How to switch home cover
Having home emergency cover is great for your peace of mind but can be expensive. Although it may seem simpler to stick with your existing provider, in the world of home insurance it rarely pays to be loyal. Before you go and renew your existing policy, shop around and look for a better quote. There’s nearly always a saving to be made!
The benefits of changing house insurance
The biggest benefit of switching home insurance providers is that you’re likely to make significant savings. Often insurance companies offer an enticing deal for new customers but then hike up the price after the first 12-or-so months, even if a claim hasn’t been made.
According to Which? customers who have been with their existing household cover provider for between 4 and 6 years ended up paying 54% more than customers who took out a new policy in August 2018. Pretty unfair, don’t you think?
Here at Hometree, we don’t think you should have to pay more for your insurance if you haven’t made a claim, which is why we guarantee no price hikes. However, not all insurance providers are the same. If your introductory deal is expiring and you’re up for renewal, it’s best to shop around and take your custom elsewhere.
Tips to help you be savvy when switching home insurance
1. Identify the type of homecare cover you need
Did you know that there are different types of home insurance policies available, offering various levels of cover? Contents insurance and building insurance are fairly self-explanatory. They cover the contents in your home and the building itself. Some policies go beyond the basics and offer beneficial extras like home breakdown cover. You can also take out stand-alone home emergency cover.
What is home emergency cover?
As the name suggests, home emergency cover protects you in the event of an emergency in your home. For example, your boiler breaking down or your central heating system failing. It also covers other home installations like your plumbing and electrics.
If something goes wrong in your home, you can simply make a claim on your home breakdown cover policy. Your insurance provider will then send out a qualified and trusted contractor to assess the problem and complete any repair work. The labour, parts and repair work should be covered by your policy but in some instances, you may have to pay a call-out charge. It all depends on the terms and conditions of your contract.
One of the benefits of having this type of home insurance on top of your existing contents and buildings insurance policy is that you’ll never be left without heating, hot water or electrics for long. You can also have the peace of mind that your finances won’t suffer an unplanned hit.
Some providers offer insured plans to look after your Boiler and Heating and other home services like plumbing, drains and electrics, whereas other providers offer non-insured plans. An insured plan will be underwritten by an insurer and also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Non-insured plans are not backed by an insurer and are not regulated by the FCA. Often non-insured or maintenance plans include an annual service of the equipment covered, whereas these may or may not be included in insured plans.
Hometree offers a range of non-insured maintenance "care" plans all of which include an annual service visit.
Working out what you need
The type of home cover you need depends on your current situation. Ask yourself:
- Do you need a more comprehensive level of protection with home emergency cover?
- Have you downsized or increased the size of your home?
- Do you now own more high-value items?
All of these are good reasons to switch homecare cover providers. Now you can shop around and see what you can get for your money.
2. Use home cover compare sites
The quickest and easiest way to gather household cover quotes is to use comparison websites. Simply pop in your details and they will bring up a wide range of quotes from the UK’s most trusted home insurance providers. You can narrow down the quotes by the type of cover offered, as well as price and other filters.
It’s a good idea to use a couple of different comparison websites, as they tend to vary the insurance providers they represent. Some of the most popular sites include Compare the Market, Confused.com, MoneySupermarket.com and uSwitch.
3. Research the homecare cover provider
Once you’ve gathered a few quotes, we’d recommend doing a little research to find out more about the providers and their reputations. It always pays to be a savvy shopper!
Visit their websites to learn more about each company and what they offer. Google their company names to look for reviews on independent websites like TrustPilot. You can also ask your friends and family for their recommendations.
Some home insurance providers will offer deals to new customers. These are very appealing but it’s worth checking how long they last for. Remember, most companies that offer introductory deals tend to hike up the price on renewal.
4. Set up your home cover
If you’re happy with the quote you’ve got from a new provider, it’s time to go ahead and sign up. Always read the small print and get answers to any questions you have. There’s no such thing as a silly question and you’re entitled to know exactly what you’re paying for.
Check that your new policy will start when your old one ends. If you’re a little anxious, let them overlap by a few days just to be safe. It’s better to have double cover than no cover at all!
5. End your existing contract
Finally, you’ll need to notify your existing home insurance provider that you no longer require their services. Keep in mind that some home insurance providers auto-renew their policies, so you may need to give notice. Check your contract for the notice period terms and get in touch with your provider via email, telephone or online chat.
Does it cost anything to switch home cover?
Switching home cover is usually free and could save you money. The only time you may have to pay a cancellation fee is if you want to end your existing home insurance policy early. This is why it’s important to know how long your contract lasts for and how much notice you need to give before switching homecare cover.
We hope we’ve answered all of your questions. Considering switching your home emergency cover to Hometree's care plans? Visit our home care plans page to find out more and get in touch with our expert team today.