Cheaper Home Insurance is another area where money
can be saved.
There are many insurance companies and brokers who are willing to take money from you, but make sure you get the best deal from them.
Because insurance is such a lucrative market, many large and totally unexpected companies are now jumping on to this money-spinning bandwagon.
Therefore you will have the benefit of more
choice, but you will also need to be extra careful before taking
advantage of some of these unexpected 'special offers'.
CHEAPER HOME INSURANCE
1. Increase your voluntary excess payment. The higher the excess you are willing to pay, the lower your premium. This can be as much as 20 per cent with some companies for as little as £250 excess. This is worth checking when seeking cheaper home insurance as some companies ‘forget’ to mention this fact.
2. Think carefully about the add-ons you need.
For instance, do you really need accidental damage cover? This can
increase premiums by 25 per cent. Don't claim unless you need to. The
fewer the claims, the higher your no claims discount.
3. Consider installing CCTV cameras. Insurers believe that these deter opportunist burglaries and they could also lead to cheaper home insurance.
Even a decoy fitting secured in the correct place on your house should help as a deterrent. Just don't tell anyone it is a decoy.
4. Consider security fittings for any valuable pieces of art. Your insurance company could well insist up on this.
5. Take photographs and serial numbers of all valuables and use some kind of security code or magic marker. Alternatively, forensic solutions such as SmartWater, which is a colourless liquid solution that is simply dabbed onto uneven surfaces of your valuables. Each bottle is registered to your address. The liquid cannot be easily seen by the naked eye and once dry is virtually impossible to remove. This liquid glows under ultraviolet light – allowing the police to identify the true owner of the property.
Taking a photograph(s) of your item is also a sensible precaution if you are taking a valuable item to be repaired. It eliminates any uncertainty.
6. Alternatively, buy an invisible marker pen and put your post code on the back of any valuable items. Tips Nos. 4 through to 6 may not lead to cheaper home insurance, but you will get more peace of mind.
7. If you have expensive items of garden machinery such as garden tractors etc. paint numerous small white, snow-flake type blobs on the bonnet etc. This will deter thieves as the machinery will be too recognisable and too bothersome to respray. As an alternative use a small stencil of your choice, dog paws for example. This will have same effect and look more decorative. Definitely a talking point!
Whether it will lead to cheaper home insurance may be doubtful, but it should lead to more protection for this expensive item. Thieves will instantly know it will mean a complete re-spray job before they can sell it on.
8. Get all outside doors fitted with good key-operated security locks and bolts. Front doors should be solid and have five-lever mortice deadlocks fitted. Don't forget locks to your windows. Most new windows come with these ready fitted, but DIY shops have a selection of window locks that are easy to install. This is a frequent demand from insurance companies and can lead to cheaper home insurance.
9. Plant prickly shrubs around the perimeter of the house or underneath windows to deter thieves. These may not stop a determined thief from entering your house but if they scratch themselves on the prickles and leave a blood sample, then DNA identification is a possibility. Good plants are Acanthus, Berberis, Rose Rugosa and Holly. Flimsy trellises at the top of a fence also deter thieves because they make it harder to climb. Gravel driveways and paths are noisy and almost act as a burglar alarm. Just make life more difficult for these potential intruders.
10. Consider installing motion-activated or dawn-to-dusk lights at the front and back of your home - these will welcome visitors to your home but deter prowlers. This item may be looked on favourably when you seek cheaper home insurance.
11. Make sure a thief cannot open your door by putting an instrument or a hand through the letterbox and reaching for the release mechanism - install a security cover or a cage inside the letterbox to catch post. If you need to keep the key to your mortice lock readily available for your own use, put it out of sight, in a very unusual place and out of reach of any opportunist.
12. Do you have a dog? Even a small dog that barks at strange noises has been known to deter intruders. A dog can be part of your burglary system
13. Heating oil theft should also feature in your safety precautions, particularly tips 4 and 5 on this new page. The contents of these large tanks are well worth stealing now that the price of kerosene has reached astronomical proportions.
14. When it comes to both insuring and selling your house and if you house has been underpinned in the past, you will need to get a current report from a Consultant Structural Engineer as to the present state of your property. A quick search under Google should give you the names of Consultants in your area. One item to check is his qualifications. He will need to hold either a FICE or MICE. These are two qualifications that are acceptable to both building societies and insurance companies.
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