Your insurance bill may be the most important thing you need to monitor, and sadly the most expensive one that you need to pay. Experienced insurance providers like Deacon Insurance understand that the cover and price are important, if not vital to you. Bills across the board are going up, and insurance bills are no different. So, what can you do to help yourself and your pocket?
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Keep up to date with costs of rebuilding and repairing.
A good place to start is with checking the Buildings Declared Value on your policy document. It’s essential to declare this accurately as if you don’t, insurance claims won’t be fully covered by your provider. BDV is the total cost for completely rebuilding your property. It’s your responsibility to ensure that the figure is as accurate as can reasonably be expected and check if it need readjusting regularly. Any changes in cost materials, or changes in regulations that result in higher costs, won’t necessarily be accounted for as most insurers will just index link to the original BDV cost that was initially declared. When you switch to a new policy, have the building professionally valued if you can. (Seeing the additional higher figure of the Buildings Sum Insured on your policy documents may confuse you, but this your BDV plus another amount that considers factors such as inflation, changes in regulations and currency fluctuations.) Get off to a good start by getting your BDV right and you’ll have peace of mind in the knowledge that you are adequately covered and at no risk of being underinsured.
Keep an eye on the numbers of claims you make.
Be sensible, take the necessary precautions, and don’t do anything daft! These are the steps you could take as resident, but how can you encourage occupants to do the same when you are the leaseholder? It’s all about knowledge. Inform residents on the importance of carrying out regular maintenance checks to prevent the escalation of easily resolved problems. Before making a claim, consider and weigh up whether it would be better to make a claim and lose your no claims bonus, or just to pay out and fix the problem yourself. Things like installing additional security measures, securing loose tiles and guttering, insulating pipes and tanks and keeping a supply of sandbags in the event of heavy rain, are all relatively simple steps that you can take to protect your No Claims Bonus. Find ways to make yourself more attractive to insurers – you’re more likely to find a company willing to cover you as well as a policy that’s better for your budget.
Balance cover and excess.
A quick and straightforward way to reduce your premium is to increase your insurance excess. The excess is the amount that you will pay out when you make a claim before your insurer steps in to pay the test. If you increase the voluntary excess, insurance will cost less in the long run – but only if you don’t need to make a claim. If you have a history of no claims and feel confident of the same in the future, it may seem more appealing. The problem is there’s no real way of guaranteeing the future and you could end up needing to make a claim and needing to pay out a big chunk to meet the cost out of your own pocket. You should only consider paying a higher excess if you have the amount and can afford to cover it if a claim is made. To illustrate this, if the standard excess of your home insurance policy is £200 and you had a voluntary excess of £100, you will be rewarded with a cheaper premium. However, if you need to make a claim, you’ll need to pay the total £300 of excess to meet the cost.