40+ Home Insurance Savings Tips

Your dwelling is often your most precious asset that you need to protect. We created a list of all savings opportunities associated with Home insurance. This list is the most complete perspective on home insurance savings tips. Numerous insurance brokers contributed to this list. So, let’s start!

1. Change your content coverage: Renting a Condo? You can often lower your content coverage. No need to insure your belongings to up to $250,000 if you only have a laptop and some IKEA furniture!

2. Renovations: Renovating your house can result in lower home insurance premiums, as home insurance premiums for older, poorly maintained dwellings are usually higher. Additionally, renovating only parts of your dwelling (e.g. the roof) can lead to insurance savings.

3. Pool: Adding a swimming pool to your house will likely lead to an increase in your insurance rates since your liability ( e.g. the risk of someone drowning) and the value of your house have increased.

4. Pipes: Insurers prefer copper or plastic plumbing – maybe it is a good idea to upgrade your galvanized / lead pipes during your next renovation cycle.

5. Shop around: Search, Compare, and switch insurance companies. There are many insurance providers and their price offerings for the same policies can be very different, therefore use multiple online tools and talk to several brokers since each will cover a limited number of insurance companies.

6. Wiring: Some wiring types are more expensive or cheaper than others to insure. Make sure you have approved wiring types, and by all means avoid aluminum wirings which can be really expensive to insure. Not all insurers will cover houses with aluminum wirings, and those that would, will require a full electrical inspection of the house.

7. Home Insurance deductibles: Like auto insurance, you can also choose higher home insurance deductibles to reduce your insurance premiums.

8. Bundle: Do you need Home and Auto Insurance? Most companies will offer you a discount if you bundle them together.

9. New Home: Check if insurer has a new home discount, some insurers will have them.

10. Claims-free discount: Some companies recognize the fact that you have not submitted any claims and reward it with a claim-free discount.

11. Mortgage-free home: When you complete paying down your house in full, some insurers will reward you with lower premiums.

12. Professional Membership: Are you a member of a professional organization (e.g. Certified Management Accountants of Canada or The Air Canada Pilots Association)? Then some insurance companies offer you a discount.

13. Seniors: Many companies offer special pricing to seniors.

14. Annual vs. monthly payments: In comparison to monthly payments, annual payments save insurers administrative costs (e.g. sending bills) and therefore they reward you lower premiums.

15. Annual review: Review your policies and coverage every year, since new discounts could apply to your new life situation if it has changed.

16. Alumni: Graduates from certain Canadian universities ( e.g University of Toronto, McGill University) might be eligible for a discount at certain Insurance providers.

17. Employee / Union members: Some companies offer discounts to union members ( e.g. IBM Canada or Research in Motion)

18. Mortgage insurance: Getting mortgage insurance when you have enough coverage in Life insurance is not always necessary: mortgage insurance is another name for a Life/Critical Illness / Disability insurance associated with your home only but you pay extra for a convenience of getting insurance directly when lending the money. For example a Term Life policy large enough to pay off your home is usually cheaper.

19. Drop earthquake protection: In many regions, earthquakes are not likely – you could decide not to take earthquake coverage which could lower your premiums. For example, in BC earthquake coverage can account for as much as one-third of a policy’s premium.

20. Wood stove: Choosing to use a wood stove means higher premiums – Insurance companies often decide to inspect the houses with such installations before insuring them. A decision to get rid of it means a lower risk and thus lower insurance premiums.

21. Heating: Insurers like forced-air gas furnaces or electric heat installations. If you have an oil-heated home, you might be paying more than your peers who have alternative heating sources.

22. Bicycle: You are buying a new bicycle and thinking about getting extra protection in case it is stolen when you leave it on the street e.g. when doing your groceries? Your Home insurance might be covering it already.

23. Stop smoking: Some insurers increase their premiums for the homes with smokers as there is an increased risk of fire.

24. Clean claim history: Keep a clean claim record without placing small claims, sometimes it makes sense to simply repair a small damage rather than claim it: you should consider both aspects: your deductibles and potential raise in premiums.

25. Rebuilding vs. market costs: Consider your rebuilding costs when choosing an insurance coverage, not the market price of your house (market price can be significantly higher than real rebuilding costs).

26. Welcome discount: Some insurers offer a so called welcome discount.

27. Avoid living in dangerous locations: Nature effects some locations more than others: avoid flood-, or earthquake-endangered areas when choosing a house.

28. Neighbourhood: Moving to a more secure neighbourhood with lower criminal rate will often considered in your insurance premiums.

29. Centrally-connected alarm: Installing an alarm connected to a central monitoring system will be recognized by some insurers in premiums.

30. Monitoring: Having your residence / apartment / condo monitored 24 hour can mean an insurance discount. e.g. via a security guard.

31. Hydrants and fire-station: Proximity to a water hydrant and/or fire-station can decrease your premiums as well.

32. Loyalty: Staying with one insurer longer can sometimes result in a long-term policy holder discount.

33. Water damages: Avoid buying a house which may have water damage or has a history of water damage; a check with the insurance company can help to find it out before you buy the house.

34. Decrease liability risk: Use meaningful ways to reduce your liability risk (e.g. fencing off a pool) and it can result in your liability insurance premiums going down.

35. Direct insurers: Have you always dealt with insurance brokers / agents? Getting a policy from a direct insurer (i.e. insurers working via call-center or online) often can be cheaper (but not always) since they do not pay an agent/broker commission for each policy sold.

36. Plumbing insulation: Insulating your pipes will prevent them from freezing in winter and reduce or even avoid insurance claims.

37. Dependent students: Dependent students living in their own apartment can be covered by their parents’ home insurance policy at no additional charge.

38. Retirees: Those who are retired can often get an additional discount – since they spend more time at home than somebody who works during the day and thus can prevent accidents like a fire much easier.

39. Leverage inflation: Many insurers increase your dwelling limit every year by considering the inflation of the house rebuilding costs. Make sure this adjustment is in line with reality and that you are not overpaying.

40. Credit score: Most companies use your credit score when calculating home insurance premiums. Having a good credit score can help you to get lower insurance rates.

41. Stability of residence: Some insurers may offer a stability of residence discount if you have lived at the same dwelling for a certain number of years.

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How to Pick the Right Buyers Advocate

Buying a house is a dream of many people and should, therefore, be done with much care. Various processes and numerous paperwork are involved in purchasing a residential property the reason why hiring a buyers advocate would be very beneficial to any home buyer.

Not all home buyers have the skills and knowledge that will enable them to acquire their dream property or a piece of real estate close to what they have always desired to own. But with a buyers advocate to help you in the process, you can be sure to buy the right home with the right price at the right location.

So how do you choose a buyers agent who you can trust and work with easily throughout the process?

Knowledge of local market

When searching for a buyers agent, look for one with a thorough knowledge of the local market. This is regardless you are buying in your locality or in another state.

An agent should not only know the best streets in a suburb but also those with a potential for upgrades and those that you need to avoid. Also, he or she should be able to get quick access to listings before they are released to the market.

Credentials

Make sure to check the credentials of your buyers agent. Find out his qualifications including any training he or she has undergone, what real estate associations he or she is affiliated with and whether the groups are credible. You can also ask if the buyers advocate has industry qualifications in other states.

One reputable association for buyers advocates in the real estate industry is the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA). This group is composed of accredited professional and licensed buyers advocates in every state who are exclusive and covered by professional indemnity insurance.

Right Connections

A buyers advocate should also have established connections not only in the state where he or she works but also in other states. The first-class buyers agents are well connected with real estate sales agents which is vital in being able to get access to properties before they are sold in the market.

Agent’s Fee

Buyers advocates charge a certain fee, either based on the property’s purchase price or a fixed price. It can be a specific percentage of the negotiated purchase price such as from 1.5 percent to 2 percent. This is similar to what most real estate selling agents charge when selling a property.

Some buyers agents, however, charge a set or fixed fee in advance. The rate depends on the price, level of difficulty and other search criteria.

Treadmill Rating – What You Must Know Before Reading Treadmill Ratings

Getting an accurate treadmill rating is always very important before buying. Quite simply, which machine you purchase makes a huge difference.

Some treadmills are just built for the casual walker, whereas others can stand up to someone training for a marathon. Therefore, which you select makes a lot of difference.

With any large purchase you are going to make, doing research beforehand is very important; treadmills are certainly no exception. Since they cost a lot of money, it’s imperative that you get the most bang for your buck.

There are many models to decipher from, so choosing the best one is no simple proposition. While I can’t review every treadmill in this article, I am going to reveal how to get the most benefit out of going to a treadmill rating site.

One thing you MUST know before buying

The first thing you need to do is to first think how often you or others will be using the treadmill, and in what way, whether it be running or walking.

The answers to this will determine which machine you go after. If you are just looking to drop a few pounds, and will not abusing it, then you probably will not need a top of the line model. Therefore you can look to save some money.

Believe it or not, you can shell out up to five grand for a top of the line treadmill, and as little as several hundred dollars for a bargain basement model. I would advocate you get something around one thousand minimum if you are only planning on walking and fifteen hundred if you plan on running.

What to look for on review sites

Regardless of which kind you choose, the first and foremost thing is to buy from a company you’ve heard of (or at least can find information about) and has a solid reputation. If you’ve never heard of them, or can’t find any info about them online, then avoid them.

While you probably can save money with them, you have no idea what kind of quality you are going to get. If you buy a lemon, it can end up costing you two or three times in the long run what a more expensive model might have.

Another important thing to look for on a treadmill rating site is the length of time the warranty covers. I would strongly advocate you search for a one to three year warranty for parts, and lifetime for the frame. You can even find better ones than this if you look hard enough, but this is about the minimum I would shoot for.

Being a Patient Advocate: A Guide for Minority Families

If your loved one has a complex or chronic disease, finding your way through the health care maze can be a daunting task. And if you are a member of a racial or ethnic minority, this can be even harder. Minorities often suffer and die from disease at higher rates than non-Hispanic whites.

There are three main points that the health care system fails people of color–access to care, quality of care, and effectiveness of treatments. Patient advocates can help address several of these.

Access

Access is perhaps the largest problem–minorities are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured than whites. Fortunately, this is the best recognized issue, and there are often community resources to help. Your local department of social services, health care clinic, or hospital should be able to provide information on what is available. Sometimes, it is possible to find doctors who will reduce their fees for those with difficulty paying.

Be aware that many doctors forget to consider the patient’s financial situation when prescribing. Ask if generics are available, or whether medications are covered under one of your local pharmacy’s lower price deals.

Quality of Care

Quality of care is a trickier problem. Studies have shown that minorities are less likely to get the interventions they need. For example, a minority patient is less likely to receive adequate medication for pain than a white patient. The reasons for this depend on multiple factors, including provider bias and cultural differences. For instance, with pain, some groups may tend to under-report pain or to describe pain in non-specific ways, or providers may be reluctant to prescribe opiates.

Advocates push the odds more toward the minority patient’s favor by participating in the decision-making process. If the doctor doesn’t seem to understand that your loved one is hurting, you can clearly communicate this information and push for solutions.

You don’t have to be a doctor to be an advocate. Here are some strategies you can use to get your loved one the best possible care

  • Identify the gatekeepers. Every health care organization has people who control access to providers. Generally, these people are the people you will have the most contact with-your loved one’s nurses in a doctor’s office or hospital, or nursing assistants in a long-term care facility. Be aware of shift changes.
  • Cultivate relationships with staff
  • Ask questions and keep asking until you understand your loved one’s diagnosis, prognosis, treatment options, and care routine. Ask about how the patient’s medications work and any side effects. You should also ask about possible drug interactions, as this is a common mistake doctors make, especially when there are multiple providers writing prescriptions.
  • Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition. If you need help in finding resources, ask.
  • Once you have all agreed on a treatment plan, make sure your loved one is receiving the care ordered.
  • Trust your intuition. If something seems wrong, it may well be. If you are not satisfied, get a second opinion.
  • Learn who to talk to and how to contact them in case of problems.

Effectiveness of Treatments

Sometimes, your loved one may be receiving standard treatment, but it may not be working well. There can be many reasons for this, most of them having to do with the severity of the disease and other illnesses your loved one may have at the same time. If your loved one has both diabetes and heart disease, treatment for one can be complicated by the other. However, research also shows that in some instances medications may affect people differently depending on genetic background (which race can provide some clues to).

For example, gefitinib is a drug that works better than other medications for certain types of cancer in most people with Japanese heritage. It has the same effect on American patients (of all backgrounds) with a specific genetic mutation, but may not work as well as other treatments for the majority of the US population.

Psychoactive drugs are particularly sensitive to genetic differences. African Americans and Native Americans may experience more side effects–and the drugs may not work as well–with these medications than other populations.

If you feel that the medications your loved one has been given are not working, or if the side effects are intolerable, ask your doctor if more appropriate drugs are available.

You’re the Expert

Though doctors and nurses may have specialized knowledge about disease, you are the expert on your loved one. And you can make a big difference in their care.