Figures from the ONS Living Costs and Food Survey 2009 show that half of the poorest households in the UK do not have home contents insurance, compared with a fifth of households on average income.
Perhaps this is because families who are struggling financially may consider contents insurance to be an expensive luxury. Yet it is those who can least afford to replace damaged or stolen possessions that need insurance the most.
If you are worried you may not be able to afford contents insurance, then you should search for Swiftcover contents insurance for great deals on the website. There are also nifty ways to cutting the costs of content insurance further.
Reducing content insurance costs
Here are the top ten suggestions to keep contents insurance costs low:
1. Combine buildings and contents insurance – If you own your own home, you will often be offered a cheaper price by getting both from the same insurer.
2. Get the right amount of cover – It’s vital to estimate the value of your possessions accurately. If you take out more cover than you need, you’ll end up paying over the odds for insurance. However, if you are underinsured you’ll not get enough to replace everything in the event of a catastrophic fire or flood.
3. Stick to basics – Don’t pay for extras unless they are absolutely necessary. Remember that valuables taken on holiday will be covered by travel insurance. Accidental damage cover is rarely worth the extra charge as it can increase your premiums by up to 25% and the excess often makes it uneconomical to claim.
4. Pay your premiums annually – By making a one-off annual payment you can save the additional administration fee which most insurance firms charge for monthly instalments.
5. Choose a higher voluntary excess – Opting to do so can reduce the cost of your premium. However, as the voluntary excess is the amount you have to pay towards any claim make sure you can afford it.
6. Think twice before making a claim – If the stolen or damaged items are of relatively low value, it might be better to pay for replacements yourself, especially when you consider the excess. This way you will protect your no-claims discount which can reduce your premiums by more than 50% after five years in some cases.
7. Improve security – Insurers offer better terms to householders who improve home security. Installing an approved burglar alarm and security lighting and fitting approved locks on all doors and windows reduces the likelihood of theft and hence the cost of insurance.
8. Join your neighbourhood watch scheme – Apart from the advantage of getting to know your neighbours and reducing local crime rates, this can make your premiums up to 5% cheaper.
9. Get a dog – If you are an animal lover, it’s worth knowing that insurers offer lower premiums to dog owners but rarely enquire about the breed. Even a Chihuahua can reduce your contents insurance cost!
10. Be independent and think ahead – It’s often cheaper for students who live away from home to take out their own insurance rather than add their contents onto their parents’ policy. An added advantage of taking out contents insurance at a young age is that it will reduce insurance costs in the future too. Provided you don’t make any claims when you are a student, by the time you are ready to rent or buy your first flat you’ll already have a good track record and could qualify for a no claims discount.