Where should you buy home insurance from?

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Whether you’re purchasing your first home insurance policy, or your existing policy is up for renewal, shopping around will ensure you get the best price for the cover you need

You probably already know you should give the same details to each provider and make sure you’re being quoted for the same level of cover and extra products as these can greatly affect the prices you are quoted.

But did you know where you shop and ultimately buy your policy can also affect your insurance quote?

Here’s a run down on the most common places you can purchase home insurance, and the factors affecting how these providers price their policies:

Home insurance providers and comparison sites

Comparison sites like Confused.com and MoneySuperMarket.com have made it quick and easy to compare prices and cover from several home insurance companies at once, encouraging competitive pricing from these companies no matter if it's on your content insurance for a rented house or the full package for your own property.

Most home insurance providers have a range of products available, offering flexibility in the level of your cover and your premium. Many companies tailor their policies by offering different levels of basic coverage and additional products to personalize your policy – so you only pay for the cover you need.

For example, Admiral Home Insurance offers three types of home insurance policies – buildings cover only, contents cover only, or combined buildings and content cover.

No matter what you choose to cover, you can still pick how much coverage you need with our Admiral, Gold, and Platinum packages. Admiral Home Insurance also has a selection of individual products to further tailor your coverage for your home and possessions – visit our Admiral Home Insurance for details on how we can help protect those things dearest to you.

To ensure you have the cover you need, you shouldn’t simply purchase the cheapest policy you see without doing a little homework first – the initial prices you see on an aggregator are likely for the most basic cover on offer, and may not include all the benefits you want.

Chartered financial planner, Jamie Allan, cautions against buying without doing your insurance quote research.

According to Mr Allan, “Not reading the small print when buying via price comparison sites could lead to issues like gaps in your cover.”

If you’re unsure whether your quote includes what you need call and speak with a representative, who should be able to explain the cover to you.

If customer service is an important factor in your buying decision, it can be useful to call a company before accepting their quote online to see if their level of service is to your satisfaction.

In order to keep costs and quotes as low as possible, some companies have only internet-based customer service through email and web chat, so you may want to consider this in your purchasing decision if you like being able to call your insurance provider to speak with someone directly.

Mortgage providers

Most mortgage providers require you to take out building insurance and they sometimes advertise these products alongside their mortgage offers and mortgage calculators.

The convenience of keeping your financial products together can be really attractive, especially if they offer to combine the monthly payments, you have other financial products with them, or you’re happy with their customer service. However, you’re not obliged to accept their insurance offer.

Mr Allan said financial planners usually advise clients not to take the mortgage provider’s insurance because these quotes could be for a ‘block policy’, meaning the cover is not tailored to the individual client.

Some of the financial advisors we spoke to said customers may only be offered buildings insurance forcing them to go elsewhere for their contents policy.

While homeowners don’t have to buy their insurance from their mortgage provider, some providers still charge a fee for taking out an insurance policy elsewhere. If your provider does, you could still save money by buying your policy elsewhere as mortgage providers may not feel the need to be as competitive as other insurance providers.

Taking the time to compare their price and coverage against other offers will ensure you get the best price for your needs.

Independent brokers

A broker offers a personal touch because they’re usually located right in your own community and available to meet in person.

If you’re relying on the same broker to buy several types of financial products, you should also consider that they may not have the expertise and knowledge required to recommend the best home insurance products which meet your specific needs and requirements.

You could end up with cover you don’t need, inflating your premium. Mr Allan often refers first-time home buyers to a specialist home insurance broker, because these brokers will know the policies they recommend inside out. “Specialist brokers are able to source insurance tailored to the client’s requirements and budget... that is of better value than that offered by the lenders,” he advised.

However, most brokers work on commission and this could influence what products they recommend you buy, again potentially increasing your insurance quote. They may also only deal with a single or limited number of providers, restricting your choices when it comes to premium and coverage benefits.

So, there you have it, all the ways you can make sure your home is covered inside and out. Don’t forget you can always come directly to Admiral to get a Home Insurance quote.

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