How much will my home insurance cost? It’s a common question, but not one that’s automatically easy to answer. An insurer will take a wide variety of factors into account when working out what your premium will be, not only about the house but also you and your lifestyle.
So what plays a part in the price of your premium? And what steps can you take to lower the cost of your cover?
One of the first things an insurer will consider when pricing up your premium is the precise location of your home. An insurer can tell an awful lot just from your postcode.
They will look at things like crime rates for example; if the area has a higher-than-average burglary rate, then you may find your premiums are larger.
The likelihood of your home being caught up in flooding will also play a part in the pricing of your home insurance cover. If your home is located in an at-risk area, then your premiums will be higher. It’s worth noting that even homes with a history of flooding should be able to arrange cover now thanks to a new scheme called Flood Re, which was set up to help households who live in a flood risk area find affordable home insurance.
How much cover?
The exact amount of cover you need will of course play a part in what it actually costs. If you are insuring an expensive home, or large sums of contents, then your policy will cost more.
What type of property?
The exact type of property that you are looking to insure is an important factor too; detached homes present different risk levels to semi-detached homes or apartments.
For example, a terraced property is generally less at risk of subsidence, so may be cheaper to insure.
Insurers will also want to know about how much of your roof is flat; if a large amount of a roof is flat, there may be issues with water pooling and subsequent damage, resulting in higher premiums.
The materials used in the building of the property will play a part too. If your home is timber framed or has a thatched roof, then it is more at risk of fire, so you will likely have to pay a higher premium.
Insurers will always ask how secure your property is. This will include things like what locks you have fitted on your doors and windows and whether there is an alarm in place.
You can also make better use of technology to increase the level of security, thanks to a range of smart devices that can be installed in your home and can help you keep an eye on your property, even if you’re out and about.
As a general rule, the more secure your home is, the lower your premium will be. And of course, the better the security you have in place, the less likely it is that you will need to make a claim.
Have you claimed before?
Your own claims history is taken into account too. Those who have made claims in the past few years will generally pay more for their cover.
Insurers will ask a lot of questions about you as a homeowner or tenant when pricing up your policy, as your lifestyle will affect how likely you may be to make a claim.
For example, if you spend large periods of time away from the home, it may be more at risk of burglary and so the premiums will be higher. Similarly, smokers will face premiums as their homes are statistically more at risk of fire.
What can you do to reduce the size of your premiums?
With all of those factors in mind, there are plenty of steps you can take in order to keep your home insurance cover as cost-effective as possible.
A first step is to ensure that you have the right amount of cover. Go through each room in your house and work out what it would cost to replace the items in there in the event of a flood or a fire. Once you’ve done that for each room in your house you will have a much more accurate idea of exactly how much contents cover you need, rather than simply guessing at a large, round figure.