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Cutting your home insurance bill

With the prospect of higher costs for food and services, particularly energy, it is a sensible time to look at ways of cutting household costs in areas where we can make a positive difference to our budget.

The world of home insurance might seem a rather boring area on which to concentrate one’s efforts but on closer examination significant savings can be made and in many cases result in improvements to your cover.

Don’t accept lenders’ policies before shopping around – It is likely that you would have taken out home insurance through your mortgage provider. Up to a third of people do so because it is convenient and saves the hassle of bothering about another issue when you are trying to move into a new house. However, it is not necessarily going to be the most cost effective for you.

ComparetheMarket estimates that a combined buildings and contents policy taken out via a lender costs c. 40% more for cover than the national average (£418 against £278).

Of course, you can use a cost comparison website but as you are reading this newsletter, you have a much more reliable source a phone call away in the shape of your HLP mortgage & protection adviser. Unlike a comparison site, your adviser already has a full summary of your needs and can guide you to a better deal financially and one which also fits your circumstances more closely.

Pay premiums annually (if you can) – The advantage of paying a whole year’s premium will usually mean there is a discount against the cost of paying monthly.

Are you paying for extras you don’t need? – Many policies come with add-ons such as access to legal advice that you may never need or, in the case of buildings insurance, you might be paying for a policy which pays out the market value of your property when all you need is one that covers the cost of rebuilding.

Fit a burglar alarm? – Less expensive than you might think but insurers look kindly on customers who take steps to safeguard their properties and will offer discounts. A discount could help pay for the alarm over time and deter burglars.

Neighbourhood Watch area? – Some insurers offer discounts for being in an area operating a neighbourhood watch scheme.

Think like a burglar – Look at how you would break into your house if you were a thief and make your property unattractive to would be thieves. Consider updating your locks and window security to deter burglary. Building up a no claims discount is one of the biggest savings you can make when buying insurance and making your property and contents safer will help you reach the maximum no claims discount.

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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other debt secured on it.

These figures are only illustrative. An assessment of your needs will be confirmed before a recommendation can be made. A Key Facts Illustration, which is personal to your circumstances, will be provided if a recommendation for a mortgage product is made