Is yours the most expensive area for home insurance?

Home insurance premiums vary hugely and it’s not just down to the size of the property you live in and value of your belongings. Your postcode is also a contributing factor – so is where you live one of the cheapest or more expensive areas of the country?

Bournemouth homeowners are paying the lowest home insurance premiums according to new research from moneysupermarket.com, whilst those in London suffer from the highest premiums.

Research carried out by moneysupermarket.com, which analysed over two million home insurance quotes over a 12-month period, has revealed that homeowners in the seaside town of Bournemouth benefit from the cheapest premiums in the UK, paying £60 less than the average premium of £164 per year.

The research also uncovered that the 10 most expensive areas in the UK for home insurance are all in London. Those who live in Stanmore in Harrow, Golders Green and Dulwich suffer most with the average premium paid £122 more than the UK average and up to £183 more expensive than those in Bournemouth. 

Here’s the list of the top 10 areas and bottom 10 areas for home insurance. You can also see a map showing the best and worst places here.

The 10 cheapest areas in UK for home insurance

 Post code

 Post area

 Average cheapest premium

 BH2

Bournemouth (Central) 

 £103.98

 YO1

 York

 £109.22

 G5

 Glasgow (Gorbals)

 £110.73

 SP9

 Tidworth, Wiltshire

 £110.79

 NG1

 Nottingham

 £111.87

 LE1

 Leicester

 £116.38

 BT92

 Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

 £116.39

 BH4

 Bournemouth (Westbourne)

 £116.78

 AB16

 Aberdeen (Mastrick, Northfield, Middlefield, Cornhill)

 £117.00

 CF10

 Cardiff (Grangetown, Butetown)

 £118.12

Quotes based on a total sample size of 2,377,250 January – December 2009.

 Post code

Post area 

 Average cheapest premiums

 HA7

 Stanmore, Harrow

 £286.50

 NW11

 Golders Green, Barnet, London

 £280.59

 SE21

 Southwark/Dulwich, London

 £279.07

 NW7

 Mill Hill, Barnett, London

 £270.76

 HA6

 Northwood, Hillingdon

 £268.47

 HA3

 Harrow

 £266.46

 HA8

 Edgware, London

 £265.27

 HA9

 Brent, Wembley, Brent

 £265.17

 SW13

 Barnes, Richmond Upon Thames, London

 £259.12

 N21

 Winchmore Hill, Enfield, London

 £258.40

Quotes based on a total sample size of 2,377,250 January - December 2009

Julie Owens, moneysupermarket.com’s head of home insurance, said: “Many homeowners just don’t realise their postcode is a big contributing factor to how much they pay for their home insurance premium and that it can really hike the price. Homeowners need to make sure that they are getting the best deal possible, those in the cheapest areas can make the most of more affordable premiums, however, those in more expensive areas who do not shop around are effectively watching their hard-earned cash go up the chimney.”

Why do prices vary so much?

As with most insurance policies, the price you pay is all down to risk factors and claims histories. Also, over the past couple of years, we have witnessed more areas affected by floods caused by bad weather – these areas would now be classed as a higher risk.

According to Julie, living in a more affluent area can also have an adverse affect on the premium you pay due to property prices and contents values generally being higher. 

There isn’t much you can do about the postcode that you live in, unless you are prepared to relocate, but there are ways that you can ensure that you get the cheapest premium for you without having to sacrifice the cover that meets your needs.

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How to minimise cost without sacrificing cover

Below are our tips on how you can get the best deal possible:

  • Increase your security measures and decrease your premium.  Making your home more secure will ensure that the risk to your property and its contents is reduced. Small changes such as introducing a time-switch system to your lights so it looks like you are home whilst you are away can help.
  • If you have moved to a new home it’s a good idea to have the locks changed on all doors, previous occupiers of the property may have given keys to people who no longer need access to your house. Five-lever mortise locks are recommended for external doors whilst for windows, two bolt locks are recommended.
  • Keys. Don’t leave them in an obvious place, such as under the plant pot. If your home is broken into and your insurer finds it’s due to your negligence you will have an expensive bill on your hands if your insurer refuses to pay out.
  • Install a good home security system. Alarm systems may seem expensive, however, approved systems, such as a NACOSS standard alarm, are recognised by many insurers and can therefore reduce your premiums with some providers by up to 7.5%.
  • Join the Neighbourhood Watch. If you inform your insurer that you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, this potentially could cut your premium by up to 5%.
  • Fire. Most fires in the home are caused by cooking or smoking.  By fitting a smoke alarm you can be safe in the knowledge that you will be able to take action straight away in the event of a fire, they are cheap to buy and in most areas you can obtain one for free from your local fire station who will also install it correctly for you.
  • Don’t smoke. Not only will this benefit your health but the risk of a fire greatly reduces in a smoke-free home. Most insurers will now ask if you or another occupant of your home is a smoker.
  • Subsidence. This is usually covered under your buildings insurance and is one of the most common problems to affect the home. Check the excess levels on your policy under subsidence and also check if your garden walls are covered.
  • Voluntary excess. The excess amount is the sum you are willing to pay on any claims you make, for example if your excess is £50 and your claim is for £100, you will pay half and your insurer the other half. The higher the excess amount you choose to pay the lower your premium will be, in some cases this can be up to as much as 20%.
  • Add-ons. Think about additional cover your insurer tries to sell you as they all bump your premium up and you may not need them all. If you don’t need an add-on such as accidental damage, don’t be pressured into adding it to your policy. Items such as this can add up to 25% to the overall cost of your premium.
  • Don’t make a claim unless you have to, as the fewer the claims you make the higher your no-claims discount, which can drastically lower the premium you pay. If you have a minor issue, think about the overall cost to your premium before making a claim, you would be better off over the long term by paying for inexpensive issues with your own cash.

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