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Better Home Insurance Renewals

For many of us, insurance is easily put off until later. Home insurance is often one of those and even when it’s taken out, it’s easy to be a little oblivious to the details of what the cover is, let alone being able to make a like for like comparison between alternative providers. So how can you make it easy and get the best deal?
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How can I pick the right home insurance policy?

Choosing the best home insurance policy means thinking about quite a number of things. Here’s a few steps to think about before you settle on the right policy for you:

  • What do you need? Determine what coverage you require for your home. Consider the value of your property, contents, and any specific risks you want to protect against, such as flood or accidental damage
  • Compare multiple providers: Look into different insurance providers to compare their coverage options, policy terms, and pricing. You could consider both well-known insurers and smaller companies that may offer competitive rates
  • Read policy documents: You should read carefully the policy documents for each insurance provider you're considering. Pay attention to coverage limits, exclusions, deductibles, and any additional features or benefits offered
  • Understand coverage options: Home insurance typically includes buildings insurance (which covers the structure, subsistence etc) and often contents insurance (which covers personal belongings). You’ll need to decide on the appropriate level of cover for both buildings and contents
  • Consider additional coverage: Some insurance policies offer optional add-ons, such as legal expenses cover, accidental damage cover, or personal possessions cover away from the home. Decide whether you need any of these extras and evaluate the associated costs
  • Check the reviews: Look for reviews or ratings of insurance providers left by other customers to gauge the provider’s reputation for customer service and claims handling. Websites like Trustpilot or independent consumer forums can provide insights from other policyholders
  • Seek recommendations: Ask friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations on insurance providers with which they have had positive experiences. Good personal recommendations can help narrow down your choice
  • Compare premiums: Get quotes from several providers for the same level of coverage and compare premiums. Ensure you're comparing like-for-like policies to make an accurate comparison
  • Check policy limits: Pay attention to coverage limits for both buildings and contents insurance. Ensure the limits are enough to cover the potential cost of rebuilding your home or replacing your belongings in case of a total loss
  • Evaluate excess amounts: Excess is the amount you'll have to pay out of pocket towards any claim. Consider the excess amounts for different policies and choose one that aligns with your budget
  • Look for discounts: Some insurers offer discounts for security measures like burglar alarms or home security systems. Check if any discounts are available and factor them into your decision-making
  • Consider the claims process: Research how each insurance provider handles the claims process. Look for information on the ease of filing claims, response times, and customer satisfaction levels
  • Seek professional advice: If you're unsure about any aspect of home insurance, consider consulting an independent insurance broker who can provide personalised advice based on your specific needs.

The "best" policy will depend on your individual circumstances and requirements. Take the time to compare options, understand the coverage, and select a reputable insurer that meets your needs at a reasonable price.

How is the cost of home insurance calculated?

The cost of home insurance in the UK is determined by several factors considered by insurers. While specific formulas and weighting may vary between insurance providers, here are some common factors that influence the cost:

  • Rebuilding cost: The cost to rebuild your home is a significant factor in determining your insurance premium. Insurers assess the size, construction type, and location of your property to estimate the rebuilding cost, which includes materials, labour, and associated expenses
  • Contents value: The value of your belongings, including furniture, appliances, electronics, and personal possessions, affects the cost of contents insurance. Higher-value contents will typically result in higher premiums.
  • Location: Your property location plays a big role in determining your insurance cost. Insurers consider factors such as crime rates, proximity to water sources (for flood risk), and environmental hazards (like subsidence or landslides) that may increase the likelihood of a claim
  • Security measures: The level of security in your home can affect the premium. Security measures such as burglar alarms, window locks, security cameras, and smoke detectors can reduce the risk of theft or damage, leading to lower premiums
  • Policy coverage and limits: The level of coverage and the policy limits you choose also affect the premium. Higher coverage limits or additional optional coverage (for example, accidental damage or personal possessions cover) may increase the premium
  • Excess amount: The excess is the amount you agree to pay towards a claim before the insurance company covers the remaining cost. Typically, higher excess amounts result in lower premiums, as you bear a larger share of the risk
  • Claims history: Your past claims history can influence the cost of insurance. If you have a history of making claims, insurers may consider you a higher risk and increase your premium accordingly
  • Policyholder information: Personal details such as age, occupation, and credit history can also impact insurance premiums. For example, younger policyholders or those with occupations deemed higher risk (For example, entertainers or professional athletes) may face higher premiums
  • No-claims discount: Insurers often offer a discount on premiums for policyholders with no recent claims. The discount typically increases each year without a claim, encouraging policyholders to maintain a good claims history.

Each insurance provider may weigh these factors differently and may have their own proprietary algorithms for calculating premiums.

How can I save money on home insurance?

If you're looking for a better deal on your home insurance, here are twenty ways to save:

  1. Shop around: Obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers to compare prices and coverage options. Don't settle for the first quote you receive. Use comparison websites or consider contacting insurers directly to get the best deal
  2. Increase your excess: Opting for a higher excess amount can lower your premium. However, make sure you can afford to pay the excess in the event of a claim
  3. Bundle your policies: If you have multiple insurance needs, consider bundling them with the same provider. Some insurers offer discounts for combining buildings, contents, car and other types of insurance policies
  4. Improve home security: Enhancing the security measures in your home, such as installing burglar alarms, window locks, or security cameras, can reduce the risk of theft or damage. Many insurance providers offer discounts for these security upgrades
  5. Join the community: Join a neighbourhood watch scheme to demonstrate community security
  6. Increase your home's safety features: Adding smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors can make your home safer and potentially lower your premium
  7. Pay annually: Paying your premium in a lump sum annually, instead of monthly instalments, can sometimes result in a lower overall cost
  8. Get a no-claims discount: Maintaining a claim-free record over time can lead to a no-claims discount. The longer you go without making a claim, the higher the potential discount you may receive. Choose an insurer that takes ‘no claims’ into account
  9. Review your coverage: Regularly review your insurance policy to ensure you have the appropriate coverage for your needs, and no more. Avoid over-insuring by accurately estimating the rebuilding cost and value of your contents
  10. Avoid unnecessary add-ons: Be cautious about purchasing optional extras that you don’t need. Assess each add-on's value and relevance to your circumstances before including them in your policy
  11. Increase home maintenance: Regularly maintaining your property, such as fixing leaks, updating wiring, or replacing old roofs, can lower the risk of damage and potentially result in lower premiums
  12. Pay attention to renewal quotes: Don't automatically renew your policy without reviewing the renewal quote. Insurers may increase premiums at renewal, so it's essential to compare prices
  13. Always negotiate: Even if you stay with your current insurer, negotiate a better deal, especially if you can demonstrate that you’ve found a better price somewhere else. Make them fight to keep you
  14. Check for membership discounts: Some insurance companies offer discounts for members of certain organisations, such as professional associations or alumni groups. Check if you qualify for any membership discounts
  15. Upgrade your home: improve your home's roofing and insulation to reduce the risk of weather-related damage
  16. Book a house-sitter: Use a reputable company to provide a house-sitter when you’re away, so the home is never empty
  17. Quit smoking: non-smokers may receive lower premiums due to the reduced fire risk
  18. Leak detection: Install water leak detection devices to mitigate the risk of water damage
  19. Keep good credit: Maintain a good credit score, as some insurers consider it when determining premiums.
  20. Loyalty discounts: Look for insurers (if you can find one!) that offer loyalty discounts for long-term policyholders

It's important to save money, especially these days in the UK, but you also should make sure that you have adequate coverage to protect your home and belongings. Balancing affordability with the right level of protection is key.

How can I get better insurance renewals?

Our most recent innovation, Rightly Save, enables you to make a big improvement to how you renew your insurance every year. We’ll find all your insurance policies and present them to you in a single place, complete with renewal dates and the type of policy.

Then we’ll set up automatic reminders so you get a notification of an upcoming renewal at the time when you’re most likely to get the best deal. The reminders will give you plenty of notice of all your insurance renewals, whether for car, home, travel, pet or any others you may have forgotten about. That way you’ll have a chance to find a better deal before the company rolls you into a new year and a new price which you may not have had time to look at until it’s already done.

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