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Car & home insurance - how do you make sure you get the best value for your needs compared to the cost?

Wed 10 Jan 2024

Price increases and rising inflation are putting a lot of pressure on household finances. Many people are actively reviewing their finances and cutting back or eradicating expenditure where possible to make savings.

Payments and prices will come under the spotlight. But it’s not always a case of searching out the lowest cost, you need to consider your personal needs and the value you want your policy to provide.

Take insurance premiums for example. Car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK, but home insurance isn’t. So, at the extreme, someone could risk not insuring their home to save outgoings. But what a risk! Damage to the house structure or loss of home contents could be incredibly expensive to redress.

So, how could you manage the amount you pay for your insurance whilst making sure it is still adequate for your needs? Options to look at could include opting to pay a higher excess in the event of a claim, or not covering your home contents for accidental damage. When considering options like this you would need to consider how you would cover any additional costs that might arise in the event of a claim. For example, consider if you could afford to pay the higher excess in the event of a claim, or how you would replace items subject to accidental damage if you decided not to take that level of cover out with your policy. 

Some insurance policies may promote a lower headline cost, but either not include certain elements that you personally would find useful or need, or make you pay extra for elements that you want to make use of.

Examples include:

  • You might want to consider a car insurance policy that provides a courtesy car. If as a result of a claim your car needs to go in for repairs you would need to make arrangements to remain mobile for the period that your car is being repaired.
  • You might want to consider a home or car insurance policy that doesn’t charge to make changes during the time you hold the policy with the insurer. Changes you may need to make during the year could include mileage changes, address changes, insured driver changes and provision of duplicate documents. If your job or occupation changes, you might need to change your home or car insurance cover, for instance, if you become self-employed and work from home. If your policy charges for amendments these can add costs to your original premium paid.
  • You may want to review what policy extras you actually need, being mindful that you would need to consider how you would cover any additional costs arising if you decided to exclude policy add-ons.
  • Specialist Police car insurance policies may or may not include protection for officers travelling to or from work in their car whilst carrying official kit such as their Police Uniform. If you are a serving officer, you may want to make sure your standard policy covers you for this.

So, it pays to look beyond the headline cost and get a policy that works for you and your specific needs.

Reviewing your policy could make sure you have a policy that meets your individual needs and help reduce the chances of you being hit with any unexpected costs.

If you are reviewing your insurance premium costs as part of your household finances review, you may be interested to know that you don’t need to wait until your renewal date to review and switch your insurance policy.

Even if you took out an annual policy paid upfront as a lump sum, you may be able get a refund on some of your premiums and switch to a new insurer of your choice. However, some insurance companies may apply a cancellation charge for moving away from them during the term of the policy. You can help protect yourself from these charges by moving to an insurer that will pay some or all of the cancellation fees charged by your old insurer.

If you move your car or home insurance to Police Mutual, any cancellation fees charged by your old insurer up to a maximum of £125 will be paid. So you can move straight away without waiting till renewal time. To give you an idea of cancellation charges, the average cancellation charge levied in 2023 for car insurance is £55, and between £30 and £50 for home insurance.[1] Your existing policy documents should tell you what your exact cancellation charge would be.

Check out more here.


Police Mutual Car Insurance is provided by ERS and Police Mutual Home Insurance is provided by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd.

PMGI Limited, trading as Police Mutual is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register No. 114942. Registered in England & Wales No.1073408. Registered office: Brookfield Court, Selby Road, Leeds, LS25 1NB. For your security, all telephone calls are recorded and may be monitored.

[1] Average Cost to Cancel UK Car Insurance 2023 | NimbleFins

How To Cancel Home Insurance| MoneySuperMarket

Type of article: Articles
Category: Protecting my belongings

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