UK Home Insurance Companies
In almost all cases, the main object of shopping around for a revised home insurance quotation is to save money. Hardly anyone, shops around for “better cover” although of course, this should also be a consideration when comparing prices from different insurers. One of the main problems facing the consumer is the fact that home insurance in the United Kingdom is a very easily sourced product from an almost endless variety of UK insurance companies. The sheer depth of providers coupled with the incessant advertising employed by some companies can end up leaving the consumer at a loss as to where to actually turn, to cover their personal possessions, how on earth can you locate the cheapest premium from a wide range of providers without spending all day calling around to obtain quotes?
There may be other sections and these will vary from insurer to insurer but the three mentioned above are your “core” sections. The “perils” covered under a home policy wording, have been developed over a period of many years, often as a reaction to homeowner needs. The good news is that almost all policy wordings, in their simplest format offer the same core “perils”. The building and contents sections are quite similar in what they offer and in any event, if you have a mortgage on your property, your lender will want you to have a policy that satisfies the conditions as defined in their lenders handbook. Insurers are well aware of the requirements of the handbook and thus, the basic perils on offer tend to mirror the requirements on the handbook.
When comparing covers, any product provider should provide you with a Keyfacts document, this information sheet, outlines all the salient points of the contract and should enable you to make an informed decision as to the suitability of a particular insurer. These documents tend to be generic in their construction and the product provider should point out any significant exclusions (such as flood or subsidence cover) if they are unable to offer the cover for any reason. This makes the job of search a little easier as the cover should thus be similar wherever you buy it from. The only major differences are going to be on the so called “peripheral” covers. Another key variable will be the policy excess (the portion of the loss that you must pay). This should always be checked as it can vary and is often used by an insurer to produce a lower quotation (although you are usually free of course to select a higher excess in return for a discount if you so wish).
Where to Buy – there is are various sectors to the market that you can buy insurance from, here are the major players involved:-
- Insurance Companyinsurance companies, calculate risk, take premiums and pay claims. You can contact an insurance company via several of the channels mentioned below, most also have a direct selling arm which may or may note trade under the same company name. If you require to know exactly who you are dealing with, you can visit the FSA website, type in the details and the company details will be revealed.
- Direct Insurance Companies these are companies that transact business directly with customers; they do not offer their products for sale via other outlets such as brokers and intermediaries. Originally, these direct writers claimed that by cutting out the middle man you could save money; well there are still plenty of brokers around.
- Banks & Building Societies – most banks & building societies will have an insurance division, in fact there was a time when if you received a mortgage from one, it would be a condition of the loan that you took out insurance with them. This is not normally the case anymore, unless you have a “special rate” mortgage deal. You may find that Banks & Building societies have a more limited access to insurance products say than an intermediary or broker although many are now developing insurance divisions with access to multiple products.
- Lloyds of London –many of the syndicates at Lloyds of London provide home insurance covers or backing for companies selling policies on binding authority agreements. If you want to buy a policy from Lloyds of London, you usually have to use the services of a broker or intermediary
- Brokers & Intermediaries – Insurance Brokers & Intermediaries usually have access to a number of different insurer’s products and will shop around for you in return for a commission; many will have schemes that are unique to them and not available online although some are now developing an online presence but for most the cost of optimisation remains prohibitive. Brokers are remunerated by means of a commission from the insurance company and may also charge a fee.
- Insurance Aggregators – these are relative new comers to the insurance market; really they are online insurance brokers who use sophisticated computer programs to obtain insurance rates from multiple sources. Most insurance brokers will do the same job for you, the only difference is that the aggregator will allow you to enter the details online and view all of the quotes it has access to. It is worth remembering that no service, what ever it promises, can really compare insurance prices from the whole market and the key to obtaining lower premiums is simply to try as many outlets as you own personal time permits.
Once you have you quoteonce you have received you insurance quotation from your chosen source, these are the other important factors to take in to consideration. Read the Keyfacts document, this will give you important information with regard to your cover. Ask to see a policy document, if this is not available remember, you have a 14 day cooling off period after you have had a chance to study it. When you receive the policy, study the terms and conditions carefully; pay special attention to any exclusions, warranties and special conditions. If you are unsure of anything, telephone the product provider and ask for clarification.
For a Home Insurance Quote contact Assetsure. We are able to offer insurance for a wide range of Uk property types including nonstandard construction