You’ll also want to pay close attention to what’s specifically excluded from each policy so you understand what won’t be covered.
Find out what extra coverage you’ll need to add on
Most home insurance companies put special limits on certain types of belongings, including jewelry, artwork, silverware, bikes, and more. Carefully review the special limits listed in each policy, as different insurance companies may list different limits, and ask your broker to add on any additional coverage you need before moving forward.
Compare the deductibles
When you’re comparing home insurance policies and premiums, it’s important to look at the deductibles on the policies you’re considering — not only does your deductible affect your payout in the event of a claim, but it can also affect your premium. Depending on the insurers you’re considering, you may have an opportunity to choose your deductible yourself. A higher deductible could lead to a lower premium (because you’re agreeing to pay more out of your own pocket in the event of a claim), while a lower deductible could lead to a higher premium. But it’s not all about the upfront cost — you also have to ask yourself how much you would be comfortable paying out of your own pocket in the event that you have to make a claim.
Bonus tip: Each company will have rules about the deductible amounts it will allow. If one of the insurers you’re considering won’t allow you to select a deductible you’re comfortable with in your current financial situation, that’s a pretty good reason to cross their policy off your list.
Ask what discounts are available from each company
Most insurance companies offer a variety of discounts on home insurance, from multi-policy discounts to mature homeowners’ discounts. Be sure to ask your broker to find out what discounts you’re eligible for from each company, then include all eligible discounts in each of your quotes.
Note: Some factors that qualify you for savings (like installing a security system, for example) might be worked into your premium itself, rather than being listed as discounts — so just because you don’t see a specific discount doesn’t mean it hasn’t been applied.
Learn how to save even more on home insurance
How to save $ on home insurance
You’ve probably noticed that like most other things in your life, the cost of home insurance is going up. This is thanks to lots of different factors, like changes in the environment, trends in the insurance industry, and even changes in your own neighbourhood.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you could save on home insurance…like installing a monitored fire alarm or security system, installing a leak-prevention system like a backwater valve or sump pump, or buying coverage for multiple properties (and vehicles, too!) from the same company.
Discounts may also be available to people who are mortgage-free, above a certain age, or part of a special group or association.
Plus, if you’re in a long-term relationship with your insurance company and you’ve been claims-free for a while, you could be rewarded with even more savings.
But wait, there’s more! Believe it or not, these aren’t even all the ways you could save on home insurance. Talk to your licensed broker to find out what you can do to get the coverage and service you want at the best possible price.
However you choose to shop for insurance, it’s important to do your research before you choose a policy. If you’re ready to start shopping for home insurance and would like the support of a licensed broker (at no cost to you), find a broker near you today.
Know someone who might be in the process of shopping for home insurance? Share this article on Facebook or Twitter.