Want cheaper home insurance? Move house.
It gets worse. Coming hot on the heels of last week’s research into soaring car insurance prices by confused.com, now another price comparison site has found that the cost of home insurance is going the same way, depending on where you happen to live.
New research from moneysupermarket.com found that the typical cost for buildings and contents cover has gone up by 6%, which equates to approximately 2.5p per day, over the last 14 months, but unlucky residents in Surrey and southern Scotland are being whacked with increases of up to 46% .
The unluckiest people live in Dorking, Surrey, where cover has soared from an average of £119 to £174 since February 2010 - that's a rise of 15p per day. And homeowners living in the city centre of Edinburgh and Milngavie in Glasgow have experienced similar increases of 45% and 40% respectively.
London does not get off lightly either- five of the top twenty hardest hit areas in the country are within the Greater London area.
Possible reasons for the increase include an increase in claims, owing to cash strapped burglars, claims that may or may not be actually true, and extreme weather damage. And let’s face it, insurers have to make pots of money, don’t they?
But what can you do about it?
The simplest way to escape the insurance postcode lottery is to move house. Oh wait, the housing market is a bit depressed at the moment, it would probably be easier to see just how much you could save by visiting moneysupermarket.com instead.
However, if you are reluctant to fail for such blatant marketing ploys, there actually are some things you can do to help keep your premiums down. A bit.
If you install a good home security system , security lighting and window locks, this will reduce the risk (and therefore the premium) of burglary- the NACOSS standard alarm, for example, can cut premiums with some companies by 7.5%. Although it probably costs more than that in the first place.
Or why not join your neighbourhood watch? Yes, you have to have tea with interfering old biddies and, heaven forbid, even speak to the people who live beside you, but it could save up to 5% off your premiums. And unless you have small children or a clumsy spouse, avoiding add-ons such as accidental damage cover save you 25%.
Finally, most home insurers will also now ask if you are a smoker due to the increased fire risk in properties housing people who smoke. So quit smoking. Simples.