The Fixer: home cover hike

How to cut the cost of home insurance

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Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

Dear Fixer,
I had to make a claim on my home insurance last year. The claim was for a laptop to replace mine, which stopped working after a drink was spilt on it, and was paid without question by my insurer.

However, my renewal quote, which has just come through, is much higher than it was last year. A friend in the insurance business told me that this would be because I made a claim on the policy.

Is it worth shopping around for a cheaper deal or will all insurers increase their prices because I have made a claim in the last 12 months?

D Croker, London

Dear Ms Croker,

Any insurer you approach for cover will ask about your recent claims history, and is likely to charge you higher premiums as a result of the laptop claim you made last year.

But that does not mean you can't find a cheaper deal elsewhere. You will almost certainly find a better deal by checking out other insurers - after all, they are keen to win your business even though you made a recent claim.

You may also find that you can further cut the cost of cover by taking extra security measures. Installing an approved burglar alarm, for example, can result in a discount of say 5%.

In the future, it also makes sense to work out the cost of any small claims and decide whether it is worth involving your insurer once you have taken the excess (the amount you have to pay towards any claim) and the likely increase in your premiums into account.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.

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