Cheaper Home Insurance Quotes.
Many homeowners view renewing their home insurance policy as a necessary evil to protect there building and contents from risks such as fire, theft or damage. During the boom times, many home owners were apathetic when it came to try to find a cheaper renewal. Some did not proactively invest time getting more competitive quotes from other home insurance companies for the sake of a typical £100 saving. However in these difficult economic circumstances many people are now looking more closely at the competitiveness of their current policy and shopping around to see they can get a cheaper home insurance deal elsewhere. As well as a shortage of disposable money, many home insurance premiums have increased as a result of the recent bad weather and insurers wishing to insure adequate reserves to make a profit and pay claims.
As homeowners cut back on household basics they are simultaneously bombarded with TV and online adverts promoting cheaper home insurance, competitive premiums and value for money covers. Home owners might be mistaken for thinking there is a huge choice of home insurance products on the market. It might be easy to think that getting a quote online will guarantee bargain premiums without compromising on cover – however this is not always the case. The challenge for all policyholders, is to legitimately try and save money on their home insurance renewal, without compromising too much on the covers that protect their home. It’s a simple trade-off between cost saving and perhaps a reduced payback in the event of a future home insurance claim.
Tips for Reducing the Price of Your Premium – there are actions that you can take to reduce premiums on your home insurance renewal without compromising too much on cover. The main ways to cut cost as follows:-
- Combined Buildings and Contents Policies – the term ‘home insurance’ usually refers to combined buildings and contents cover. Many home owners will be able to keep their premiums low by keeping the same insurance companies for both buildings and contents. Some insurance companies offer ‘new customers’ deals to start new policies with them. For example, offering half price contents cover when the customer takes out buildings cover at the same time. Sometimes, headline discounts only apply to new customers without awarding loyal existing ones. Other times headline deals are only obtainable if you apply online (as this saves the insurance company back-office processing costs). However when choosing whether to bundle your buildings and contents together, bear in mind that the underlying underwriting basis for other lower cost policies may differ between buildings and contents. This is due to influential geographic factors (such as increased loadings for high flood risk zones or areas of known subsidence). So the common sense solution is to obtain quotes separately and together, both as a new customer and comparing these with the offers you get when your renewal pops through the letterbox.
- Increases Excesses – you can get a cheaper home cover deal by increasing the level of voluntary excesses i.e. the amount you are prepared to pay for yourself, (following any compulsory excesses linked to the policies standard range of perils). In other words if you suffer a £300 repair bill for a broken TV, and your excesses total £500, you will have to pay the repair bill out of your own pocket.
- Methods of Payment - some home insurers will offer pricing discounts if you choose to pay the annual premium up front. In particular if you opt to go for a monthly direct debit or use a credit cards, some insurers will add a ‘levy’ (typically 5%), on to the annual premium. Not all insurance companies even offer direct debit options. So if you are struggling with your household expenditure and would prefer to spread your payments using direct debit look for insurers offering ‘interest-free’ direct debit deals.
- Shopping Around for Competitive Home Insurance - there is continued debate regarding where low-cost deals are best obtained from, brokers or price comparison websites. If your are bargain hunting, it is therefore worth comparing insurance quotes from both. With a human broker you always ask them for a discount, whereas with an inanimate website the price is fixed. Regardless of which source you adopt, when you start seeking out alternative prices, you will realise one of the first questions you will be asked is your postcode. The dominating factor that dictates whether or not you are likely to obtain cheaper home insurance, is where you live i.e. post code. Different insurance companies may view the same postcode as either a ‘good risk’ or a ‘bad risk’ and price accordingly. To a certain extent this is governed by their experience with existing risks in the same area as yours. Some may be more sympathetic to offering low cost prices for homeowners in your particular postcode. This may result in you getting a better deal by switching from your current provider. Home insurance companies ideally want to ‘spread the risk’ across a wide range of geographic postcodes. Many underwriters do not like ‘clusters of customers’. This is because any major disaster (such as a storm, flood or fire) may result in a disproportionate amount of home insurance claims occurring in one particular postcode.
- Avoiding Small Claims - many insurers offer cheaper home insurance deals based on risk related factors. For example some insurers market ‘no claims discounts’ to attract new business and to help keep renewals. The greater the number of years you have not claimed, the more competitive your online quote is likely to be. This is a long term consideration as you may have minor accidents in the home which are likely to cost a few hundred pounds at a time. You could choose not to submit a home insurance claim, by taking the view that you’ll save money on your policy at renewal. Your policy may rise if you have submitted a large number of claims in the past.
- Improve the Security of Your Home - you may be able secure a bargain home insurance price if you can physically improve the security of your home. Secure homes are less likely to suffer the cost of burglary and damage. Some insurers insist on a certain quality of door and window locks. It may be worth investing in upgrading your older locks to achieve a cut-rate price, but do check first what discounts may be on offer. In addition installing mains attached smoke alarms ( or battery operated units), a NACOSS approved alarm, security lighting and joining the local neighbourhood watch may all help increase the likelihood you will be able to obtain competitive home insurance price.
- Reducing Optional Covers – many people don’t realise they have taken out additional policy options, that have added extra premium in the past. If you’re prepared to accept an additional amount of risk, you may be able to find a more moderately priced policy. The main options you could consider doing without are: extended accidental damage, legal expenses cover, garden cover, frozen food cover, bicycle cover, possessions away from the home and home emergency cover.
- Review Contents Levels - most people don’t know the true value of the contents in their own home. If your whole house went up in flames, think how much it would cost to replace not just all the gadgets and gizmos, but all the fixtures and fittings as well. As many insurers offer blanket rates (such as £70,000 contents cover) included, you may find this is much more than you actually need. If you find a policy more appropriate to your contents value you may find this helps you secure reduced property insurance. Do remember though that on a new for old home contents insurance policy, you much insure your belongings for their full replacement cost.
Lastly many people are tempted to bend the truth on their quote application form. Don’t do it. Likewise don’t reduce the buildings sum insured when you know full well the rebuild cost is higher, just to get the premium down. Any inconsistencies between the facts you disclose on application, and any subsequent checks at a later date, may render your policy invalid or worthless.
For a Home Insurance Quote contact Assetsure. We are able to offer insurance for a wide range of UK property types including nonstandard construction