Each year, your home insurance provider or broker will remind you that it’s time to renew your cover, usually either by letter or email, and offering you a new ‘deal’.
Many people simply agree to whatever the new premiums are and continue cover. But is this wise? Should you simply assume that what you’re being offered is a fair deal and accept it? The answer, of course, is no.
Essentially, renewal time is a chance for you to potentially save a considerable amount of money by looking at what else is out there and at what price for the required level of cover you need.
More and more consumers are wising up to comparing deals using brokers, online comparison sites and even approaching insurers directly. If you do find a better deal, you can go back to your current provider and suggest they at least match it, if not better it.
Here’s what you should do when renewal time approaches:
1. Well before renewal time
Some policies have what’s called ‘auto-renewal’ whereby unless you say otherwise, the cover will simply roll over and you’ll be automatically charged for a new cover period. This will have been stipulated in the small print when you first took the cover out, so double check well in advance if this is the case with your current cover as you often need to give several months’ notice to cancel it.
2. Compare deals
Search the market to compare deals. Make sure you’re comparing like-for-like policies which include cover for the things you need. You might want a certain minimum claim limits, or to include optional extras such as emergency cover and accidental damage.
3. Consider excess and exclusions
Policies that you’re comparing might include the elements and claim limits you want, but buried in the small print the differences in terms of excess and exclusions can be considerable. Cheaper policies may have a higher level of excess (the first part of a claim the insured has to pay) and more exclusions, limiting your scope for making claims.
4. Don’t forget your no claims bonus
If you’ve been a ‘good’ customer and not made any claims for a number of years, make sure the quotes include what’s called a ‘no claims discount’. Insurers view those who haven’t claim as ‘less risky’ and offer discounts on premiums of up to even 70%.
5. Improve security
If you fit new, improved locks on doors and windows, as well as possibly alarm systems, prior to renewal time, include the details of the higher level of security when getting quotes, it should reduce your cover costs.
6. Change of circumstance
If you’ve had building work completed during the cover period which is coming up for renewal, or had additions to the family such as children, or even pets such as cats and dogs, you need to tell insurers about this compared to the information you gave at the previous renewal time.
7. Gather all quotes and approach your current provider
If you find better quotes for the same level of cover being offered by other providers that you’re happy with, approach your current insurer and explain the situation.
Be quite brazen, and if you’re not averse to staying with your current provider, say that if they match or beat the offer, or offers, you’ve had, you’ll stay with them.
You might be surprised how quickly they come up with an improved deal. Or, instead of reducing premiums, they might offer to throw in ‘extras’ for free, such as legal cover, or offer away from home cover for nothing when they’d usually charge.
This may or may not be attractive to you, but either way, you have the upper hand as you can then weigh up any counter offer you like and decide to stay or switch.
We help our customers compare products and find a policy that’s right for them. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do and we have a dedicated customer service team on hand by phone, email, twitter and instant chat. For more information speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org