Home insurance lets you sleep easy. It lets you go about your-day to-day life knowing that your home (and potentially its contents) are protected in the event of the unexpected happening. But home insurance can start to get expensive if you aren’t shopping around and are stuck with a pricey insurer.
The amount of people switching financial products like insurance is increasing year on year, with three in five households switching providers in 2018. But one of the biggest barriers stopping people from switching things like home insurance, is the time and effort it takes to do it. Also, many people don’t know where to start!
For this reason, we’ve put together a guide on switching home insurance, to help you through every step, answer questions you have and help you secure a great home insurance deal at the end of it.
What you’ll need:
• A pen and paper (or your laptop if you’d rather go digital!)
• The internet
• Your phone
• A calculator
1. Gather your existing account info
In order to know if you’re getting a cheaper deal, you’ll need to be fully aware of what you’re paying now and what you’re getting for your money. If you can’t put your hands on your policy documents, searching your email inbox for ‘home insurance policy’ or ‘your home insurance quote’ may point you in the right direction.
Once you have this info, note down the basics (including monthly cost and an outline of what’s covered) in your notepad so it’s easy to refer to.
2. Gather additional information you may need
For buildings cover (this is usually for homeowners and landlords), you’ll more than likely need to know the age of your property, how long you’ve owned it, what type of locks you have and more info about the materials of the property (such as what the walls are made from).
For contents cover (this is usually for homeowners and tenants), you’ll need to tally up the value of the contents within your home ready to supply it to your new insurer.
3. Check when your existing home insurance cover runs out
If you’re switching home insurance providers at the end of your policy, check the dates you’re covered up until so you can make sure you aren’t left without cover. You may have heard upsetting stories where families were in-between insurance providers as they were switching home insurance, and something bad happened to their home – meaning they couldn’t claim for anything. We don’t want this to be you.
If you’re in the middle of your existing policy, check your policy or speak with your current insurer about any exit fees you may incur when you do make the move. Your existing insurer may even offer you a better deal to try and keep you as a customer.
4. Refine your needs
There are different levels of cover you may require, from buildings insurance, to contents insurance, to add-ons such as legal expenses. If you haven’t already, decide what level of cover you need to secure. Is your current insurance enough? Is it too much? These are the types of questions you can think about asking yourself. There are also lots of online calculators that can help you consider and calculate the level of insurance you may need.
5. Get your home insurance switch quotes
Once you’ve gathered all this information, it’s time to get your quotes. There are a few ways you can do this:
• Go directly to the insurer
Heading straight to insurers’ websites and completing a quote form will usually provide you with home insurance quotes within minutes. There may be some instances where you need to speak to the insurer’s customer service team for the quote, but this is a good opportunity for you to ask any questions you have.
• Use price comparison sites
You can head to price comparison sites where you can fill in your info and compare home insurance quotes across multiple different providers.
Bear in mind that not all insurers are on every comparison site. It’s a good idea to use a combination of both of the above points in order to retrieve your quotes.
Jot down (or add to your spreadsheet) the insurer’s names, your quote and the offering as you retrieve the quotes. This will make it easier to assess all options nearer the end.
6. Decide on a home insurance provider and check reviews
You may be happy having received a really cheap quote, but we’d definitely recommend checking each company’s reviews before committing to a policy. How would you feel if you got a cheap deal, but the customer service was poor? Take some time to browser through their Trustpilot reviews and gather some insight.
7. Double check that your policy has everything you need
When you’ve found an insurer you’re happy with, go back through the list of needs you created in point four and make sure your new policy has everything you’re looking for.
8. Switch your home insurance
Once you’re happy, follow the steps to take out your new home insurance policy. You’ll normal get a handful of welcome/confirmation emails, so keep an eye on your inbox to make sure you receive everything okay.
9. Tell your soon-to-be previous home insurance provider
Once you’ve take out your new policy, you’ll need to get in touch with the insurer who provides your current policy to let them know. If you’re at the end of your policy, lots of insurers work on an auto-renewal basis, so you’re better off being safe and letting them know.
If you’re mid-way through your policy, you may need to pay a cancellation fee. But you’ll hopefully have established this in point three.
10. Start saving
This is the easiest (and most enjoyable) point of them all. Now you’ve got everything set up, enjoy the extra money in your account going forward. Whether you’re saving, putting money towards a holiday, or are using the extra cash to treat yourself, we’re sure it’ll be welcomed!
Switching home insurance: your questions answered
Now that we’ve taken you through the process of switching home insurance provider, we’ll take some time to answer frequently asked questions.
Can you switch home insurance?
Yes you can! If you’re mid-policy, you may be required to pay an exit fee, but you are entitled to leave your current provider if you’ve found a policy that suits you better elsewhere. If you’d like to stick with your existing insurer, but just change the policy, you’ll need to get in touch with them to see if that’s doable.
Should I switch home insurance?
When it comes to ‘When should I switch my home insurance?’, there are a few circumstances you may like to consider:
• If your policy seems over-priced
• If you’ve been unimpressed with the service of the company you initially chose
• If you’ve found a substantially cheaper policy elsewhere, which gives you more, or the same policy benefits
Can you change home insurance companies any time/mid-year?
Yes. If you’re mid-policy and have found a substantially better deal elsewhere, you can switch home insurance companies. But depending on your policy, you may be required to pay a fee. It may be worth notifying your current insurer of the new quote and your intention to leave; they be may be able to match your offer.
How do I switch home insurance?
We’ve provided the above step-by-step guide showing you how to switch insurers in around 60 minutes. Getting a better deal doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s important to always bear in mind your policy needs. Whilst you may have received a cheaper quote elsewhere, make sure to check that it covers all of your home insurance requirements before making the switch.
Find out more about A-Plan’s range of home insurance policies today.