Its not the most exciting subject in the world but insuring your home and contents should really be a high priority. After all, the home you have bought is probably the most expensive item you will ever purchase! Then of course there are the contents of your home; furniture, white goods, TV, carpets, clothes, jewellery, curtains… With the possible exception of maybe your car(s) the contents of your home represent the second most expensive items to replace.
Buildings insurance usually covers the basic structure of your house and many fixtures or fittings, garages, drives, fences, walls and sheds or out-buildings and for the more affluent consumers even swimming pools and tennis courts!
Contents insurance, as you may well imagine, covers the contents of your home and in some policies will also cover personal possessions taken outside the home such as cameras, watches and jewellery. Some policies will also include accidental damage, for example spilling paint on carpets or dropping your plasma screen! A contents value of £20 – 30,000 is the minimum amount for most home contents insurance policies and this is normally sufficient.
Due to the recent flooding and unpredictable weather in the UK some home-owners are seeing the costs of insurance rising. But do you really have to pay more or are there ways to reduce the cost of buildings and contents cover?
The first point you should consider is buying insurance on-line. Many companies offer special discounts for internet customers as it is cheaper for them to arrange insurance cover this way. In addition many insurers offer incentives if you take out both buildings and contents cover with them. It is also worth checking with your car insurance company also as there are often discounts for existing customers taking out additional policies.
Check your existing policy and find out if the insurers offer a no claims bonus. No claims bonuses are awarded according to the number of years you have held the insurance and have not made a claim. This can have a significant impact on your renewal quotes over time.
Don’t fall for the hype however! Just because a company advertises a discounted offer does not mean they are the cheapest. Many of the guarantees you see ( of the “if you beat our quote we will give you double the difference in cash” variety), are so full of small print, special terms and exclusions, that they are meaningless.
So, while it’s certainly true that companies offer discounts when you take out buildings and contents cover it does not always follow that this is the cheapest option, for example a 10% discount applied to a very expensive quotation will still leave you with a higher price to pay. As always, the golden rule is to shop around for the best prices and do a like for like comparison on both single policies and combined policies (i.e. buildings and contents together).
By all means, search for the cheapest buildings contents insurance quote you can find, but make sure the level and scope of cover is adequate.