Nobody likes to pay insurance premiums so any chance to control or reduce cost is welcome. Your broker can help you minimize premiums by helping to define your insurance needs and by shopping around for the best policy.
Don’t over-insure or underinsure
Underinsure and you might be left carrying the cost of damage, theft or loss of property. Over-insure and you will be paying more than you have to. Your broker can help you find the right balance by examining your assets, your risk profile and your insurance history. We can also alert you to choices that could reduce your insurance costs, such as installing an alarm system in your home.
Set deductible and liability levels right
One way to control your premiums is to set a higher deductible, which means you accept more risk for covering small losses. Insurers tend to have deductibles ranging from $300 to $1000. Ask us to explain the cost implications of different deductibles. If you drive in the U.S., you might want to consider higher liability coverage due to the higher levels of personal injury awards in that country.
One of the best ways to minimize premiums and obtain discounts is to avoid making claims. One of the best ways to do this is to reduce the risk factors that drive claims.
For your vehicle:
- Avoid car accidents by driving defensively and never while impaired.
- Install an anti-theft system.
- Never leave valuables in the car.
- Keep your driving record clean.
In your home:
- Consider a home security system.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Clear the snow and ice off your walk.
- Install good quality locks on your doors and windows.
These are just a few examples of ways in which lowering the risk can mean lowering the cost to you.
Reduce the effects of fraud
Insurance fraud affects you, and you can help to reduce it.
Insurance fraud drives up premiums for everyone
The insurance industry estimates that 10 to 15 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes to paying fraudulent claims – totalling more than $1.3 billion each year. This makes insurance fraud second only to the drug trade as a source of illegal profits in North America. Unfortunately, insurers have to pass these costs on to customers in the form of higher premiums. They also have to be more cautious in deciding what to insure, making it more challenging to get certain forms of insurance.
The industry is fighting the problem
Insurers are doing much more than raising premiums to deal with the costs of fraud. A number of industry associations are working together to fight the problem. The Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Canadian Automobile Association, and the Canadian Coalition Against Insurance Fraud are just a few of the groups helping to promote public awareness, better business practices and improved investigative and enforcement techniques.
You can be part of the solution
It’s easy to sit back and say, “There’s nothing I can do to stop fraud.” But there is something you can do.
Insurance fraud is often the result of fairly routine manipulations of the system: a tow truck driver who recommends a garage and gets a commission for doing so; a service provider who bumps up a charge because they know the insurer is paying; or a paralegal who asks for a percentage of an insurance award. These may seem harmless to you, but they are part of the web of fraud schemes that are costing you money.
When you see fraudulent activity, challenge the service provider directly or report the behaviour to the police.