Four ways cut the cost of home insurance

The things we rely on every day can pose a serious risk

Four ways to cut the cost of home insurance

What's the greatest risk to your home and prized possessions? Burglars perhaps, maybe even flooding if you live in the right area.

Well it turns out the greatest threat are the things we rely on every day.

Home appliances, like cookers, dishwashers and freezers, are the focus of this years' Home Safety Week because they can pose a serious fire risk.

In fact, electrical fires account for 52 % of home fire claims, according to insurer NFU Mutual, while Co-op Insurance reported a 35% increase for the same kind of claim in the last 12 months.

With this in mind, we look at ways to reduce your home and contents premiums, make sure you have the right cover and, most importantly, protect yourself.

Smoke and fire alarms

As this years' Home Safety Week focuses on electrical house fires, let's start with the easiest thing you can do.

Installing smoke and fire detectors is a cheap, easy and effective way to protect your home. Not only that, but it can also reduce your insurance premiums.

Remember to test them regularly and replace the batteries.

Get the right cover

Getting the right insurance policy is easier said than done. It is really easy to end up with a load of extra cover you don't really need, which adds to the cost of your premium.

While these extras can be useful, a quick way to save on your policy is to be realistic about what you need.

For example, accidental damage cover is very useful, but can add 25% to the cost of your insurance.

Under and over

The first step to finding the right insurance policy is making sure you're getting the cover you need.

While undervaluing the things in your home might get you lower premiums, it means you'll end up with less than you expected if the worst should happen.

At the same time, overvaluing means you'll end up paying more in premiums.

Get a proper estimate and pay what you need to. Not more, not less.

Ways to pay

If you're looking to cut the cost of home and contents insurance, there are a few easy things you can do straight away.

Make sure you shop around to get the best deal and don't just automatically renew every year and pay premiums all in one go, rather than by monthly instalments.

You might also save money by getting combined buildings and contents cover. However, sometimes the best deal is by getting them separately through different insurers.

What if you're renting

Things are quite different if you rent rather than own your home. The landlord will be required to have buildings insurance, as well as carry out fire risk assessments, install carbon monoxide detectors and have gas safety certificates.

However, your possessions might not be covered, so you might want to look into your own insurance, and it is still worth regularly checking the smoke and fire alarms to make sure they are working.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.


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