Published: 17/08/2023Home insurance is essential for homeowners, but when living costs are so high it’s worth checking you are not paying over the odds. Here are some tips to make sure you are getting good value from your premiums
If you are worried about rising mortgage repayments and looking for ways to trim your budget, then home insurance may have emerged as a potential candidate for the chop.
The problem is, since it’s obligatory for mortgage borrowers to have home insurance, this is not a cost you can completely slash from your budget.
Instead, why not look for ways to keep the premium low and ensure you are getting the best value for money possible in the future.
According to insurer, Homeprotect, the cost of home insuranceis expected to rise in 2023 due to a rise in subsidence claims, a surge in frozen pipe payouts and the rising costs of building materials and labour.
So, it will be more important than ever to ensure you keeping your premiums down. Here are some money-saving tips which may help…
1. Increase home security
Having good home security can not only guard against burglary but it can also save you money, explained David Joyson, chief customer officer at Homeprotect.
He said: “While your home insurance should cover against loss or damage to your home and its contents, it can be a lengthy process and your premium could rise should you make a claim.
“Take the opportunity to improve your home security by updating door locks or installing security cameras and a burglar alarm. Meanwhile, a security app to control lighting and heating remotely can deter thieves from targeting your home.”
Gravel pathway are another way to deter thieves, Joyson added, as the crunching noise of the gravel attracts attention.
2. Calculate the rebuild costs correctly
It’s worth ensuring your figures are accurate when calculating the rebuild cost of your property. This is how much it would cost in labour and materials to build the property from the ground up if it were to be destroyed.
Joyson said: “Not calculating the costs properly can result in a high premium on buildings insurance, whilst under-insuring will see you out-of-pocket if your home gets damaged beyond repair.”
If you are not sure how to calculate the cost, Joyson advises using theBCIS Rebuild Calculator. This can be used for homes built with brick or stone walls and tile or slate roofs.
For those with homes made with alternative materials or a property which is listed or built before 1850 a charteredsurveyorcan assist in providing an accurate and up-to-date quote every few years.
3. Value your belongings accurately
On the subject of calculating costs, Joyson explained it was just as vital to value your belongings correctly too.
In fact, studies show the average UK home contains around £35,000 worth of goods, so making sure you know how much certain items would cost to replace makes good sense.
“Spend time accurately pricing up the cost of replacing your belongings as-new and according to today’s prices before investing incontents insurance,” he said.
“Over-estimating could result in you paying too much, whereas under-estimating could see you lose money on your personal items when receiving a claim payout.”
4. Join a neighbourhood watch scheme
There are over 2.3 million members of Neighbourhood Watch in England and Wales – a scheme created to reduce crime in communities, Joyson explained.
He added: “For some insurers, being part of such a scheme can be a draw as it lowers the risk of you claiming and can result in them reducing your home insurance premium.”
5. Describe your occupation accurately
“Some professions can prove more high risk than others,” Joyson said. ”So, ensure you’ve got the correct job information on your insurance policy and update your insurer if your situation changes.”
There are also specialist insurance policies for people in high-risk occupations so it could be worth looking into this. Joyson said jobs where people work from home having regular visitors or where they worked nights and left the property empty were most likely to be labelled ‘high risk’.
6. Insulate water pipes
The hassle of having a burst pipe is just as burdensome as the cost. So, it’s a good idea to take precautions against this event occurring.
Joyson said: “While your insurance may cover water damages a standard feature of building insurance, taking reasonable steps like insulating pipes outside your building and in the loft to prevent the issue could help lower your premium.”
7. Get on the electoral roll
If you’ve just taken out a mortgage and gone through the credit checks, this will no doubt be something already on your radar.
If not, then it could be a good idea to check as it can have a positive impact on your insurance application too. Joyson explained some insurance providers used the electoral roll to confirm your identity when performing credit checks.