Home Insurance Tips & Advice
Home Insurance Policy
With the economy in a bit of a pickle and none of us having much spare cash around, many home owners are looking to save every penny they can and for some this means cancelling their home insurance policy. Leaving your home with no insurance cover isn't something I would suggest doing and it could prove very costly. If your pipes burst and flooded your home could you really afford to replace everything and where would you stay while the workmen were carrying out repairs? Everyone would be best advised to have at least a basic home insurance policy but it doesn't have to cost the earth.
When your receive your insurance policy reminder documentation through the door don't look at the renewal figure and start to panic that it has increased in price since last year. Instead have a look through the policy and compare it with last years details. Has the insurance company added anything you didn't ask for. Times are not just hard for us, business is also trying to milk every last penny out of us and that sometimes means giving you extra cover on your policy that you never asked for.
Once you have looked through the policy start looking at what you could possibly do without. How good is the protection and sickenss cover, do you need a policy that covers taken away from the home and are you sure you need accidental damage cover?
What about that excess cover, could you offer to increase your excess and bring that total premium due down even more. What about other insurances, do you have motor or life insurance with the same company, if so surely you deserve a reduction and have you remembered to tell them about your alarm, security locks or if you belong to a neighbourhood watch scheme. Do as much as you can to get those premiums to a minimum and use sites like Best Insurers which are full of valuable advice, tips and information.
When you have decided what you can do with and without call the company back and get a revised price. With your revised price shop around and see if anyone can offer you a cheaper deal. Never believe the 'valuable customer' offers, you are just another person who they want to extract as much money from as possible. Insurance is business, do not ever believe that an insurance company really cares about the little guy in the street.
Keep Those Claims Down
Are you accident prone, do insurance companies rub their hands with delight when they receive your details. Insurance companies all have access to one large data base showing them what kind of customer you have been in the past.
Many insurance policies have what is known as excess cover, this means you are liable for the excess amount. If your excess was £100 and your repair bill was £150 then the insurance company will only pay out £50. Check your excess and make sure you are not bumping your premiums up for the sake of a small claim.
If you have made several claims they will know and you will be classed as a high risk. Fewer or no claims and you might even be rewarded with a special discount package. Insurance companies love taking your premiums but it is always going to hurt them when you have to make a claim against them.
Make sure you are not accident prone like old Daffy Duck below and keep those claims down, you never know when you might be needing to make a major claim for something beyond your control.
Don't Be Accident Prone
Secure Your Home
This is one of the simplest ways to reduce your home insurance premiums. Good quality insurance approved locks on all doors and windows and even an intruder alarm system will pay for itself in reduced premiums within 3 years. If you live in a hot spot and high crime rate area there isn't much you can do about it apart from move.
Fitting good locks and joining a neighbourhood watch scheme will make your home safer and it will reduce your insurance premiums considerably. In the UK you should have at least a fiver lever mortice deadlock conforming to BS 3621.
Ensure You Have Adequate Cover
In the opening text we looked at the amount of cover you do or don't need, I feel it is important to stress that while it is good to save as much money as possible it is equally important not to cut too many corners and leave yourself under insured.
Go around your home with a pen and paper and write down everything each room contains from curtains to carpets. Don't forget to include decorating costs, shoes, clothing and any personal belongings of any value. Write each item down and then add it all up, this is the figure you should be insured for when looking for contents insurance.
Buildings insurance is a little different as it is based on the cost to rebuild your home, not the cost you might have paid for it. In a worse case scenario of your house burning down to the ground, you would need to be insured against the rebuild cost, you already own that piece of land that your home is built on.
To work this value out I would suggest speaking to a chartered surveyor or search the internet for an online calculator.