Household Insurance Tips

Use these handy tips to save money on your household insurance while, at the same time, ensuring that you always have sufficient cover.

1. Make an inventory of your household contents. Use photographs and make a list—room by room, including your outbuildings.

2. Make sure you are using replacement values, not market values to calculate the insured amount of your household content.

3. Review your inventory on an annual basis and request your insurer to adjust the total insured sum accordingly.

4. Update your policy as soon as you have purchased a new high value items such as a computer, electronic equipment or jewelry.

5. Know the details and processes with regards to your policy.

6. Keep receipts of all new high value purchases, take photos and add it to your inventory which you store in a safe place, other than your home.

7. High value items must be specified in your policy, it will increase your premiums but do you want to take the risk should your heirloom stinkwood furniture be destroyed in a fire? Look at everything such as jewellery, TV, Sound Equipment, a special CD or book collection.

8. Maintain any security system such as your alarm system, do regular tests.

9. You can reduce your insurance premiums by increasing your security. If you have an alarm system—linking it to a 24 hour armed response service will reduce your risk and therefore your premium. Consider items such as fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and dead bolt locks.

10. Research household insurance cover and shop around, get at least three quotes before you decide. Don’t just go for the cheapest quote, make sure that you have sufficient cover.

11. Ask. Ask for discounts, ask for an explanation of any terms you are not sure of.

12. List all the occupants in your house on the policy, including rent paying individuals. If you don’t, their losses may not be refunded.

13. Look after your credit score. You may as well ask what that has to do with your household insurance. Well, insurers look at your credit score, making an assumption as to how financially responsible you are.

14. Accepting responsibility for paying an additional excess in case of a loss will reduce your monthly household insurance payment, it’s called a voluntary excess. It’s a form of self-insurance. Don’t accept a bigger excess than you can afford though.

15. Don’t claim for small losses, even after a number of minor claims the result can be a drastic increase in your monthly premium.

16. If you are underinsured claims will be paid using the average clause.

17. If you are over insured you do not gain anything. A basic rule in insurance is that you cannot be placed in a better position than the one you were in before the claim.

18. The structure of your house. If you have a thatched roof you will pay more as the risk of fire is increased.

19. If you will be away from home over extended periods, you need to inform your insurer.

20. Residing in a high risk area will mean higher premiums.

21. Protect your no claim bonus, don’t make unnecessary claims. The number of claim free years you have will reduce your monthly premiums

22. If you live in a high security village and have sufficient security you could consider only insuring your household content for perils such as fire and floods and not insure against burglary. This is another form of self-insurance, think carefully before making that decision.

23. You can choose to exclude your collections such as antiques or paintings from insurance.

24. Check if your employer does not have a Group Scheme agreement with a company.

25. A new feature being used by insurers is to give you the option of taking a polygraph test after you made a claim. Should you fail the test you will not be paid out. Accepting the option could result in a nice monthly saving.

26. Make sure of the “All Risks” section of your policy. You need to specify items under this section to be covered when you remove them from your house. An example is your laptop being stolen from your car.

27. Always advise your insurer if you move to a new house, the risk needs to be re-assessed.

Insure your car and household content together, the premium will be reduced.