/ Home Insurance advice

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Blue Straggler - on 19 Feb 2013
Hi all. A request to those wiser than me in such matters.
I think I may well be paying over the odds for my home insurance, but then again maybe not - when I set it up (9 years ago) it seemed competitive then I got lazy and just let them auto-renew...
Anyway, in attempt to keep my eye on the ball for once, I am looking at my current renewal policy. 740 over the next year for a 3-bedroom house, insured for 116k (I might need to increase that - never had a valuation since buying though!) and contents at 27k which I might look at reducing actually.
It's often been said that my insurance is high BUT the house is about 200 years old which seems to be causing this hike in price.
I've never really researched it all though, so I thought I'd ask you good people first.

Thanks
Wiley Coyote - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
No doubt it depends where you are but it sounds as though you are being royally ripped off. Maybe get on one of the comparison sites but just by way of illustration I've been selling my late dad's house in a village near Harrogate and had to insure it. For a 250,000 house buildings and contents was 148 and that was with the house standing empty but fully furnished.
Blue Straggler - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Thanks. How old is the house though? I mention age because a few years ago when renewing the mortgage deal, the mortgage provider expressed concern at my insurance costs, proudly declared that she'd be able to better it, and then failed. Then at the bank this year they had a look and found that they weren't allowed to insure a house more than 100 years old :-(
Wiley Coyote - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
Dad's was 1970s. Just checked my own and it is still 'only' 487 for a four hundred year old four bed house near Skipton, Yorks. You're right it does shoot up once you get past Victorian and some companies won't touch an older house at any price.
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Thanks. On the case with Google now. UKC was the first port of call before Google of course...guess I'll see the forums on that Martin Lewis "moneysavingexpert" site first.

Keep the replies rolling in though, folk!

Ta
Fester - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:

For 400,000 rebuild and 75,000 contents I`m just under 300 if that`s any help.
Had three quotes within about 20 of that a few months ago at renewal.

House is over 100 years old......and showing it :)
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Fester:

Thanks. Just plugged a load of details into moneysavingexpert and I should be able to save many hundreds of pounds, need to check the small print though.

Should I be worried that the estimated rebuild cost is more than the market cost? moneysavingexpert seems to assume that it should be the other way round! But it has calculated things from a rebuild cost anyway.

Yup I have been getting royally ripped off by the looks of things. Would have looked it into a few years ago were it not for the fact that the mortgage provider could not compete with my current people (Towergate, via a broker linked to the IFA who originally helped me get the mortgage sorted!)
Wiley Coyote - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Fester)

>
> Should I be worried that the estimated rebuild cost is more than the market cost?

Not necessarily. It's a funny figure because it includes the cost of clearing the site of the wreckage of your former pride and joy before you can rebuild. I'd have thought not having to buy the land would more than offset that but apparently not
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Thanks again. Just put details into directline (which does not allow itself to be included on comparison site calculations and got a fairly low quote but just making a few little changes on excess and contents insurance for away from home and accidental damage etc, soon hiked it up pretty high! Well worth looking at every little thing, obviously, and (as for car insurance) pondering how to do the excess.
Still cheaper than Towergate though, even with some IMHO over-the-top "extras".
A lot of cheapies on moneysavingexpert's results but I've not heard of any of the companies. Starting at around 250 and in increasing order:

getcover.co.uk
thepolicyshop
homeprotect (underwritten by AXA)
AIM
Homeinsurer.co.uk
quotelinedirect
QuoteYourHome
HomeQuoteDirect
PerformanceDirect Home
Easy Insure
fresh! insurance
One Call Insurance
iGo (maybe I have heard of them actually)
grove & dean

and then we are at Halifax and Lloyds and up at 580ish. Still better than Towergate, mind!
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Bump
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:

In fairness the Towergate quote is actually 611 if paid direct and upfront, the rest is fees and monthly direct debit interest. I should be in a position to pay in a lump sum this time if I can keep it under say 400.
ebygomm - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Our estimated rebuild cost is higher than the cost of the house. Unusual but not unheard of.

Have you looked at insuring buildings and contents separately? We were restricted on buildings insurance because of history of our house and to get the away from home cover with the providers who we could use for buildings was expensive. So we get buildings and contents separately.
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to ebygomm:

I have not looked at it yet, thanks, I'll try it if I get time (have left it a little late, renewal is 1 March...)

Just been on the phone to Aviva after running an online quote through them and ultimately been told to ring them. Flood plain is my problem and it's not to do with the canal that runs right pas my kitchen, just the area in general. They won't quote until I've provided them details of local flood defences. I wonder if my other "cheaper" quotes will magically increase when it comes to the crunch!

Incidentally my current insurers Towergate get more dreadful online reviews than most of the "never-heard-of-them" companies that came up on the comparison sites!
DaveN - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler: nationwide do two levels of cover, for us came in within 20 quid of the cheap companies, plus they don't charge extra for monthly payment. Not sure if they limit on age of property though.
ebygomm - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler: I found comparison sites no good as they didn't deal with the specific issue we had so the quotes given weren't accurate. I ended up finding quotes on individual sites and then looking on quidco to see if i could get further discounts.
peas65 - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Our house is 400 years old, grade 2 listed , insured for more than your value and contents of up to 50,000 and we managed to get the price with direct line down to around 500. This includes insurance for goods whilst we are out and about and accidental damage.

So i would try direct line if i was you.
peas65 - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to peas65:

Just seen that you looked at direct line, i would phone them if i was you as we managed to negotiate your price down from around 670 to 500 with added benefits just because i found a cheaper price somehwere else online.
elsewhere on 20 Feb 2013
Directline were OK start with but the renewal price went up, and up, and up, and up until I finally shopped around. I expect the other companies are just the same.

You've got to shop around at least every year few years.
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
Thanks all. Yes I was just using comparison sites as a starting point, I would not book directly through them. Will ring a few that came up on there. Nationwide were expensive on there and they are the mortgage provider who failed to come up with anything competitive a few years ago.
Direct Line came out as 545 online but as someone said, ringing them might bring this down. My house is maybe a bit unusual - 4 storeys (basement kitchen, and loft conversion main bedroom, tall and skinny house), on a canal, no garden or driveway so quite exposed to the street) and as previously mentioned, in a flood risk area. And I made a claim in 2009 after naughty kids smashed some windows. All those things may explain high premiums :-(
Pero - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler: I work on the assumption that there are always companies looking to get you on their books with a reduced first year premium in the hope that you'll stay even if they hike the price on year 2. So, I just hit the web every year and change.

E.g. this year I got a ridiculously low quote from the AA, who obviously hoped to sell me car insurance as well.

I fully expect the AA quote to leap up next year, then I'll move again.
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Pero:

Thanks - AA are coming out of this surprisingly well (412 with some roadside breakdown cover included)
lazzaw - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler: If do the application completely online you may get some extra cashback if you go through www.quidco.com then follow their link to the insurance company. Not all companies are on there and the cashback varies but, for example, More Thank will pay you 60 cashback if you go through quidco. It won't work if you do a telephone application so it depends which gets you the best deal
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
Thanks all, job pretty much done - current broker got back to me with a 312 quote with 50 excess and covering 300k building replacement, having last week said 611 (remember the 740 was the total if spread over 10 months direct debit) with 100 excess and covering 120k. This is via a local IFA using Broker Direct and Royal & Sun Alliance.
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
One last thing - do you insure for loss/damage/theft of items away from home as part of your buildings and contents insurance, or insure separately? TBH I am rarely if ever out and about with anything valued higher than typical excess (e.g. laptop), that wouldn't fall under typical exclusions anyway (e.g. laptop)...don't have an expensive dSLR for example. But then if I were out winter climbing and someone nicked me B3 boots and C3 crampons out of a drying room or porch at the hostel, I suppose I'd want them covered.
ebygomm - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Our contents includes insurance for bikes and other stuff away from home. Certainly for bikes it was much cheaper to include on home insurance than insure separately. Also includes climbing gear in car etc. I know my car insurance has a really low limit for contents which wouldn't even cover the cost of a couple of ropes if stolen from the car.
Blue Straggler - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to ebygomm:
yes for 70 extra I'll whack it on. Will check the excess of course. But yes had forgotten about the cost of ropes and so on which can easily be left in the boot of the car e.g. when going for a pub meal after climbing. Thanks

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