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Home insurance... who is usually the cheapest?

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  • Dec 22nd, 2006 8:08 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 12, 2005
2280 posts
19 upvotes

Home insurance... who is usually the cheapest?

I currently have Meloche Monnex but their rates are higher than Bel Air Direct for Home and Auto Insurance. My plans were to switch to Bel Air Direct in March. I am new to owning a house.
9 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
15351 posts
5624 upvotes
I found Meloche to be a little higher on home insurance as well (I'm still with them though).

Make sure when comparing policies you compare the same features, as with some policies they offer coverage for accidental damage/loss (Such as dropping your TV).
Member
User avatar
May 22, 2006
317 posts
15 upvotes
Montreal
funny . i just got meloche too. But i found their rates cheaper than belair (by about 200$) . I tried to compare apples with apples as much as possible. every company have different deductibles and slightly different coverages.
Newbie
Dec 10, 2006
40 posts
I have tried the non-broker direct companies (Belair, RBC, PC) for home & auto insurance but I have found they are idiots after a problem happens. Plus you end up spending oodles of ignore time on the phone waiting to talk to them .

Went back to Dominion of Canada. Very good rates on home & auto and excellent service thru my broker.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 1, 2006
9491 posts
615 upvotes
Muskoka
TrevorK wrote:
Dec 21st, 2006 11:42 pm
I found Meloche to be a little higher on home insurance as well (I'm still with them though).

Make sure when comparing policies you compare the same features, as with some policies they offer coverage for accidental damage/loss (Such as dropping your TV).
You should never make a home insurance claim for a small thing like a dropped TV! Unless it was some $5k LCD, maybe.
Sr. Member
Jun 3, 2006
645 posts
38 upvotes
Markham
Gotta agree with you on Dominion. My parents have been with Dominion for years, and when my car got broken into (combined home and auto claim), Dominion was fantastic throughout the whole process. My laptop was stolen, and I no longer had a receipt for extra RAM and my laptop bag, but the adjuster simply went to the FS website, took the average price of the products there, and gave me the money.

My wife and I are currently with Pilot, but when we move in May, I'd like to see how much Dominion is going to charge. If it's not a lot of money more, I'd gladly switch.
Gotassman wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2006 7:36 am
Went back to Dominion of Canada. Very good rates on home & auto and excellent service thru my broker.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 22, 2003
15541 posts
969 upvotes
Niagara Falls
We found the rates for home insurance can very much be like car insurance rates. The quotes varied widely for the same property. For us, comparing apples to apples, we choose CAA for our home and auto insurance. We always up our contents to a much higher amount than the standard as we know someone who's home burned to the ground, literally. Most people are underinsured for contents if something catastophic happens.

I agree with Gotassman about PC and the like. We had a really bad experience just trying to get a quote from PC. I can't imagine dealing with them for a claim...
Jr. Member
Jun 12, 2006
142 posts
1 upvote
I also found Meloche Monnex to be cheaper. Especially for car insurance.
Banned
May 5, 2003
4879 posts
32 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
We've been with Meloche for 4 years and just chnaged to PC Financial since they were much cheaper.
Newbie
Dec 10, 2006
40 posts
Cheaper is not always better....and could cost you more in the long-term.

I was in the insurance business for a few years before I switched to a career as a Financial Advisor (now retired at age 55).

Here's a few things about insurance...specifically home insurance (car insurance is a seperate issue).

By law ALL insurance companies MUST pay ALL legitaimate claims.

Insurance coverage is a function of the insurance policy. It is a contract between you and the insurance company. You agree to pay the premiums. You also agree that the information you provided to the company is truthful....a lie will nullify or diminish the amount that is covered. An example of an inadvertant mis-truth goes as follows. Mr. Smith insures his house and contents. He's with the insurance company for several years and always pays the premiums without default. Mr.Smith installs a wood stove and fails to notify the insurance company. The house burns down and the woodstove is determined by the Fire Marshall to be the incendiary point. The insurance company has too options. 1) They may refuse the claim since it (woodstove) wasn't included in the policy. They may pay the claim but calculate what the premiums would have been with the woodstove and adjust the coverage accordingly.

The insurance company agrees to pay all claims as per the coverage in the policy....no more, no less.

Most disputes arise when there is a difference between the amount an insurance company values the loss, and the amount that the homeowner feels he is entitled to receive. A crappy insurance company will always try to low-ball the claim leaving the homeowner to dispute the amount....sometimes a costly and time-consuming process.

Generally, you will insure the property for building, contents and liability. The land is not insured since it can't burn or disappear. Read the contract carefully for limits to covereage. If you have an expensive artwork or jewellery you will most likely need to add a "rider" to insure properly.

Most people make two BIG mistakes. They don't insure enough. Particularily the contents should be insured at replacement cost. Take photographs of every room in the house and keep the photographs in a safe place prefferably somewhere else like a relatives house or safety box in a bank. Keep records of all the bigger items. Seriel numbers, sales receipts, etc. Liability insurance needs to be a couple of $million. The second mistake is that they are tempted to go with the cheapest rate. Cheap might be good but most often there is some reason why cheap is cheap. To keep costs down increase the deductibles.

Rates are based on many factors. Is it a city house with a fire hydrant nearby or a country home with no water source. Is the house made of brick or is it wood clapboard. Does the house have a flame heating fixture like a woodstove or a fireplace. Does the house have a security system. An insurance company determines who they want to insure and who they don't. Example, a company may decide they want brick houses therefore non-brick homes will be priced at a higher rate (the same is true of auto insurance). So....for someone to say that an insurance company is the cheapest may not apply to someone else if they have a different house in a different location. That's where a good insurance broker becomes your best friend. he has access to many companies and knows where to get the best deal for the best covereage.

Finally, combining auto and home insurance with the same company usually gives you a discount on both policies. There is also an unwritten loyalty factor. Last thing you need is to make a claim. That will stay on your record for years and usually makes it difficult to find another insurance company at a favourable rate. If your insurance company drops you after a claim (non-renewable) that is really, really bad since you'll have a very difficult time to find another company at a decent rate. The "direct" companies are notorious for dropping clients after a claim. Any money you may have saved by going with the cheapest will be quickly lost 10 times over in higher premiums (penalized premiums) from another company once you are dropped.

BTW...CAA is not an insurance company. They are just a broker and I have found their rates are not as good since they only represent one or two companies.

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