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Saving money on home insurance – 12 ways to save

Saving Money on Home Insurance

Saving money on home insurance seems like an impossible task, but I promise you, it can be done! A large portion of a household’s income is used to purchase insurance. If you are like me, you resent it. Insurance is one of those things that we all need and I grimace every time I review my bank statement and see my monthly premium payments.

I would much rather spend the money on things I don’t really need, like that sequined dress I can only wear on New Year’s Eve. Now THAT would be a fun purchase.

Insurance purchasing is unquestionably NOT a fun purchase. Well, let’s not spend more than we have to, shall we? Here are my recommendations for saving money on home insurance. Most discounts apply only to homeowners, but some can be applied to a condo, tenants, and secondary residence (cottage) policies.

You may already have a lot of these discounts, as most are automatic, but some you can only get by asking for them.

Check your policy as the discounts are usually listed. Also, keep in mind that the type and amount of discount will vary between insurers.

Alarm systems

If you have any type of burglary or fire alarm (except for the battery-operated smoke alarm stuck on the ceiling type), you can usually get a discount from 5 to 20 percent depending on how many bells and whistles it has. You will have to provide proof in the form of an alarm certificate provided by your installer or monitoring company.

Claims free

This discount is usually automatic but checks for it if you are at least three years’ claims-free. Discounts can vary from 5 to 20 percent.

Mortgage Free

This is another reward for paying off that mortgage earlier! You will earn a discount of 5 and 10 percent. Insurers figure that if you own your home outright, you are less likely to burn it down when you are flat broke and can’t make your mortgage payments anymore.

Secured lines of credit can sometimes qualify, so check this one out if you have financed your home but it is not through a traditional mortgage.

Mature owner

This discount can be offered to anyone from 40 and up, but it varies between insurers and is usually between a 5 and 20 percent discount. Your insurer will require the dates of birth for those that are on the.

Interesting Fact: Did you know that this discount used to be called an “old person’s discount” before it was changed to a “mature owner’s discount”?

Fire hall pumper certification

If you live in a rural area (also good for secondary residences, such as cottages) your responding fire hall may have qualified for special status, meaning they are able to respond to fires very quickly and with enough access to water. Some insurance companies reward those living in the response areas of these fire halls.

Inquire with your fire hall and if they have passed the tests required for this certification, you may qualify for a better insurance premium. Check with your agent/broker for what is required to prove your fire hall qualifies for special certification.


If you carry home and auto insurance with one insurer, you should be getting a 5 to 20 percent discount.


This discount generally gets added on when you have been with the same insurance company for 5 years or more. It is usually from 5 to 10 percent.


If there are no smokers in your household, you can usually save an extra 5% off your insurance. You may have to sign a form to verify this status.

Group rates

Check at work or your professional association to see if they have any arrangements with an insurer to provide a special rate for employees/members.

Sump pump/sewer back-up preventative measures

Insurance companies have been paying out in a major way for water damage claims in recent years due to aging city pipes, so some insurers will reward those that take measures to prevent this from happening.

If you have one of those fancy alarms that tell you that your sump pump is failing, or have installed some other type of water damage preventative, let your agent/broker know as this could save you some money.

Increase your deductible

Get quotes on different deductible levels. The savings can be quite substantial. Determine how much you could afford to pay out of pocket if something happened, and keep this in mind before changing your deductible. You don’t want to put yourself under more stress if you have to make a claim.

Home upgrades

You may qualify for a better rate if you have recently updated or replaced major systems in your homes such as the furnace, roofing, electrical system, and plumbing.

It is my experience as an insurance broker for 23 years, that property rates have a bit of play (unlike auto insurance rates, which are heavily regulated). If you have been with the same insurer for many years and have been claims free, most will fight to keep you if you have found a better premium elsewhere.

If you are one to call up every week with a complaint, you will be told to “jump at that better rate elsewhere sir/madam”. Yes, I have uttered that phrase more times than I can count. Sometimes there really is nothing else that can be done.

Keep in mind that when it comes to insurance that you do get what you pay for. All policies are not created equal, contrary to popular opinion. The best premium offered may indicate an insurer that will nickel and dime you when it comes to claims time.

How do you save money on home insurance?


  1. Sophie

    Yes claims free us the biggest one. We had a house fire last year (total redo of the house and all contents in the house were lost) so in saying this when our insurance renewal came in July last year we went from paying $66/mth to $208/mth! Ridiculous! But of course we can’t switch since the house (at the time) was still under construction with the case file still open. I used to work for an insurance company till last year and can I just say not impress!

  2. Sophie

    Yes claims free us the biggest one. We had a house fire last year (total redo of the house and all contents in the house were lost) so in saying this when our insurance renewal came in July last year we went from paying $66/mth to $208/mth! Ridiculous! But of course we can’t switch since the house (at the time) was still under construction with the case file still open. I used to work for an insurance company till last year and can I just say not impress! Oh and to add to that my insurance company told me it would like this for the next years since no other company would want a policy holder that just had a fire!!

  3. leah leitch

    Great points, I knew some but not all. I think a lot of insurers will be getting a phone call. Thanks so much for the post.

  4. Pat Ciulka

    I agree Helen…I hate paying out money for insurance every month. It seems like a lot of money that could be used elsewhere! But, we all know that it is necessary and is something we have to do.

  5. Julie

    Shop around. We moved this summer and wanted to get our insurance with a broker close by that carries another insurance for us. The quote was $195 a month. Called our current holder and they quoted us with higher coverage at only $94 a month…..$100 difference!!!!

  6. Dennis

    I use to pay around $550/year. But realized that my family mad a claim only once in 20+ years. And that was for a $3000 roof repair. So now I pay $200/year. I made sure that I got the right policy. I didn’t need the gold or platinum plan as I don’t need insurance in case I spilled red wine on a white couch; or for my stamp collection I don’t have; or the jewelry I don’t own.

    I also increased my deductible as high as possible ($10K) as the deductible is completely waived after a claim reaches a certain amount ($15k I think… I cant remember). Maybe Helen can clarify the specific amount.

    Really my house insurance is for catastrophic claims only. And I learn to save and self insure for the minor stuff

  7. Kris

    We don’t own our home, but we carry tenant’s insurance to cover the contents of the house. We went with group insurance, but through my husband’s alumni association and also insure our vehicles with the same company. We pay peanuts now compared to when we had them with 2 different companies!!

  8. Nikki

    Nice post. It is something that we all hate to pay but really is worth it when you need it. We had a small kitchen fire last year but the total damage was over 80K$ which we would not be able to afford without insurance. Our price did go up every month but only by about $10. I feel that all the money we will spend on our insurance will still be less then the cost of the claim so we wont be complaining too much anymore!

  9. Helen W

    Dennis – The amount for when the deductible is waived after a claim is different from company to company (some won’t waive it at any damage amount). It would not be below $10,000, with $25,000 being a common amount. Be careful of bare bones policies. There are some things that the better ones cover that aren’t always picked up by the basic ones. A good example is snow load on the roof, or very low limits on sewer back up. These could cause terrible damage. It’s true that you get a lot of extras in these policies that you don’t really need, but some things may be important to you. It is kind of like the cable company selling you a bundle of channels, when you really only want one or two of the five! 😉 Just make sure you are fully informed. Some people end up very shocked when they find out their claim isn’t covered when the cause is a very common “peril”. Check with your broker/agent just to make sure you have what you want/need.

    Nikki, yes, you were very wise to put that claim through! Insurance is really there for the big catastrophes that you cannot afford to take care of yourself. The loss of a claims free discount is peanuts compared to a large claim. And, you lose it for three years only usually. True that once you have one of these large claims, and you are happy with the way it was handled, you stop complaining about the premium!

    Thanks for your comments everyone!

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