As claims keep going up, so do your home insurance premiums.  You can read all about it in our blog post.  But is there anything you can do to keep your premiums as low as possible?

Fear not!  Here’s 9 ways you can save money on your property insurance premiums:

1 – Get a monitored alarm

Professionally monitored alarms are a great way to reduce the risk of theft, fire or water damage.  Companies like Sentry and Vivent have alarm systems that can monitor for low temperature, forced entry, fire or water leaks.  Insurance companies give the best discount when you have water sensors.

2 – Need a new hot water tank? Go tankless

Hot water tanks normally need to be replaced every 10 years or so. If you’re due for a new tank, think about getting a tankless system. Rather than have a big 40-gallon tube of hot water in your basement, you have a box that goes on the wall. It generates how water on demand, which means the risk of the tank bursting is gone. They’re more expensive, for sure – but a tankless system can save you around $200 a year on your home premium!

3 – Need a new roof? Get Class 4 shingles

If you have an asphalt shingle roof, you need to replace it every 15-20 years. Asphalt shingles are now rated from Class 1 to Class 4. Class 4 shingles are considered hail-resistant and insurance companies give you a nice discount when you have them. If you need a new roof, ask the roofing company for a price on Class 4 hail-resistant shingles.

4 – Doing basement renovations? Get a backwater valve installed

In Edmonton, homes built since the early 1990’s have a backwater valve. It helps prevent a sewer back up during a heavy rainstorm or Spring melting. If your home was built before 1990, chances are it doesn’t have this simple device. If you are doing basement renovations, you’ll have to knock out some concrete to get at the pipe and have one installed. When you do, let your insurance broker know!

5 – Install a Water Flow Device

Intact Insurance now offers a discount when you have a water flow device installed. What’s a water flow device, you ask? It’s a gadget that’s installed on your home’s main water line after the water meter. It monitors a plumping pipes, fittings and appliances for abnormal water flow. If anything is detected, the water is turned off automatically.

6 – Increase your deductible

If you’ve been with the same insurance company for a long time, you still might have a low deductible of $500. A deductible is the amount you pay when there’s a claim. When it comes to home insurance, you want to avoid putting in small claims. Ask your broker to quote your policy with a $1,000 deductible. It will save you money!

7 – Credit consent

Insurance companies now take your credit score into account when quoting. Make sure you give your broker consent to let the insurance company pull your credit history – it can save you a few hundred dollars on your premium! If your credit is good, you will save money. If it isn’t, they won’t count it against you and charge you more.

8 – Avoid small claims

If you have 2 or more claims in 5 years, insurance companies start to really raise your premiums.  If we get a bad hailstorm or sewer back up, there’s not much you can do about it – you will have to make a claim.  But, if you have some small wind damage and the cost isn’t too high, consider paying for the repairs yourself.

I’ve seen people put in small claims and then something really big happened.  Their premiums went up a lot. In some cases, the insurance company declined to renew their coverage!  When it comes to claims, pick your battles and get advice from your insurance broker.

9 – Combine your home and auto insurance

If you have auto insurance, you can save a good chunk of money when you combine your home insurance.  If there’s ever a claim on both, sometimes you’ll only need to pay 1 deductible.  Some companies will even throw in great freebies like free Accident Forgiveness!