Our home insurance specialist, Sophie McMillan, shines light on the dark arts behind the cost of your insurance premium

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If I had a pound for every client that asks me 'why is it so expensive… my last policy was way cheaper than that' I would be a very rich woman!

There are so many factors taken into consideration, by the insurance company, when the wizards that be work out your insurance premiums. Most of them you know, for example, the age of your property, the size of your property, the property structure. But the factors a lot of people are not aware of are the ones that really ramp up the price.

Your proximity to water is one of the factors that seems like the dark arts are at work.  Are you close to water or prone to flooding? Is there a likelihood of standing water? Just because your house does not, or has never been 'flooded', does not mean it is not factored into your premium. You can check this out on the government website to see what your long-term flood risk is:  https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/long-term-flood-risk.

Something else to consider is how close you are to trees or a woodland area. Could the roots of trees potentially cause structural damage to your home, is there a risk of a tree falling on your roof?

Your postcode also has a significant impact on your premiums. Think about the following: Are there high crime rates in your area? Burglary? Any fires?  Another factor to consider is whether the area is known for subsidence? (Subsidence is the gradual caving in or sinking of an area of land) Or landslip/landslide? (Movement of soil and rocks down a slope) Or heave? (Heave is the sideways movement of an area of land).

And finally… Something to really watch out for after our crazy tumultuous 2020 is the rebuild costs. We may be coming out of the other side of the pandemic, but, the aftershocks are still ongoing.  According to the Office for National Statistic (ONS) building materials and construction costs have increased by 20% between July 2020 and July 2021.  With this increase in mind, it means your rebuild costs will have shot up. So, regardless of a new or a long standing policy, we should all be checking our reinstatement costs to make sure that if the worst was to happen, and our homes were to be destroyed, the insurance will fully cover the costs! Don't fall victim to underinsurance!

I could go on and list all the hidden elements that home insurance companies have to consider; but, the best thing to do, is to use a home insurance specialist that knows the products and can ask all the necessary questions, monitor your premium increase each year and maintain a relationship with you to make sure that you get the right insurance policy for your needs. 

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Friday, 28 January 2022

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