Use these tips to help save on your home insurance premiums.
1. Increase your excess
The excess is the initial part of a claim that you must pay and is a standard feature of all insurance policies. If you lower the excess it is often one of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of your premiums and it can make a surprisingly big difference. Remember to keep your excess at an affordable level so that you can cover this initial cost of any claims.
2. Focus on the cost of rebuilding
Insurance is designed to cover the cost of replacing an item rather than the original cost. If you can make do with a cheaper alternative than the original item, you may be able to reduce the overall policy value, which in turn will help you save on home insurance premiums.
Similarly, for major rebuilding work remember that the market value of the property and land will not be the same as the rebuilding cost. The land won’t be stolen so if you’re rebuilding you only have to worry about costs such as demolition, professional fees, labour and materials that would be needed to rebuild your home to its previous condition.
3. Protect your home
Insurance companies will often give discounts of five per cent or more to homeowners who have installed fire alarms, smoke detectors, or burglar alarms. Securing doors with dead bolt or 5-lever mortice deadlocks will also help, as will belonging to a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. If you have lockable windows this can also help to reduce insurance costs. As a tip, it may be worth contacting your insurance company to see which burglar systems will qualify for a discount, as not all do.
4. Do an annual check
Evaluate the possessions that your insurance policy covers on an annual basis to make sure that you have the right level of cover for your needs. If your belongings are worth less now than the year before or you could replace them more cheaply then you may be able to reduce the value of your policy.
5. Pay annually
Insurance providers will give you the option of paying for premiums monthly rather than annually and this can be tempting because it spreads the cost of the policy over twelve months. However, the total cost of monthly premiums is usually much higher than would be the case for a one-off payment, as the insurance company is effectively giving you a loan. The APR can be anywhere between 20 and 40 per cent, which is more expensive than most credit cards.
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