Searching for cheap home insurance in Ireland?

Home Insurance

Looking for a cheap home insurance quote? To help you, we have listed some of the main areas to focus on before choosing the policy to suit your needs and pocket!

Rebuild costs

This is where many people end up over-paying for their home insurance. They request a quote based on the current sales value of their property, rather than the actual rebuild costs. The rebuild cost figure could save you as much as ten percent on your premium. If you insure your property for €400,000 and it only costs €300,000 to rebuild, the insurance company will only pay out €300,000 in the event of a claim. Don’t waste your money by insuring your property for an unnecessary amount.

The safest way of arriving at the rebuild cost is to establish the rebuilding cost per square foot or meter for similar properties in your area. The best website to assist you in this is the one run by the Society of Chartered Surveyors. See house rebuild cost calculator here.

Please note; extensions or any modifications you make to the property should always be included in your rebuild costs estimate. It you own an apartment in a complex, the management company fee may cover all rebuild costs but not contents cover. Always read the terms and conditions carefully.

Property contents

Again, overvaluing the household contents will increase the annual premium of your home insurance policy. You will only ever receive payment for the actual value of the items covered and not the valuation you put on them.

The insurance content and benefit levels may vary depending on the insurer. A good idea is to take a list of items room by room at least once a year. This will give you an idea of what type of cover your require. This could also save you anything up to 10 percent off your annual premium.

All risks cover

All risks cover is an optional extra on your policy, it will cover specific items for damage, loss or theft, when your take them outside of the home. This benefit also includes worldwide cover for up to 60 days.

This type of cover allows you to add individual items to your contents policy and specify their value. Specified items normally include bicycles, jewellery, digital cameras, gadgets and other expensive valuables. These are items that standard policies fail to cover due to their value. Obviously, the more valuable these items, the higher the premium.

Insurance excess

One simple way of bringing down your premium is to take out a policy with a high excess level. However when you make a claim you pay a higher amount to replace or repair the insured item. So, for instance, if your €1,000 laptop is stolen or is accidentally damaged, and you have an excess of €500 built into your policy, you will get €500 back from the insurance company leaving you to pay out the first €500. This type of higher excess will reduce your annual insurance premium. However it will cost you more in the long run if you have to make a claim on the policy.

Burglar alarms

A burglar alarm may lower your premium, particularly if your alarm is a monitored one. The more advanced the burglar alarm the more of a reduction in your policy you may receive. Always ensure to have your alarm switched on. Especially while the property is vacant, but also at night while you are at home, as some policies may penalise you for not making proper use of the alarm to protect your property and contents in the event of claim.

Another way of reducing your annual home insurance premium is by informing the insurance company if your area is involved in a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.

Smoke alarm

Smoke alarms, particularly those connected to your mains electricity with a backup battery, and a carbon monoxide alarm will not only protect you and your family against fire and odourless poisonous carbon monoxide gas. It may also assist in reducing your insurance premium. Smoke alarms are cheap and you should have at least two, one in the hall and one in the landing although many householders are now placing these lifesaving alarms in each room of the house as you can never be too safe!

Policy information

It is important that you understand what is covered and not covered and the various terms and conditions that come with the policy no matter how boring the process. If you are in any doubt about the extent of coverage, contact your insurance company to get clarity.

It is important that you get the policy that best covers your needs. It is also important that each year you read the policy’s coverage conditions as very often a policy can change without it being instantly obvious to the policy holder. Some of the main areas to examine include:

  1. The level of public liability insurance, in case any non-family member sustains an injury or damage to their property. Friends, gardeners, electricians and even your postman all need to be properly covered so that you are not left with a huge claim against you and your property in case of a third party accident.
  2. If you go on an extended holiday, perhaps to your holiday home abroad, it is important to understand how long you can leave your home unoccupied before the coverage expires. As a precaution against anything happening to your property while you are away. This time limit should be outlined in your policy booklet, generally 30 days. Plus you should ensure that the alarm is on, all taps and electrics are turned off, and of course it is always advisable to notify a trusted neighbour. You may also consider leaving them a spare key and alarm code in case the alarm activates. Letting the local Gardai know about your extended absence will also add another level of security to your property and its contents.
  3. Make sure that all the details the insurance company have listed in the policy about your property are correct, for instance; the types of locks on the doors and windows, the age of the property or any new modifications or extensions to the property. If this information is not correct please notify the insurer with the details.

Finding the most competitive quote:

Banks offering mortgages may try and sell you their own home insurance package. This is not necessarily the best option for you. There may a cheaper, more appropriate insurance package available to choose from. Shop around to compare cheap home insurance quotes to get the best deal.

Submitting an insurance claim:

Some of the main points to consider include:

  1. There are times when you should consider not making a claim against your home insurance policy. For example if the value of the item is only slightly above your excess, as this may increase your premium the following year.
  2. Always keep receipts for valuable items and identification numbers, so that you can prove you actually owned them in the case of the items being stolen or destroyed by fire. Keeping evidence of valuable items in a different location to your home may be a safe option in the case of fire.
  3. Make sure you are honest when making a claim, do not exaggerate your losses or you may end up invalidating your cover. This also includes giving the insurer accurate information when initially taking out the policy, including providing details of your previous claims history.
  4. Finally, if you feel you are being untreated unfairly by your insurance company during the claim process and are not happy with their final findings you should contact the Financial Service Ombudsman.

For more information on home insurance, you can refer to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission website.

Thank you for visiting our blog, we hope you found our home insurance post helpful and informative. All content is for information purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice.