Brits have been put under increasing financial pressure and unnecessary hardship in recent years, yet now might actually be the best opportunity to cut down on home insurance. National Insurance, council tax, and food and fuel prices have all increased due to the crisis, and experts have warned that the spikes won’t start slowing anytime soon – but those experts have more than a few tricks up their sleeves.
If you haven’t checked your home insurance in a while, now is the time. According to latest figures from trade body the Association of British Insurers, standalone buildings or content insurance prices are the lowest in at least a decade, while combined policies are at the cheapest level in four years.
Looking at Money Saving Expert, founded by finance guru Martin Lewis, we have put together a round up of crucial home insurance tips of which you might want to take note.
The Money Saving Experts’ cheap home insurance system shows you how to cut costs, as proven by Bernard , who emailed in to their website: “I had a renewal quote at £792. After following your steps, I renewed with a new firm for £123 [saving £669] – and it is an actual like-for-like quote. I couldn’t believe it, thanks again.”
Here’s a brief summary of what they suggest to do:
– Contents insurance: beware underinsuring. Imagine your home turned upside down. Contents insurance typically covers everything that’d fall and a few extras.
- Step 1. Establish what cover you need. Everyone, including renters, should consider contents insurance, but buildings insurance is usually only for freehold homeowners (otherwise it’s the management company or landlord’s responsibility).
– Many underinsure, thinking: “I’d never claim more than £10,000 worth”, but if you deliberately only insure half your contents’ worth, you may only get half the payout.
– Buildings insurance: beware over-insuring. This covers the structure of your home, and permanent fixtures and fixings. Many wrongly insure for their home’s market value, but what counts is the ‘rebuild value’ – how much it would cost to rebuild it if it were knocked down.
- Step 2. COMBINE comparison sites for 100s of quotes in minutes. Whichever cover you’re going for, this is the route. Comparison sites zip your info to dozens of insurers and brokers at once. Yet don’t just use one as: 1) They can cover different insurers, and 2) They often have different prices for the same firm.
- They suggest this order: 1) MoneySupermarket*, 2) Confused.com*, 3) Compare The Market* (see how we order it ). These sites are best for those with standard circumstances.
- Step 3. Add in the big insurer that comparisons miss. Biggie Direct Line* doesn’t appear on comparison sites and can be competitive for some, so is often worth checking. It can particularly work for those who want a high amount of cover, or for existing customers who may get an extra discount.
- Step 4. Haggle. If you want to stick with your existing firm, tell it you want to stay, but ask if it can match your cheapest price elsewhere – it will often work.
What do you think of the Money Saving Experts’ tips? Let us know in the comments
- Step 5. Can you get cashback? If you’re a member of one of the two big cashback sites, you can do a comparison through them, but you won’t necessarily get the same prices as with the other comparison sites above, – plus cashback’s not guaranteed. However, once you have found your cheapest insurer via a comparison, also see if buying the specific policy through the cashback site gets you more.
- Step 6. Ensure the policy’s right for you before buying. Go through the main terms to check you’re happy and check the firm you’re buying from is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (that shouldn’t usually be a problem via the methods above). And remember, if you have a problem or claim unfairly rejected, that means you’ve a right to escalate any complaints to the free Financial Ombudsman.