Home insurance renewal


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Everything you need to know about home insurance renewal

When it comes to updating your home insurance policy, how many times have you simply auto-renewed without even thinking about it? We know it’s probably easier, but perhaps it’s about time you asked yourself some of these questions.

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Is my home insurance still fit for purpose?

Just because a home insurance policy was adequate 12 months ago, doesn’t guarantee it’s still fit for purpose when it comes around to renewal time. Life moves on and if the value of your home and its contents increases or decreases, you could find yourself either underinsured or paying over the odds.

Home insurance is there to protect your home and the things inside it – it wouldn’t be much use otherwise. So while price is important, you might not want it to be the overriding factor in deciding what policy to go for. However, renewal time is always a good opportunity to reassess what your policy costs and to make sure you’re getting the right level of cover for the lowest possible price.

How much will my home insurance renewal cost me?

If nothing about your home has changed for the past 12 months, you’d be forgiven for thinking that your renewal price will be roughly the same as last year’s premium. Sadly, though, that’s where you’d be mistaken. Consumer research shows that it pays to be fickle when it comes to insurance and that loyalty is a quality that you won’t benefit from.

If you switch home insurance provider after a year, you could save yourself nearly £40. Switch after five years with the same provider and you could be nearly £80 richer. And if you’ve stayed loyal for nine or more years, then prepare for a £127 windfall – because that’s how much you could save by going elsewhere.

But isn’t auto-renewing easier?

Auto-renewing your home insurance is, of course, easier – but it could be costing you dearly. Previously, unless you were a stickler for keeping old documents (and, more importantly, knowing exactly where you kept them), it was tricky to compare last year’s premium with the auto-renewal price.

But according to new rules from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), insurance providers must now include the cost of last year’s premium on your renewal letter. Hopefully, this will encourage providers to think twice before overinflating premiums, and it should certainly act as an incentive to home owners if there are huge increases.

When is the best time to renew home insurance?

In a perfect world, we’d think about our home insurance throughout the year, tweaking it here and there as and when new items get bought or old ones discarded. In reality, though, that’s unlikely to happen, which is why it’s even more important to spend time thinking about your renewal.

What should I consider when I renew my home insurance?

Some of the key things that need considering when a policy is up for renewal include whether anything might have depreciated or increased in value, or if any new items have been bought.

Valuable family heirlooms like jewellery or antiques might increase in value over the course of a year. And an expensive item may need to be individually specified on an insurance policy if it exceeds the ‘single article limit’.

A single article limit is basically the maximum value that any item can have before it needs to be listed separately. How much that limit is will depend on the policy, and it can vary from £1,000 all the way up to £15,000. So, for example, if the single article limit on your policy was £1,500 and your engagement ring was worth twice that, you’d need to tell your insurance provider (and probably pay a bit more to get it insured).

Also, think about anything new that’s been bought – a new sofa, bed or even a wedding dress – you’ll want to protect all of these, so make sure your policy reflects them. But it’s not just the stuff inside, have there been any external upgrades – a conversion or an extension? Physical changes to your home will also need to be taken into account.

And although it might seem a little unusual, you should also tell your insurance provider if your circumstances have changed. Maybe you’ve had a child or switched jobs in the past 12 months? However trivial these changes might seem to you, you should tell your insurance provider about them as they could have an impact on your policy.

How can I make sure I get my home insurance renewal right?

It’s a lot to think about, but the main thing to consider is whether the policy that’s up for renewal accurately reflects your home as it is right now. Be honest with yourself about whether anything’s increased in value and therefore likely to push up premiums – if it comes to making a claim, you’ll be grateful that you were. Similarly, don’t pay more than you have to by forgetting to take into account depreciation.

Your home insurance isn’t about finding the cheapest deal – it’s about finding the right deal for your circumstances. And if you’re stuck and really don’t know what you should be looking for, then take a look at our home insurance hub where we can help answer your questions.

So, how much could I save by comparing the market?

When you search for home insurance with us, you can be confident about getting a policy to suit you. But it’s not just a question of search and find, we’ll also help you save money too. Half of our customers could save up to £74** and 10% might actually save up to £222***. So, before you auto-renew, shouldn’t you take a look and start comparing

** Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during August 2017. 50% of consumers could achieve this saving on their buildings and contents insurance with comparethemarket.com

*** Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during August 2017. 10% of consumers could achieve this saving on their buildings and contents insurance with comparethemarket.com

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