The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo| Insurance make sure you are covered: Great tips and tricks to get the best deal
HOME insurance prices can vary widely depending where and even when you buy it, so it makes sense to take the time to shop around to ensure you get the best deal and the right cover.
Comparison sites are a great place to start, but the cheapest deal might not give you the right cover and leave you high and dry when it comes to making a claim.
My insurance survival guide should give you some great tips and tricks which you should always consider when buying your insurance cover.
1. Don’t make assumptions. You might think some features of home insurance are standard but you should always ask the right questions and even read the small print, for example:
- accidental damage – fewer than one in five home insurance policies automatically cover you for damage you cause yourself, by accident
- home emergency cover – fewer than one in five home insurance policies automatically provide help for home emergencies, and more than half don’t offer this as an option at all
- Items over £1500 aren't always covered automatically, anything costing over this amount is usually classed as a valuable item and needs to be listed separately, so not just jewellery, you will need to list that expensive new TV and possibly that designer handbag too.
2. Comparison sites. Around eight out of ten people use these to search the market for the cheapest home insurance quote. If you use at least two sites you’ll see many of the best options, but each site has pros and cons so make sure that you look at the details, don’t buy insurance just because a Meer Cat in a smoking jacket told you it was a good deal.
3. Increase Home security. You might get a reduction for joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme with some providers. Some insurers will only insure you if you have BSI approved locks on all outside doors and windows, and a good quality alarm system always makes good sense.
4. Build your no-claims discount. If you don’t claim for a few years you might get a discount, It’s not just car insurance that offers this so it’s always looking to see where you can do this, not everywhere does so check before you buy.
5. Do you have kids at university? If you do its worth checking to see if they are covered too in their accommodation, if they are this can work out much cheaper than buying a separate policy, but watch that no claims bonus if you have a clumsy teenager.
6. You can cancel your home insurance any time within the first 14 days, this is the cooling off period that all insurance companies must give, according to the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority. But there might be a penalty. A lot of people don’t realise this when they buy, but many insurers charge a fee for cancelling within the 14 days. However, this fee should only reflect the cost of the service that you've received. They also deduct the days of cover you’ve already had before giving you a refund.
If you cancel after the 14-day cooling off period you may not get the full amount of money back for the days of cover you haven’t used yet.
Cancellation terms and conditions vary by policy – always read the terms before you buy.
By: Richard Fenton