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Ologhai Jones

House Insurance

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If I wasn't planning to move out of my house soonish, I would probably re-evaluate my house insurance situation. At present, I just get my house insurance through the same high-street bank with whom I have my mortgage, and I can't imagine that's the cheapest way to go! (I'm sure Martin Lewis would have stern words with me...)

However, I have been wondering if, even though it's possible to reduce premiums by switching, do you actually get what you pay for with house insurance?

I haven't had much call to use my house insurance thankfully, although I did lose a couple of tiles off my roof within the last year sometime, and, this morning, I managed to make a partially blocked drain into a thoroughly blocked drain through my amateurish poking-of-the-stick rituals. I called my insurer -- the professional poking-of-the-stick man left about 20 minutes ago, the waters running clear -- and this at a time of a national insurance emergency no less (at least, I imagine so).

So, I may be paying over the odds, but I feel I get first-class service and response.

In the experience of others, could I expect the same quality despite paying less?

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If I wasn't planning to move out of my house soonish, I would probably re-evaluate my house insurance situation. At present, I just get my house insurance through the same high-street bank with whom I have my mortgage, and I can't imagine that's the cheapest way to go! (I'm sure Martin Lewis would have stern words with me...)

However, I have been wondering if, even though it's possible to reduce premiums by switching, do you actually get what you pay for with house insurance?

I haven't had much call to use my house insurance thankfully, although I did lose a couple of tiles off my roof within the last year sometime, and, this morning, I managed to make a partially blocked drain into a thoroughly blocked drain through my amateurish poking-of-the-stick rituals. I called my insurer -- the professional poking-of-the-stick man left about 20 minutes ago, the waters running clear -- and this at a time of a national insurance emergency no less (at least, I imagine so).

So, I may be paying over the odds, but I feel I get first-class service and response.

In the experience of others, could I expect the same quality despite paying less?

The less you pay, the harder you will find it to claim regardless of what the policy says - they're all insuring more or less the same things so the only way the price can vary that much beyond a certain amount for efficiency is if they pay out more or less in claims. I've been through this with both house and car insurance and, as a result, would never shop purely on price again.

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And how much will your insurance go up for you having claimed on it? Would a handyman have been cheaper?

As far as I know, house insurance isn't the same as car insurance in that respect: you don't get a no-claims bonus; and, I suspect, if the claims one makes aren't excessive, then there's no problem.

Of course, in the Grand Scheme of Things, insurance companies have to make a profit, so, on the average, anyone who makes a claim is causing insurance as a whole to be more expensive... but I assume you were referring to insurance becoming more expensive for me personally and directly as a result of calling my insurance company this morning.

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As far as I know, house insurance isn't the same as car insurance in that respect: you don't get a no-claims bonus; and, I suspect, if the claims one makes aren't excessive, then there's no problem.

Of course, in the Grand Scheme of Things, insurance companies have to make a profit, so, on the average, anyone who makes a claim is causing insurance as a whole to be more expensive... but I assume you were referring to insurance becoming more expensive for me personally and directly as a result of calling my insurance company this morning.

when i applied for house insurance of the questions was 'how many times have you claimed in the past 5 years' so im not so sure ;p

www.confused.com

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As far as I know, house insurance isn't the same as car insurance in that respect: you don't get a no-claims bonus; and, I suspect, if the claims one makes aren't excessive, then there's no problem.

Of course, in the Grand Scheme of Things, insurance companies have to make a profit, so, on the average, anyone who makes a claim is causing insurance as a whole to be more expensive... but I assume you were referring to insurance becoming more expensive for me personally and directly as a result of calling my insurance company this morning.

Some house insurance policies do have a sort of no claims discount thing now although I don't think it's that common.

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when i applied for house insurance of the questions was 'how many times have you claimed in the past 5 years' so im not so sure ;p
Some house insurance policies do have a sort of no claims discount thing now although I don't think it's that common.

Ah, interesting. Thank for the heads-up there!

Something to watch out for in future.

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'You get what you pay for' certainly applies to travel insurance. I've had to claim twice, and had very different experiences.

The first time was when I was in Namibia, researching for a radio documentary on ex-Nazis who fled to the fomer German colonies after the war. While I was trawling through the archives of the local newspaper, some charming natives did over my hotel room and nicked absolutely everything except some books and papers. They even took my suitcase! The only reason the thieving gippo bastards didn't get my laptop is because I'd taken it with me and was using it. I was covered by my employer's (a university) corporate travel policy, which had a £200 excess and a £500 claim limit for items I couldn't produce a receipt for. They took four months to cough up, and at the end of the day I reckon I was about £300 down.

The second time I was traveling privately on consultancy work to the US. I had taken leave from my day job to do so, and took out private travel insurance. As the people I was consulting for were paying the expenses, I took out a gold-plated single-trip policy for £110, which included a feature whereby if you suffered any travel delays, you just rang a number and they got you to your destination as quickly as possible. On the return flight one of the plane's engines broke down and we diverted to Greenland. The parts needed to fix the engine were not immediately available, and we were told of a 1-2 day wait while another plane was sent to collect us. I rang the travel insurance number, and within minutes they'd booked me on another scheduled flight out of that airport, getting me home via Iceland only six hours later than originally scheduled. They booked up the whole lot while I was on the phone and I never had to pay penny up front.

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some insurance policies have a no claims discount.

Apart from these policies your premium will not go up if you claim, unless you are claiming constantly. Some people 'claim' every year for losses that are more than their premiums.

I have claimed £5000 on the buildings insurance 2 years ago and around £500 4 years ago and around £200 6 years ago and my premium has not gone up so don't believe that.

Prudential, direct line will do you OK. The banks will add on a surplus to any policy for their profit margin.

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