Are you paying too much for home insurance?
Insuremyhouse.ie ran a cost comparison against some of the leading banks, sampling a number of house prices and locations, and the findings show that the variation in price was significant with banks being, in the main, more expensive.
Jonathan Hehir, Managing Director of Insuremyhouse.ie, outlined the findings, “We took four typical home insurance cases, researched just how much each bank was quoting for each case and compared this with the optimum quote that we were able to get from the insurers we deal with. The price differences are huge. In more than one case, the bank quoted a premium that was 90% dearer than the cheapest quote on the market. In monetary terms, we could see that one homeowner could be paying €178 more a year than their neighbour for the same home insurance – depending on who they take their policy out with”
Insuremyhouse.ie say there is a basic rationale behind the huge variation in prices when it comes to providers.
Mr. Hehir commented, “Home insurance is not a core product for any bank. Most banks treat home insurance as just an add-on they can sell to homeowners who take out a mortgage with them, or who simply just bank with them and think that it’s ‘handy’ to go to their bank for their insurance needs also. So banks are not trying to appeal to people based on price – hence the expensive quotes which are simply not competitive in the current marketplace.
"Our experience suggests that there is an assumption which permeates the mortgage holder market – that people are obligated to take our house and/ or life insurance with the bank with which they are taking out their mortgage. This is simply not the case. And often what happens in these cases is that the cost of their insurance comes out with their monthly mortgage repayment which means that some people simply have no idea how much they are paying for cover”.
The insurance experts say that just about every household in the country pays home insurance every year – for 30, 40 or even 50 plus years, which means that savings of €100 or more a year can really add up.
Mr Hehir continued,“While €100 a year might not be ‘big money’ to some, it would certainly be a welcome saving to others. And regardless of financial needs, why should people pay over the odds for the same product, when it is so simple to get the best price available if you know where to go?"
Insuremyhouse.ie say that there are several ways to avail of cheaper premiums on home insurance:
- Secure your home: Most insurers will offer discounts for people with alarms and/or monitored alarm systems. If you have one of these be sure to enquire whether any discounts apply. A monitored alarm could reduce premiums by up to 25%. While these may have been expensive a few years ago the cost of alarm monitoring has reduced significantly so may be worth looking into
- Check policy ‘add-ons’ – extras like accidental damage are often costly and not always necessary. There’s little point in specifying valuable items such as iPads and bicycles if you opted for a higher excess, say €500
Increasing the excesses on your policy will invariably reduce the cost of your premium. However, you need to ensure that you don’t end up having to pay out a fortune in the event of a claim – we would advise that you always take expert advice when considering changing policy excesses.