I want to rent my own apartment

Five tips to get the best price on home insurance

It's important to insure your property and liability risks, but how do you do it without paying too much? Here are five tips to help.

1- Select basic coverage

For tenant insurance, there is generally a choice between basic coverage and comprehensive coverage. Basic coverage includes amongst others coverage for fire, theft and vandalism. Comprehensive coverage covers more situations, such as mysterious disappearances (you lost your graduation ring, but you don't know where) or accidental breakage (you dropped your laptop).

The additional coverage comes at a price and may not fit every budget. The pros and cons should be weighed before purcahsing it.

2- Increase your deductible

The deductible is the amount of money you must pay yourself in the event of a covered loss. For example, if your bicycle, with a replacement cost of $700, was stolen, you would have to pay the deductible to replace it, say $300, and your insurer would pay the balance, or $400.

The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. However, be sure you have the money to pay the deductible if something happens.

3- Take advantage of discounts

Ask the insurer if you can obtain an additional discount. Are you a university graduate, a member of a professional order or have you had insurance for three years without a single claim? These are just a few examples of discounts that some insurers provide.

4- Choose your apartment wisely

The area your apartment is located in, the number of units in the building or the presence of businesses all directly impact the price of your insurance. Here are some factors that may reduce the premium:

  • Presence of fire hydrants and fire stations nearby
  • Alarm system
  • Sprinklers/extinguishers/concrete structure (for buildings with more than six units)
  • Area with low crime (breaking and entering)

Before signing the lease, ask for a bid from at least one insurer to avoid a lot of surprises.

5- Shop around for your insurance

Call or go on-line to get at least three bids. The premium (the cost of the insurance) may vary a lot from insurer to insurer. It's up to you to find the best price.

Are you a full time student? You could be covered by your parents'insurance at no cost. Ask them to check.