How to keep your home insurance costs down – top tips

When times are hard, we all need to tighten our belts and make cuts – and it might be tempting to reduce home insurance.

Hannah Davidson, senior underwriting manager at Aviva, stresses the importance of ensuring you are adequately covered for buildings and contents, but says there are ways to make careful savings.

  • Consider a combined policy

If you own your home, outright or with a mortgage, you may save if you buy combined contents and buildings cover, rather than two separate policies. However, if you rent, you’re likely to need just contents insurance to protect your possessions inside the property.

  • Look into multi-product discounts

Some insurers offer discounts if you have more than one product, such as home, motor, travel and even health insurance.

  • Check if your home is in a flood risk area

If it is and it was built before 2009, ask if your insurer is part of the Flood Re scheme, a joint initiative between the government and insurers, which aims is to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable. Some insurers are not part of the scheme and premiums may be higher for people living in high-risk areas, or they may exclude flood cover, so it’s important to check.

  • Choose a higher excess level

Most home insurance policies have a standard excess if you make a claim, but you can choose a higher excess amount that can often lower your premium. But do check you could afford to pay it if you needed to make a claim and consider how you would pay it. Avoid incurring credit card debt if possible.

  • Don’t double up.

You may be asked if you want to take out additional insurance when buying new items such as a sofa, carpet or phone for example. Before you say “yes”, make sure you’re not already covered under home insurance, particularly if you have accidental damage cover. If you don’t have accidental damage cover, you may find it’s cheaper to add it to your home policy than pay for separate policies, but always check the terms.

  • Think about add-ons

Your home insurance premiums will usually increase if you add on optional covers such as accidental damage and personal belongings which can cover items away from the home. But make sure you could afford to pay for a new item if you did lose or damage something or you may find that removing an add-on could be a false economy if you need to claim.

*It can be hard to calculate how much it would cost to rebuild your home in the event of a disaster. The Association of British Insurers has a calculator for home rebuild costs that may be useful.