Are you in the habit of renewing your auto and home insurance policies automatically? If so, you’re missing a great opportunity to verify your coverage options, and maybe even pay less for your insurance. What’s more, your situation may have changed, which could influence the premium amount. Here’s everything you need to know about shopping for auto insurance ou votre home insurance.
Renewing your auto or home insurance
Changes in your personal life influence how much you pay for insurance. You need to tell your insurer about such changes whenever you renew your auto or home insurance, to be sure you have the right coverage. In some cases, this will even save you money. Here are some examples of changes you must report to your general insurance agent.
Before renewing your auto insurance, mention whether:
- You have changed your address.
- You use your vehicle for work.
- Your work commute has changed (e.g., you now take public transit, travel a greater distance, etc.).
- You use your vehicle outside Quebec.
- There is a new driver using your vehicle (e.g., a youth who is taking a driving course, a new spouse).
- You have a new vehicle, or you’ve installed equipment that increases your vehicle’s value or performance.
- You’ve put a vehicle into storage or back on the road.
- You’ve installed or deactivated an antitheft or tracking system (e.g., anti-theft marking).
- You have demerit points or your driver’s licence has been suspended.
- You transport paying passengers (e.g., Uber) or rent your vehicle to others (e.g., Turo).
Before renewing your home insurance, mention whether:
- You’ve renovated or made major repairs to your home.
- You’ve bought computer or multimedia hardware, a camera or a gaming console.
- You’ve acquired jewelry, antiques, works of art, a high-end bicycle, or expensive bottles for your wine cellar.
- You’ve installed a swimming pool, spa or sauna.
- You’ve changed your water heater, which was more than 10 years old.
- You’ve installed an auxiliary heating appliance (e.g., wood-, gas- or oil-fired).
- You conduct professional or commercial activity in your home, or are teleworking.
- You have work-related equipment such as tools or computer hardware at home.
- You’ve installed or deactivated an alarm system.
- You have a new pet (e.g., dog, exotic animal).
- There is a new resident living with you (e.g., a new spouse).
- You rent your home to other people (this includes house exchanges and short-term rentals).
- You have property stored outside your home; e.g., personal items left at a cottage that you’ve rented temporarily, or at a campground.
Also, use the opportunity to check what prices other insurers are offering. Your current insurance provider may no longer have the best premium. Shopping around for your auto and home insurance every time they come up for renewal is the best way to save!
Compare several auto or home insurance quotes
Shopping for vehicle or home insurance is worth the effort. You just have to find the time to sit down and do it. The best way is to compare multiple insurance quotes.
There are three ways of getting quotes:
- Call insurers directly
By contacting insurers yourself, you’ll be sure to reach the ones that interest you. Ask for confirmations via e-mail; this will make it easier for you to study your car and home insurance quotes.
- Go through an insurance broker
Brokers normally work with several different insurance companies, but not all of them. Dealing with a broker will mean less work for you, but you may get fewer quotes than expected. Ask for copies of all quotes received, with the names of all insurers contacted. This will tell you whether the broker is indeed working with multiple insurers.
- Use an online quote comparator
You make a request, and you receive several quotes. That’s what quote comparison websites promise. Keep in mind, however, that you will only get quotes from insurers with whom they have a business agreement, not from all insurers on the market. Expect to receive two or three offers: there’s no guarantee that you’ll get quotes from all of the insurers registered with a given site.
The best strategy? Combine all three approaches. Get several quotes using both a comparator and a broker. If an insurer that interests you isn’t on the list, you can then contact them directly. This way, you’ll have a good sample, allowing you to make the best choice, at the best price.
To properly compare your auto or home insurance quotes, take the following precautions:
- Make sure all quotes are for contracts with the same coverage options and the same deductible amounts.
- Compare prices exclusive of taxes. Some insurers include the taxes in the premium amount; others don’t. This can be the reason for some price differences.
For your auto insurance needs, there’s even a practical checklist you can use to compare your quotes to what the CAA-Quebec No-Stress Policy® has to offer.
Shop for your auto insurance PDF file (in French only)PDF file – 102 KB
And remember to apply our helpful tips for saving even more on your auto insurance!