Unlike car insurance, home insurance isn’t a legal necessity. However, without cover, even something as small as a burst pipe many have devastating consequences for your savings. While quotes may at first seem steep, there are some handy tips and tricks to help bring the price of any policy down.

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Combine policies 
Home insurance consists of two parts – buildings and contents. If you shop around, there are companies that will seem to offer great deals on contents, but not buildings and vice versa. Combine the cost of the cheapest for both and then compare it with like-for-like policies that combine the two. Chances are that a combined package will save you both money and time, when it comes to needing to claim.

Strip off any unnecessary add-ons 
As standard, many insurers may include optional extras, such as outbuilding insurance or freezer contents insurance. One of the biggest extras which can be removed is accidental damage – if you’re not very accident prone, taking this off the policy could save around 25%.

Increase your excess 
Insurance can be a gamble, so why not increase the stakes? If you increase the excess on a policy, the premium will plummet. If you can stretch to a £250 excess rather than £50, for example, this can reduce premiums by up to 20%. You could even keep the extra £200 tucked away in the bank just in case you need it in an emergency.

Get extra security/Neighbourhood Watch 
Insurers have to make a reasoned decision on how likely you are to claim. While there’s nothing much you can do about flooding or impact damage, you can prevent aspects such as theft by taking part in a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and installing security equipment in your home.

If you have a burglar alarm, security lighting or bars on ground floor windows installed, then inform the insurer and you could receive a hefty discount. Having a NACOSS certified alarm can bag you around a 7.5% discount, and other approved locking system will get an extra 5%.

Pay in a lump sum 

This is the same with almost any large payment – paying in a lump sum will save you money. If you’re looking to pay in monthly instalments, there could be an extra 30% increase in the cost by the end of the year. If you can pay upfront, do it.

Don’t claim 
If you have a history of claims, then chances are you’ll claim again, and insurers will be wary of offering low premiums. If something happens where a claim will only be slightly more than the excess, than save your reputation, as it’ll pay off in the long run.

While it may seem expensive at first, there are plenty of ways to lower home insurance rates, and when it is time to make a claim, you’ll be glad you have at least some cover.

Image credit – luxury girl’s bedroom by home space on Flickr