HOMEOWNERS are facing higher insurance premiums than at any time in the past seven years thanks to coronavirus.
New data shows that the cost of buildings insurance and contents insurance has spiked, putting an extra strain on the nation's wallets.
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On average, people with combined home and contents insurance policies will be paying £394.80 more than they did three years ago.
In some regions, insurance premiums have reached their highest cost ever with Guernsey, Harrow, and Kingston all hot spots for expensive policies.
In total, a fifth of UK postcodes (18%) recorded their highest combined buildings and contents insurance premiums during lockdown.
The comprehensive analysis, which has been compiled by comparison site MoneySupermarket.com is based on more than seven years of data and millions of home insurance customer quotes.
The research shows that the average combined home insurance now costs £146.72 per month, the highest since 2013 when prices last peaked.
Some areas of the country even exceeded 2013 costs during the lockdown months of April, May and June 2020, with 21 areas witnessing the highest premiums ever recorded by MoneySuperMarket.
Guernsey’s costs are the most expensive of these, rising 16% since 2019 to over £250 per month.
Combined home insurance costs are 29% higher in July 2020 (£146.20) than they were in early 2017, when they were at their lowest (£113.30).
How to slash the cost of home insurance
HERE are some tips from the Money Advice Service on how to save costs on your home insurance premiums.
- Increase security: Some companies will only insure you if you have BSI-approved locks on all outside doors and windows. You might also receive a reduction for joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme and for installing some security lighting.
- Install alarms: Smoke and burglar alarms are both important. Make sure they’re approved models — a NACOSS alarm (National Approvals Council for Security Systems) could earn a discount on your premiums.
- Take advantage of offers: Some insurers guarantee to beat any quote by up to ten per cent, on a like-for-like basis.
- Pay annually: Monthly premiums can cost more. There’s usually an extra six per cent charge to pay. But some insurers will allow payment by instalments for no extra charge so it’s worth shopping around.
Increase the excess on your policy: Excess is a contribution you pay towards the cost of your claim. If you are happy to cover a bit more yourself, your premiums might be lowered.
- Build your no-claims discount: If you don’t claim for a few years there may be a discount, but not all firms offer this, so check first.
- Buy buildings and contents cover together: You might get a discount if you get both from the same firm. Also, if there’s a fire, or something that affects both the building and your possessions, it’s often simpler to claim.
- Shop around: When you’re looking for the right home insurance deal you have to remember that the level and type of cover is just as important as the price.
You need to compare levels of cover and check the exclusions (things you’re not insured for). This makes sure you get the features you need and you don’t pay more for unnecessary extras.
Looking at buildings-only insurance, the lockdown months of April, May and June saw the highest average premiums ever recorded by MoneySuperMarket (£112.59).
This trend was consistent across the UK, with nearly half (46%) of all areas recording their highest ever buildings-only premium.
Year-on-year, average buildings-only prices rose by 11% to £112.59. Meanwhile, contents-only policies increased by 6% over the same time period.
Kate Devine, head of home insurance at MoneySuperMarket, commented: "With many people remaining constantly at home – schooling, working and even exercising – the rate of accidental damage becomes significantly higher, and more claims spell higher costs for insurers.
“Our advice to consumers is to shop around for the best deals. This has never been more important to ensure you are able to stay on top of your finances."
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