June 20, 2018

Home insurance is something you need to understand.   Whether you are a tenant, someone looking into purchasing your first home or have had home insurance for many years.  The following is an outline of the available home insurance discounts, limitations and surcharges depending on the age and what is in your home.

Available Discounts

  1. Claims free- If you have never owned a home and you are currently renting, you should consider tenants insurance. Tenant insurance protects your contents and also provides you with Liability Coverage. If you have had Tenant or Homeowners insurance and are claims free for 3 years, most companies will give you a claims free discount of approximately 10% to 30%.
  2. Age of home – If you are buying a home that is less than 15 years old, most companies will give you a discount. The theory is that, things like the roof, plumbing, electrical and heating are up to current code and are in good working order. Potential Discount: 5% – 20%.
  3. Mortgage Free – If you are mortgage free, there is also a 10% -$20% discount.
  4. Security System– If you have a monitored security alarm there is a discount that ranges between 5% to 15%. This usually requires that the alarm be monitored for both fire and burglary by a third party.
  5. Multi line – If you insure your home and auto with the same insurance company the discount is usually between 10% and 15%. This would apply to tenants insurance as well.
  6. Non-Smoker – Many companies have a discount if you are a non-smoker.

Surcharges that may be applied

  1. Claims History – If you have a property claim within the last 3 years you will not receive a claims free discount. If you have more than 2 claims in the past 3 years, you could be declined coverage or subject to a surcharge.
  2. Age of Home – If you are buying a home that is 50 years or older you could have a surcharge applied. Things like plumbing, heating, electrical and roofing will need to be upgraded to modern standards.
  3. Oil Tank – Because oil tanks are prone to leaking, there is a surcharge for having oil heat. Oil tanks can expire and the location of the tank is important too. Is it above ground or buried? Indoors or outdoors? What is the gauge of the tank? What is the age & manufacturer of the tank?
  4. Wood heating – If you have a fireplace or woodstove there is a surcharge. The surcharge could be a Flat $100 or a percentage depending on the insurance company. Some companies require a WETT inspection and require that the stove is certified (U.L.C, Warnock Hersey, or C.S.A). Some insurance companies will not insure a woodstove that is over 20 years old.
  5. Multiple Mortgages– If you have multiple mortgages some companies will refuse to write the risk and others will apply a surcharge. In some cases there is no charge so it is best to look into this ahead of time with your Insurance Broker or Agent.
  6. Aluminum Wiring– Usually only found in homes built around the 1970s. Most companies will write it with an ESA inspection report but a surcharge could be applied. Some companies will not write it at all.
  7. Knob and Tube Wiring– Most companies consider this high risk and will not write it, some companies will allow a small percentage of knob and tube wiring but only for a limited time frame, until it is replaced.
  8. Multiple occupants – If you are buying a property with multiple units such as a duplex or home with a basement apartment there is a liability surcharge applied. It is usually minor but this needs to be disclosed when obtaining quotes.
  9. Protection – Home insurance protection is classed in 3 ways, Hydrant, Fire Hall, and Unprotected. Hydrant means that the home is within 1000 metres of a fire hydrant (best rate), Fire Hall, means that the fire hall is less than 10kms from the home and Unprotected is when the fire hall is over 10kms away(worst rate).

Here are some useful insurance tips.  Please contact us to find out how we can protect  your house and home and save you money too.