This post was originally published on this site

Saving money on insurance isn’t as big of a task as you might think. At first, it can feel overwhelming to navigate your insurance bill, looking for ways to reduce your premiums (and future costs too!). But the truth is, by making simple changes to your insurance policies and as well as handling a few tasks on your own end, you can reduce the amount you pay for insurance coverage. Here’s how.

Bundle up!

Bundling isn’t just for phone and cable services; your insurance provider should reward you for bundling up your home and car policies. Not only does it make your life easier—you’ll have a single payment and one place to renew your policies—but you can also get discounts too. For example, Ontario insurance provider Onlia* offers 10% off auto when you bundle it with your home insurance. And if you have more than one car, you save another 10%. It’s like a loyalty program that gives you the discounts upfront. 

Get on schedule

Owning a home–or even a condo–should come with a manual. You know how your car’s manual lets you know how often to get oil changes, get your brakes checked and when to rotate your tires? Your home has a maintenance schedule too. Did you know that you should have the brick on your home cleaned every 30 years? Or add insulation in your attic every five years? Replace carbon monoxide and smoke detectors every 10? 

Home and car maintenance are known to help with preventing damage and theft, and in turn the risk for claims and increased insurance premiums. But, unlike your car with its seasonal maintenance or window-sticker reminders to help prevent unexpected issues from popping up, your home relies on you staying on top of things. You can set up a virtual home checkup with Setter*, a Toronto-based home management concierge that can help you figure out what needs updating. When you bundle your home and auto insurance with Onlia, the Setter home checkup is free. 

Don’t wait for things to break down

Ever notice when something breaks down on your car or in your home, other things need repair or maintenance? It’s not that things seem to happen in threes (or fours or fives for that matter)—it’s more likely that these issues impact each other. It’s also referred to as a domino effect, where things that are connected or have similar life spans start needing repair around the same time. One way to combat this is to have regular safety checkups or maintenance checks. Again, Setter can look into things like the condition of your pipes, remind you to turn off outdoor faucets before winter weather freezes them up, door seals, loose shingles, trim back impeding tree branches…. These checks—like seasonal maintenance for your car—ensure that your home is ready for the weather changes and should help avoid any damage, as well as the likelihood of making any claims. Setter will also recommend local contractors and other professionals to handle the maintenance tasks for you.

Show off your good driving record

Saving money on your auto insurance is a download away: the Onlia Sense* app tracks your driving habits and rewards you with cash back on your car insurance for safe driving. Anyone, whether an Onlia client or not, can download it. Using your smartphone sensors, the app tracks speed, how you take corner turns, braking and more. The payoff? You can earn up to $480 in annual cash back on your auto insurance, as well as  Ultimate Dining Cards. The gaming-style app experience encourages young drivers (and all of us, really) to be safer behind the wheel—and a safe driving record can help reduce your insurance bill. 

Raise your deductible

There are some situations when you can decide to pay out-of-pocket instead of making a home or auto claim to help keep your home and auto premiums low. Those are usually quick DIY fixes, or a reasonable cost for a mechanic or contractor repair. But there can be bigger situations, from accidents to theft, that require you to make a claim. 

To get ahead of those situations, you can lower your monthly insurance payments by agreeing to pay a higher deductible (the amount of money you put toward an insurance claim). It’s best to establish the amount of your deductible before you need to make a claim, so consider how much you could affordably pay. These things usually pop up unexpectedly, so be realistic.