Home insurance premiums have fallen to the lowest levels on record, with both buildings and contents insurance policies dropping in cost in the first quarter of the year.
That's according to a new report by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), which says cheaper premiums will provide a boost to households at a time when the cost of living is soaring.
Here, we explain what's happened to home insurance premiums and offer advice on how to save when renewing.
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The average cost of home insurance has fallen by 7% in the last year, according to the ABI's latest quarterly tracker.
Laura Hughes of the ABI says: 'Many households will be reassured that the cost of protecting their home and their possessions has remained competitive, despite the increasing costs of construction materials and labour.
'The in February, which will lead to insurers paying out an estimated £500 million to affected customers, are a dramatic reminder of the vital financial protection home insurance provides against unexpected and costly events.'
The table below shows how the average cost of home insurance has changed in the last year.
|Type of insurance||Average premium in Q1 2022 (£)||Yearly price change (%)|
In January, new rules came into force to stop insurers from quoting existing customers a higher price than they would a new customer.
The practice, known as 'price walking', was outlawed to make insurance pricing fairer and more transparent for consumers.
While the changes should mean loyal customers won't pay over the odds, they could have a knock-on effect for those who switch each year to get the best new customer deals.
The ABI says it is too early to assess the impact of the rules, but says some policyholders could still benefit from shopping around for the right policy.
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A report released earlier this month by Compare the Market claimed average premiums increased by £6 year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, to reach £156.
These contrasting figures are explained by the different methodologies used. Comparison websites use customer quotes to generate their pricing data, while the ABI uses the actual price paid by policyholders.
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Compare the Market says nearly half of renters (48%) don't have contents insurance, meaning they could face significant costs if their valuables are lost, stolen or damaged.
Contents insurance doesn't need to be hugely expensive or overly comprehensive. If you're living in a flat-share, for example, you might be able to get coverage just for items in your bedroom, as long as there is a lock on the door. Insuring contents throughout the property could be prudent, with the caveat that your premium might be affected if your flatmate makes a claim.
As a renter, you don't need to take our buildings insurance - this is your landlord's responsibility.
Some policyholders overpay on their insurance due to incorrectly calculating the value of their property and contents.
Your insurer should contact you with your renewal price around a month before your policy is due to expire.
This is a good time to shop around for a better deal. Comparison websites are a great place to start, as they allow you to compare policies from dozens of providers in one go.
When you take out a home insurance policy, you'll have the option of paying annually or monthly.
Paying monthly allows you to spread the cost, but this comes at a price. Paying monthly essentially involves taking a loan from the insurer, often with a high rate of interest.
Most insurers require your property to have a minimum level of security before they'll agree to insure it.
This includes things such as having deadlocks on external doors and locks on windows.
Getting the right insurance policy isn't all about cost - you'll also need to know that you can rely on your provider should you need to make a claim.
Our home insurance reviews rate the UK's biggest providers on the quality of their customer service and the breadth of coverage included in their policies.
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