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It’s rough out there, so how can you make your money go further?

With the prices of everyday items soaring in Canada over the past year, we all want to get the most for our money now more than ever. Saving a bit here and there can add up to a lot over time. The price you pay for insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars, so how can you get the best value for your money? Here are ten ways you may be eligible to save on your home and auto insurance.

Bundle and save
Most insurance providers offer discounts to repeat customers. Consider purchasing all your coverage through one provider to take advantage of these discounts. Plus, having the same provider for multiple policies reduces your paperwork and makes it easier to know whom to contact in case of a claim.

Increase your deductible
Your deductible is the amount you are prepared to pay in the event of a claim on your policy before your insurance provider covers the rest. Generally, the higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be. Carrying a higher deductible is likely more affordable for paying the cost of a minor repair than paying a higher premium over time. Raising your deductible by just a few hundred dollars could save you a lot of money, but make sure it's an amount that suits your budget and comfort level. Speak with your insurance broker to see if this option is right for you.

Safeguard your home and vehicle
Increasing your home and vehicle’s safety measures will help you protect yourself and your loved ones and save on your insurance premiums. Consider setting up a home security system to ward off break-ins and installing winter tires in the colder months for safer winter driving. Most insurance providers will reward you for your efforts with a discount. Notify your insurance broker of any safety improvements you make so they can review your discount eligibility.

File your claims strategically
A history of small insurance claims can increase your premiums. So, before submitting a claim, keep your deductible amount in mind and whether it makes financial sense to risk your rates increasing.

Check your claims protector eligibility
A claims protector is an endorsement that prevents your insurance rates from increasing upon filing a claim. While there are eligibility requirements, including an upfront fee, you could save thousands of dollars in the long run. Speak with your insurance broker about your home and auto claims protector eligibility.

Pay off your mortgage
Many insurance providers offer a mortgage-free discount once homeowners have paid off their mortgages. Speak with your insurance broker about discount options if this applies to you.

Maintain a good credit score
The insurance industry has adopted credit scoring on home insurance to determine property owners’ premiums. If you have given consent, your insurance provider can use your credit information to help predict your potential for future losses. Research has shown a correlation between credit history and insurance claim history – those with certain credit history patterns are more likely to file insurance claims. If you have good credit and are interested in reaping the benefits, speak with your insurance broker about a Credit Consent form.

Ask about usage-based insurance
Usage-based insurance (UBI) – also known as telematics or pay-as-you-drive – offers drivers more control over how their premiums are calculated. UBI’s dynamic pricing relies on your unique driving behaviour and vehicle usage patterns. To participate, you can install a wireless device in your vehicle or download an app onto your smartphone to track your distance, braking, speed, and acceleration. This data is reported back to your insurance provider and can be used to reward good behaviour by customizing the price of your insurance. If you have questions about how your data will be stored and used along with your UBI eligibility, speak with your insurance broker.

Ask about retiree discounts
Have you retired and are no longer commuting to work? You may be eligible for a discount on your auto insurance and an additional retiree discount. Speak with your insurance broker about retiree discounts you may qualify for.

Review your policy annually
Ensure your policy is accurate by reviewing it annually. You may have replaced and updated your furnace, electrical system, plumbing, or roof between reviews. Small details like your home’s age, construction, and type should also be reflected accurately – all of them can reduce your premium.

Before it is time to renew your insurance, take advantage of cost-saving opportunities. Keep these tips in mind as you review your coverage to align your insurance with your needs without leaving any discounts on the table.

If you want to review your coverage or discuss your eligibility for any of these savings, contact your OTIP insurance broker at 1-833-494-0090.

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