First and foremost when choosing your home insurance provider consider what you require from them. Make a checklist of what you want to be included in your insurance policy and use it as a guide when you’re choosing your provider.
Your insurance considerations
There are a few key factors you need consider when it comes to insurance, from the rebuild costs of your home to the value of the things within it. More than anything else you’ll want to know that you can totally rebuild your home, should the need arise. Remember this is likely to be different to the market value of your home, so make an informed decision about the level of cover you need. If you’ve had a recent survey, this is likely to give you a guide as to the amount of cover you need. Remember to disclose all of the pertinent details about your home to your insurer, especially if it is listed or has any special features or construction methods included within it. A timber built house or a thatched roof could make a significant difference to your costs. In addition to your house itself, you’ll want to confirm that your insurance covers any outbuildings you own such as a garage, shed or other outbuildings.
Another consideration is your contents insurance. When choosing a provider, be quite clear about what they provide in this respect – whether they would replace your contents with brand new or second-hand items. Sometimes it is only the latter. The cost of replacing all of your possessions from every teaspoon to your books, kitchen equipment, clothes, furniture and electronic goods can come to a surprising amount. When you’re estimating the cost of replacing your belongings, have a look around your home room by room; and make a rough list of your items as you go. This will help you to estimate how much insurance cover you need. Again here you need to check that your belongings stored outside of your home are included such as tools kept in a shed or garage. Also, consider whether you need cover for any items that you regularly take away from your home, such as laptops, mobiles or bikes.
Also, make a note of any valuable items that you’re likely to need to insure separately, such as jewellery, paintings, antiques and collectables. Remember that there is a limit on the value of individual items that you can claim for under your general contents insurance. So if you have valuable items that are not covered by your general contents insurance policy, take steps to take out separate cover for them.
When looking at insurance cover ensure you are aware of what accidental cover you have included in your policy. Look out for any exclusions and confirm what events are covered and to what level of cover.
Another facet of home insurance to consider are any optional extras that you want to be included in your policy, such as legal cover, the replacement of your keys and locks should the need arise, and the cost of accommodation in an emergency. It might be that these added extras will give you peace of mind.
Your payment options
Take a close look too, at your payment options when choosing an insurance provider. Sometimes a one-off payment works out cheaper than paying monthly by direct debit, as the latter can include additional interest.
Give careful consideration to the excess that you can afford to pay. Though raising your excess can reduce your insurance premium, you need to ensure you are happy paying it should you need to make a claim.
Whatever you decide, be sure to shop around and if you want to find the policy that meets your needs, then contact home insurance specialists that can help you get the best quote.
Your insurance provider
When it comes to the provider, there are several factors you need to take into account before you make your choice. Learn what you can about their claims process and the claims records of the company concerned – as you don’t want to be involved in any legal wrangles with them at a later date. Also, do they make any commitment as to how fast they will respond to a claim?
When choosing your insurance provider, look out for relevant industry accreditations including those from the Charted Institute of Insurance.
Also, look at any awards that your prospective insurer has received. Just be mindful of who has bestowed the award and for what – as many awards won’t be awarded by customers but rather industry organisations.
Defacto ratings provide a quick and easy way to see how your potential provider has measured up against their competitors. Each policy is scored against 32 factors and given a star rating – so look out for those with five stars.
Consider also the customer service model offered by your potential provider, including their central customer support office and the local agents they have nearby to help you. Do they have an agent in your local area?
Customer reviews can be helping in making your decision as to which insurance provider to choose. Look online to find out how your prospective providers are perceived by their customers and also check out the website of consumer champion Which? Is your chosen insurer recommended by them?
Look too at the experience of the companies you are considering. When were they established and how much experience do they have in this sector. You want to find a provider who is here for the long term.
So there you have the key things you need to consider when choosing a home insurance provider. From deciding what cover you need for your home and contents, to considering the insurance provider themselves, from their claims record to their customer service and reviews. We hope you’ve found this article helpful and that you’ll soon find the right provider for your property.