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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Insurance Matters When Purchasing A New Home

There are many important things to consider when shopping around for your dream home. The location, layout of the house, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the overall design and need for upgrades are all important things to consider. However, when it comes down to insurance, some home features outweigh others.

One major factor to consider is how old the property is. Older homes can be challenging to insure due to features like knob and tube wiring, which are unable to accommodate today’s electrical load, making them a fire hazard. Another issue is that older wiring is often not compatible with today’s fixtures. Some insurers will provide temporary coverage while the homeowners are replacing the old wiring, but many insurers are wary of providing coverage.

Another issue is buried oil tanks. Even if an oil tank is no longer in use and filled with sand, the potential for surrounding contamination from any leaking oil is too great a risk for insurers to even consider offering coverage. Complete removal of the oil tank and remediation of the surrounding soil is necessary.

Unmaintained drainage systems, including gutters and downspouts can be a huge threat when it comes to water damage. With more people renovating basements, insurance costs are higher when flooding and water leaks occur. Failed waterproofing in older home can also raise issues, as it may represent a long-standing problem, not a sudden and accidental incident that insurance normally would cover.

In order to protect your future home, learn more about the property you’re purchasing and get in touch with your broker or company agent to find the right insurance fit for your prospective home.

Ways To Cut Your Auto Insurance Costs

Auto insurance can be expensive, but there are ways to cut costs and keep your rates at a manageable level. Below are six ways to help you cut your insurance costs.

1. Be mindful of the type of car you select.
The type of car you drive has a significant impact on the auto insurance premium you will pay. People who drive sportier cars may be faced with much higher insurance premiums than those driving “low-risk” cars. Cars that are more likely to be stolen or be in an accident will always come with higher insurance premiums.

2. Avoid accidents and distracted driving.
Insurers label those with multiple accidents, distracted driving and other infractions on their record as high-risk drivers. High-risk drivers pay higher insurance rates. It’s important to know your driving record and how it can be improved to lower your rates. An infraction such as a distracted driving ticket can increase your insurance from five to 25 percent depending on whether or not you have other tickets.

3. Get winter tires for your vehicle.
Some provinces, including Ontario, have made it necessary for insurance companies to offer a discount to drivers who install four winter tires. Check with your insurance provider to make sure you aren’t missing out on this offer.

4. If you can, pay all of your insurance premiums at once.
Rather than doing monthly instalments, pay all of your insurance premiums in one lump sum to spend less on your coverage. Often, insurers will charge extra to cover the cost of administering monthly payments.

5. Know your policy and shop around for rates.
It’s important to be aware of your policy and review it frequently. Rates can change over time. You should also review discounts on the policy to make sure you are receiving all of the discounts you’re entitled to. It may also be a good idea to check out what other insurance companies are offering. It’s a competitive market and insurance companies determine their rates on different factors. This means the type of car you drive and your driving record may weigh differently with another insurance company.

6. Increase your Deductibles
Increasing the deductibles in your insurance policy can save premium dollars. When doing this you must consider how large a loss (up to the deductible) you are prepared to pay for yourself in the event that a loss does happen. Ask your broker or company agent how much this can save.