Don't just renew your home insurance because shopping around can save you money. We have some top tips on getting the best deals in the market in 2018.
While you usually know the value of your home, it's easy to underestimate the value of your personal belongings and other contents in your home. Do you realise how much it would cost to replace them if they were lost, stolen or damaged? Insurance is vital, but prices vary a lot which is why it pays dividends to do some research in order to save money. Comparison sites are useful, but the best-priced deal may not cover everything you want - that's why it always pays to read the small print! To help you, we have put together our top tips for finding the best deals in home insurance - buildings and content.
Types Of Home Insurance?
Home Insurance policies come in 3 main forms. The most basic type is contents insurance which covers your belongings (everything from cash and jewellery to electronics and home appliances). Buildings insurance is designed to cover the building itself as well as the fixtures/fittings inside it. A combined policy will cover both the building and your belongings. If you are a homeowner you should consider a combined policy. If you are a landlord and rent your home to tenants, you should only worry about buildings insurance. If you are a tenant you only need to worry about contents insurance as the responsibility for buildings insurance falls with the landlord.
Check The Coverage
Different people will want different levels and types of cover, so it is important to find out exactly what is covered. A student in rented accommodation will just want cover for possessions, while a homeowner will want appliances, furnishings, fittings and personal items covered. When getting quotations, always compare the levels of cover and confirm what exclusions there are. Do not make assumptions, because some things you think will automatically be covered may be classed as extras, such as cover for accidental damage or cover for personal belongings which are lost, stolen or damaged whilst outside the home. Also ask about the excess, which is the portion of the claim that you have to pay. It is often a minimum of £100, but it’s worth asking whether increasing it would reduce the premiums for the policy. At the same time, ask about no-claims bonuses which could save you money in the long run.
What Should Be Included?
Your home contents insurance policy should cover damage caused by fire, floods, storms and theft. You may have to take out extra cover for accidental loss or damage, which is worth looking into if you have pets, children or a lot of gadgets such as iPads, tablets or phones that are easy to break. Other extras may be for personal belongings lost, damaged or stolen when out of the property, such as cameras, jewellery or phones. Check to see if your policy will cover the contents of your freezer too.
New For Old Cover
You'll also need to see if your policy offers this cover, which means you get the full cost of replacing items rather than what the items are currently worth. This is certainly worth considering if you have expensive televisions, washing machines, kitchen gadgets or computers, for example. Make sure you are fully aware of what the policy is offering to replace, to make sure it is the right deal for you.
Where To Look For Great Deals
Comparison websites are good places to start, but use at least two different ones so you can see different options, because they don't all compare the same insurance companies. If the policy is not right, don't be tempted by the free gifts - even though the soft toy meerkats are so cute! That said, CompareTheMarket is one of the top comparison sites along with GoCompare and MoneySupermarket. Some companies like Direct Line and Aviva do not feature on these sites, so you will need to approach them directly for a quote. Otherwise, an insurance broker or your mortgage provider can help. Your bank, supermarkets and retailers have insurance policies too.
Increase Security To Cut Costs
Your policy could be reduced if you've good household security, such as BSI-approved locks on external windows and doors. Security lighting and joining your local Neighbourhood Watch Schemes could also earn you a reduction. You may need to prove that your home was secure in the event of a burglary, so make a point of checking the locks to your front and back doors, garage doors and windows every now and then. Having a quality burglar alarm and a smoke alarm could also earn a discount. Whilst the reduction in the cost of your home contents policy is unlikely to equal the alarms cost, they are important to have in any case.
Other Ways To Save
Increasing the excess for your policy is an option if you can afford to pay a little more towards the cost of any claims. You may also get a discount by not claiming for a few years, but you will need to check with your insurance company. Also, if you purchase a combined insurance product (buildings + contents) from the same company, they may offer a discount. Having the same insurer may also be less of a problem if there is a fire or flood which affects your home and belongings. If you have the cash, then pay annually rather than monthly, as you will be charged extra by many insurers for monthly payments. Ask if your insurer allows payments to be made by instalments without any extra charges. Also, some insurance companies will promise to beat any other quote, so give them a call.
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