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Home insurance costs

Oh dear. I’ve just read a blog in The Guardian which lambasts an insurer for the price quoted when a reader wanted to renew a home insurance policy. He then applied online as if he was a new customer and the cost was significantly lower. This is against a background of lots of insurance companies and banks saying – some very publicly with TV advertising – that they will no longer offer attractive deals to first-time customers at the expense of existing ones.

I can understand the frustration, but I would make one key point: you should never, ever, make a decision on the home insurance you buy based on price alone. What’s far more important is to ensure you have the right cover for your property and possessions, even if it costs a little more.

We’ve written before about this, and in particular using comparison sites to find the cheapest deal. Shopping around can be a false economy – if you take out a cheap policy which isn’t suitable and you then have to make a claim, you could find it impossible to get the settlement you expect.

Our advice is to read all the details for your new policy carefully and ensure they really do meet your needs. And also make sure you disclose everything: sometimes it’s tempting to hide something so that your policy costs less, or sometimes the questions you’re asked – particularly online – aren’t comprehensive enough to cover everything relevant.

In short: read the small print; think about what you could lose; be honest; and don’t be tempted by cheap offers. Otherwise it could be disastrous in the long term.

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