Should I shop around for a better home insurance deal?Posted on: 03 November 2009 by Mark O'haire
Property expert Laura Henderson offers helpful hints and tips to cut your home insurance costs.
We’re looking to trim back on our household bills and friends have suggested shopping around for a better deal on our house insurance – are we likely to get it any cheaper elsewhere?
Laura Henderson says:
Mortgage lenders have a reputation for charging hefty commissions on home insurance policies although adverse press coverage in recent years has stamped out the worst excesses of this practice.
Compare what’s on the market on sites like moneysupermarket.com and gocompare.com. Firms apply different underwriting criteria when assessing home cover quotes, so make sure you’re comparing like for like on both building and contents insurance.
Building Insurance - don’t make the mistake of supplying the market value of your home to the insurer, rather than the amount it would cost to rebuild your home from scratch (the market value is much higher). To find your rebuild costs, simply refer back to your original mortgage documents or to one of the many property comparison websites which offer a special conversion table produced by BCIS the Building Cost Information Service or you can register direct with www.bcis.co.uk to access their quick-check online service.
Contents Insurance – fit a burglar alarm, approved window locks and smoke detectors and you could shave as much as 5% off your premium. The same applies to time-switch lights and outdoor security lighting.
Covering your possessions for accidental damage known as “all risks extension” will add a sizeable chunk to your premium. So, if you’re unlikely to go through the rigmarole of claiming for wine stains on your beloved shag pile or casserole burns on the kitchen work surface, then leave this off.
Many companies now offer a no-claims discount for ‘careful’ policyholders – the fewer the claims, the lower your premium. If it’s a small claim, it’s often better to settle this yourself than claim on your insurance, as it will up your premium for the ensuing year.
Bottom Line: Home insurance is a highly competitive market and companies will work hard to win your custom – make the most of it.
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