When it comes to home insurance, we all want to find the level of cover we need at the lowest possible price. And a bit of insider knowledge can make all the difference to the premiums you pay. Here, we let you in on five little-known tricks for cheaper home insurance that should help you crunch the cost of your cover.
1. Take advantage of multi-policy discounts
There are two types of home insurance. Buildings insurance covers the building itself, while contents insurance protects your belongings, including furnishings and electrical goods.
If you are renting, you should only need contents cover. However, you will need both buildings and contents policies if you own your home outright or have a mortgage.
And the good news is that you can usually get a discount if you buy them (and in some cases your car insurance) from the same company.
2. Improve your home security
Many home insurance claims are due to burglaries or break-ins. Most insurers will therefore cut your premium if you take security measures such as fitting insurer-approved window and door locks.
Joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and installing an alarm can also help to reduce your costs.
3. Avoid fire and flood claims
As with car insurance, people who make claims on their home insurance tend to pay more the next time round.
Those who build up a five-year no-claims bonus, on the other hand, get discounts of up to 25%. So it is worth avoiding claims where you can.
You can do this by slashing your fire risk with smoke alarms and by reducing the likelihood of flood damage using pipe and tank insulation that is designed to prevent winter freezing.
4. Pay your premiums annually
You can often choose to pay for home insurance upfront or on a monthly basis. However, while spreading the cost can seem an attractive option, most insurers will charge you interest on your payments.
It is therefore best avoided, unless you are happy to pay up to 10% more over the course of the year.
5. Shop around
Contrary to popular opinion, insurers do not reward loyalty. In fact, their most competitive quotes are often reserved for new customers that they are keen to poach from rival companies.
Shopping around for the best possible deal every time your policy comes up for renewal is therefore probably the most effective of our tricks for cheaper home insurance – especially as you can usually take your no claims discount with you to a new insurer.
Figures show that a typical homeowner could cut his or her home insurance premiums by about £100 a year by searching the market for the best deal when the time comes to renew your policy.