Advice on renewing your home insurance
It may be tempting to save time and effort by just renewing your home contents or building insurance with the same provider when it’s due. However, if you don’t review your policies every year you could not only miss out on a better deal but may even end up being underinsured.
Reviewing your home insurance policies is vital if, like many people these days, you need to reduce your living costs. Figures from the ONS Living Costs and Food Survey 2009 show that half of the poorest households in the UK do not have home contents insurance. Not insuring your home and/or its contents is very risky as you could lose everything in a devastating fire or flood, as recent media reports of widespread flooding in the UK have shown.
The home insurance market is very competitive so you should shop around. It’s very likely that you can get a deal from another insurance company with the same level of cover, or better, for less money than your existing one.
More for less
The fastest and easiest way to search for the best deal on home insurance is to let an online comparison site like comparethemarket.com do all the work for you. Simply fill in your details once on the site and the search engine will look for a range of available deals for you to check out. Yes, it really is that simple to get details and prices of home insurance policies from several major providers in a few minutes.
Getting the right amount of cover
One of the main reasons for reviewing your home insurance regularly is to make sure you have the right amount of cover. Many homeowners don’t realise that they only need buildings insurance cover that is equal to the rebuilding cost of their home and not its market value. Taking out more insurance than you need is just a waste of money.
On the other hand you must also make sure that you’re not underinsured. Don’t be tempted to insure your home or contents anything under the true value to save money on insurance. In the event of a disaster, you would not receive enough money from the insurer to cover the cost of rebuilding your home and replacing all your possessions.
Acquiring or disposing of high value items
You definitely need to review your contents insurance if you have acquired any high-value items (e.g. antiques, computers, home entertainment systems, jewellery) since the last time you took out home contents insurance. Otherwise these new valuables may no longer be adequately covered under your existing policy.
Likewise, if you no longer have an expensive item, you may be able to save money when your contents policy is due for renewal by reducing the total amount your valuables are insured for.
Major home improvements
If you have converted your loft or built and extension to the property, you will have to review your level of buildings insurance cover to take into account the increased area and possible added rebuilding cost.
If you’ve recently upgraded your security by installing a burglar alarm, stronger approved locks, external lighting, wired smoke detectors – or even got a dog – you could be entitled to a discount on home insurance. Just remember to enter your upgraded security details when filling in the online form.