Home and Contents Insurance

Our painstaking research shows that Direct Line, Churchill and Marks & Spencers are offering some of the most competitive rates for Home & Contents insurance in the country. Between them, you’re virtually guaranteed to make a big saving.

Nevertheless, there can sometimes be significant price differences between insurers – so get at least two quotes from the insurers we’ve short-listed for you.

These are some of the features that affect the cost of your Home & Contents Insurance:

 Firstly a warning. Make sure you don’t under insure. Technically speaking, if you under insure you’re not insured – it invalidates the insurance. However, in practice most insurers will scale down any claim you make to reflect the proportion to which you are underinsured.

 Most insurers will base your insurance rates on your post-code in order to reflect the claims experience in your neighbourhood. But there are other factors too.

 The older your house the more expensive your premium will be.

 Is your home terraced? Semi-detached houses are cheaper to insure with detached properties being the cheapest.

 If your house is not traditionally constructed it will be more expensive to insure. By traditionally constructed we mean built of brick or stone with some form of slate, tile, or stone roof. For example, if your home is thatched, your premium could well double!

 How much would your house cost to re-build if it was destroyed? The cost of re-building is primarily dictated by the floor area of your home and local building costs. Most insurers will calculate the re-building cost for you based on the number and type of rooms in your home and the up-to-date data they hold about rebuilding costs in your area. However, if you have a particularly luxurious home with expensive fittings, you may need to increase the figure recommended by the insurance company. And if your house has recently been surveyed, always use the rebuilding cost recommended by the surveyor.

 Is your property in a good state of repair? Badly maintained houses will be charged higher premiums.

 Does your neighbourhood have a history of flooding? All insurance companies maintain detailed flooding records by post-code. They also know which areas are scheduled by the Water Authorities as being at flooding risk. If there is a serious flooding problem in your immediate area, insurance companies may refuse to provide insurance cover.

 Insurers also take into account geological problems – for example, is there a history of settlement or land-slip or in your immediate vicinity? Land-slip problems are most commonly found in properties built on the coast or on slopes and settlement can be a big problem in peaty and heavy clay areas.

 Underground mining can cause subsidence so are you in a mining area? If so, your premium will be increased.

 When it comes to Contents Insurance, burglary and theft rates in your neighbourhood will be a major factor. The insurance companies maintain detailed records by post-code of their losses due to criminal activity.

 For Contents Insurance, you will be asked to estimate the value of various categories of belongings kept in your home. During recent years the value of household contents has risen by 33% fuelled by ownership of big ticket items such as wide-screen TV’s, computers and designer clothes. Most Contents policies will replace items on a new for old basis – but when it comes to antiques, you will need a valuation and should have the items listed separately on your policy.