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13 tips for cheaper home insurance

When you see how home insurance has gone up in recent years, it can be tempting to downgrade your coverage or shop around for a better deal. There may be good reasons for premiums going up, but who doesn’t want to spend less on insurance? The good news is you can! Here are a few reasons why home insurance rates are on the rise, and 13 tips to help you pay less.

Why home insurance premiums are going up

There are several reasons why your premiums go up when you renew your home insurance.

  • Your insurance amount generally increases by a certain percentage at each renewal to cover inflation (the cost of materials and labour) as well as new purchases you’re likely to have made.
  • Payouts on home insurance claims are increasing at an alarming rate (up 20% between 2009 and 2013, and 300% since 1990).
  • Payouts for natural disasters have increased six-fold since the 1990s.

So the two main reasons are that there are more claims, and those claims are more and more costly.

“But I haven’t made a claim!” That’s true, but remember that home insurance is like group insurance. You pay to protect other people’s property as well as your own. The premiums that you and other policyholders pay are pooled to pay for any losses incurred, which tend to cost a lot more than your monthly premium.

As a result, the more claims there are, the more you have to pay.

If you have made a claim yourself, there’s a good chance that your insurance will go up at your next renewal. Insurance is there to cover you in case of a loss, but making a low-value claim is not always in your best interest. Continue reading

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Tax-deductible moving expenses

ADVICE FROM DESJARDINS

Relocating for work or school? If you are moving to start a new job, run a business or study full-time at a post-secondary level, you may be eligible to deduct some of your moving expenses from your income taxes.

Eligibility rules are the same for both the Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec. If you want to deduct moving expenses, your new home must put you at least 40 km closer to your workplace or school.

Expenses you can deduct:

  • moving company fees
  • rental fees for a truck or trailer
  • storage costs for your household belongings
  • food and lodging expenses for you and your family during the trip to your new home
  • the cost of selling your old home or cancelling your lease
  • the cost of upkeep for your old home if it remains vacant for a time despite reasonable efforts to sell (maximum $5,000)

Continue reading

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Green carpets and rugs

From the 60s to the 80s, everyone was rushing to install wall to wall carpeting. Decorative, warm, comfortable, sometimes soft, they had everything. Synthetic fibres proliferated on Quebec floors.

Faced with the accelerated degradation of the environment, ecologists pushed carpets out of our houses. There are many reasons. Carpets cause a great deal of pollution, from manufacturing to use. Carpets are not biodegradable, don’t last long, can barely be recycled, contain numerous toxic chemicals and are made of petroleum products.

Health professional have added their grain of salt with a concrete argument: carpets can be dangerous for your health. They attract everything that floats in the air: dust, chemical residues, mites, humidity and even outdoor waste that sticks to soles. They also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sometimes turn into germ nests. That was the end for carpets. We see less and less.

Hardliners have tried to group rugs with enemies of the environment, but in vain. Today, certain rugs are made entirely of recyclable materials. Continue reading

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Carpets: know how to install them

Installing a carpet is not complicated, whether it’s made of synthetic materials or natural fibres, but you have to be an excellent handyman to do it right. You also have to be patient and precise, have specific tools and get advice from a renovation centre professional. Here is some general advice:

-If you opt for natural fibres, remember that you have to allow the carpet to rest for at least two days in the ambient air of the room that it will be installed in, so that it becomes acclimatized. Remember, they are natural fibres and not synthetic materials.

-Seagrass is perfect for the bathroom because it grew in water. However, you want to avoid sisal as it doesn’t like excessive humidity, although it’s elegance makes it perfect for other rooms in the house. Continue reading

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Carpets, rugs and comfort

The beauty and richness of carpets and rugs is undeniable. They are a fountain of colours, styles, designs and textures. They can give a room its decorative momentum.

Carpets and rugs have been getting bad press for a few years (read the Green carpets and rugs article), which explains their decline, but that doesn’t affect their role as creator of ambiance. The sumptuous lofts of Chelsea in London or Manhattan in New York do not deprive themselves of carpets.

Walls with neutral colours allow carpets and rugs filled with flamboyant designs to become the centre of attraction, since these textiles have the ability to define the style of a bedroom, a living room or any kind of sitting room. For example, sparkling colours will blend with the warm woodwork of a room, creating a sumptuous decor.

On the contrary, a plain carpet or rug allows you to decorate a room any way you like. Sometimes designs and colours of a carpet or large rug are found elsewhere in the room: bed cover, curtains, a throw rug on a crate, creating an effect of continuity. If everything is rather plain, you get an atmosphere tinted with great intimacy. Continue reading