Home insurance is one of those things many of us pay without giving a second look. But it is something we should look at very carefully. Through inertia, many of us are paying over the odds.
I realised insurance companies like taking us for a ride a few years ago when I looked elsewhere for a new quote after giving my home insurance to the same insurer for over a decade.
For the same amount of cover, my annual premium reduced by almost £200 and the experience was a real eye opener. My old insurer was clearly taking me for granted.
Completing the proposal form alerted me to how easy it is to end up paying too much by way of insurance premiums – for example by taking out cover not needed or taking out too much cover.
Here are 14 easy steps you can take to lower your home insurance bill:
1. Don’t accept the annual renewal quote without going onto price comparison websites to check if you can secure a cheaper premium for the same or better cover.
2. Don’t automatically insure with your bank or mortgage company. They may give the impression that you must insure through them but that is usually not the case and you will probably get cheaper quotes insuring elsewhere.
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3. Combine building and contents cover with the goal of achieving savings through having just one policy.
4. Don’t over insure the building, paying a higher premium than necessary. Try to obtain an accurate rebuilding cost – for instance by speaking to your mortgage lender or a building surveyor. You can also use the online BCIS Public Rebuild Calculator.
5. Don’t take more contents cover than you need. Don’t over-estimate the value of your contents; remember that the value of most goods depreciate with time. The value of electrical products or gadgets can fall rapidly as new models, products and inventions come out.
6. Don’t take out additional cover which realistically you are unlikely to need. For instance, do you really need off-site cover for expensive items like laptops?
7. Avoid double-insurance. For instance, if you have phone insurance with your mobile provider you don’t need it with your home insurance.
8. If you insure high value goods – such as watches and jewellery – which you no longer have, remember to remove them from your cover on renewal.
9. Join a neighbourhood watch scheme where that results in a reduction in your premiums.
10. Fit a burglar alarm and locks of the requisite British Standard to qualify for available premium discounts.
11. Think carefully about making claims. If you make a claim which is not covered, you will not be paid, but a record of your claim will be kept and that could push up premiums in the future.
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12. Describe your occupation accurately; some professionals or trades people are seen as being of higher risk.
13. Consider adding travel cover to your home policy as that may be cheaper than taking out a separate travel policy.
14. If you can afford to do so, pay your premiums annually. That will usually be cheaper than paying monthly.
Do you think there is anything important I have missed? Other readers may benefit from your information. Please leave your comments below.
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Rebel Property Coach
My website is: www.rebelpropertycoach.com