Nine ways to reduce your home insurance costs

Home insurance costs can take a chunk out of any budget. Here's how to minimise them.

Nine ways to reduce your home insurance costs

Your home is the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make and insuring it will also set you back a pretty penny. But there are ways you can reduce your premiums and save money.

1. Get a better deal
The first thing to do is to talk your insurer down. Give them a call and see if they can make you a better deal. Let them know that you’re shopping around and, while you would like to remain loyal to them, you’re more than prepared to jump ship to save money.

2. Combine your insurance
Some insurance companies bundle insurance, so you may be able to leverage transferring your car insurance to the company that provides your home insurance in order to get a better deal on both.

3. Increase your excess
Usually you’ll pay higher premiums for a lower excess, even though the chance of you actually having to use your insurance may be slight. Say you opt for a $500 excess, instead of a $1000 excess, at a cost of around $200 extra per year – within three years you’ll have spent the money you would have saved had you just gone for the $1000 excess – and that’s assuming you even have to use your insurance.

4. Don’t include your land value
When you decide on the value for which you want your home insured, consider rebuilding costs, not the total house and land costs. Land can’t be stolen.

5. Improve home security
Insurance companies like it when you install locks on your windows, deadlocks on doors, security doors, shutters and home security systems. Some companies will offer big discounts if you install approved systems, so check with them before outlaying a small fortune on alarms and monitors.

6. Ask about discounts
Many companies offer discounts but don’t really advertise them. For example, retired people stay at home more often than working people, so the chance of being robbed is much lower, any instance of electrical faults or fire will often be seen sooner, and homes will likely be better maintained. If you’re over 55 and retired, inform your insurer and you could be up for a healthy discount.

7. Loyalty pays
Long-term policy-holders often receive loyalty discounts, although you should do your research and ensure that your discounted price is lower than the standard rates offered by other insurers.

8. Review the value of your possessions
Your computer system may have been worth $3000 upon purchase, but three years later that system may be worth $300. The same goes for other technology and various items around the house. Regularly review the value of your possessions and adjust your coverage accordingly.

9. Pay annually
Monthly payments may be more manageable, but you will pay extra for that convenience. If you can afford it, and your company gives you the option, switch your payments to one annual outlay and you’ll save a bundle.

Do you know of any other ways that you can save on home insurance?

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    COMMENTS

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    10th Apr 2018
    10:24am
    Point 7 just doesn't cut the mustard any more. Stick with Point 1 to get the best deal and then go immediately to Point 9 and pay annually. Having been with the same insurer for years I expected a loyalty discount but nothing doing so by looking around I saved myself $75 per year. Not much I know but at our age a dollar counts for more.
    les.61
    10th Apr 2018
    10:35am
    Cowboy Jim. Spot on. I have found I can save varying amounts with the same insurer by taking out a new policy online for the same details as they often off a 15% discount for applying online. Another option is to phone insurer and see if they will match that online offer. If they do not and you want to stick with the insurer just get a new policy online.
    Old Geezer
    10th Apr 2018
    11:15am
    Loyally only pays if you ring them and remind them of your loyalty.
    sunnyOz
    10th Apr 2018
    9:28pm
    Agree - you get penalised for loyalty. I assist my elderly neighbor, and recently she complained about how high her home/contents insurance renewal was. As we have similar style house on same size block, I was appalled to see her premium was nearly double my premium. She said 'but I've been with them over 20 years'. I rang her insurance company but they were only prepared to drop the price by 5%, so I changed her to my insurance company.
    It also annoys me that the excess amount on insurance's are creeping up. Used to all be $300 as standard. Now most are $500, some $800, even had one quote where standard excess was $1000. As usual, paying more, getting less.
    margie
    10th Apr 2018
    11:13am
    I pay monthly and do not pay any extra at all. Most companies now offer this option and if they don't, just shop around.
    Rae
    10th Apr 2018
    12:17pm
    Why? Having to pay 12 times instead of once seems a bit of a waste of time and effort surely. You may even get a discount by paying annually.

    I get quotes from around 5 major insurers and take the cheapest for the same cover.
    sunnyOz
    10th Apr 2018
    9:39pm
    Rae - it's not as though they are paying the total amount 12 times. Some people's budget is far easier to manage paying 12 smaller amounts rather than one big amount. If someone is wealthy enough to pay big bills all at once, then fine, but if on a limited budget (i.e. - aged pension) - paying monthly is the best way - and often the only way - to maintain bills.
    Franky
    10th Apr 2018
    11:52am
    When my home insurance increased by nearly 50% last year I decided to not insure anymore. I was already at the highest excess level of $ 5,000, add that to the insurance cost and I would be out of pocket 7,500 if anything happened. I spent the money instead on maintenance. If anyone has a good insurer with reasonable pricing I would like to hear.
    Rae
    10th Apr 2018
    12:24pm
    You should get a few quotes and make sure you only have cover for the actual clean up, rebuild and contents at a minimum as household items are pretty cheap now to replace.

    My insurer increased mine like that a few years ago and I found Youi not only cheap but an Australian company who answer phones readily. My daughter had a claim with them that was honoured for roof repair from hail.

    They have kept the price down now for 3 years although NRMA came close last year.

    Then again insurance is the first thing I'll cut if times get tough.
    Old Geezer
    10th Apr 2018
    12:25pm
    Go online and give a false name and the number of another house in your street and put your house details in with your current insurer.

    Yes they are getting smart and will now look up your records if you get a quote online for your house if you have it insured with them.

    Big difference either ring them and ask for a discount or find another insurer.
    Kathleen
    10th Apr 2018
    12:34pm
    Real insurance have valued our custom and kept our payments very low, even lower than on their website, no others can match it. We have all our insurances with them which totals less than $20 a week which is exceptional value.
    Kathleen
    10th Apr 2018
    12:31pm
    Number 8 is nonsense because you cannot replace at the reduced value. Having a higher excess makes good sense though because most people go a lifetime without drawing on their home insurance. It is crazy though not to be insured as most of us could never find the money to rebuild our home. It is quite easy to research for good value policies and then take the quote to your insurer who will match or beat it. There is no charge for paying monthly as this would lose customers. Some inaccuracies in this article!
    Cheezil61
    10th Apr 2018
    7:53pm
    "Give them a call & see if they can make you a better deal" haha; this may have worked in the dark ages when you could actually ring businesses & talk to them, these days there are usually no phone numbers to be found & if there are there is no human answering your call, just confusing automated options, making it virtually impossible to get anything understandable anyway. Very annoying!
    Rae
    11th Apr 2018
    6:46am
    I agree. If these companies are going to automate their phone systems they should choose It specialists that know what they are doing and don't waste the customers time.

    I know they are trying to push us into using the internet but even there the websites often have issues that require ringing those same poorly programmed phone links. Grrrr!!!
    OnlyDaughter
    10th Apr 2018
    9:37pm
    Some home Insurers are the greatest thieves ever. I was insured with the same bank-owned insurance company for years. When I received the renewal notice, I found that my my home insurance premium had risen from $1300 to $2580. I rang them because I thought they had made a mistake only to be told that it was no mistake and I could like it or lump it. So I lumped it and went to another insurer whose coverage was better and premium was more acceptable. Unfortunately none of us know how good our home insurance is until we need to claim - and then it is too late to discover you are insured with a bunch of thieves.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    12th Apr 2018
    7:52am
    I got a quote from my bank that was 30% off but it seemed expensive. Now most policies are rebadged from about 3 or 4 actual insurers. So I found the actual insurer in the pads and contacted them. They were over 30% cheaper again than th e bank quote. However I found a better policy even cheaper at the time.

    Sometimes you can do better getting a new policy from the company you are insured with as it is cheaper than renewing.