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.