When should you consider switching home insurance companies? Many people switch when they’re moving houses and their current insurer doesn’t offer the right coverage for their new place. Others switch when they’re looking for a lower rate, or they’re not satisfied with the service they’re getting. Whatever the reason to change, we’re here to give you the step-by-step on how to do it – and answer a few of the most common questions about switching your home insurance.
How do I switch my home insurance?
- Compare home insurance quotes. Don’t just go with the first quote you see that looks decent price-wise. Take the time to compare coverage, limits, deductibles, customer service, and discounts offered (like Canadian University Alumni) to make sure you’re getting a full package that works for you – at the very best rate. To quote, you can call the company directly, go through a broker, or quote online (Sonnet's home insurance is 100% digital, from start to finish!). If you’re short on time, try an ultra-convenient online comparison tool like RATESDOTCA.
- Do your research on different companies. We hope you never have to file a claim or have a billing issue, but if you do you deserve the best customer service to help you get through sticky situations. The company you choose should have a good reputation for both coverage and customer service. If something happens, you want to make sure you’re fully protected and that the claims team is efficient, responsive, and easy to deal with when handling your claim.
- Ensure your quote is accurate before you buy. To make sure you’ve got the right price for you and your home, you must provide detailed, accurate, up-to-date information about yourself and your house. This could include square footage, how many bathrooms you have, and how your home is heated. With certain online insurers (usually direct writers like Sonnet), you’ll get an accurate quote instantly! Some online providers only offer an estimate, so you may have to call in to confirm the price.
- Inform your current insurance provider. When you’re ready to switch, you are responsible for cancelling your current policy. You’ll continue to be billed if you don’t cancel – and if they don’t receive those payments, it could go into collections and hurt your credit. Set up your new policy before you cancel your current policy. When you do cancel, they might ask you to send in your request in writing. So, give yourself a little extra time for any paperwork they might require.
- Tell your mortgage company. Your mortgage company has a financial stake in your property – so they need to know if your insurance has changed, too. Be proactive and send them proof of insurance as soon as you can. If you’re moving, you’ll need to secure new insurance and provide it to your lender before the move-in date. With Sonnet, you don’t even have to wait for us to mail your documents – they’re available online the instant you purchase your policy!
Did you know? To ensure there’s no gap in coverage, the old policy should end, and the new policy start on the same date.
Can I change my home insurance at any time?
Yes, you can switch your home insurance mid-policy – but be warned, there could be a cancellation fee. Don’t worry, we’ll get into more detail about that below.
Can I switch my home insurance with an open claim?
Yes! But, your claim won’t switch along with you. The insurer that handled your claim when the event occurred will continue to do so, even if you change to a different provider.
Will I get a refund if I cancel mid-policy?
Maybe. If you’ve overpaid your premium at the time of cancellation, you might be eligible for a refund, especially if you paid in full.
If you pay monthly, you could see a modest refund if you overpaid your most recent payment. But, there could also be a balance owing if you’re in your next payment period. This can get a little complicated, so if you have questions be sure to ask your provider.
An insurer will handle a refund one of two ways:
- Short rate. If your provider uses this method, there will likely be a cancellation fee. Depending on how far you are into your one-year policy term, they’ll keep a percentage of the unpaid premium and refund the rest. The amount charged will vary from company to company.
- Pro rata. You’ll receive a refund for the full amount of the premium you’ve paid that hasn’t been used.
Tip: Your insurer’s customer service may be able to offer some insight on how much it could cost you to cancel your insurance. Or you could try our handy cancellation calculator – it just takes a minute to fill out!
When it comes to changing your home insurance, the most important thing is to make sure you’re fully protected. To help guide your decision making, sure to ask questions so you fully understand what you’re covered for and what you’re not.