It’s the year of the rabbit, according to the Chinese Zodiac, which corresponds with the symbols of longevity, peace, and prosperity. The prediction is for increased hope, which is most welcome after three years of uncertainty.
To help you move towards more freedom from worry, we at Lane’s have put together these 10 New Year’s insurance resolutions for you. Taking on these tasks will help you better understand your personal coverage, plus the insurance industry as a whole, and result in improved protection and greater savings.
1. Remember that brokers are better
Certified insurance brokers such as us at Lane’s are your very best bet for finding better insurance coverage at a lower price. Brokers are able to access more competitive rates because we are free to compare and contrast the policies from several different providers in order to find the best fit for you. Basically, we do the shopping for you, and we know exactly what to look for.
2. Get a home insurance appraisal done
A home insurance appraisal is carried out by home insurance providers to comprehensively assess the rebuild value of a property. This is the very best way for you to know whether or not your coverage is enough, or too much. Generally completed by a third party, a home insurance appraisal will take a close look at factors such as the size, build, and location of your home and calculate the cost of materials and labour it would take to build your house from scratch. They will also alert you to any issues with liability, such as an unsafe pathway, and where other necessary repairs are needed.
3. Update your home inventory
A home inventory is a running list of your home’s contents. There are plenty of templates for building your home inventory online, and it should always be a living, breathing document. Keep detailed photos and written records of everything you have in each room of your house, and always retain your receipts. If you have to file an insurance claim and have chosen replacement value insurance, your home inventory will greatly assist in the claims process and help move things along much more quickly.
4. Take a good look at your roof
Roofs are incredibly important for maintaining the integrity of your home. The hats (or toques) of Albertan houses suffer through a lot of abuse, including hailstorms, intense winds, and fast freeze-thaw cycles that lead to potentially disastrous ice dams. Wind, rain, and hail damage may be covered by home insurance, but only if your roof can be proven to be relatively new and in very good repair before the occurrence. Most policies take into consideration the age and condition of your roof before reimbursement, so if you have been lackadaisical about roof repairs, be prepared to have to make up the difference. As a general rule, if your roof is more than 10 years old, depreciation value will be factored in. Always keep in mind that insurance companies have the right to suspend, or even completely cancel, your home insurance coverage if they determine your roof is in such poor repair it has become a hazard.
5. Consider usage-based car insurance
Car insurance is a major expense for many. Usage-based car insurance coverage is a way to help lower premiums. Also known as telematics, signing up for a usage-based insurance program such as those offered by Intact and Aviva in Alberta can earn a one-time discount of up to 10% and as much as a 25% reduction in your car insurance rates. Run through an application on your mobile phone, telematics technology records information about your driving habits and provides real-time information on “bad” road behaviours, like severe braking, rapid acceleration, and hard cornering.
6. Get fit to save on life insurance
Not all life insurance policies require a medical exam, but there are many that do. And even if you don’t have to get a check-up to sign up, investing in your physical health will not only extend your lifespan and increase your life enjoyment, it can also lower your life insurance premiums. If you have taken the initiative to eat healthier, exercise, and quit drinking and/or smoking — depending on your policy, these actions may allow you to access lower life insurance rates.
7. Concentrate on good financial habits
Insurance companies are interested in your financial discipline because it’s actually a very good indicator of how you will maintain your property or behave behind the wheel. A higher credit score generally correlates to fewer insurance claims.
8. Top off your emergency fund
Experts say an emergency fund should equal at least three to six months of your regular expenses at minimum. Inquire with your bank about a tax-free savings account that also earns a competitive interest rate (ranging from about 0.5% to 2.0%). The best and most pain-free way to start saving is to set up an automatic transfer from your chequing account at the same time every month so that you don’t even have to think about it.
9. Write your will
To avoid conflict upon your death, everyone should have a will. There are many helpful online tools to help you draft yours, but we recommend the expert assistance of a wills and estates attorney when it comes to your property. Be transparent with those involved about the contents of your will, especially your executor, including your Personal Directive wishes and any Powers of Attorney that may exist.
At the same time, make it clear how you would like your life to be celebrated so there are no arguments about where to scatter your ashes or even what songs to play at your funeral
10. Review your policies with an insurance broker at renewal time
Most policy holders simply let our insurance renewals come and go without question each year. As brokers, we always encourage everyone to take advantage of this time, as it is your best chance to advocate for yourself and improve your coverage. It’s also the best time to switch to a different insurance provider without having to face any financial penalties.
Lane’s Insurance wishes you and yours all the very best for 2023. If you have any questions, or just want to get to know us better, contact us at :