Cheaper Home Insurance

If you're looking for home insurance, you aren't alone – most homeowners opt for home insurance, as it offers protection in case a crisis occurs and you need to repair your home or replace its contents. Of course, though most people hold home insurance, many don't switch companies even when it would save money to do so. With home insurance climbing every year, switching companies is the most financially sensible move.

Here are five tips to help you conduct a home insurance comparison and find the cheapest insurer for your home and property.

1. Change insurers using a website.
One of the main reasons insurance prices are dropping for those who switch and rising for those who stay loyal to one company is because price comparison websites make it easy to shop around. Insurers are not motivated to offer their best rates to people who are staying with them, but they do want to attract new customers. Switching every few years will save you far more money than putting up with price increases every year. Using a website allows you to see offers from several different insurance companies at the same time and easily compare major factors, but you need to read the fine print to find out subtler differences.

2. Look at the rebuild cost on your mortgage.
Your mortgage often contains a clue as to how much you should pay for rebuild costs. If not, check with the online calculator offered by the Association of British Insurers to figure out how much you should be paying or get a professional to estimate your rebuild cost by visiting your home and conducting a short survey. Get enough money to rebuild your home, but don't go for a drastically higher rebuild cost than you would actually need. It's never good to overestimate, as you will pay for coverage you will not ever have to use. If you plan to upgrade your property, you can increase your coverage at that time.

3. Look at the contents cover carefully.
The most important factor, as you will most likely need to claim this if anything, is the contents cover. Some contents coverage allows you to get the actual cash value of the items – lower because of depreciation – while other, better, coverage pays out the replacement value. Contents coverage may include certain expensive items or not, so get separate coverage as an add-on if you need extra coverage for collections or expensive items. You will also want to know exactly what kinds of damage you can claim on your contents. If you take a laptop on vacation and it is stolen, for example, will your policy cover it?

4. Find an excess you can afford.
The excess is the amount you need to pay on your claim if your insurer asks you to pay it before they will accept your claim. A policy with a low or no excess will cost significantly more than a policy with even £250 excess. Make sure you will be able to actually afford the excess charge before you accept a policy, but know that a higher excess is the single easiest way to reduce the amount you pay in premiums each month.

5. Look at additional expenses.
Many insurance policies allow you to opt-in or opt-out of certain parts of their coverage. You may get accidental damage cover if you have kids who are liable to damage your possessions or building unintentionally, for example. Legal cover can protect you if someone slips and falls on your sidewalk or if you enter a legal dispute in the workplace. Boiler and plumbing cover can be a good buy if it covers parts, but it usually doesn't.

When shopping for home insurance, make sure you pay attention to these details so you get the best possible policy for your money. If you're not paying attention, you can end up paying out of pocket for major claims – and people have gone into debt over less. Finding the right policy means a little searching with the help of a website or insurance broker, but doing a proper home insurance comparison ensures you will be happy for a year or two... until you can save money by switching insurers again