The average home insurance quote has soared by more than a quarter in the past year – the biggest rise seen by insurance expert Consumer Intelligence since it began tracking prices in 2014. A typical homeowner will now spend £329 per year insuring your property, according to the Association of British Insurers.
Comparing prices tends to be the best way to reduce costs. There are also a number of clever tricks that can bring the price down even further. Here are our top 15…
1) Pay your bill annually
You can reduce your premium by paying for your home insurance in one lump sum each year. If you pay monthly, you are actually getting a loan for the full annual amount and you will usually be charged interest. Interest could amount to the equivalent of up to 40 per cent of your annual premium, according to comparison website Uswitch.
2) Increase your excess
When you make an insurance claim, you usually have to cover the first part (known as the deductible) and your insurer takes care of the rest. However, to reduce your premiums, you can voluntarily increase the excess, meaning that if you claim, you will have to pay more yourself.
For example, increasing your excess from zero to £400 could reduce your premium by 25 per cent.
Smart savings: There are a number of clever tricks that can reduce the price of insurance
Helen Phipps, home insurance expert at Compare The Market, says: “You will have to pay both the standard excess and any voluntary excess you add if you make a claim, so make sure you can pay the combined total.”
3) Remove unnecessary extras
Insurers often give you the option of adding extras to your policy, including emergency coverage. Consider whether you really need these add-ons, says Ceri McMillan, insurance expert at Go Compare.
“Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of paying for unnecessary optional extras,” he says. “The best policy for you is the one that gives you the coverage you need at a price you can afford.”
Home emergency protection can add around £40 to your annual insurance bill, while accidental damage protection can increase your premium by around 10 per cent, according to Peter Smits, of insurance broker Ashbourne Insurance.
Check with your bank to make sure you’re not duplicating, as some accounts may include these extras. For example, Lloyds Bank’s Premier account offers home emergency cover.
4) Join the Neighborhood Watch
These plans help reduce domestic crime. If there is less crime in your area, the chance that you will need to file an insurance claim is reduced. Some insurers recognize this and will reduce your premium by up to 5 percent if you are part of the watchdog, says Smits. To join, visit ourwatch.org.uk/joinNW or call 0116 402 6111.
5) Consult administrative charges
Insurers may impose an administration fee to change your policy details, including updating direct debit instructions if you change banks. For example, Esure charges £20 to update your payment details and the Post Office charges a £10 fee to make changes to a policy online. In some cases, paying a small amount more for a policy with lower administration fees will save you money in the long run.
6) Take advantage of your no-claims discount
If you don’t make a claim on your home insurance for 12 months, then you could get a discount on your next premium, Phipps says, adding: “You may be able to pass the discount on if you switch to another provider, so be sure to include this when you receive a quote.’ Depending on your insurer, discounts start at 10 per cent for a claim-free year and can rise to 50 per cent or even more after five years, according to Go Compare.
7) Consult directly with insurers
Comparison websites such as Compare The Market and Go Compare can be useful for comparing prices, but some providers, including Direct Line and NFU Mutual, do not appear on these websites. You should contact insurers directly to check if their premiums are cheaper than others before locking them in through a comparison site.
8) Value your possessions
Be realistic about their value, says consumer expert Martyn James, adding: “Many people overestimate the cost of replacing items, which can increase premiums.”
9) Combine your cover
As a homeowner, you’re likely to need building and contents cover, and buying them together could save around £25 a year on average, according to Go Compare.
10) Keep Tall Trees Under Control
Some insurers will ask if there are tall trees around your home, as they increase the risk of your home’s foundation becoming unstable or your roof becoming damaged.
Homeowners with tall trees around their property spend £87 more on their insurance than those without, according to Confused.com. Make sure trees are pruned, maintained and trimmed periodically if necessary. It costs around £400 to remove a tree, according to the Checkatrade website to find a trader.
eleven) install a safe
Premium Protection: A safe can reduce the cost of securing jewelry
If you own expensive jewelry or a watch, storing it in a safe could reduce your premium. It costs around £150 to fit a small safe.
12) Improve the security of your home
“Home insurance is all about security,” says James. ‘The better your alarm and the more secure your door and window locks are, the cheaper the policy will be. Even changing or adding a lock recommended by your insurer can reduce costs significantly.’
You could save between 2 and 10 percent on your home insurance premium by upgrading your home security systems, according to lock manufacturer Yale Security.
A monitored smart security system, which includes an alarm linked to a security company, costs around £269, plus an additional £293 to install, according to crime data analyst CrimeRate. But you can upgrade your window locks for around £65.
13) Use a free cashback website
Cashback sites give you money back on purchases when you shop online. For example, Quidco will give you £34 if you buy home insurance using their comparison tool, at quidco.com/compare/home-insurance.
14) look for a discount
Healthcare workers and teachers can get a £20 voucher when purchasing a combined buildings and contents home insurance policy at Confused.com or Go Compare pricing.
fifteen) Buy insurance online
Halifax and Lloyds Bank offer a 10 per cent discount if you buy your home insurance online.
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