Shopping around can save €400 on home insurance

CONSUMERS can save up to €400 if they shop around for home insurance quotes, according to a new study.

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) latest home insurance cost comparison, shows savings of between €120 and €400 can be achieved if consumers shop around.

The comparison, which features a range of profiles in Roscommon, Donegal and Dublin, also reveals the difficulties that consumers with a claims history may have when looking for quotes.

The survey showed consumers may have difficulty shopping around for quotes if they have a claims history.

Depending on the firm, they may not quote if:

* There was a claim in excess of €10,000 in the last three years.

* There was more than one claim (for any amount) in the last three years.

* There were two or more claims in excess of 4,000 in the last five years.

The survey also found consumers may have difficulty making a claim for a burglary when the house was occupied and the alarm was not turned on.

A number of firms confirmed they would not pay out on a claim, with some firms specifying that they would not pay out if the consumer had availed of a burglar alarm discount when taking out the policy.

Director of public awareness and financial information with the NCA, Karen O’Leary urged consumers not to be complacent and to shop around for quotes.

“Switching your home insurance could be a quick and easy way to make savings, so if you are concerned about increasing costs, don’t be complacent – look for a number of quotes from different sources.”

“If you are having difficulty getting quotes due to a previous claims history, you could approach a broker that deals with a large number of insurers. They will be able to offer you help and advice,” she said.

The cost comparison also found that:

* Potential savings range from €123 to almost €400 on annual home and contents insurance.

* Despite the age of the property, seven out of nine firms provided a quote for a 105-year-old house in Stoneybatter, Dublin, with savings of €190 possible for this profile.

The standard excess that applies to policies varies depending on the provider and ranges from €125 to €500. Consumers should bear the excess in mind when choosing a policy, as they will not be able to claim for losses that are less than the excess and will have to pay for them out of their own pocket.

* There is separate excess for subsidence and it is significantly higher than the standard excess – ranging from around €600 to €1,500.

* All but one firm (RSA) confirmed that they offer no claims discounts (varying from 10% to 30%) for home insurance policies.

www.itsyourmoney.ie


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