Are your condo insurance costs more that you were expecting them to be? In most instances, condominium insurance rates are typically offered at lower costs than other types of insurance. This is because there are actually two types of insurance that cover a condo: one that the building owner (or condo corporation) maintains, and one that the tenant maintains. As a result, you technically are only responsible for your half of the coverage, and that should mean lower insurance rates. Condo insurance costs, however, still represent a good portion of a condo owner’s budget. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, though. While you still need to purchase this insurance (and wouldn’t want the added costs or risk of not having that coverage), and while the condo corporation’s management of your unit will impact your potential savings, you can still find proactive ways to reduce your condo insurance costs.
How can you reduce your condo costs? There are a few different ways you can approach the task: you can make alterations to the condo itself, to your habits within the condo, or to the features of your insurance policy.
Here are a few tips that will help you save on your condo insurance costs.
1. Install smoke detectors: It is always beneficial to you to install smoke (and carbon monoxide) detectors in your unit. If they aren’t already there and you install them in your condo unit after you move in, make sure you let your insurance provider know. Doing so will potentially decrease your rates.
2. Get a bundle: Most insurers will give you a bundle discount that reduces your rates by 5 to 7 per cent if you buy both condo insurance and car insurance.
3. Be claim-free: Are you claim-free so far? Some insurers will reward you with a claim-free discount. It’s worth asking to see if you are eligible.
4. Look at your policy limits: Review your coverage limits. There’s a chance you might be paying higher rates for coverage amounts you don’t need. If your condo contents are only valued at $30,000 and your policy offers a default $50,000 coverage, you can decrease the policy to the coverage amount you need, thereby reducing your costs.
5. Are you a loyal client? Have you been with your insurance provider for a length of time? You may be eligible for a reward in the form of a loyalty discount. It’s well worth asking your insurer to see if you qualify.
6. Rethink your earthquake coverage: Do have riders for threats you aren’t very at-risk for? Earthquake coverage is one example. Some regions aren’t very likely to experience an earthquake (Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto) because they aren’t located near any fault lines, and if you live there you could drop the earthquake coverage to lower your condominium insurance costs. Just make sure you think twice about doing this in Vancouver. It’s a region that is well-known for its seismic activity.
Any of these tips will help you lower the cost of your condo insurance, but you don’t have to take these steps alone.