BrokerLink’s Complete Guide to Renewing Your Home and Car Insurance

4 minute read Published on Mar 14, 2016 by BrokerLink Communications

You may have heard the phrase: “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” At BrokerLink, we understand that while life can be unpredictable, we are here to make sure your insurance is not.

Think about the past year of your life. Have you made any major life changes that could potentially affect your insurance? Getting married or divorced, losing a spouse, moving or even making a major purchase could significantly affect your insurance coverage and premiums.

In the world of insurance, May, June and July are the busiest months for policy renewals.

As part of our commitment to customer service, 30 to 60 days prior to your policy renewal, your broker will contact you to discuss any changes that should be made to your current coverage.

Together, you and your broker can review your existing policy to see if your current level of coverage still applies to your lifestyle and highlight any changes or factors that may affect your coverage and premium for the upcoming year. During this discussion, you might find you need more coverage to better protect yourself, and you may see a decrease in your premium.

We have made renewing your home and car insurance easy with our complete downloadable guide. This guide will allow you to have the answers prepared to the questions your broker will ask you come renewal time.

Renewing your home insurance

Factors may include:

  • Have you made changes to your property deed recently, either by adding or removing a name?
  • Have you recently completed any upgrades to your home? (Such as redoing your bathroom or kitchen or installing a new furnace, hot water tank or flood prevention device such as a backwater valve, sump- pump or water sensors). These renovations can affect your premium.
  • Have you recently completed any home renovations (such as built a garage or deck, or developed your basement)?
  • Are there changes to your home’s building materials or construction elements (such as new roofing, siding, plumbing or electrical installed)?
  • Are you still living in the same property listed on the home insurance policy or are you renting it out to tenants?
  • Is your home occupied continuously throughout the year or is it left unoccupied for extended periods of time (such as snowbirds that leave for the winter)?
  • Have you recently installed a home security system? Is it monitored or unmonitored?
  • Do you currently have any unrepaired damage to your home?

Renewing your car insurance

Factors may include:

  • How are you using your vehicle on a daily basis? Are you commuting to school and/or work and how often?
  • In the past year, have your changed your commute distance to work or school?
  • Are you driving more frequently to run family errands, pick-up children or drive a carpool?
  • Are you driving your vehicle for business purposes?
  • Do any additional drivers use your vehicle?
  • Do you have the right coverage for the model and type of vehicle you own?
  • Do you have winter tires for your vehicle? (Ontario residents qualify for a discount.)
  • Do you currently have or have you recently installed an anti-theft device in your car?
  • Is there any unrepaired damage on your vehicle?
  • Have you made any enhancements to your vehicle (such as a new stereo, automatic car-starter, premium wheel rims or any other upgrades that affect vehicle performance)?

Tips to save money on your car and home insurance

  • Bundle and Save. If you have both home (which includes condo or tenant insurance) and car insurance with the same insurance company, an insurance bundle is a great way to save money and simplify your policies. You can enjoy paying only one price, having one expiry date and paying one deductible in the event of a loss involving both your home and vehicle.
  • Get rewarded for your good driving habits. Ontario residents can get an instant 10% discount and earn up to 15% more off of their auto renewal premium with the Intact Insurance My Driving Discount. The program is based on the concept of usage-based insurance (UBI), where a device is placed in a customer’s vehicle and monitors their driving habits to identify which consumers consistently demonstrate safe driving. While traditional methods of determining auto insurance rates reply on analyzing past statistics, UBI provides access to individual driver data. Safe drivers are then rewarded with reduced insurance premiums.
  • Increase your deductible. In the event of a claim, your deductible is the amount you pay prior to your insurance company paying its share. One way to save money on your auto insurance premium is to increase your deductible. By raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 you could see a decrease in your premium. Remember that by doing so, you acknowledge that you have to pay the first $1,000 towards any claims costs associated with your vehicle before receiving financial assistance from your insurer.
  • Install a monitored home security system. A monitored home security system will alert both you and the alarm company if an intruder enters your home. Additionally, they can connect with smoke detectors and water sensors in your home for added protection. Having a monitored home security system can qualify you for insurance discounts.
  • Consider flood prevention devices. Backwater valves, sump-pumps and water sensors are all flood prevention devices that can protect your home from water damage. Learn more about flood prevention devices.
  • Become part of a group. At BrokerLink, we provide preferred insurance rates to over 60 employer-based associations and special interest groups in Alberta, Ontario and Atlantic Canada. If you are a member of one of these organizations, you can save up to 15% on your home and auto insurance. Learn more about group insurance.

The benefit to choosing a BrokerLink broker is that we will act as your insurance advisor and trusted guide, helping you navigate the complex world of insurance. Always be sure to fully disclose all information needed to allow your broker to provide proper advice, coverage and recommendations.