Checklist for keeping your House Insurance Premiums Low

Nobody enjoys paying for house insurance year in, year out, but as it’s a vital financial product for many households, most people realise they have to up with it.

However, what you don’t have to put up with is paying unnecessarily high premiums for the same level and type of cover which can be found cheaper elsewhere.

With a modicum of effort you could potentially cut hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds from the long-term cost of insuring your property and possessions.

Here’s a checklist for how to ensure you keep your House Insurance premiums low:

1.    Make sure you shop around

If you don’t compare deals, you won’t know if you could get the same cover cheaper elsewhere. Insurance providers are engaged in a constant battle for your business, so make sure you use both online comparison sites as well as insurance brokers to get a range of quotes (while being doubly sure you’re comparing like-for-like policies). Don’t simply accept whatever deal your bank, mortgage provider or other financial company you deal with offers you.

2.    Don’t renew automatically

Some insurers ‘punish’ those who simply automatically renew their cover each year. They don’t offer them the best deals and incentives, so again, make sure you get a range of quotes from other providers, and do so a good couple of months before your home cover renewal date.

3.    Opt for a higher excess

If you think you can afford to increase the excess on your policy it can lower your premiums (the excess is the first part of any claim you have to cover before the insurer pays the rest). Raising the level of excess you pay reduces your risk and potential cost to an insurer, so they offer you lower premiums in return.

4.    Get a combined home insurance policy

It’s usually cheaper to buy both your buildings insurance and contents insurance together in one combined home insurance policy, rather than as separate policies. Of course, if you are a tenant and don’t actually own your home, this won’t apply as you’re only responsible for the possessions you own rather than the building as well.

5.    Pay all at once

In return for getting their hands on your money in one lump sum, as opposed to each month via direct debit, insurers offer fairly significant discounts.

6.    Play the loyalty card

If you’re happy with an existing home insurance provider, but they’re not offering you the best deal, or at least close to it, for the type of cover you want, really go to town emphasising how good a customer you are (assuming you have been!). You’ll be amazed at how suddenly a few more pounds might be shaved off your premiums.

7.    Add smoke alarms to your home

If you haven’t got smoke alarms, and even a fire extinguisher or two, it’s probably worth getting them. Many insurers offer reduced premiums to those with greater fire safety in place.

8.    Improve your home’s security

Getting better locks fitted to doors and windows, in particular those which are certified to the British Standard, can also lead to insurers offering discounts.

9.    Get a safe

In the application process for most home insurance, you’ll be asked if you have a safe. If you do, and keep precious, higher value items in it, such as jewellery and antiques, it could cut your cover costs.

10.   Join neighbourhood watch

Insurers take a favourable view of homes in areas which have neighbourhood watch schemes, as they see them as less of a burglary risk. However, you usually have to be a member of the scheme to benefit financially from possibly lower premiums rather than just living in the area that has one.

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2 2/5 avoid if you can
I have tried to contact Policy Expert regarding Home Emergency Insurance cover been on the phone for a while then decided to use their calling back system been waiting for hours still waiting,also failed to respond to my law firm regarding legal expenses cover for car accident.
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1 1/5 Shocking avoid at all costs.
We returned home from holiday and on opening the front door there was a strong smell of damp. I discovered the landing carpet was soaked and on the other side of the wall was tour bathroom. When walking into the bathroom water started splashing up from the grout between the tiles I turned the water off at the stop cock until a plumber friend was able to take a look. It was the shower that was leaking so the water to the shower was isolated which stopped the leak. We contacted the policy expert who sent someone out a week later by this point the floor had dried out but there was still evidence of the shower leaking as there were water marks on the titles and down the shower wall. We were told we had no claim as the leak was due to the sealant in the shower needing replaced. The sealant was fine when we went on holiday and there was no leak from the shower when we went on holiday. They practically accused us of lying. The surveyor did nothing more than take photos but because we had no receipt from my friend who isolated the water to the shower for me FREE they say we have no claim. I've looked at this company's list of directors and trading history and it makes interesting reading. Avoid at all costs they will take your money and if you are unfortunate enough to have to make a claim they will find an excuse not to pay you. The customer services staff on the phone are rude.
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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.