If you rent or own a home, whether through a mortgage or outright, then it is likely that you will need to have some insurance. If you are renting a property then you will just need to think about contents insurance and if you own a house you will need to consider building insurance as well. If you have a mortgage, then the lender will insist that you have buildings insurance. Insurance can be expensive though and it is a good idea to make sure that you are not paying more than necessary.
Use a Broker
Some people like to use a broker when finding insurance. The broker will look at a selection of insurers to find you the best price. It is worth being careful though as a broker is unlikely to look at every insurer and some insurance companies only work directly with customers and not through brokers, so you could find a better price yourself. They may also take a commission which could put the price up. They will save time though and they could still potentially find you a better price than you will pay sticking with the insurer that you are currently with.
Use a Comparison Website
It can be well worth using a comparison website to find out what sort of price you might be able to get. You will need to be careful that you are getting like for like insurance though as you may have special cover for certain items etc, which is not included when you look on the comparison site. It is still interesting though, to see what possibilities are there with regards to price as you could be paying a lot more than necessary.
Check Out Cashback Sites
You may find that if you switch insurers you will be able to get some cashback. There are a number of cashback sites online and if you switch through them then you can get a sum of money. This can be very tempting, but do make sure that you check out the terms of the site, to ensure you will get the money as they may have a minimum payout amount or other terms that you need to be aware of. There are different cashback sites so it is worth comparing them as some may also offer you better terms than others. Do make sure that you compare insurers in a few places, not just on the cashback site as you may find that even with a percentage or lump sum of cashback, it is better to get insurance directly or through a comparison site. It will take a bit of research.
Secure the Property
If your property is more secure then your insurance will be lower. This means that it is protected from fire and theft. So having a door and windows that have a good locking system and having wired in smoke alarms can help to lower the amount that you pay. You could also find that you will benefit from having a burglar alarm. However, this is a gamble as some insurers will think that an alarm indicates that you have items of value and could tempt burglars. They may also only pay out if you have the alarm set, which means if you forget to set it and get burgled you will not be covered.
Be Careful with Renovations
It is a good idea to think carefully when you renovate your home. If you do a loft conversion or build and extension you will need to tell your insurance company and your premium will go up. If you do not tell them, then they will not pay out for those areas if they are damaged, for example by fire or flood. It is also worth being aware that you will be charged extra if you have bathrooms put in higher than the ground floor because of the extra risk of leaks causing damage to the house. So if you want an extra bathroom, think about whether it will be better to position it on the ground floor.
Consider Flood Re
If you live in an area at risk of flooding then you will find that your premiums can be extremely high. Even if you live in an area where some houses in your postcode area are near a river and you are not or if you are near a river that does not flood, you could still be seen as a higher risk by an insurance company and you may find it difficult to get insurance or you will be charged extremely high amounts. However, there is an insurance scheme to protect those that live in an area considered to be at risk of flooding and this is called Flood Re. If you find a company that is part of this scheme, then they should be able to offer you a competitive insurance rate, despite the risk of where you live.
Call Insurer at Renewal Time
It can be extremely useful to phone up your insurer when it is time for you to renew. Many will lower their renewal price for you if you ask. This does seem unfair, as those that do not ask will get a higher rate, but it is wise to take advantage of it. It is good to do some research and see if you can find a better rate, then call them up and find out whether your insurer can match or do better than that. It is a lot easier to stick with your insurer but a bit of research and phone call could mean that you can stick with them and pay a bit less, so it is well worth it. However, it could be possible that with cash back and good rates it could still be better to move and some people change their insurer every year. Just be sure you remember who you are with, in case you need to make a claim!