The cost of home insurance in the UK can vary depending on the provider. More Than Money takes a look at the average home insurance cost per month.
In this article I shall be discussing how much does home insurance cost and how much you should be insuring your home and contents for! With a more detailed look on which factors could affect your monthly premiums.
Monthly premiums for any type of insurance are reliant on many different factors, and Home Insurance Policies are no exception. The value of your contents, which area you live in and even your lifestyle, will all play a part when it comes to calculating the cost of your monthly payments.
My article ‘What Is Home Insurance?’ has already explained to you what it is and why you should have it, so now let’s look at how much does home insurance cost …. before you have to ask yourself ‘how much would it cost to rebuild my house?’
How Much Should I Insure My Property For?
Put simply, Buildings Insurance covers any damage to the building itself, including any outbuildings such as a shed or garage, and fitted fixtures; such as your kitchen and bathroom.
This insurance will be down to your landlord if you live in a rented house. If you have a mortgage on your property this will be your responsibility.
When it comes to knowing how much buildings insurance you need to take out it’s worth knowing that you only need to insure the cost of rebuilding your home rather than its current market value. The rebuild cost of your property will be on your home survey or buyers report, or you can work it out on the handy premiums calculator I have included at the bottom of this article. Aren’t I good to you?!
Although, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that the more it would cost to rebuild your house, the more your monthly premiums will be.
What About My Contents?
Underestimating the worth of your contents is a common mistake, and one that could be very costly in the event of you needing to replace your personal possessions.
It is a good idea to go from room to room and take an inventory of everything you own so that you can get an accurate idea of the total value of your contents.
Don’t forget to add the value of curtains and carpets, clothes, furniture and books – these are all commonly forgotten items when it comes to insurance, but will all have to be replaced in the event of loss or damage.
It’s worth knowing that some of your contents might need to be added to your policy as additional extras, I’m talking about items that might be deemed ‘high risk’ or ‘high value’ – basically stuff that’s worth a lot and is more likely to get nicked in the event of a burglary.
Items such as:
If you own items that need to be covered under an additional or extended policy then your premiums will be higher, but at least you can be properly compensated if the worst should happen.
So, aside from the value of your property and contents, what other factors could drive those premiums up?
Unfortunately, A LOT – from your postcode to whether or not you’re a smoker (don’t look so surprised, if you’ve read my articles before, you’ll know that it’s ALWAYS a factor) …
Aside From Value, What Else Will Affect My Premiums?
The greater the risk of loss and damage to your house and the things in it, the higher your premiums will be: If you live on the banks of a river that has flooded several times in the last few years, and 5 of your neighbours have been burgled, it’s safe to say you’ll be paying more than if you live in a gated property on higher ground, that boasts several alarm systems and a booby-trapped moat.
These are the main factors that will affect your monthly payments:
- Postcode – Where you live is one of the most important things that insurers will take into consideration when calculating your insurance premiums. Maybe you live in a street lined with several big trees whose roots could cause subsidence, or the crime rate is particularly high – you can expect those things to be taken into account by your insurer.
- Security – Do you remember the days when you could leave your front door wide open and the keys in the car and go out all day and everything was still there when you returned? No, me neither, but what I can tell you is that locks and alarm systems are key when it comes to lower insurance premiums. Even the presence of double glazing and smoke detectors will favourably affect your monthly payments.
- Near Water? – If you’re, you can expect your premiums to be a lot higher, particularly if it is an area that is known to be prone to flooding. There is separate flood insurance that you can take out if you do live on a known flood plain that will provide cover in the event, including the costs of having to stay elsewhere if your property floods.
- Structure – Let’s just say that if the 3 Little Pigs were going to take out home insurance, the ones with the houses made of straw and sticks are going to be paying considerably more than their bricklaying pal. Similarly, if you have a home with a thatched roof or timber frame then it will affect your premiums, and you may even need specialist home cover.
- Location, Location, Location – I’m talking here about whether you’re in the town or the country. Cities and towns are considered a higher crime and fire risk, whereas countryside properties are more at risk of flooding or subsidence.
- Size – We all know that size doesn’t matter (ssshhh, ladies…), except when it comes to your home. A larger house will cost more to rebuild than a smaller one, so you can expect to be paying higher monthly premiums for your buildings insurance if you live in a big house.
What About My Age And Lifestyle?
I’ve put this in a separate category so I can break down the different factors. It might come as a surprise that how you live can affect your premiums on your house insurance, but your age, whether you’re away from home a lot, and whether or not you smoke can all affect the cost of your premiums.
And here’s why.
- Marital Status – Married couples are seen as more mature and less of a risk than single people by insurance companies, so they tend to pay lower premiums. There is of course the added financial benefit of being able to cover both your possessions under one policy.
- Age – Again, if you’re younger you could be seen as less mature when it comes to taking measures in safeguarding your home and possessions, and so this could lead to higher premiums.
- Dog Owners – Owning a domestic pet won’t normally increase your monthly payments, but it’s worth noting that some dog breeds ARE typically associated with higher premiums due to the damage they could potentially cause to furniture etc. These include; Rottweilers, Dobermans, Staffordshire Terriers, Chows and German Shepherds.
- Children – Simply put, more people living in your house means more contents to insure, and more people who could damage your property – therefore higher premiums. When it comes to contents insurance it’s also worth remembering that if you welcome a new baby, you’re suddenly going to own a lot of new, potentially expensive, things – such as prams and cots – the cost of which all add up. So, it would be worth updating your policy.
- Empty House – Maybe you’re a family who travel a lot for work or pleasure, or the house is empty for a lot of the time for whatever reason. This is going to push your premiums up, even with security systems in place. Not only are empty houses more of a target for burglars and vandals, but there is more of a risk of problems such as burst water pipes in unattended properties.
- Smoking – Because fires are one of the main reasons people might make a claim on their home insurance, smokers are automatically deemed a higher risk and therefore will be charged a monthly higher premium.
In the last two years your toddler has knocked over two Ming vases, your teenager has dropped his Xbox down the stairs, and the dog has thrown up on your Persian rug.
And of course, you have made a claim against your insurance.
Insurers are often suspicious of those who make a lot of claims, and you’ll find that even legitimate claims will cause your premiums to rise. If you haven’t made any claims you might be rewarded with a ‘no claims discount’, so it’s well worth keeping those priceless artefacts up on the higher shelves.
You asked “How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?” and hopefully this has touched the service and given you a little more ammo in your search. I’m always happy to chat and love to help where I can. Please do book in with me for more info and I look forward to speaking with you in more detail.
Be sure to check out my other Home Insurance related articles in Articles by Andy!