Owning a home can be expensive. In addition to mortgage costs and stamp duty, taking out home insurance can put a large dent in your budget—so how can we go about getting the best home insurance policy?
Comparing the best home insurance policies is a must when looking to get the best possible cover tailored to your needs. As a basic rule, it’s important to consider both the level and type of cover, what you’re not covered for and the price—overpaying for extras you don’t need is perhaps the easiest way to lose track of your spending. Comparison sites are a great place to start, though they do come with their drawbacks. You’ll soon learn that the cheapest deal will not necessarily equal the best cover.
There are two major levels of cover available, buildings insurance and contents insurance (which covers everything you would take if you were to move home). What you choose depends entirely on your needs. In a contents cover bedroom rated policy, the insurer works out the amount of contents cover based on the number of bedrooms in your home. This is especially useful as all the calculations are done for you—most policies of this kind provide a standard cover worth anywhere between £40,000 and £50,000. On the other hand, if you opt for the sum insured policy, you’ll have to calculate the amount of cover you need on your own. Using an online contents cover calculator will allow you to get right level of cover and the best possible deal. Finally, choosing an unlimited sums insured policy will limit your risk of being under-insured as your contents are covered with no limit. When looking for insurance make sure your definition of ‘valuables’ matches your potential insurer’s, check if the insurance covers things taken out of your home (like mobile phones and laptops), don’t under-insure and verify the excess—the amount of cover you have to pay yourself. Different insurers will provide different levels of cover, be wary of where the differences lie.
See also: Insurance Policies For Landlords
If you’re opting for buildings insurance, on the other hand, the choice will often be between convenience and cost. The bedroom rated insurance—one of the two main types of buildings insurance—will have the insurer estimate the cost of rebuilding your home by the number of bedrooms it has. It is estimated that around 16.5 million homes in the UK currently have this type of cover. With a sum insured policy, you yourself will need to estimate the cost of rebuilding your home—it is advisable, in this case, to use the help of a chartered surveyor. There are pros and cons to both: the bedroom rated insurance is straightforward and protects you from being under-insured, while the sum insured policy can be tricky to calculate but will also allow you to cut costs by only paying for the cover you need. There are also a few other factors that will affect your home insurance—your postcode might be one of them. In ‘at risk’ high-claim areas with high crime and burglary rates or flood and subsidence risks, your premiums will most likely be higher. Therefore it’s vital to look around for the best deal and factor in all the different aspects before buying your home insurance policy.
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