This can be frustrating because you understand the importance of having home insurance and protecting your property and belongings, but through no fault of your own you’re now facing difficulties.
But there are things you can do make sure you get the protection you need at the right price, and this guide will show you how.
If you’ve made a claim
Insurers set prices according to risk. This means they’ll charge you more for cover if they think you’re more likely to make a claim and cost them money.
So if you’ve had to make claims in the past for whatever reason, this tells the insurer that your property is a greater risk than someone who hasn’t.
When you make a claim on your home insurance, it’s pretty likely that come renewal time, your insurer is going to set your premiums higher than they did last time.
But you don’t have to accept this renewal. Even if you’ve made claims on your old policy, you’re free to shop around for a better price elsewhere. And even if you’ve been with your current insurer for a long time, they’re not likely to do you any favours for your loyalty.
In fact, insurers are more likely to offer their best prices to new customers because it helps them to attract more buyers and grow their businesses. You can use this to your advantage by always shopping around at renewal time and always being a new customer.
Depending on what your claim was for, you might find that you’ll have to choose from a smaller pool of insurers willing to provide cover, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to beat your renewal price.
It’s really important that you’re completely upfront about previous home insurance claims when you apply for any policy. If you mislead an insurer, whether you mean to or not, you could invalidate your policy and leave your property at risk. What’s more, you might then struggle to buy cover in future.
If you’ve had to make a claim for flooding in the past, a government scheme called Flood Re introduced in 2016 means that your premiums should now be more affordable at renewal than they would have been.
Flood Re involves the government and insurance industry working together to make sure homeowners in high-risk areas are able to get affordable cover based on a property’s council tax band. It also caps the excess you have to pay in the event of a claim at £250, where previously it could run into the thousands.
Prevention is better than cure
If you’ve had to make a home insurance claim then the chances are it was through no fault of your own – but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to reduce the risk of the same thing happening again.
If you’re in a flood-prone area, keep a close eye on the Environment Agency website through periods of wet weather and be prepared with sandbags and water pumps to minimise flood damage as much as you can.
If your previous claims were for burglary, you can install additional security equipment including alarms, cameras, lighting and locks to make your home harder to break into and less attractive to thieves.