Let’s face it, homes are expensive, even the ones that are mortgage free. You have property taxes, maintenance and improvement costs, operational costs such as heat, hydro and more. For us, we also have some mortgage debt. Add it all up and our home expenses consume a good portion of our after-tax income. There’s insurance as well.
Owning a car while technically an asset is a depreciating asset. There are also maintenance costs for your car, gas isn’t exactly cheap and you have insurance for your vehicle as well.
If you’re going to own a home or car, or both, you might as well get the best bang for your buck. Let’s start saving you money on home and auto insurance today with these tips, getting the best coverage while keeping costs down.
Insuring your home or condo does not need to cost a fortune so consider these things:
- Increase the deductible! The deductible is the amount you’re willing to pay in the event that you need to make a claim on your policy. Consider putting your home deductible at $1,000 (or more) and self-insure with any amount under that. We’ve done this.
- Are you a professional? Many insurance companies offer discounts if you’re a professional or part of a union. Make sure you reach out to your professional association to find out more.
- Got a security system? Many companies will lower your premiums if you do.
- More birthday cake candles? Getting older has few benefits but one of them means you might qualify for insurance savings. Make sure you ask about this when you’re shopping around.
- Pay annually! It’s usually less expensive when you do although I can appreciate monthly payments are typically easier for budgeting purposes.
- Insure what you must! I like to think of insurance as a risk management tool – it transfers risk from you to somebody else. Your insurance premiums are provided to the insurer in the event compensation is required to cover you from your (eventual?) loss. I think some homeowners can make the mistake of getting too much insurance, too many riders for things they simply don’t need coverage for. Insure what you must, first.
- Avoid pools, pipes and old wiring! Swimming pools are great but they can come at a cost when it comes to home insurance. Same goes with an older home with galvanized pipes and older electrical wiring.
Earlier this year, our auto insurance dropped. We own a 15-year-old car and a newer, 3-year-old vehicle. This is a good thing since it seems the costs of other things in our life continues to be on the rise. Your car insurance can be lower if you follow some of these insurance tips:
- Keep the clunker! My 15-year-old Mazda gets me from point A to B quite nicely and given my premiums are going down over $100+ per year I have no intention of getting rid of my older car as our secondary vehicle until it becomes cost prohibitive.
- Stay safe and drive less! Spending less time on the roads, avoiding speeding tickets and other road infractions can only help you (and others) stay safe on the roads. It will also help your wallet. The less time you are behind the wheel the better. Carpool, take public transit or if you’re lucky enough to walk or bike to work – do it!
- Bundle baby! Consider getting your home and auto insurance from the same provider and make sure you get a discount for doing so. We’ve done this.
- Increase your deductible! For the same home insurance reasons above.
- Choose your vehicle wisely! I don’t have all the math top of mind but I know some makes and models of cars are higher insurance premiums associated with them; I’m pretty sure a Honda Civic is less expensive to insure than some BMW.
- Keep it clean – your claim history! It probably goes without saying a clean claims record will keep your premiums lower than not. Try to avoid submitting any claims for small scrapes and damages. Although I can appreciate you want that new car look, feel and smell to last forever it’s a car after all and some wear-and-tear is to be expected.
- Retire and stay retired! Financial freedom can come with many perks and one might be a retirement discount if you meet the insurer’s qualifications.
Home and auto insurance costs will vary between provinces and cities. As long as you live and drive where you are, make sure you shop around now and then to compare quotes and coverage for home and auto insurance that fits your needs. Thanks to my sponsor for contribution to this article. All opinions expressed are my own.
How do you save money on home and auto insurance? What’s your biggest tip?