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Online Home Insurance Quotes for Residential Homeowners

An increasing number of UK homeowners now use the Internet when looking for a home insurance quote. Internet savvy shoppers are quite comfortable submitting their personal details online, in order to compare and retrieve prices for insurance products. Virtually all of the top financial services companies in the UK, now have dedicated websites, focused on promoting and selling property based insurance. With so much choice and so many products to select, many homeowners prefer to use comparison websites – to narrow down the list of alternative choices. These ‘aggregators’, as they have become known, can provide an insurance quote for buildings and contents, combined or stand alone.

The huge growth in the number of people going online has put direct pressure on local insurance brokers, who previously relied on shop fronts and loyalty from local customers and conventional directory advertising. Many insurance brokers have decided to create their own home insurance websites, to meet the changing habits of UK consumers. Most would agree that the speed, convenience and privacy of the Internet gives power to consumers to interrogate product information and compare pricing. Many consumers feel they are capable of choosing their own policies, without a professional recommendation from a qualified insurance broker. The Internet has empowered them to achieve this. However internet websites fail to provide any expert opinion or dialogue, a traditional broker can provide. If home insurance contacts are purchased online, there is still a duty from the product provider to ensure that the policy meets the demands and needs and is suitable for the purchaser.

The Internet model for home insurance, relies on huge call centre operations, many of which are based overseas. While the quality of service of some of these operations has come into fierce criticism by UK consumers, they still operate a professional procedure (to comply with regulatory guidelines set down by the Financial Services Authority). Many have insurance products that can now be purchased online with a credit card, without the need to speak to a call centre operator. These ‘standard’ home insurance products lend themselves to a click and buy approach although of course, any purchase should only be undertaken after carefully studying the relevant documents and making sure that all of the questions given to obtain the quote and been answered accurately.

However for many non-standard home insurance policies, designed for non standard buildings and for persons who fall outside and the standard underwriting requirements, the need to speak to a qualified and knowledgeable operator becomes almost essential. These non-standard situations include: listed buildings, homes with subsidence or flood damage, landlords who are leaving their property empty during vacant periods, or businesses with a combination of a shop front and flat above. The list of unusual types of risks could go on and on, depending upon the individual circumstances of the homeowner. Owners of these types of buildings frequently struggle to find suitable home insurance cover. They end up using the Internet to telephone around to find a specialist insurance policy. Many homeowners will inevitably need to ask questions over the telephone, regarding the levels of covers provided, and any exclusions or large excesses that may relates to their situation.

In the UK at the moment, the general rise in insurance premiums, is prompting more and more traditional homeowners to shop around to see if they can get a better deal online. So if you are considering buying a home insurance online, but have never been through this process before, first consider the dangers of buying online. Anyone can build a professional looking but fake website. So the first task is to establish you are actually visiting a genuine website and not a fraudulent one. Anyone transacting home insurance in the United Kingdom has to be regulated in some manner by the Financial Services authority, so have a look at the website, to see if you can find details of their status. Any credible website should also have their full contact details listed, privacy policy, or business address, highly visible phone number and explain in detail the relationship with any insurance company. If any of this information appears to be hidden away or difficult to find, you may want to consider avoiding this type of ‘affiliate’ based website unless of course you are clear, who will be providing you with the end product. Lastly if you’re planning to use a credit card you should have adequate firewall security on your computer to minimise the risks of identity theft. Likewise you should make sure that any web page you visit to enter personal data or your credit card details, is a ‘secure web page’ and begins with a ‘https’ in the url.

Despite the risks of buying online, millions of homeowners will tend to visit the secure, trusted and nationally recognised ‘comparison websites’ – to get a home insurance quote. They are fantastic at comparing the headline prices very quickly. However if you have never used one of these types of websites before, you should be aware of some of the drawbacks. In order to generate comparative quotes, you’ll be prompted to enter your needs and requirements into an online quotation form. As many of the factors insurers require are the same, this saves time re-entering the same information over and over again, on individual websites. What this ‘single entry form’ approach cannot easily help to compare, are the subtle differences in the individual policies of insurance companies themselves. Many insurance policies use different sets of passing wordings, different levels of compulsory and voluntary excesses, different types of discounts for their claims years and different subjective assumptions. This ultimately means that’s a like for like comparison can be tricky (as no two policies are exactly the same). Despite this you will be able to reduce the number of options quite quickly using an aggregator website. You can then start reading the small print of each individual home insurers policy wordings.

As Assetsure we can provide a home insurance quote in minutes. Please feel free to call us on the telephone number above or click ‘get a quote’

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