How to get cheap home insurance – A homeowner’s guide
The cost of buying a house is not cheap, which is why it is important for homeowners to cut costs wherever they can when moving into their new home.
And while you can easily save money by settling for a smaller TV, second-hand sofa or cheaper fridge-freezer, there are also plenty of ways in which you can save money on the intangible costs that come with homeownership – like home insurance.
We’ve collated all of the information you need when looking for the best deal on your home insurance policy (whether that’s buildings, contents or both), and we have some crucial advice that may have passed you by before now.
Here’s Bobatoo’s guide on how to get cheap home insurance, without compromising on your level of cover.
What is home insurance? What does home insurance cover?
Starting with the basics, it’s important to know exactly what home insurance is, what it covers and why you need it.
Stripped down to its core, home insurance is a policy which is designed to protect your property and belongings. There are three main types of home insurance – buildings insurance, contents insurance and combined buildings and contents insurance.
Each of these policies are suited to different circumstances:
- Buildings insurance – covers the cost of repairing physical damage to a property
- Contents insurance – covers damage and loss to personal possessions
- Combined buildings and contents insurance – as expected, covers both of the above
Note: If you RENT a property (or own the lease only), buildings insurance is the responsibility of your landlord/managing agent. Contents insurance, no matter what your circumstance, is always your own responsibility.
How to find cheap home insurance
Don’t overestimate the value of your property
Many people make the mistake of using their property’s market value as a guide to how much buildings insurance they should take out and, in doing so, end up paying for more cover than they’ll ever actually need.
Buildings insurance should cover you in a worst-case scenario, in which your entire home would need to be rebuilt – costs would include materials, labour and architecture as well as the cost of temporary accommodation while your home is inhabitable.
Purchasing a full survey is the most reliable method of finding out your home’s rebuild value, but this can be expensive.
If you're in the process of buying a property, you should be provided with a rebuild value for home insurance purposes.
Remember that, if you make any significant adaptations to your property (perhaps a conservatory, extension or expensive new kitchen) then you might need to reconsider the policy that's in place on your buildings insurance.
You should also try to make sure that your buildings insurance quote is index-linked, meaning that its value increases in line with inflation, such as the cost of building materials, etc.
Consider a ‘multi cover’ car and home insurance policy
Many people ask the question: is it cheaper to combine car and home insurance? And the answer, in most cases, is yes!
An increasingly popular policy, Admiral MultiCover allows policyholders to combine their home and car insurance to make for easier (and hopefully cheaper) annual payments.
By combining your Admiral home insurance policy with your car insurance, all of your payments will be taken on the very same day, taking the complications out of having several policies.
You can pick up an Admiral home and car insurance bundle in the UK whenever you are looking to renew one of either your car or home insurance policy (whichever is due first) – they do not both have to be up for renewal at the same time.
How much does home insurance cost and what is a reasonable price for homeowners?
For a combined buildings and contents annual policy, the average cost of home insurance (as of Jan. 2019) is £163.38. Of course, this can vary depending on your location, type of property and other circumstances.
Don’t fall for cheap contents insurance quotes
If you think that your contents insurance quote seems too good to be true, then we have an unfortunate truth for you – it probably is!
Many providers will offer cheap contents insurance which will not cover you for your full amount of possessions – make sure that you value your contents carefully before taking out a policy. Everything from pyjamas and dressing gowns, to TVs and games consoles would need replacing in the event of a major disaster, so be sure to add up all of your possessions!
If you have £30,000 worth of contents but only £20,000 worth of cover, you’d be missing out on a third of what you lost. There are free contents insurance calculators available online, but our favourite is this one from Direct Line.
Note: Even the best home insurance companies will set a ‘per article’ claim limit, which could prevent you from claiming for the full amount on expensive items. Many policies will ask you to state anything held within your home above a certain amount (usually £1,000-£2,000) as individual items.
Don’t be lazy! – Auto-renewing can be costly
Having your home insurance policy on auto-renew is an easy way out of looking for a new policy every year, but it is almost always more expensive.
Home insurance companies often offer their best deals to new customers in an attempt to lure them in, before hiking their premiums the following year.
Read more: How to cancel your home insurance policy
Ensure that you inform your provider that you do not wish to renew your contract with them in plenty of time – you’ll have a 14 day cooling-off period to cancel after your renewal, but this could be subject to administration fees.
Price comparison websites like Confused.com make it easy to find a cheap home insurance quote, scouring through over 100 of the UK’s top insurance providers to find the best deal for you, your home and your individual circumstances.
To get your Confused.com home insurance quote, simply tap the button below!
Secure your home with the correct locks
Unless you’re a locksmith, you may not know the difference between a five-lever mortice deadlock and a rim automatic deadlatch – but it pays to do your research because it could save you money!
Your home insurance provider will ask you what type of lock you have on your doors and stating the wrong one could invalidate your policy altogether – if you’re not sure, try comparing your own lock to those that show up on a Google Image search. If that fails, Confused.com have a detailed guide to locks which you can read here.
So, what kind of door lock is most secure? There are four locks which insurers recognise as the safest, these are:
- Five-lever mortise deadlock (conforming to British Standard 3621)
- Five-lever mortise deadlock (without the British Standard 3621 kitemark)
- Key-operated multi-point locking system
- Rim automatic deadlatch with key-locking handle
If you have any other type of lock, it is recommended that you consider changing them.
Consider removing unnecessary add-ons
As is the case with most types of insurance, you are able to customise your cover by adding a range of optional extras – with household insurance, these include things like:
- Additional accidental damage cover
- Cover for specific items outside of the home (handbags, smartphones etc.)
- Cover for expensive individual items
In regards to accidental damage cover, most policies will cover you for a small amount as standard under the terms of your buildings insurance (a broken window, for example) but is unlikely to offer protection to pay for things like spilled paint on an expensive piece of furniture. Additional accidental damage cover will cost you more, but is usually recommended.
As for cover for specific items (perhaps an expensive bike, smartphone or handbag), it may be cheaper to take out a separate specialist policy than buying a home insurance add-on.
You can get comprehensive cover for your smartphone at a competitive price with So-Sure mobile phone insurance.
Look for great home insurance cashback deals
Before making any significant (or insignificant, for that matter) purchase, we recommend checking out Quidco to see if you could earn cashback – the same goes for your home insurance policy.
You can currently get up to £110 in cashback when buying a home insurance policy through Quidco, with an extensive list of providers to choose from.
For more information on cashback websites and how they could save you hundreds of pounds on everything from insurance to groceries, check out the following articles:
- Best UK cashback websites 2019
- Latest offers – Quidco cashback deals
- Quidco vs TopCashback – a review
Leasehold buildings insurance – Buildings insurance for flats with leasehold
As touched on earlier in this article, if you occupy a leasehold property (such as a flat within a building that you do not own) then it is down to the owner of the freehold to arrange buildings insurance. In most cases, it will not be your responsibility to take out a buildings insurance policy, but the costs will likely be packaged into your service charge payments.
If you are unsure what insurance you need to buy for your leasehold property, speak to whoever owns the freehold – they will be able to give you tailored advice.
Home insurance advice with Bobatoo
As a final piece of advice from Bobatoo, remember to check the terms of your policy before signing on the dotted line – there can be a lot of small print, so be sure to put any questions you have to your insurer to gain a complete understanding of what your policy does and does not cover. Home insurance is a complicated topic and you are not expected to know all of the ins and outs!
You should also check out home insurance reviews on websites like Trustpilot, where you will find informative reviews from real-life customers.
To keep up to date with all of the latest insurance news, why not head over to Bobatoo’s Facebook page? Not only will you find plenty of insurance advice, but there’s plenty of interesting money-saving topics covered, too!