The cost of home insurance varies depending on a number of factors, including the size of the property, the level of affluence in the local area and even your marital status. There are some elements you simply can't control, such as the risk of flooding or previous claims on the policy, but there are certain steps homeowners can take to minimise the monthly cost.
Investing in your home security can reduce the cost of your insurance as a well-protected home is less likely to be burgled. Security devices such as external burglar alarms, CCTV cameras and five-lever mortise locks are useful additions, and even time-switch lights will help to reduce your premiums.
Take fire precautions
Reducing the risk of fire damage to your home is not only paramount for your family's safety, but it's also a way to keep your costs low; by keeping your fire safety equipment up to date, you're expected to claim less frequently. Ensure that you have smoke alarms fitted throughout your home and that their batteries are regularly replaced. It's worth taking a few moments each month to ensure that each device is working correctly.
Pay off your mortgage
Insurers believe that people who own their homes outright are more likely to maintain them properly and, therefore, are less likely to make a claim. Simply paying off your mortgage can reduce your monthly premiums by up to 15%.
Increase the excess
Every policy comes with a compulsory excess, but by voluntarily increasing the amount you're willing to pay upfront should you need to, you can reduce the amount you're charged each month. Should you choose to adopt this technique, remember that it's important not to set the excess at an amount you'd be reluctant to pay should the worst happen.
Combine your policies
Purchasing your car and home insurance, as well as any other policy you need, from the same insurer can help you to make savings on the overall cost. Their goal is to retain your custom, so offering you the best possible arrangement is mutually beneficial.
Review your policy annually
It's important to make a habit of checking your policy to ensure you're always getting the best rate possible. You may find that a different insurer offers a better deal, or perhaps your current insurer offers a loyalty discount. Record any changes you have made to your home that could reduce the cost, such as increasing your security protections or filling in a pond or swimming pool.
Avoid claiming when you can
Insurance companies offer preferable rates to clients with fewer past claims, so try to avoid using your policy unless you have to. Should your home become damaged in some relatively minor way, consider whether paying for it yourself is viable. If so, it may be worth considering this option as it will keep your future premiums low, making it an attractive long-term investment.
Engel & Völkers agents are available to help you to navigate the practicalities of purchasing or selling a home, including any queries you may have about insuring your new property. Visit one of our 550 offices to speak to our knowledgeable team of experts today.