Reduce your home insurance premium in Ireland 2019

Welcome to our Irish Insurance Blog! Looking for the best value home insurance? To help you, we have listed some of the main areas to focus on before choosing the policy to suit your needs…and pocket!

Rebuilding your property:
This is where many people end up over-paying for their home insurance. They request a quote based on the current sales value of their property, rather than the actual rebuild costs. The rebuild cost figure could save you as much as ten percent on your premium. If you insure your property for €400,000 and it only costs €300,000 to rebuild, the insurance company will only pay out €300,000 and so you have wasted money insuring your property for an unnecessary extra €100,000. The safest way of arriving at the rebuilding cost is to establish the rebuilding cost per square foot/meter for similar properties in your area and the best website to assist you in this is the one run by the Society of Chartered Surveyors. Any extensions/modifications you make to the property should always be included in your rebuilding cost estimate. It you are a landlord/tenant, the management company fee may cover all rebuilding costs…but not contents cover.

Property contents:
Again, exaggerating/overvaluing the household contents will increase the annual premium of your home insurance policy. You will only ever receive payment on the actual value of the items covered and not the valuation you put on them. All insurance company’s content policy differs in what it covers…from bicycles, cash, jewelry, accidental damage, to whether your built-in wardrobes or fitted kitchen fall under the cover. A proper contents listing…room by room, will give you the most accurate valuation figure and could save you anything up to fifteen percent off your annual premium!

Insuring your valuables:
Sometimes called ‘all risk cover’, this all-inclusive contents cover package can protect you against loss or damage of your valuables, items like jewelry, smart phones, PC’s, cash, etc. These are usually items that standard contents policies fail to cover…and even if they do, may sometimes not cover the true value of a particular item over say, five thousand euro. So if your €10,000 engagement ring is stolen, the most you may get back is €5,000. As with contents cover, the policies covering valuables vary dramatically in what they will, and will not, pay out on…so please check the small print. Obviously, the more valuable these items, the higher the premium.

Should you have a high or low excess?
One simple way of bringing down your premium is to take out a policy with a high excess. However when you make a claim you pay a higher excess amount to replace/repair the insured item. So, for instance, if your €1,000 laptop is stolen or is accidentally destroyed, and you have an excess of €500 built into your policy, you will only get €500 back from the insurance company…leaving you to pay out the first €500. This type of higher excess will reduce your annual insurance premium…but of course will cost you more in the long run if you have to make a claim on the policy.

Will a burglar alarm lower my premium?
The simple answer is yes, particularly if your alarm is a monitored one. The more advanced the burglar alarm the more of a reduction in your policy you should expect to receive. Always ensure to have your alarm switched on, especially while the property is vacant, but also at night while you are at home, as some policies may penalise you for not making proper use of the alarm to protect your property and contents. Another way of reducing your annual home insurance premium is by informing the insurance company that your estate/area is involved in a Neighborhood Watch Scheme.

The addition of smoke alarm:
Smoke alarms, particularly those connected to your mains electricity with a backup battery, and a carbon monoxide alarm will not only protect you and your family against fire and odourless poisonous carbon monoxide gas, it may also assist in reducing your insurance premium. Smoke alarms are cheap and you should have at least two, one in the hall and one in the landing…although many householders are now placing these lifesaving alarms in each room of the house…as you can never be too safe!

The policy’s content:
It is imperative that you understand what is covered and not covered and the various terms and conditions that come with the policy…no matter how boring the process! If you are in any doubt about the extent of coverage, contact your insurance company immediately to get clarity. Changing your policy will obviously effect the premium…however, it is vitally important that you get the policy that best covers your needs. It is also imperative that each year you read the policy’s coverage conditions as very often a policy can change without it being instantly obvious to the policy holder.

Some of the major coverage areas to examine include:
1. The level of public liability insurance, in case any non-family member sustains an injury…or worse. Friends, gardeners, electricians and even your friendly postman all need to be properly covered so that you are not left with a huge claim against you and your property in case of a third party accident.

2. If you go on an extended holiday, perhaps to your holiday home abroad, it is important to understand how long you can leave your home unoccupied before the coverage expires. As a precaution against anything unsavory happening to your property while you are away you should ensure that the alarm is on, all taps and electrics are turned off, and of course it is always advisable to notify a trusted neighbour, you may also consider leaving them a spare key and alarm cod in case the alarm activates. Letting the local Gardai know about your extended absence will also add another level of security to your property and its contents.

3. Make sure that all the details the insurance company have listed in the policy about your property are correct, for instance; the types of locks on the door/windows, the age of the property or any new modifications/extensions to the property. If these details are not correct you may find that the insurance company may not pay out in the case of a claim due to misleading information having been supplied by you, the client.

Finding the most competitive quote:
Banks offering mortgages may try and sell you their own home insurance package. This is not necessarily the best option for you. There maybe a cheaper, more appropriate insurance package available to choose from. Shopping around for the best quote can help enormously! Visit our home insurance comparison website Compare Insurance Ireland to review quotes. Compare Insurance Ireland .ie is owned by Paul Hudson trading as Magenta Online Marketing. Paul Hudson trading as Magenta Online Marketing is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Registered in Ireland, ref no 117655.

Submitting a claim:
Some of the major points to consider include:

1. There are times when you should consider not making a claim against your home insurance policy. For example if the value of the item is only slightly above your excess, as this may increase your premium the following year.
2. Always keep receipts for valuable items and identification numbers, so that you can prove you actually owned them in the case of the items being stolen or destroyed by fire. Keeping evidence of valuable items in a different location to your home may be a safe option in the case of fire.
3. Make sure you are totally honest when making a claim…by not exaggeration your losses or you may end up invalidating your total cover. This also includes giving the insurer accurate information when initially taking out the policy, including providing details of your previous claims history.
4. Finally, if you feel you are being untreated unfairly by your insurance company during the claim process and are not happy with their final findings you should contact the Financial Service Ombudsman.

For more information on home insurance check ConsumerHelp.ie Thank you for visiting Affinity Insurance, we hope you found our Irish Insurance Blog helpful and informative! Content relating to this home insurance post are for information purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice.