If home and contents insurance is taking an increasingly big chunk out of your budget, here are some tips for cutting the cost without cutting the cover.

The cost of insuring your home and its contents can vary massively based on factors including where in the country you live, the materials used to build your home and the value of its contents. But there are many other factors providers take into account when pricing their policies, some of which you may be able to use to your advantage to pay less.

Here are our top tips to help you save on home and contents insurance.

1. Increase your excess

A home insurance excess is the amount you agree to pay your insurance provider if you have a claim approved. Many providers give customers the option to choose how much of an excess they will pay in the event of a claim, so you may be able to save on your premium by increasing your excess.

A higher excess means you’ll be less likely to make a claim, as you might wonder whether it’s worthwhile for less expensive damages or losses. You can check the amount and type of excess that applies to your policy by looking at your Certificate of Insurance.

2. Take advantage of multi-policy discounts

In New Zealand’s competitive insurance market, insurance firms fight hard over every insurance contract, offering online discounts and sign-up deals to encourage customers to switch.

Many insurance firms also offer discounts on multi-policies. But this requires a degree of caution, as you need to make sure that buying the policies from the same provider makes sense overall.

For example, it may still work out cheaper to pay full price for the policies with separate providers. It’s also important that each of the policies is suitable for your situation and you aren’t sacrificing on the level of protection you’re getting to receive what might be a relatively small discount.

3. Increase home security

Home security is more relevant for contents insurance. The more deterrents there are for a would-be burglar at your home, the lower your contents insurance premiums could be. A baseball bat under the bed or the family guard dog won’t cut it as far as your insurer is concerned. Instead, you could consider installing security screens on all doors and windows, a home alarm system, home alarm monitoring, or smart security system, etc.

4. Pay your premiums annually

If it suits your budget, you could save money with some providers by paying your annual home and contents insurance bill in one go, rather than in monthly instalments. But be sure to check the refund policy, should you pay upfront but need to change or cancel your cover early.

5. Avoid unnecessary extras

When buying insurance, focus on what you need. When you’re buying a policy, chances are you’ll be offered some bells and whistles on top of the standard level of cover, in return for paying a higher premium. Common examples include cover for the loss of hearing aids or glasses, and for accidental damage to mobile phones and laptops. Think carefully about whether these add-ons are going to be worth the extra cost.

6. Ask for a loyalty discount

If you’ve been with the same insurer for a number of years, it could be worth calling up and asking for a loyalty discount, particularly if you’ve been a good customer – i.e. you haven’t made many claims. Some insurers offer such discounts automatically, but if you’re not sure, it’s worth asking the question. Even a discount of 5% or 10% can save you a respectable amount of money.

7. Shop around for a better deal

Don’t set and forget! With premiums changing year to year, it’s important to shop around each time your policy is up for renewal. Check out Canstar’s star ratings report and you might be surprised what you find. It’s definitely worth checking out your options – there are potentially plenty of ways to save on home insurance. Compare Home and Contents insurance policies with Canstar by clicking below:

Compare home and contents insurance for free with Canstar!

Other home insurance premium factors

We’ve discussed the excess you choose and your home safety and security measures above, but here are some other factors that can influence the size of your insurance premiums.

1. The sum insured

How much insurance do you really need? Basically, the larger the sum insured the higher the premiums you pay – which makes sense! But it’s important to note that doubling the amount you’re insured for doesn’t mean you’ll double your premium. This can be a misconception among a significant proportion of the insured population, who have a tendency to under-insure their home and contents.

Make sure your cover is enough to replace all your possessions in the event that your home is destroyed. It may not cost as much as you think. You can find your “sum insured” on your Certificate of Insurance.

2. Where you live

Different places have different risks for certain events, such as flooding, and, in terms of contents insurance, burglary. The risk factors are based on past experiences and the number of claims that insurers have previously had to pay for homeowners in your particular suburb or region. The more common these kinds of events are in a particular area, the higher the risk perceived by your insurance company and, accordingly, the higher the cost of your premiums.

3. The oldest person living in the house

Believe it or not, sometimes age does have its perks. From an insurer’s perspective, older people are often viewed as being less risky for certain events. This point is pretty self-explanatory, but just to be clear, it doesn’t mean you should go borrow Grandma from the old age home just before buying your home insurance. Rather, in general, a 45-year-old couple is perceived as being a safer bet than a 25-year-old couple when it comes to risk of damage to the property.

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.

Enjoy reading this article?

You can like us on Facebook and get social, or sign up to receive more news like this straight to your inbox.

By subscribing you agree to the Canstar Privacy Policy

Share this article