Home insurance cover is an essential purchase for anyone needing to protect their home and possessions from an array of damaging occurrences, including theft, fire, accidental damage and, in some cases, natural disasters. Unfortunately in a recession, many people have been obliged to seek ways to cut their outgoings and home contents insurance policies have been the first to go, unlike buildings insurance which is mandatory for any mortgaged home, as a lender’s condition. This course of action is obviously unwise, due to the risks of damaged possessions and the potential costs of replacement and happily various actions can be taken to keep policies as cost-effective as possible.
All home insurance cover policies are built and customized according to the customer’s specifications and circumstances. ‘Riskier’ customers will pay more for home contents insurance; for example, those who have previous claims histories, who have expensive possessions to insure, who live in certain postcode areas or near rivers with histories of flooding. Customers with a lower risk profile will include those with good credit histories, ‘safer’ postcodes, lower claim coverage amounts and low previous claim histories. Age, family, the condition of your home and those living at the premises will also be factors.
The first tip for getting the best home insurance cover premium is to shop around and the internet is the best place to start. These online supermarkets also tend to offer significant discounts of up to 30% for online purchases. By putting in key details into a price comparison site or supermarket, an immediate range of competitive policies will be returned for selection; according to best need and price. These sites are useful too for highlighting providers who will automatically exclude certain applicant groups (for example specialist insurances, or those for the over 50s, such as Saga). This saves consumers a great deal of time and can offer easy comparison of the best deal.
It is also possible to adjust the affecting factors that make up the resulting premium; for example, by choosing a higher excess amount, a lower overall coverage amount, or by de-selecting other criteria such as legal expenses insurance, hotel or accommodation cover in the case of house damage and other useful services. Even in a recession however, it’s very important for consumers not to cut corners when applying for home insurance cover, being adequately covered is imperative and all information given must be entirely accurate. Failure to do this may lead to automatic invalidation on a later claim, which can be very stressful and upsetting during a difficult period; if not even leading to further investigation and police fraud involvement in serious cases.
For those with specialist items to insure, such as art collections, high value jewelery or specialist business related equipment, regular home insurance cover may not be appropriate and in this case specialist insurances are required. The provider will advise of this at application and may suggest their own departments for more specialist products. It is worth noting that in some cases, loyalty to one provider can pay off, for example some offer discounts for customers who have more than one insurance policy. Equally, some customers will find that regular insurers won’t cover homes with flood histories, near cliff sides, or in areas prone to natural disasters for home contents insurance and again specialist insurers may be recommended.
Once the insurance policy has been determined, paid for and set up, it is important to keep the contact numbers and policy details at hand in case of a claim. Keep receipts and records for key purchases. It is wise to inform your insurer of any significant new purchases during an annual policy period to ensure it is still covered within the home contents insurance provisions. Be prepared too for a visit from the insurance company in the case of a claim, as they will check the circumstances for any high value claims or those affecting properties. Also, ensure that you keep your property in good condition and adhere to any other terms and conditions in the home insurance cover policy document, as these will form part of the contract.
And of course, when the annual policy expires, it’s wise to not simply accept the renewal quote which is unlikely to be competitive. Take the time to shop around, review your circumstances for any changes and ensure you are still getting the right level of home insurance cover, at the right price.
This article was provided by moneysupermarket, the UK’s leading price comparison site. The moneysupemarket home insurance service features a wide range of companies to help UK home owners find the right cover for their home and family quickly and easily.