15 must-know tips for cheaper home insurance

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15 must-know tips for cheaper home insurance

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Grillagh Water:  Houses by Patrick Bradley Architects,
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Don't go thinking that home insurance is something you can live without, as it really isn't! We know that it can cost a significant amount, but there are a host of ways to get a far better deal, while still getting the full coverage that you want and need, which is why we've collated some top tips together for you, right here! The key is to not get bombarded by your mortgage lender or estate agent, so that you simply plump for their chosen partner, as that will very rarely get you the best deal. But for even more handy hints, come and take a look at our advice! After all, watch the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves!

1. Try to pay annually.

New life for a 1920s home - extension and full renovation, Thames Ditton, Surrey:  Houses by TOTUS,
TOTUS

New life for a 1920s home—extension and full renovation, Thames Ditton, Surrey

TOTUS

As with any insurance premium, if you opt to pay for it all in one hit, as apposed to spread out in monthly installments, you will pay significantly less, as you're not entering into a credit agreement with your insurer. Even if you pop it all on a 0% credit card and then clear the balance, you'll be saving.

2. Buy building and contents insurance together.

You should always take our buildings and contents insurance, but combining them into one policy will usually result in a smaller premium, less hassle and a more straightforward process. 

3. Increase your voluntary excess.

Schoolmasters eco house:  Houses by build different,
build different

Schoolmasters eco house

build different

This is something to carefully weigh up. If you feel that you are unlikely to ever call on your insurance and could definitely afford your excess in the event of a claim, by all means increase your voluntary excess amount. This will lower your premium for sure, but watch out, as you'll have the compulsory excess to pay as well, should the worst happen.

4. Pay for the right level of cover.

So many of us get the levels of cover wrong, when calculating our insurance premiums. Try to get a realistic quote for rebuilding your home and assess your valuables realistically. Don;t think that you should have more cover than you need, as in the event of a claim, you'd have to prove the value of the items lost!

5. Only pay for what you need.

The trappings of insurance are far reaching, especially in terms of all the extra products that are offered to you, but don't get fooled into taking out things you don't need! Gadget insurance, extra key cover and the like will all significantly increase your premium and you really don't them!

6. No-claims discount.

Don't forget about your no-claims discount when looking for a new premium! Every year that you don't make a claim, you'll be accruing extra discounts and don't forget to disclose them!

7. Protect against house fires.

Own Self build:  Houses by Xspace,
Xspace

Own Self build

Xspace

Taking a simple step, such as fitting smoke alarms in your kitchen, will significantly lower your insurance premiums, as you are taking a proactive approach to preventing damage to your home. Also, don't be tempted to lie if you smoke in your property, as you could invalidate your premium in the event of a fire!

8. Improve your home security.

Wickham House:  Houses by C7 architects,
C7 architects

Wickham House

C7 architects

Similar to fitting smoke alarms, beefing up your home security will have a very positive effect on your insurance premium. Locking windows and multi-lock doors will all add a lot of security and a comprehensive alarm system will make a significant difference too. If you choose modern solutions, which connect to phone apps, your insurance company will automatically lower your premium. 

9. Join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Harefield Road:  Houses by Gruff,
Gruff

Harefield Road

Gruff

If your residential area is covered by a neighbourhood watch scheme, be sure to join it! This will give your home extra protection, even if you're away and will reduce your premiums.

10. Maintain your property.

A home that is in good working order will always cost less to insure than a run-down property. This is because you will be at lower risk of burst pipes, electrical fires or drainage issues. If you can prove that your home is maintained professionally, be sure to disclose the fact to potential insurers and watch your premium fall.

11. Avoid business use of your home.

This might not be possible if you are self-employed, but by negating any business use of your home, you won't have to pay extra to cover equipment and potential loss of earnings, in the event of a claim. 

12. Think about who you live with.

Did you know that who you live with can affect your claim? For example, if anyone in the house has a criminal record, this will drastically affect your premiums, so if you have housemates or tenants, be sure to vet them really carefully and make sure family members are on their best behaviour!

13. Think about where you live.

You can't help it if your area has a high crime rate, but this should be a factor that you accounted for, when buying your property. If you are in a risky area, always look to account for the location by increasing your security, as we have already suggested!

14. Pay attention to administration charges.

Administration charges can have a massive impact on your insurance prices, so be sure to always read the small print! You might find that you have stumbled on a really competitive quote, but if every change you need to make will incur extra charges, you might be paying over the odds!

15. Shop around for the right quote.

Plot 2 Durward Gardens, Kincardine O'neil, Aberdeenshire:  Houses by Roundhouse Architecture Ltd,
Roundhouse Architecture Ltd

Plot 2 Durward Gardens, Kincardine O'neil, Aberdeenshire

Roundhouse Architecture Ltd

As you begin to accrue no-claims bonuses, it can be tempting to simply renew existing insurance policies, but ALWAYS shop around to make sure that you are getting the very best deal possible. Comparison websites make it simple to see what you could be paying for similar cover, but you can also phone around and approach independent brokers for quotes as well. Insurance companies rely on you not looking for a better deal, in order to avoid hassle, but a quick yearly check will make sure that you aren't paying over the odds.

For some extra home security tips, take a look at this Ideabook: Locking down your home security.

Are you going to shop around for your home insurance now?
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