Homeowners pay too much every year for utilities, insurance, and other recurring bills simply because they don't have the time or energy to contact companies and ask for a better deal, shop around before renewing, or switch providers. This is why many sectors rely on returning customers to fuel their profits while offering the best deals to new customers. If you want discount home insurance, you have to be ready to go and seek it out.
Those who have filed home insurance claims are particularly likely to think of themselves as ineligible for the best insurance premiums. They often stick with the same provider because they feel guilty about switching. This means insurance providers that have fulfilled claims are likely to raise rates when it's time to renew your insurance. If you don't take action to switch, you could end up paying hundreds of pounds too much for your insurance! Here are some tips to shop around when you have filed home insurance claims.
Be Honest And Upfront About Your Record
If an insurance provider finds out that you have lied or omitted details from your claim history, you're in trouble. Always be honest about how many home insurance claims you have filed and why you filed each claim. Explain the situation, how you handled it (especially if you called the hotline first and followed the claims procedure carefully), why you needed to file a claim, how the company responded, and the outcome of the claim. Insurance providers are not scared off by claims – they know everyone will probably file a claim sometime, after all.
Emphasize Any Improvements That Have Been Made
If you needed to file a claim because of something that could have been prevented, emphasize any improvements you have made since then. For example, if you drove a nail into a wall and burst a water pipe, you could mention that you have used a pipe finder ever since then. Perhaps you have smoke detectors now after a fire, or you have changed the locks on your windows and doors. If your claim resulted in structural repairs and rebuilding, your house may be even more solid now, so don't be afraid to mention anything that has been improved as a result of the claim.
Make Small Changes To Be Eligible For Better Rates
Are you willing to make some small home improvements in order to be eligible for better rates? If a quote is too high, you could ask what you can do to decrease the premiums you have been quoted. You may be able to install smoke detectors or a burglar alarm, pay via direct debit, or pay upfront for a year of premiums, for instance. There are lots of small home improvements that insurance companies like to see, and they can let you know what you're missing.
Improve Your Credit Rating, If It's Low
One factor that can affect your home insurance rates is your credit rating. If a claim resulted in a financial hit that caused you to open more credit cards, accumulate debt, or miss payments, you could be seeing increased rates because of your low credit rating. Take steps to clean up your credit rating like checking your report to make sure the rating is accurate, paying all your bills on time, and avoiding incurring unnecessary credit checks.
Avoid Filing Another Claim Soon
If you can help it, make sure you don't file another claim for the next few years. Being claims-free for two to five years can help negate the otherwise higher rates and bring your premiums back down. Of course, you can't always help needing to file a claim, but if you can emphasize to a new insurance company that you had a major claim a few years ago but have had no claims since, you may not see much of an increase in the rates you are quoted.
It's not impossible to get good discount home insurance when you have had claims, as long as you're willing to explain everything, show the improvements that have been made, and shop around. Never hide your record or try to avoid talking about it, as this is a red flag. Certain types of claims will always raise your rates, but others may not affect them at all. Finally, don't be afraid to shop around – even if you can't find a cheaper provider, it's good to know that you aren't being taken advantage of simply because you once filed a claim.