Before you shop around – ways to get a better insurance quote
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Given the rise of the price comparison sites (and their annoying TV adverts), everyone should be aware of the benefits of shopping around when buying insurance. However, all insurers work out the cost of your policy based on the perceived risk you present to them, so if you really want to find the best quote, you need to be able to prove your lower risk status to your insurer.
We’ve outlined some of the main points below to set you on your way:
Install industry-approved locks
Your home is only as secure as its weakest entry point, so having industry-approved locks on all your doors and windows is essential. This article from 2009 highlights just how often homeowners overlook the importance of lock quality, and how it can lead to a sticky situation in the event of a claim. Being able to prove to your insurer that you have industry-approved locks on all your access points will persuade them your property is lower risk.
Alarms and security lighting
Burglars prefer to work quietly under the cover of darkness to avoid getting caught – so take this away from any potential intruders by having an alarm fitted and security lighting for the side or rear of your house. Their very presence will give potential thieves reason to think twice about breaking in to your property.
Look at specialist insurers
If you are a member of a particular demographic or organisation, you may find that specialist insurers can provide you with a lower quote. For instance, there are number of companies specialising in insurance strictly for the over-50s, while in the UK, UIA provides insurance for union members.
Work out your maximum deductible/excess
When you make a claim, your policy will typical include a deductible or excess – this is the amount that you have to pay as a one-off fee for the cost of repairing or replacing your insured assets. In most cases, paying a higher excess means your monthly premiums will be lower, so if you don’t think you’ll be making many claims, work out the highest amount you can afford as a one-off payment and set this with your insurer. Then if you never make a claim on the policy, you’ll only be paying the reduced rates.
Be sure you don’t get what you don’t need
There are two sides to this: the first being to work out the value of contents in your home. If you set your insurance cover amount too high, you’re paying for cover you will never actually use. Secondly, not all insurance policies are the same, as different events are covered on some policies but not on others. Work out what you really need: for instance, do you really need flood cover if you live at the top of a hill? Again, including cover you don’t need is money wasted.