Last March, our lives changed in ways we could hardly have imagined. Many snowbirds were forced to leave their winter destinations and race home once the Canadian government urged all Canadians to do so.
We have all had to adapt to the new terminology such as quarantine, self-isolation, social distancing – as well as wearing masks, practicing hand hygiene and forming “bubbles”. We’ve been cut off from family and friends and only able to socialize outdoors. We’ve learned to shop online like never before.
Many people have been hurt financially too and we are all looking for ways to save money where we can.
While there is no standard relief being offered by home and auto insurance providers, as each provider is handling the situation differently, if you’re looking to save money on your home, auto and RV insurance, there are some options to consider.
Tips on how to save
One of the smartest things you can do is to use an insurance broker to compare rates from multiple insurance providers. A broker can do this for you much more efficiently than you can do yourself and will save you a lot of time. Most brokers work with a number of different providers and will know where to look for the best deal.
If you don’t want to use a broker, be sure to shop around yourself - but make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
You’ve probably seen lots of offers to bundle your home, auto and RV insurance with a single insurance provider – but this really is a good way to save money. The more you bundle your insurance coverage, the more you will save on each item.
If you have your car insured for driving to work and you are now working from home, consider having your auto insurance changed from “driven for work” to “pleasure”. This will make a difference.
Also, make sure the number of kilometres you declared reflects your current situation.
If you have two cars and you are only using one on a limited basis, consider reducing your insurance on your other vehicle. However, it is always recommended to keep Comprehensive coverage to protect against fire, theft or vandalism while your second vehicle is parked or stored. Also, make sure you are getting a multi-vehicle discount!
The type of car you drive is also a factor as insurers assess each make and model differently. You can save a lot by switching to a car that attracts much lower premiums. And you can also check which cars are on the “most likely to be stolen” list and avoid these models also.
You may also get premium relief by installing an anti-theft device such as a visible lock or a high-tech alarm system that shuts down your starter.
Another budgeting tip is to pay your insurance premiums monthly, rather than opting for a one-time annual premium payment. Insurance companies will impose an additional fee but it will be relatively small.
Be sure to ask if your insurer is providing any relief if you are adversely affected by COVID-19, either now or at your new renewal. Some companies are doing this voluntarily.
It is always a good idea with any type of insurance to review your deductibles and determine whether they can be increased as this will also bring your premiums down.
Consider dropping collision coverage on older vehicles. And be sure to ask about senior’s discounts!
The bottom line….
It pays to always shop around or use a broker and do not just automatically renew - review your coverage and costs each year to make sure you are taking advantage of all discounts and that your policy reflects your habits and your situation.
Disclaimer: The material provided in the Snowbird Advisor Insurance Learning Centre is for informational purposes only and does NOT constitute insurance, legal, financial or other advice, and should not be relied on as such. If you require such advice, you should speak with a qualified professional to assist you.