Home insurance – how to get the best deal

Money Advice Service

Home insurance prices vary widely, so taking the time to shop around to find the best home insurance policy for you is well worth it. Make sure you compare buildings and contents insurance across the market before making a final decision. This will help you understand what you need to take into account when looking for home insurance.

Comparing home insurance policies

Shopping around

It’s now easier to find the best deal by sharing your banking information. Find out more about this here.

When you’re looking for the right home insurance deal you have to remember that the level and type of cover is just as important as the price.

You need to compare levels of cover and check the exclusions (things you’re not insured for). This makes sure you get the features you need and you don’t pay more for unnecessary extras.

Don’t make assumptions. You might think some features of home insurance are standard (automatically included) but with some insurance companies they’ll be optional extras.

For example:

  • Personal belongings cover – items taken outside the home are usually not covered as part of a standard home contents policy
  • Comprehensive accidental damage cover – fewer than one in five home insurance policies automatically cover you for damage you cause yourself, by accident.
  • Home emergency cover – fewer than one in five home insurance policies automatically provide help for home emergencies, and more than half don’t offer this as an option at all.

Check the excess. This is the amount of the claim that you have to pay yourself.

Four out of ten of all policies have a minimum excess of £100 or more – you can ask if increasing it will reduce your premiums.

Not sure what level of cover or type of policy you need?

Where can you buy home insurance cover?

  • Comparison sites – Around eight out of ten people use these to search the market for the cheapest home insurance quote. It’s important you use more than one comparison site as not all insurers are on all comparison sites. For more information on buying insurance using comparison sites, check out our useful guide here.
  • Other insurance companies – Some major insurance companies including Direct Line, Aviva and Zurich are not on any comparison sites. To make sure you get the best deal, check directly with these companies as well as using comparison sites.
  • Insurance brokers – A broker might be able to find you the right policy at a great price – if you need to find non-standard home insurance (for example, if your home is a listed building, or if it’s not built in a standard way) brokers can do all the shopping around for you. They can find a policy that best suits your needs and even act for you if you need to make a claim.
  • Your mortgage provider – When you take out a mortgage you will often be offered buildings and contents insurance at the same time. Don’t accept right away – shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Banks, card providers, supermarkets and retailers – It doesn’t have to be an insurance company – lots of other companies offer home insurance. Many of these will appear on comparison sites.
Read our guide to find out When to use an insurance broker.

How to reduce the cost of home insurance

If you don’t take reasonable care to answer truthfully and accurately when buying the policy, any claim you make might not be valid.

  • Increase security: some insurers will only insure you if you have BSI approved locks on all outside doors and windows. Most insurers will help you work out which locks you already have. You might also get a reduction for joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme and installing security lighting.
  • Install alarms: smoke and burglar alarms are both important. Make sure they’re approved models – a NACOSS alarm (National Approvals Council for Security Systems) could earn you a discount on your premiums (although what you save in lower premiums is unlikely to cover the cost of the alarm).
  • Increase the excess on your policy: If you’re happy to cover a bit more of the cost of a claim yourself, your premiums might be lowered.
  • Build your no-claims discount: If you don’t claim for a few years you might get a discount, but not all companies offer this, so check before you buy.
  • Buy buildings and contents insurance together: you might get a discount if you get both from the same company. Also, if there’s a fire, or something else that affects both the building and your possessions, it might be less hassle if it’s all managed by the same insurer.
  • Pay annually: monthly premiums can cost more. There’s usually an extra 6% charge to pay. Though some insurers will allow payment by instalments for no extra charges so it’s worth shopping around.
  • Take advantage of offers: some insurers guarantee to beat any quote (or the renewal of your current policy) by up to 10%, on a like-for-like basis.

Sadly, there are some things you can’t change – your postcode is one of them.

If you live in a high claim area (at risk from theft, flood, or subsidence) you’ll have higher premiums.

Cancelling your home insurance

You can cancel your home insurance any time within the first 14 days – this is the cooling off period that all insurance companies must give, according to the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority. But there might be a penalty.

A lot of people don’t realise this when they buy, but many insurers charge a fee for cancelling within the 14 days.

However, this fee should only reflect the cost of the service that you’ve received.

They also deduct the days of cover you’ve already had before giving you a refund.

If you cancel after the 14-day cooling off period you might not get the full amount of money back for the days of cover you haven’t used yet.

Cancellation terms and conditions vary by policy – always read the terms and conditions of your policy and any exclusions before you buy.

It’s also a good idea to ask if there are any fees or charges for making alterations to your home during the policy period.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Join Rest Less Money Club

Helpful tips and guidance for making the most of your money – straight to your inbox

By providing us your email address you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the link in our emails.

Join the Rest Less Money Club

Helpful tips and guidance for making the most of your money – straight to your inbox

Good luck with your application

Before you go, we’d love to stay in touch to find out how you get on. Sign up to Rest Less today to get free job alerts and inspiring content sent straight to your inbox.
By providing your email you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time through the link in our emails.