While car insurance rates dominated the discussion in 2020, home insurance is now the hot topic.
Aviva Canada recently released a report sharing the results from a national survey conducted by Leger Canada. This survey asked Canadians about their current and predicted post COVID-19 habits. The key findings in that report include:
Property values, buying and selling aspirations: 31% of Canadians are considering relocating as a result of the pandemic, with over one third of these considering moving to a semi-rural or rural location.
Renovations and home improvements: In the last year, 17% of Canadians improved their home space through renovations. Of those who made changes, 40% have updated or intend to inform their insurance provider about these changes, while over half said they don’t need to.
Possessions and protection measures: 30% of Canadians state they purchased a computer as a result of lockdown. Also, most Canadians have not implemented additional proactive security measures to help protect their homes against events like weather catastrophes and home invasions.
Multiple news sources confirm the Aviva survey findings, particularly around the investment in home improvements. The first three months of 2021, saw a wave of spending on home renovations. If this trend continues, we will see a record amount of money spent in this area in 2021.
This increase in spending, is a contributing factor to the spike in the cost of building materials, such as lumber. With higher material and labour costs, there is also an upward pressure on insurance premiums.
Also of note, in the last 10 years, home insurance costs in Canada have steadily increased as natural disasters have become more frequent and severe.
What you can do to protect yourself and your insurance costs:
- Consider leveraging technology to protect your home. Discounts are available for smart devices that alert to water leaks, backflow valves that automatically stop sewer back-up and for security systems.
- Let your Broker know if you have renovated your home. Finishing a basement or a building addition could impact your insurance. Renovations may increase your rebuilding value and policy limits.
- Computers can be an open book for cyber criminals. Keep your data secure: install anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, don’t skip updates to your software and operating system.
- Bundle your property insurance with your car for a multi-line discount.
- Review your coverage. Confirm with your Broker that your policy has the most robust water damage coverage available, including sewer back-up and overland water.
- Consider increasing your policy deductible.
- If you have paid off your mortgage, let your Broker know. Mortgage free discounts are significant.
- If shopping for a new insurance provider, be wary of ‘one-time discounts’ for new customers. These typically expire on renewal and you will find yourself shopping for insurance. Again.
- Look to access a group insurance program! Group rates are frequently more competitive.