Saving money on your home insurance

We all like saving money, but there’s a difference between saving money the sensible way and scrimping. So, whilst home insurance is really important and probably the last thing you should scrimp on, we’re sure you probably frequently think about ways you could save money on it. And if you do – then this is the place for you – let’s find out more.

What’s the point of home insurance?

Home insurance is a general term used to cover both buildings and contents insurance.

Buildings insurance covers the actual structure of a house, so things like the walls, roof, windows and fixed floors such as laminate and real wood (carpets will typically be covered by contents insurance). It also includes permanent fixtures like the bath, toilet and fitted kitchen. Typically, buildings insurance also covers external buildings on the property like garages, sheds and even greenhouses.

Contents insurance on the other hand, covers the stuff inside the home. We like to use the following analogy; if you took your roof off your house, contents covers everything that would fall out such as clothing, furniture and appliances, it also includes carpets and curtains and the contents in your garages, sheds and greenhouses.

Will increasing my voluntary excess lower my premium? 

Increasing your voluntary excess could help lower your premium, but this isn’t always going to be the case. Some insurance providers may see a policyholder raising their excess for a cheaper policy as a sign of a higher risk and not adjust the policy price.

As well as the voluntary excess, you’ll be expected to pay the compulsory excess too if you want the claim to proceed. The amount is set when the policy is first taken out and as its name suggests – it isn’t negotiable. So bear in mind that both of these excesses have to be paid in the event of a claim, so make sure their combined total is affordable.

Will my personal possessions be covered?

It depends on your policy – some won’t cover personal belongings taken out of the house as standard, but this can almost always be added on as an optional extra. Personal Possessions covers items typically “kept on your person” when you leave the house such as wallets, handbags, jewellery and tech gadgets although some insurance providers may ask for you to specify certain items regardless of their value if you intend to take them outside your home, mobile phones for example.

But before you start adding on expensive extras, check to see whether you have any other policies that already cover those items – it could save you money rather than doubling up on insurance. For instance, you might have taken out separate insurance for your smartphone, bike or laptop when you bought them.

How much home insurance cover should I get?

Overestimating your home insurance means paying over the odds for your policy. Whilst underinsuring might mean saving money with a lower premium, but the amount of cover may fall far short of what’s needed to repair, rebuild and replace your home and belongings.

You’ll need to make sure that your buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home, and there are two ways of working this out. The easy way is the ‘bedroom rated’ method which bases the assessment on the number of bedrooms you have. The more complicated (but accurate) way of working out your home’s value is to hire a surveyor to do the job for you. But don’t worry – when you start a quote with us, we’ll help you work it all out.

It’s a similar story when it comes to your contents insurance. Whilst underinsuring your things might save you a few quid in your premiums, you’ll probably end up regretting it if you come to make a claim. Our tip is to go through your home room by room, making a note of all your belongings – don’t forget to include items like rugs, carpets, curtains and even pictures. If an item is considered to be High Risk (typically smaller high value items like jewellery and laptops) then you will need to add it individually onto the policy if the value exceeds a certain limit known as the “Single Article Limit”. This can be from £1,000 upwards but your provider will make you aware what the limit is when you’re getting a quote.

Does being part of neighbourhood watch lower my insurance?

Being part of a neighbourhood watch group doesn’t automatically guarantee lower home insurance premiums. Some insurance providers do offer discounts but they’ll probably want some proof that you really are part of a group (and not just trying to blag a discount). To find out more read our simples guide to Neighbourhood watch groups and the cost of home insurance (curtain twitching on standby).

Will a security system lower my home insurance?

In short – it depends. Insurance providers may lower a premium if an appropriate security system is fitted, but there are lots of other factors that need to be considered too; such as location, how good the system is and what kind of property it’s protecting and whether it is maintained. Find out more in our guide: Are security systems worth it and can they reduce my insurance?

Do I get a no claims discount on my home insurance? 

Just like car insurance, no claims discounts are available on home insurance too, so it pays to be selective about what claims are made throughout the year.

Home insurance providers will look at claim history when calculating a premium and the higher the number of claims, then the higher a premium is likely to be. You can find out the finer details in our guide: How do no claims discounts work for home insurance?

How does comparing home insurance save me money?

By switching home insurance you could be saving up to £227, like 10% of our customers**, while getting it out of the way.

Comparing’s a good thing and you can do it right here – so start comparing home insurance and see how much you could save.

**Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during November 2016. 10% of consumers could achieve this saving on their Buildings and Contents insurance with comparethemarket.com

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