For some people the world of home and contents insurance can be a bewildering minefield of policies and quotes from a list of providers. Making a comparison between what is on offer can make for endless hours of back referencing previous quotes.
In data rounded up by The Poverty Site it has been shown that for the poorest fifth of the UK over half of households do not have contents insurance, an increase on 1999 statistics. This might simply be attributed to the costs involved in taking out cover. However, taking out home and contents insurance doesn’t need to be such an expense or stress. By following some easy steps, you can ensure that you’re getting the best deal.
We teamed up with Leigh Jackson – insurance
analyst at Money Saving Expert – so we could help to de-mystify the world of home and contents insurance and give you the tips and tricks of the business. You can also take a look at our 2013 crime rate map of England and Wales for your police local constabulary by clicking on the map!
“Many consumers wrongly believe that by getting home insurance they are covered for any eventuality but this couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, most standard policies only cover you for limited accidental damage and some providers only cover expensive items, such as laptops and jewellery, if they are specifically listed in your policy.”
What ways can people reduce the cost of their contents insurance? (Any top tips?)
Obviously, consumers can cut their costs by using comparison sites; however there are other, less well known, tricks that can help you save big on your cover. Firstly, insurers will give better prices for more secure homes so installing a secure lock – like a five lever mortice deadlock – will pay for itself and lower your costs.
Secondly, some insurers charge more than 30% APR if you decide to pay monthly rather than annually, so paying upfront – if you can afford to – can dramatically lower rates. Thirdly, tweak your excess. If you are willing to pay a bit more in the event of a claim increase your compulsory excess and watch your premiums fall.
Finally, never auto-renew. Insurers offer the best deals to new customers, punishing existing customers with higher rates for failing to challenge them. Compare comparison sites and then call your insurer to see if it can match, or even beat, the best quote you found.
Leigh’s Top Tips
“Try to pay your costs upfront if possible”
“Never auto-renew your cover”
“Tweak your excess”
“Ensure you have secure door locks and window locks”
“To avoid any unwanted surprises – read the terms and conditions to make sure you know what’s covered”
Do we need both home and contents insurance?
The type of cover you need to buy depends on whether you rent or you own your home Homeowners and landlords need to have buildings cover, while contents cover is something everyone should buy. If you rent you will only need contents cover.
What are the contributing factors to the cost of someone taking out home and contents insurance?
There are many elements which contribute to the cost of home and contents cover. When insurers set your premium they will look at a number of factors to help them make their decision, such as the area you live in, whether you have claimed in the past and how secure your home is. In addition, the cost of you cover will also be impacted by the value of your contents, the amount It would cost to rebuild your home and the voluntary excess you set.
Are there any pitfalls that people should watch out for when taking out cover?
Many consumers wrongly believe that by getting home insurance they are covered for any eventuality but this couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, most standard policies only cover you for limited accidental damage and some providers only cover expensive items, such as laptops and jewellery, if they are specifically listed in your policy.
The main pitfall to buying home insurance is that is not well understood. Customers should read the terms and conditions of their policies carefully before they decide to buy to avoid facing a shock when it is time to claim.
Of course people would hope that insurance claims never have to be used in the first place. The most obvious way to prevent this is to secure your home; particularly if you live in an area which burglaries are more prevalent.