If you need to renew your home insurance and you want to get a good deal on your premium, how can you get the right cover but not pay over the odds?
You will find that there are two types of home insurance, buildings and contents. Buildings covers the structure of your property like walls, windows and roof. Buildings insurance will then cover you for any damage to the property itself. Contents on the other hand covers everything you have inside the property, your possessions like your television, computer and jewellery.
What you need depends on whether you own the property or are renting. If you have a mortgage then your mortgage provider will ask you to have buildings insurance. If you are renting your landlord will usually pay the buildings insurance and you only need to insure the contents.
Many home insurance policies will include many optional extras. Many of them can be very useful but they all add up on your home insurance bill. So read all the small print and remove what you don’t require. So for example some contents insurance policies also cover accidental damage so if you then accept accidental damage you could be doubling up. Home emergency cover to cover things like your boiler breaking down may not be as good value as you simply putting money into a savings plan each month to cover any emergencies.
If you have good home security you can often reduce your home insurance payment. One example is to have an alarm system. Before you do this check out an insurer approved alarm system. With some insurance providers this will get you a discount on your home insurance.
It couldn’t be easier now to compare different home insurers as they are so many online providers who offer this service. Don’t just do the lazy thing and stick with your existing provider. Loyalty does not always get you a cheaper premium. In fact the reality is that new customers often get a better deal than you do even if you have been paying your premiums and have never claimed.
When you are looking for quotes make sure you have the right information in front of you. You will need to know when your home was built, what your roof is like, number of people who live at the home and information about windows and doors.
Your premium will of course depend on what you are trying to insure so do be clear what you need. For buildings insurance the quote will need to cover you for rebuilding the value of your home. This is different from market value. The rebuild amount will come from data supplied by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
As for contents it is a good idea not to just pluck a figure out of the air but to go round room by room looking at the value of your possessions. You obviously want to make sure you are adequately covered but it does help to know thaw value of possessions so that you can avoid over insuring something.
An excess is an amount of money that you would pay towards any claim. The higher you set the excess then the lower your premium will be. So it makes sense that if you increase your excess payable you will save money. One word of warning here however. Do make sure that you can afford the excess should the worse happen and you have to make a claim.
With some insures if you pay the annual premium up front then you can pay less than opting to pay the premium each month. That is because in effect you are borrowing the money from the insurer so they apply an additional charge, a bit like an interest payment.
A customer with little history of claims will on average pay a lower premium than a customer who has a large claims history. So try not to over claim as it may cost you more in the long run.
If you take out both buildings and contents with the same insurer you will often get an overall discount on the premium. In fact some insurers give you as much as a 40% discount. Many people often find it easier to have one insurer anyway and if you did have to claim on both buildings and contents one claim with one provider could be an advantage.