Cheaper Home Insurance Premiums
Home insurance is a very competitive market and generally in return for the value of the risk covered, most premiums offer very good value. There are however certain things that can be done to reduce premiums further.
Reduce Home Insurance
Obtaining a quote for your property will have been based on your unique set of circumstances. Making your circumstances more favourable to insurers will reduce their perception of the risk and any loads that have been put on your premium could be reduced or removed.
- Check your property meets modern security standards-
Insurers base their premiums on the level of risk they feel they are covering. By conforming to modern security standards and making your home as safe and secure as possible insurers will usually discount their premium. It is important to ensure that all windows and doors have locks. External doors should have five-lever mortise deadlocks (British Standard BS3621) and all accessible windows should have key-operated windows locks. Fire alarms are essential in your home whether you insure your house or not. However insurers will often ask whether you have these and may incorporate this into the premium.
- Fit fire alarms and reduce fire associated risks-
Fire alarms are essential for your own safety and can sometimes reduce your home insurance, remember however if you state you have them, you must remember to keep them in working order or this may invalidate your insurance if subjected to a claim.
- Have an alarm installed-
Having a Burglar or intruder alarm, especially those that are NACOSS- approved will install great confidence with insurers and an area where you are likely to be able to reduce the premium by going above and beyond the minimum security requirements.
- Maintain trees close to the property-
If you have trees or shrubs over several metres high within 3 metres of the property it will usually be an insurance requirement that these trees are maintained. Also always employ a qualified professional to remove or maintain trees and shrubs as accidents caused by maintenance are not often covered under standard policies.
- Install a safe for high-value items-
If you have and list high value possessions such as jewellery on your insurance policy then it is usually worth having a safe installed. There are sometimes good discounts available for doing this and should pay for itself in time as well as provide that extra piece of mind for both you and your insurer.
- Join a neighbourhood watch-
Becoming part of a neighbourhood watch can sometimes reduce the premium offered by an insurer although the discount for this will usually be very small if any. The real benefit of joining such a scheme is the knowledge and advice offered by such a committee which in turn may decrease the chances of you being burgled and thus less likely to claim (maintaining a no claims bonus).
Finding cheaper House and Buildings Insurance
There are many insurance companies offering a number of different insurance products for house and buildings insurance. Below are a few tips that will help you to make savings which can affect premiums when choosing house insurance:
- You do not have to insure your property with your mortgage provider-
It is not a legal requirement to have buildings insurance but mortgage lenders will often require it to be in place when you can take out a mortgage. They may offer you their own insurance policy so you can tie it neatly in with the mortgage seamlessly. However it is worth looking around as you may find other competitors to be far cheaper and offer a more comprehensive product.
- Compare the amount of excess applicable to the policy (the first amount you pay of any claim) –
Most insurance policies have a standard excess rate to deter policy holders from making claims for small items or incidents that are although covered under the policy and therefore claimable, are not really what the policy is intended for. The rate of excess an insurer requires can vary and when comparing what different policies have to offer, the excess rate is something that should be looked at. Some insurers offer low competitive annual rates for their product but they may set their standard excesses considerably high as well ! The excess can also vary depending on what a potential claim is related to, for example excess for subsidence is usually higher than for the standard excess for the rest of the policy. It’s always worth looking at the ‘small print’ when comparing insurer policies.
- Increase voluntary excess-
You can make savings by increasing your excess voluntarily, most insurers give you this option and in return discount your premium. Note though that voluntary excesses are in addition to the insurer’s standard excess. So when you want to make a claim the total excess will be standard and voluntary excess added together.
- Combine buildings and contents-
Insurers normally offer discount when you combine insurance cover together such as buildings with contents and also more convenient having a combined renewal date on a single policy. It is worth however, getting a quote for both insurance types together and separately as different insurers assess the risk differently and set their premiums accordingly.
- Insure only at the level needed-
The key to finding the right insurance is to know exactly what you want to insure, the cover required and correct level to insure at. Many insurers can be quite flexible with their policies so it is to your advantage to know what values you want covered without estimating. This avoids paying higher premiums than necessary which on a year-on-year basis can soon add up.
- Give yourself time to look around for cover when choosing which house insurance-
The insurance market is hugely competitive and each insurer will offer different benefits and premiums for their product. Look at your insurance needs as early as possible and if possible give yourself time to assess what insurers have to offer. It is important to not instantly go for the cheapest quote before assessing the quality of the policy they are offering. If possible ask for the associated policy wording and look at the ‘small print’. What will they cover you for?, what will they not cover you for?, what are the limitations and excesses for the cover? The cheapest cover isn’t necessarily the best value and important areas of cover are sometimes stripped down or removed completely to offer the premiums derived at. At the same time the most expensive premium quotes don’t necessarily offer the most comprehensive cover for your needs, look around and make sure the insurance quote you finalise offers you the best all round value whilst still covering all your specific needs. Although comparison websites profess to do the looking around for you, some insurers are not represented here, they offer cheaper quotations if you go to them directly, as they do not have to pay the comparison web sites for the introductions. Also, do not forget that your local high street insurance brokers are still there and offer good and personal service and can be cheaper than buying policies on line.
- Pay the premium in full-
This is often cheaper than paying by direct debit on a monthly basis so it is often worth finding out the details of a direct debit alternative.