This blog is general information only. It isn’t advice, and isn’t an insight into the views of TSB or any of our Partners.
The cost of home insurance premiums across the market has seen a two-year upward trend, with combined buildings and contents premiums rising nearly 5% in 2017 alone. These rises have partly been due to increases in the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT), which has risen three times since 2015, from 6% to 12%.
Making sure you have the right cover in place to protect your home and your belongings remains important, so how can you keep your premiums as low as possible without sacrificing cover? We take a look at some practical tips on what you can do before you next renew.
Practical ways to lower your home insurance
- Combine building and contents together. When people refer to ‘home insurance’, it can mean either buildings insurance or contents insurance. Buildings insurance covers the bricks, mortar, fixtures and fittings of your home, whereas contents insurance covers the things inside your home such as furniture, ornaments, carpets and gadgets.
You don’t need buildings insurance if you rent. But if you own your own home, it is common to have both buildings and contents insurance. It’s often cheaper to get both types of home insurance together from the same provider.
- Increase your excess. The excess is the amount you pay should you make a successful insurance claim. This is typically made up of a compulsory excess (fixed by your provider) and a voluntary excess, which you can either increase or decrease.
By voluntarily agreeing to a higher excess, you will usually get a discount from your insurer. But bear in mind that a higher excess will mean a higher cost to you in the event of a claim – so increasing your excess is cheaper up until the point you make a claim.
- Don’t over-insure (or under-insure!). Spend a few minutes to tot up the total value of your contents. Otherwise, you could be wildly off; if you over-insure you’ll likely be charged a higher premium, while if you under-insure you won’t be fully covered. A tool like Confused.com’s contents insurance calculator can help you work this out.
- Pay annually. Paying your premium every month might be easier for some, but if you can afford it then paying annually is usually the cheapest option.
- Remember your no claims discount. If you’ve not made a claim recently, let your provider know and they may be able to provide a discount. Have your previous insurer’s renewal notice handy, as your new provider may ask for this as proof that you’re eligible for a no claims discount.
- Improve home security. Some providers may give discounts if you have a burglar alarm installed. But beware – not all alarms are created equally and not all of them will result in a discount. Check with your insurance provider if they provide a discount and which types they accept.
- Join Neighbourhood Watch. Neighbourhood Watch is a voluntary community group that aims to bring neighbours together and help prevent crime. If your neighbourhood is part of Neighbourhood Watch or you decide to set it up in your street, some insurance providers do give discounts.
Whether you’re renting or a homeowner, having the right level of home insurance cover will protect you in case the worst happens. Premiums have risen in recent years but, by following a small number of practical tips, you can lower the cost of your insurance in no time.
Everything we publish on Straightforward Money is provided as general information only. It isn’t advice, and isn’t an insight into the views of TSB or any of our Partners.
Please think about getting independent financial advice if you want help with your personal situation.
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