You can buy contents insurance, buildings insurance or a combined policy. What you purchase is up to you and here are a few tips to help ensure you are not paying too much. Here is some advice that will help you to purchase insurance with a lower premium, or help to lower your premium the next time you renew your policy. If you do take some of the advice such as installing fire alarms or insulating pipes, then be sure to tell your insurer when you are buying your policy; they will most likely reduce the premium quote if you tell them.
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Buy a house that does not cost as much
If the object you are insuring costs less to repurchase or rebuild, then you are naturally going to have to pay less for the buildings insurance (be it contents or building insurance). Consider getting a quote or two before you actually buy the house, as certain types of houses may cost more to insure because they are more prone to damage, subsidence or even more prone to damage from local weather conditions.
Install fire alarms and a security system
This is going to make your house cheaper to insure, just make sure that you tell your insurance firm when you get your quote. If you have installed the systems since your last quote then be sure that they know what you did. Security and fire safety devices will help to classify your house as less of a theft and fire risk. The insurance company may then feel more at ease and give you a lower insurance quote. Many insurers advise that you install such devices for that very same reason.
Shop around for a cheaper deal
Shopping around is often a good way of getting a better deal. Think about what you want first before you start getting quotes. If you are able to be more specific about what you want then you may have more success shopping around. Just be sure that you are getting a cheaper deal and not that you are lowering your level of cover or buying a policy with a lower payout upon your claim. Make sure that you are comparing similar policies; otherwise the one that offers the least cover will invariably cost the least.
Lower your level of cover
If you want to lower your premium then simply lower your amount of cover. You can cover less of your contents or less of your more expensive items. Or, you can get rid of your contents insurance completely and just have buildings insurance. This sort of tactic is going to reduce your insurance quote unless you are already on the lowest possible level of cover. Obviously, if lowering your level of cover leaves you in a position where you do not feel covered enough, then you may not want to risk lowering your cover.
Consider getting rid of your contents insurance
As it says in the previous paragraph, you can just get rid of a part of your insurance policy. Ask yourself if you really need to cover your home contents. Most often the valuable things are electronics and within a few years your new models are often cheaper to buy back. Plus, your most valuable objects are going to be your personal belongings with sentimental value, and you will not be able to buy those back anyway. Ask yourself if covering your home contents is really worth paying for.
Increase the excess that you are willing to pay
If you increase your voluntary excess then your home insurance suddenly becomes a little less of a risk for the insurance company, so they will often lower your insurance quote. Consider lowering your excess to a point where you would be able to afford to pay the excess if the worst happened and you needed to make a claim. The more you offer to pay then the lower they are likely to make your insurance quote.
Cover for the cost of a re-build and not a re-purchase
This is a good way of lowering your insurance quote without putting too much at risk. The cost of repurchasing a house is always going to be more than the cost of rebuilding one. So, why not insure for the cost of a rebuild? You still have a house at the end of the day--you just have to wait for it to be rebuilt.
Do not overestimate the value of your home contents
Some people do this because they want a nice big payment when they make a claim, but it also pushes your insurance premium up. Plus, when you do come to make a claim there is no guarantee that they will pay what you estimated your contents were worth. Plus, if you purposefully lie on your policy then it becomes invalid and you may even be prosecuted.
Bio: Kate Funk is an English tutor who coaches individuals in writing skills on a great variety of topics.