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For once: good news on household insurance

It’s not often you read some good news about the cost of something….but that is exactly what happened this week. Apparently the cost of home insurance has remained pretty stable over the last year – and some aspects have actually gone down in price. And this is despite a significant rise in the average cost of a household insurance claim.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has for the first time published its Average Quarterly Household Insurance Premium Tracker. This is part of a drive in the insurance industry for greater transparency, to give consumers clearer information when they buy a policy.

The Tracker looks at what customers are actually paying for their household buildings, contents and combined insurance compared to the previous year. And this first one produced the following good news:

  • Combined buildings and contents insurance has gone down by one per cent – to an average of £294, or £5.65 a week.
  • Buildings insurance has risen by two per cent – to an average of £231, or £4.44 a week.
  • Contents insurance has gone down by one per cent – to an average of £127, or £2.44 a week.

Across all three categories, the average cost of a household insurance claim has risen by 12 per cent.

The ABI makes the point that the amount paid for buildings and contents is less than the price of a satellite TV subscription and “enables families to get on with enjoying life, rather than being at the mercy of it.” And, of course, the fact that prices are stabilising is all great news for all of us.

But we would add one important point: we know from our experience with clients that, even if you have insurance cover, it can often be insufficient or inappropriate when you need to make a claim. So don’t judge insurance on price alone: read the small print; be realistic about what you should include and the levels of cover you need; and review it each year to ensure it is still right for you.

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