There are plenty of ways to slash the cost of your home insurance, from comparing quotes to installing security measures. Remember to shop around at renewal too, as loyalty rarely pays. Here are our top tips:
Money saving tips
Combine buildings and contents cover: Consider taking out both with the same insurance company, as you can often negotiate a cheaper price. It’s worth comparing the price of getting your buildings and contents cover separately too, so you can make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Cut out the frills: Check what extras you’re paying for, and whether you need them. You could reduce the cost by going for a basic policy and cutting out, for example, accidental damage cover. This can save as much as 20% on the cost of your insurance.
Pay annually: While spreading your payments over monthly instalments may seem more manageable, it’s almost always more expensive because you’ll be charged an additional admin fee.
Increase your excess: One of the most common ways to slash your cost is to increase the voluntary excess. This is the amount you must pay in the event of a claim, and it can range from about £50 to hundreds of pounds. The higher the excess, the lower your premium.
Build up your no claims discount: If you don’t make any claims, you will usually earn a discount on your premiums. This can cut the cost of your insurance by as much as 50% after five years.
Pay your own way: Think twice before making a claim. If it's only a minor repair it might be better to use your own money to sort out the problem, and so protect your no claims discount.
Join a neighbourhood watch scheme: This could reduce your premiums by around 5%, and give you more peace of mind.
Fit smoke alarms: Faulty electrics cause around 7,000 house fires across the country every year, so make sure you have smoke alarms throughout your property. Remember to check them regularly to make sure they’re working properly.
Insulation: Burst water pipes are among the most common home insurance claims, so make sure to insulate your pipes.
Security tips for your home
Insurers look favourably on homeowners who install security measures, and may reduce the cost of premiums significantly. Here are our top tips:
Make friends with the neighbours: Ask them to check for deliveries while you’re away, open and close the curtains, and turn your lights on and off. Avoid giving the impression that you’re away for any length of time.
Compare security systems: There’s a wide range of security systems on the market, from those that react when tripped, to more expensive versions that alert the police of trespassers. Some are advanced enough to let you control lights coming on when you’re not home, to make it appear that somebody’s home.
Consider your budget: The cost varies significantly depending on the system you choose, and you can pay anything from £10 to hundreds in monthly fees. You can even get ones that send text alerts to your mobile phone to warn of any potential disturbances.
Choose one for your needs: This depends on where you live, the risk of burglary, and, of course, how much you’re willing to pay. Check if you’re entitled to any discounts if you live in a high risk area and already have an alarm installed.
Some insurers won’t cover you if you haven’t got the right system for your area, such as one with an NSI (National Security Inspectorate) rating.
Use a locksmith: A locksmith can offer a professional opinion on the type of locks suitable for your property. This is particularly important if you’re a landlord. You must provide a secure lock to any external entrances above the legal minimum standard, so seek advice.
Get the right locks: Wooden front doors should ideally have five lever mortice deadlock, which are simple to install. Alternatively, three point multi-locking systems can be fixed to PVC-u external doors. Read more about house lock types with our dedicated guide.
Extra security: Also consider window locks, door chains, burglar alarms and security lights and time switches. There’s a vast range of security options out there to put your mind at rest, so do your research.
CCTV: This might be an option if you’re particularly worried, to help detect any crime. But, you’ll need to put up signs to warn people about the cameras, and to ensure they are used correctly. Legally, you can only film the exterior of a rented property.