It is astounding the amount of money people living in Britain are wasting by not being savvier with their home insurance shopping. Currently the figure stands at around £687 million per year, which works out at an average of £125 for each household in the country.
Research found that nearly a third of all home owners would simply let their current policy automatically renew rather than pre-empting it and looking for a better deal from another company. This is often the case with many other items such as mobile phones and car insurance, and it has been dubbed “consumer apathy.”
Customer loyalty accounted for less than ten per cent of the figure, these people believing that they would not be able to find a better deal elsewhere. Only 13% of people consciously stayed with their home insurance company because they were actually happy with the service.
The study found that home owners in Scotland and Wales were the most apathetic with 33% of them carrying on with their current policy. On average, Brits only stay with their home insurer for around two-and-a-half years, and nine per cent of those surveyed had been with the same company for more than ten years, so were missing out on significant savings.
Much of the reasoning that consumer apathy exists is that it is too much hassle, and in a busy modern lifestyle there is less time to spare, despite the fact that the effort will ultimately put less strain on the bank balance. Here are some things to bear in mind when you are shopping for home insurance.
Check the documentation for your existing policy. If you want to leave your current policy, you may have to pay the premium for the remaining term. Depending on how much this is it will help you to decide whether you want to cancel it or not.
Give yourself plenty of time to shop around before the renewal date. If you leave it too late you might find a better deal than what you have currently, but it might not be the best available.
Get some advice. Sometimes it can get confusing, not to mention stressful, so you might find speaking to an independent adviser helpful. By telling them your circumstances and needs, they might be able to help you find the policy that suits you best. Sales people might be working to targets and commission, so don’t be up-sold onto a policy you don’t need.
What needs to be covered?
Have a clear idea of what you want covered by your insurance. Outdoor furniture can be expensive, and what about the contents of your garden shed, or indeed the shed itself. It’s amazing the things that people forget about until it’s too late. Find out if these things are covered by your insurance, you might have to set up an entirely separate policy for it.
How accurate is the estimated value of your possessions? Are there any new purchase that might not be covered? Some people will take a photo of an item in the room that it belongs as this can be helpful if you need to make a claim against damage or loss, and of course, proof of purchase is vital.
The overall advice is simple: shop around for your home insurance regularly, keep the estimated value of your home as accurate as possible, if you’re not sure what’s best get independent advice, and most importantly give yourself plenty of time otherwise you’ll be contributing to those unnecessarily wasted millions of pounds.
Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of subjects. This article links back to http://www.hastingsdirect.com/home-insurance/. The content contained in this article is for information purposes only and should not be used to make any financial decisions.