Can You Change Home Insurance Companies Anytime?
While home insurance isn’t a legal requirement in Canada, many mortgage lenders will require proof of insurance before they approve your loan. But what happens if you aren’t happy with your current insurance company? Do you need to wait for your policy to expire, or can you change your home insurance company at any time? Find out in this blog.
The Simple Answer
If you are unhappy with your current home insurance policy, you should be able to change your insurance policy at any time. However, depending on your insurer, you may be subject to penalties or cancellation fees if you cancel before your policy has expired. For example, most insurance companies will charge what is known as a short rate fee if you cancel your home insurance before the policy renewal date.
Reasons to Switch Home Insurance Companies
When insuring any of your assets, you want the best, most comprehensive coverage possible at the best rate possible. It’s normal to want to switch home insurance companies if you feel that that is not what you are getting, if you’re simply unhappy with the service you’re getting, or if your policy is up for renewal and you want to shop around for better deals. Here are some of the reasons you could want to change home insurance companies:
Customer service: If you’re not happy with the level of customer care you are receiving, for example, if you struggled to file a claim or get in touch with the provider to ask a question, you may want to change insurance providers. As a customer, you deserve to feel valued, cared for, and heard, which is why you should look for an insurance provider that prioritizes its customers.
You found a better deal: Perhaps the most common reason homeowners will switch insurance companies is to find a better price. Insurance is a very competitive landscape, so another company may offer more competitive premiums for the same amount of coverage you are already receiving from your current provider.
Better coverage: Similarly to looking for a better price, you may feel that your current coverage is too restrictive. This may be due to the policy itself, or because your current insurance company doesn’t provide the coverage you need. Coverage varies by provider, so you may consider switching to an insurance company that offers coverage that is better suited to your needs, especially for any kind of specialty coverage.
When Should You Consider a Switch to Another Home Insurance Company
There are specific times when it may be better to shop around for a new policy, one example being if you are buying a new home. This is because your home insurance rate may increase based on a number of factors, including the age and size of your home, the neighborhood it is in, or even the age of the existing HVAC system or the roof. On the other hand, you may find that your existing premium will be lower if you move to a safer neighborhood, if your new home comes equipped with an alarm system, or is located near fire and police stations.
This is why working with a broker who can obtain quotes on your behalf can help ensure you get the best cover at the best price. While there is no ‘best time’ to switch brokers, if you are buying a new home or your current policy is up for renewal, it is best to research better options to determine if staying with your current insurance provider is the right decision.
How to Switch Your Home Insurance?
Even though your mortgage company may require a home insurance policy, it does not mean that you have to stay with the same insurer year after year after year. Switching insurance policies is a relatively easy process, and some insurers may even provide assistance with the switching process to make everything easier for new clients. Still, knowing a few basic steps to follow can help you avoid a lapse or gap in your insurance coverage.
1. Compare Quotes – Take the time to compare every aspect of the insurance policy you are considering, including coverage, limits, customer service, deductibles, and any discounts available t make sure you are getting the right package. Even if the first quote you get looks like a good, affordable option, comparing multiple options is worth the time and effort. To obtain a quote, you can usually contact the insurance company directly, work through a broker, or get an online quote. Zippo Insurance, for example, provides online quotes within as little as 5 minutes.
2. Do your research on the companies you are considering: While people generally don’t take out an insurance policy hoping to claim if something happens, you want to be sure that you’re fully protected. This goes beyond just the coverage offered – it also involves how claims are handled. You should feel comfortable in the fact that their claims team is responsive, efficient, and easy to deal with when handling your claim. Make sure to check customer reviews and ask around about the insurance provider you are looking at.
3. Make sure that your quote is accurate: If you need to claim on your home insurance, you don’t want to find out too late that you’re not covered for something you thought you were. This involves reading your policy carefully, asking questions, and ensuring you have given the correct information to the insurer. You must give complete, accurate, and current information about yourself and your home in order to ensure that you are receiving the most accurate home insurance quote possible. This could include the size of your property, the number of bathrooms, and the heating system. Keep in mind that some insurers offer accurate quotes almost instantly, while others only offer estimates, meaning you will have to call in to confirm the price.
4. Look at the effective dates on your current policy: Make sure to review your current policy documents and find out exactly when your coverage ends. If you time your switch incorrectly, it may result in a lapse in coverage (which mortgage lenders do not like). Plus, if there is a lapse and you accidentally end up without home insurance for a few days, you may miss out on a continuous coverage discount.
5. Inform your current insurance provider: If you’re ready to make the switch and you have a new home insurance company lined up, you need to make sure that you cancel your existing policy so that you don’t get billed twice. Make sure your new policy is set up before canceling your current one, and give yourself some extra time for any additional paperwork that may be required, such as if your current insurer requires that you send your cancellation request in writing.
6.Tell your mortgage company: Your mortgage company has to be informed if your insurance has changed because they have a financial interest in your home. Send them your insurance documentation as soon as you can to be proactive. You must obtain new insurance if you’re moving and give it to your lender before the move-in date.
Acquiring house insurance in Ontario for different types of properties, including condos, rentals, and vacation homes, can shield you from liabilities and damage from external factors. If you are considering changing home insurance companies, you want to make sure you are choosing a provider that prioritizes its customers.
Zippo Insurance is always here to help, whether you are looking for an insurance policy or if you have any questions. We offer affordable home insurance in Ontario with quick online quotes, advisor advice, and 24/7 support. Contact us today to find out more!