Your home and its contents are probably the most expensive assets you own, so insuring these assets is a necessity. As with all expenditure, it is important that you get value for money and reduce your outgoings whenever possible. For more information on home insurance and how it works, read our article 'What is home insurance?'.
In this article, we share some great tips for saving money on your buildings and contents insurance.
Shopping around is one of the easiest ways to save money on your buildings and contents insurance as you can compare the cost of multiple policies at once to find the best deal. A comparison site allows you to input your details and get a series of quotes from several policies across a range of insurers. We have partnered with Quotezone* so that you can search and compare quotes from over 40 UK home insurance providers.
Make sure, however, that you compare like for like by checking the policy details offered by each insurer. It is also advisable to compare quotes using more than one comparison site as the sites are not always whole of market meaning you may be missing out on a good deal elsewhere. You may also wish to get quotes from providers that aren't on comparison sites, such as Direct Line.
Buy a combined buildings and contents policy
Although buildings and contents policies are sold separately it makes sense to purchase a combined policy with the same insurer as you may benefit from a discounted deal. In addition, if you do need to make a claim on both your buildings and contents at the same time it will be dealt with by just one company, making the whole process simpler and, hopefully, quicker. Before purchasing a combined policy it is still a good idea to compare the cost of separate policies to see if you can save additional money on the premium cost.
Insure your property for the correct amount
You should insure your property for the cost of rebuilding the property if it was totally destroyed, not its market value. The rebuild cost should be lower than the current market value as it will not include the value of the land that your property is built on. To get an idea of your property's rebuilding cost, try this useful rebuilding cost calculator. Over-insuring your property will only increase your premiums but will not provide a bigger payout if you claim.
Ensure your contents insurance is adequate
With contents insurance, you are covering everything that you would take with you if you moved. It is important that you insure for the correct sum, as it is very easy to underestimate the value of your contents. Just think of your house right now and mentally walk through each room making a rough calculation of the value of the contents in each room. Don't forget, you must include furniture, electronic equipment, clothes and all your garden equipment as well. If you carry out this calculation you may be surprised at the total value of your contents. Here is a useful home contents calculator that will make this job easier.
Only pay for what you need or want
There are many extras, such as legal costs, accidental damage and cover for contents taken outside the home, that insurers will add to their policies and charge an extra premium. Go through these additions and work out the extra cost then only pay for the cover that you need or want.
Increase your excess
Insurance companies will always have a compulsory excess included in their policies, this is the amount the policyholder must pay on every claim. You may have the option to increase this excess by paying a voluntary excess amount which can reduce the premium you pay. Remember, this excess is payable on each and every claim so make sure that it is an affordable amount.
Pay your premiums annually
If you choose the monthly payment option the insurer may charge you an additional fee for interest on your premium payments. Paying annually can therefore save you money but it can be quite expensive to pay the premium at once. Damien explains why you should pay your insurance premium annually in the following video:
It is common for insurance companies to want to auto-renew your insurance policy once it is up for renewal but you may be able to get a cheaper policy elsewhere. Make a note of when your home insurance policy is due for renewal to shop around for a cheaper deal and you may be able to call your existing insurer to see if they will match the best quote.
Secure your home
Insurers may consider giving discounts to customers who have fitted a burglar alarm and secure locks on all external doors. Although changing the locks on doors is an extra expense you will soon recoup this cost in reduced premiums, as well as have a more secure home. Contact your insurance company before fitting a burglar alarm or new locks to make sure you fit a recognised brand that will qualify for a discount.
Join a neighbourhood watch scheme
Insurers may consider a discount for customers who are members of their local neighbourhood watch scheme. Additionally, if you join a scheme you will often receive regular newsletters updating you on crimes in your area together with useful contact numbers.
What to do if you're struggling to pay your home insurance
If you are finding it hard to manage your monthly home insurance payments consider creating a budget to see if you can cut back on any unnecessary spending to help cover the cost. We have a free budget planner that can help you to get started.
You can also contact your home insurance provider as they may be able to offer you additional support such as an agreed repayment plan, provide alternative cover or allow you to temporarily make reduced payments. If possible, you should avoid cancelling your home insurance policy as you will not be covered if your property or its contents are damaged or destroyed.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with debt and money struggles there are a number of charities that offer free debt help and advice. We list some of these below.
Websites and charities to get free debt help and advice:
- Citizens Advice
- MoneyHelper (formally the Money Advice Service)
- National Debtline
- The money charity
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses or take advantage of any exclusive offers - Quotezone