Let’s Make a Deal

I am the ultimate deal hunter. Show me a $400 jacket and I’ll show you where you can get it for $40. I can tell you which grocery store has peanut butter on sale this week, Metro or Loblaws, and know that it’s cheaper (and fresher) to buy vegetables at the local independent market than at the big chains. I paid $600 for my $1,000 couch (it was on sale at The Brick). I paid $30 for four Riedel wine glasses that would normally retail for $60 (Winners). So does it come as any surprise that I managed to save $500 off my home insurance?! Of course not.

I started contacting insurance companies to get quotes last week. My uncle works for an insurance company, so he was the first person I called. I wasn’t expecting a discounted rate just because I’m family, in fact I didn’t think insurance was something that could be discounted. Anyway, he had me fill out a questionnaire then put me in touch with an associate of his since he was going out of town for a few days. The associate got back to me with their cheapest rate. I was floored, because when I divided it by 12, it meant my monthly payments were going to be more than double what I budgeted for! While I was waiting for this quote to come back, I contacted State Farm. The agent there told me that State Farm has the most expensive insurance around. Gulp. If I thought my uncle’s company was expensive, what was this second quote going to look like? The quote never did come back to me, and I’ve since cancelled the request.

Last Saturday I was at my new house, talking with the woman who sold the house to me. We got on the topic of insurance, and she mentioned that her insurance company offers a discounted rate to university alumni. Finally, there’s benefit to having graduated from a post-secondary institution, other than just having an expensive piece of framed paper to hang on the wall! Needless to say, I promptly called this insurance company first thing this morning to get a quote. I’m very glad I didn’t immediately settle for the first quote I got, because the quote I received today is almost HALF as expensive. I must admit that even the cheaper insurance rate is still over my original budgeted amount (which was just a guess anyway, based on feedback from friends who own houses), but at least it’s only $15 over and not $55 over! And they offer the same, if not better, coverage options. I’m not losing anything by paying less.

With only 8 days to go until my house closes, I’m starting to get a little nervous about all these new expenses I’m going to have. My monthly bills for heat, hydro and water are still only best guesses at this point, but at least I’ve got the insurance taken care of, I know exactly how much it’s going to cost each month, and it’s not going to cost me a fortune.