If you want to save on your home insurance, there are a number of steps you could take to make sure you're not paying over the odds.
The cheapest home insurance might not be the best for you, but you can often save money without having to compromise on the level of cover you get.
Take a look at our money-saving tips to lowering the cost of your home insurance policy.
How do I find cheaper home insurance?
1. Compare home insurance quotes
One thing you can do is shop around for a better home insurance price. Even if you’re happy with your current home insurance provider, it’s good practice to keep an eye on whether other insurers can offer you a more competitive deal.
Compare home insurance quotes
2. Don’t automatically buy home insurance with your mortgage provider
People sometimes feel pressured to get home insurance with their mortgage provider. Although this can be convenient, there are usually cheaper deals available. Although mortgage lenders usually insist that you have at least buildings insurance in place, you're under no obligation to get insurance through them.
3. Consider taking out separate contents and buildings insurance
Most people who own their own home opt for a combined policy, covering both buildings and contents insurance, with the same provider. This is often an easier and less expensive option.
But you might sometimes get a better deal taking out buildings insurance with one provider and contents with another. The downside of this is that you have two separate renewals to manage.
How do I reduce my home insurance costs?
Even if you can’t find cheaper cover elsewhere, there might be some things you can do to lower the cost of your existing home insurance cover:
Increase your home insurance excess
Don't over-insure your home
Don't pay for insurance you don't need
Pay your home insurance annually
Build up a home insurance no-claims discount
1. Increase your home insurance excess
Voluntarily paying a higher excess on any claims could get you a discount on your home insurance from your insurer.
Remember that a higher excess might mean a higher cost to you in the event of a home insurance claim.
2. Don’t over-insure your home
Although it’s important not to be under-insured, don’t over-insure, either – you could end up paying too much for your policy.
The same goes for buildings insurance. You need to insure for only the cost of rebuilding your property, which is likely to be less than its purchase value.
3. Don’t pay for insurance that you don’t need
For example, if you live in a top-floor flat and you don’t have a garden, paying for garden cover could be a complete waste of money.
4. Pay your home insurance annually
Paying for your home insurance in monthly instalments might be convenient but it's almost always more expensive. Insurers tend to charge interest and an additional admin fee on top of your premium for the benefit of paying in instalments.
5. Build up a home insurance no-claims discount
If you don't make any claims on your home insurance, you’ll usually earn a no-claims discount on your policy, which could see your annual premiums fall. The longer you go without making a claim, the bigger the discount.
Can I do anything to my house to cut my home insurance costs?
Insurers usually ask questions about your property in order to work out the risk of making a claim on your home insurance policy. This affects the cost of your insurance.
There are some basic security and maintenance tips to follow that could save you money:
Install a burglar alarm
Fit secure locks
Install a safe
Join the Neighbourhood Watch scheme
Limit the time your home is left continuously unoccupied
Install security lighting
Fire-proof your home
Insulate your water pipes
Protect your home against potential flooding
Remove all trees
Keep your home ship-shape
1. Install a burglar alarm
Insurers usually want to know if you have a burglar alarm, and some may offer a discount if you do. If you're using a wired burglar alarm, make sure you have a qualified engineer to set it up for you.
2. Fit secure locks
Ensuring all windows have key-operated locks and that doors have correct door locks, including patio door locks should be on your to-do list. You might struggle to get home insurance at a reasonable price if you don't. And not all door locks are created equal - some offer more security than others.
3. Install a safe
Many insurers charge extra to insure high-value items. Locking expensive jewellery away in a sturdy safe could offset the extra home insurance cost ad reduce the risk of you making a claim.
4. Join the Neighbourhood Watch scheme
Not only will you have more people looking out for your home but some insurers offer a discount if you're a member.
5. Limit the time your home is left continuously unoccupied
Leaving your home unoccupied for long periods of time could result in an increased likelihood of theft or things going wrong. This includes burst pipes if they aren’t being used often.
6. Install security lighting
The more security devices you’ve installed, the more chance you have of deterring would-be burglars. Insurers are more likely to consider your home as being a lower risk, which in turn could lower your costs.
7. Install CCTV
As with security lights, this could be a good deterrent against burglars. But make sure you put up signs to warn people that they’re being filmed.
8. Fire-proof your home
Fitting smoke alarms throughout your home isn't just a common-sense safety tip but can also lower your home insurance premiums. Make sure you test them at least once a month.
9. Insulate your water pipes
Frozen pipes can spell disaster, but insulating your pipes could spare you flood damage, the cost of a plumber and a higher insurance bill.
10. Protect your home against potential flooding
Living in a flood-risk area might make getting home insurance difficult, especially if you’ve had a past claim for flooding.
But protecting your home from flooding before it hits could reduce the chances of making a claim. This in turn could increase your chances of getting a better deal on your home insurance.
11. Remove tall trees
Having trees more than 10m tall next to your home could increase your costs as they increase the risk of subsidence or heave.
By removing these trees or being selective about what trees are planted near your home could reduce your premiums in the long run.
12. Keep your home ship-shape
Maintaining your home is a requirement of most home insurance policies. If your home insurance provider finds that damage has occurred partly through negligence, they might not honour the claim.
When thinking about a big job, always ask yourself if you’re able to undertake the work. DIY disasters have been responsible for many insurance claims.
If a job is beyond your skill or confidence, consider hiring a tradesperson. Either way, it could be worth looking into accidental damage cover, just in case.