The average cost of a building and contents insurance policy can be reduced for those who compare prices and do their research first. However, people aged 80 or over can often find it possible to obtain even more competitive insurance prices because statistics show that customers aged fifty plus tend to make fewer claims than those aged under fifty. And this is important, as insurance providers will use these statistics to price their policies.
Additionally, insurers find that claims from people aged between fifty and eighty and above tend to be lower in value than those made by the under-fifties. And this older age group can usually be relied upon to be meticulously honest about their insured loss.
Once a specialist area of insurance, this market now has a great range of choice from providers such as RIAS, Saga and Age UK, which offer packages specifically targeted towards older people.
These packages often include extras, such as a small welcome bonus or the guarantee of a price discount.
What's different for over 80s?
As well as discounts and possible welcome bonuses, there are other ways in which insurers will offer rewards to the low-risk over-80s market. For example, this age group may be offered a higher amount of contents cover to reflect the greater value of valuables and possessions that they've collected during their lifetime. The maximum amount of buildings cover offered may well be of higher value too to reflect the likelihood of the over 80s having high-value properties after a lifetime of climbing the property ladder.
It's vital to accurately estimate the cover you need and not risk being under-insured
Other potential attractions will include a 'new for old' replacement policy for claims relating to stolen or damaged possessions, as well as discounts on home-security systems that have been approved by the insurer. There may also be a greater amount of protection on offer for periods in which the property is unoccupied.
Types of insurance
If you own a mortgaged property, then your lender will probably insist on buildings insurance as a requirement of the loan, regardless of your age. However, even if you do own your home it's sensible to have a combined buildings and contents insurance policy in place. This is because each standalone policy won't offer full coverage for everything you need and because claims tend to cover both types of insurance.
For example, a claim for damage to your fitted kitchen would made on your buildings insurance, whilst a claim relating to your television or furniture would be made on your contents policy. You'll also find that most insurers will offer discounts to customers who take out combined policies, with good discounts on offer.
Get the right amount of cover
It's vital to accurately estimate the cover you need and not risk being under-insured, particularly if you have valuable possessions. Most insurance policies will insure single items up to a value of £1500 but possessions of greater value will need to be declared. If you have valuable items such as art or jewellery it's vital that you disclose them, as you may benefit from a more specialist insurance product. Additionally, there may well be specific conditions relating to how you safeguard your valuables, such as by keeping them in a safe.
Don't pay over the odds
As a general rule, it's possible to get a better price on insurance by installing an approved series of door locks and a security system with a burglar alarm. Being a member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme is also advisable. If you pay for your policy on an annual single-payment basis you'll save money compared to paying for it via a monthly direct debit. This is because monthly payments incorporate a cost of credit as you're effectively taking out a loan for the annual insurance policy period.
Another vital tip is to carefully read all the provisions of your policy to make sure that it's accurate and that it matches your needs. This relates to items such as excesses and exclusions particularly. Always give accurate information to your insurer as any incorrect information provided whilst applying for your policy can later invalidate a claim.