Millions of cash-strapped British families are leaving themselves vulnerable to financial disaster by failing to take out adequate home insurance.
But getting the buildings insurance and contents insurance that you need doesn’t have to break the bank.
Here, we highlight five things you need to know to help you find the cheapest home insurance – and ensure your family home is properly protected.
1. All your home contents need protecting
Research shows that the average family of four estimates the contents of their home to be worth £25,000.
However, the true value of the belongings in the home of a typical family of this size is actually closer to £55,000.
Should your home contents be destroyed in a fire, you could therefore find your insurance payout to be around £30,000 short.
And even if you do not make a claim for the full amount, the payout you receive could still be reduced.
A claim for £12,000, for example, could be slashed to £9,000 if the total sum insured is found to be 25% less than the actual value of your total belongings.
Before applying for cover, it is therefore a good idea to do a tour of your home noting down everything from clothes to curtains and how much it would cost to replace them.
2. Your valuables may need separate cover
Home contents policies generally stipulate a single item limit that will apply to any claims.
Many standard policies, for example, set the single article limit for valuables at £10,000.
If you have belongings worth more than this, it may therefore be worth considering an extra policy with a specialist insurer such as Hiscox.
You should also get these items revalued on a regular basis to ensure that they are properly protected.
3. The cheapest policy is not always the best
While price is an important factor when buying home insurance, it is far from the only consideration.
Fail to check the level of cover provided, and you could still be left facing a massive bill should something happen to your home.
When shopping around for the best deal on home insurance, it is therefore essential to ensure that you are comparing like-for-like.
4. The excess is the amount you pay towards a claim
You can often choose to raise or lower the voluntary excess – which will be added to the compulsory excess should you make a claim – on your buildings or contents insurance policies.
Going for a higher excess can reduce the cost of your cover, but you will need to have this sum available at all times – just in case.
It is therefore vital to avoid committing yourself to an excess that would prove too large to handle should you need to make a claim.
5. Home security improvements can cut your premium
You can often qualify for discounts – and reduce the chances of being targeted by burglars – by improving your home security.
Options to consider include installing a burglar alarm and fitting doors and windows with insurer-approved locks and hinge bolts.