Home insurance is one of our least favourite home buys. While we’ll happily shell out on refurbishing a living room or bedroom, handing over money ‘just in case’ something happens to them always hurts a little bit. But what hurts even more is if you’re over paying for that ‘just in case’ scenario.
This Morning saw a Martin Lewis home insurance special, where the expert offered his advice on the latest ways to save on the all-important home essential.
Martin Lewis’ tips to save on your home insurance
‘The big thing to understand is with home insurance it’s one of the prime areas where insurers use a thing called price walk-in’ he says. ‘What that means is you get your quote in the first year, and it’ll be competitive. And then if you don’t change a year after that they walk the price up slowly, maybe 5 per cent.’
He explained that the price will continue to go up a little bit each year. ‘Eventually, after 5 years, it can be up to 50 per cent more than your first quote without any reason.’
‘This is why the golden rule, when it comes to getting home insurance is NEVER just auto-renew,’ he explains.
‘So there is the obvious switch somewhere else and you can save,’ explains the money guru . Martin pointed to an example where someone who had taken out home insurance saw their insurance jump to £600, despite not changing anything. ‘Julie emailed me – “used you’re info when we got our renewal asking for £600 insurance. Our new insurance is £146. kicking ourselves for not doing this earlier. No more Mrs Lazy renewals.”
However, Martin revealed that there is another way to save without switching. If you go onto a comparison website and find that the cheapest option is with your current company, you can still get it as a new customer.
‘Just go get it as the new customer offer from the comparison site that you were using,’ explains the savings expert. ‘That’s the farce here. Effectively there’s a fine for apathy, laziness and ignorance that insurers like to dwell on people.If you don’t do anything. If you stay loyal. They will fine you and rake in the cash.’
Martin Lewis suggests shopping around on comparison websites before your home insurance is due to renew. Always try a few different sites including Money Supermarket, Confused.com and Compare the Market. Also, don’t forget to check deals that comparison websites might miss, such as those offered by Aviva and Direct Line.
The peak time to look out for a new deal is three weeks before your home insurance is due to renew. ‘We actually mapped 3 million home insurance quotes to find out how the price varied with the time you get it – this is for checking new quotes, not your renewal,’ Martin explained.
‘As you get toward three weeks before you’re renewal is due you get a sweet spot where the price drops. Then as you get closer to your renewal date, if you’re doing the quote, the price goes up until it can be nearly the double the amount if you do a quote the day before renewal.’
‘The reason for that is simple. Insurers price on risk, and the people who tend to insure at last minute, tend to be riskier.’
Martin Lewis home insurance need-to-know
When looking for new home insurance Martin Lewis warns against falling into the trap of just insuring your home’s value as many do. Instead, you should be insuring how much it would cost to rebuild your home if it was knocked down.
Be careful not to underinsure the contents of your home. The contents are everything that would fall out of your house if you were to turn it upside down. Even if that means adding up the cost of the pots and pans in your kitchen, underestimating these cost means only part of your contents is protected.
‘Once you’ve found the cheapest quote, try to haggle a bigger discount,’ Lewis encourages. It might sound scary picking up the phone and haggling with the likes of Sainsbury’s, but the payoffs could be big.
Do you know when your home insurance is due to renew?