If you're like most Canadian families, you spend a lot on insurance for everything from your stereo to your life. But are you spending wisely? In the November 2003 issue of Canadian Living, finance columnist and author Ellen Roseman provides insurance pointers from a pro. Here are six of her smart tips on how to save money when shopping for insurance.
•Read your policies to see what you are buying and ensure that you are buying only what you need. For clarification, ask your agent or broker.
•Consider using the same company to insure your home and auto. You may get discounts.
•Check premium rates on the Internet. And visit independent comparison-shopping services, such as Kanetix and the Consumer's Guide to Insurance. In seconds you can see how much it costs to add or drop coverage.
•Review the deductibles â€“ the amount you pay out of pocket on each claim â€“ on auto and home policies. Raising the deductibles may lower your annual premiums.
•Buy enough insurance to protect yourself. If your homeowner's liability coverage is $500,000, consider boosting it to $1 million; you may need it if a visitor has an accident and sues you. If your auto liability coverage is $500,000, consider increasing it to $1 million or even $2 million.
•Ask your broker for her money-saving tips and visit Insurance Canada for general advice on insurance.
Ellen Roseman is a finance columnist for the Toronto Star's business section and the author of Money 101: Every Canadian's Guide to Personal Finance (John Wiley & Sons, 2002, $26.95). The sequel, Money 201, will be coming out next year.