Easiest ways to reduce the cost of your home insurance

April 7, 2022

House insurance helps protect your pocket from costly damage caused to your property or its contents from incidents such as fire, flooding or theft.

So how much is home insurance and how can you get cheap deals?

As average house insurance costs continue to rise, here are 10 simple measures you can take to get cheaper insurance for your home and its contents.

  1. Compare quotes 3 weeks before renewal
  2. Only pay for the cover you need
  3. Pay annually rather than monthly
  4. Pay a higher excess
  5. Take out a joint buildings and contents policy
  6. Avoid losing your No Claims Discount
  7. Avoid over-insuring
  8. Provide an accurate construction date
  9. Join your local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
  10. Add insurer-approved security measures

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1. Compare quotes 3 weeks before renewal

Despite the introduction of new rules by the Financial Conduct Authority earlier this year to prevent insurers from offering budget house insurance deals to attract new customers, allowing your home or car insurance to auto-renew continues to not be the best policy.

This means you should continue to shop around and compare house insurance quotes from the UK’s best insurers around three weeks before renewal to get the best bang for your buck.

Bobatoo works with most of the UK’s top house insurers who continue to offer low cost home insurance to customers, new or old, at affordable prices.

Compare cheap buildings and contents insurance quotes with Bobatoo:

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2. Only pay for the cover you need

Whilst it could pay dividends in the future to have comprehensive cover for every eventuality, there’s no point paying for add-ons you simply don’t need.

Some insurance policies will include extra cover such as:

  • Accidental damage
  • Home emergency
  • Personal possessions
  • Legal expenses

However, extra cover can be included under a standard policy so always check before deciding whether to purchase any add-ons.

Also, make sure you don’t double up on cover - for example, if you’ve already taken out home emergency cover with your utility provider there’s no point in paying for this again with your home insurer.

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3. Pay annually rather than monthly

When you apply for house insurance quotes, you’ll be given two prices: one will be for what your policy will cost if you pay for it in one lump sum and the other if you’d prefer to pay by Direct Debit monthly instalments.

So how much is house insurance a month compared to the annual cost?

Most deals that offer the option of paying monthly will be on finance - so like a loan - meaning that interest can be added to your monthly payments. The interest varies between insurers but will typically be between 5 to 10 per cent APR.

According to research by Nimblefins, the average monthly cost for buildings and contents insurance in 2022 is approximately £28.87 per month, which is typically around 9% more expensive than if you pay the annual premium upfront in one lump sum.

For this reason, if you can afford to, paying annually for your policy can significantly reduce the cost of your house insurance.

4. Pay a higher excess

When you apply for house insurance quotes, a compulsory excess amount will be quoted as the minimum contributory amount you’re required to pay in the event you claim on your policy.

The higher your insurance excess amount, the cheaper your premiums. To reduce your premiums, rather than accepting the compulsory excess amount, you can pay what is called a ‘voluntary excess’ amount on top of your ‘compulsory excess’.

If possible, increase your excess to an amount you can afford to pay to make your house insurance cheaper.

5. Take out a joint buildings and contents policy

Most homeowners take out buildings insurance to protect the shell of their home (i.e. the bricks and mortar) together with any fixtures and fittings that are integral to a property, and separate contents insurance to cover non-fixed items such as furniture and electrical appliances.

According to data from the MoneySuperMarket’s UK price index, the average house insurance cost is:

  • £142 for combined buildings and contents
  • £117 for buildings insurance only
  • £55 for contents insurance only

As you can see from the above data, a combined building and contents insurance cost of £142 is typically less than taking out separate, standalone policies, which together equate to £172. However, this isn’t always necessarily the case so it’s worth separately comparing quotes for combined home and contents insurance and standalone policies.

Read more: What’s the difference between building and contents insurance?

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6. Avoid losing your No Claims Discount

Similar to car insurance, you can build up a No Claims Bonus by not claiming your house insurance.

So it's best to avoid claiming for minor incidents because the money you’d initially save by claiming on your insurance will be absorbed and lost through paying your policy’s excess and ultimately, increased premiums.

To keep your premiums as low as possible, only ever make house insurance claims where repair or replacement costs are excessively high and beyond your financial reach.

Read more: How does No Claims Discount work for home insurance?

7. Avoid over-insuring

Providing inaccurate information to your insurer about the value of your property contents or its rebuild cost will make your premiums higher than necessary.

Contents insurance

To avoid overestimating the value of your home contents, as tedious as it may seem, you should go from room to room in your home and make a full list of all your household belongings and their estimated values to calculate the cover you need. However, make sure you separately flag up any high-value household items to your insurer that would cost £1,000 or more to replace.

Buildings insurance

To make sure you’re not paying more than you need to for your buildings insurance, make sure the rebuild value (what it would cost to build your property from scratch, from the ground up, if it were totally destroyed) you provide to your insurer is accurate. This is often referred to as the ‘sum insured’.

Read more: How to calculate your home’s rebuild cost

Note: If you’re a tenant, you do not need to pay for buildings insurance as this is a landlord’s responsibility; you can instead [optionally] take out contents insurance.

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8. Provide an accurate construction date

When you first purchase a property with the assistance of a mortgage, a mortgage valuation report will include an ‘approx year built’ date.

This date is what almost all homebuyers will usually provide to their buildings insurer to arrange insurance before completion of their purchase.

However, this date can sometimes be inaccurate and when your property was built can affect the cost of your premiums. This is especially the case if your estimated build date makes your house fall into the more expensive insurance category of being of ‘non-standard construction’.

To find out how to find out if your property’s construction date is accurate, check out our blog: When was my house built?

9. Join your local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

Some home insurers may offer a reduction on your premiums if you’re part of a local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. However, regardless of whether or not you can get cheap house insurance, being part of such a scheme is a great protective security measure and can help deter thieves from burgling your home.

Remember: no claim = increased no claims discount = cheaper premiums.

To find out about any local schemes in your area, search for your postcode on ourwatch.org.uk.

If you live in a rural area, Google ‘country watch near me’ and the search results should bring up a website link for a country watch scheme in your local area.

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10. Add insurer-approved security measures

When applying for home insurance, some insurers may provide cheaper quotes for more secure homes that use insurer-approved security products such as:

  • burglar alarms
  • BSI kitemarked window and door safety locks
  • security cameras and lights

Check with your insurer whether using certain [approved] security devices could reduce your premiums and make sure your locks conform to your insurer’s requirements, as a matter of course.

Find a great deal on home insurance today

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