Tips for saving money on your next home insurance policy
If you want to reduce your home insurance premiums – and who doesn’t – here are some tips that could save you money on your next quote.
We’ve split them into two sections: Finding cheaper insurance and Reducing your existing premiums.
Tips on finding cheaper home insurance
1. Shop Around – Use an online insurance comparison site to find home insurance deals. Insurance firms apply different underwriting criteria when assessing home cover quotes, hence the variation in premiums in search results. For example, if a postcode has a history of past claims with one insurer, you’ll receive a more expensive quote, but another insurer may have a good experience of that postcode, resulting in a cheaper quote.
2. Increase Your Excess – Volunteering to pay a higher excess on any claims will get you a discount from your insurer on both your buildings and contents insurance (though a higher excess will mean a higher cost to you in the event of a claim).
3. Don’t Over Insure #1 – Give an accurate total of the value of contents within your property to be insured. Don’t guesstimate as this could result in a higher contents insurance premium.
4. Don’t Over Insure #2 – When buying buildings insurance, you only need to insure for the cost of your property’s re-build, likely to be considerably less than it’s purchase value.
5. Ignore Your Mortgage Provider – If you’ve just got a mortgage, your lender will doubtless try and flog you its own buildings insurance. However, unless it’s a condition of the mortgage, you’re not obliged to take it. Shop around and see if you can better their quote. Note: Your lender may charge you for going elsewhere, so make sure any savings outweigh their fee.
6. Get Combined Buildings and Contents Insurance – Taking out a combined home policy in favour of separate buildings and contents insurance will usually bag you a discount from the insurer.
7. Get Separate Buildings and Contents Insurance – Sounds contradictory but you can sometimes reduce your home insurance premiums by sourcing separate cover. Shop around to see if this is true for you.
8. Pay Up Front – Check whether it’s cheaper to pay a one-off sum rather than pay by installments. Paying for your insurance up front could mean bigger savings.
Tips on reducing your existing home insurance premiums
As well as fire and burglar proofing your home, each protective measure you take could also mean a discount on your household insurance.
9. Fire Proof Your Home – Fitting smoke alarms throughout your home and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen is not only a common sense safety tip but could also reduce your home insurance bill. For more tips on how to reduce the risk of fire, check out the Association of British Insurers website.
10. Install a Burglar Alarm – Burglar-proofing your home could reduce your contents insurance premium. Fit a burglar alarm or security system, preferably one that is NACOSS-approved.
11. Fit Secure Locks to Doors and Windows – Ensure all windows and doors have locks. Fit key-operated window locks to accessible windows and fit five-lever mortise deadlocks (British Standard BS3621) to all external doors. Fit a door chain or bar and spy-hole, and use them every time someone calls.
12. Ensure Doors are in Good Condition – Doors should be at least 44mm thick. If you need to replace doors and windows, get ones that are certified to British Standard BS7950 (windows) and PAS 24-1 (doors). Consider using laminated glass (for windows) as it’s much harder to break, and fit a letterbox cage to stop thieves from reaching through to open the door.
13. Install a Safe – Many insurers charge extra to insure high-value items. Locking expensive jewellery away in a sturdy safe will go some way to offsetting the extra home insurance cost.
14. Neighbourhood Watch – Join a neighbourhood watch scheme. Not only will you have more people looking out for your home, but you will also receive grass-roots tips on how to protect it. And place a sticker in your window to advertise that you’re part of a scheme.
15. Stay Visible – Trim back any trees higher than 10m or within 5m of your property so that your property is clearly visible from the street.
16. Insulate Water Pipes – Frozen pipes can spell disaster. Each year thousands of homes are damaged by water pipes that freeze and burst. When the water thaws, your property, both inside and out, can suffer flooding. Properly insulated pipes could spare you flood damage, the cost of a plumber and a higher insurance bill.
17. Make Fewer Claims – as with all insurance, if you have a history of making claims, this will be reflected in higher insurance premiums. Try and take preventative steps to ensure you don’t become a serial insurance claimant.