Shop around for insurance - NCA
Consumers can save nearly €400 a year by shopping around for home insurance, according to the latest cost comparison from the National Consumer Agency.
The Home Insurance Cost Comparison survey reviewed a range of property types throughout the country and found that, across all the profiles surveyed, consumers could make average savings of €382 by shopping around.
The survey also reviewed the level of excesses attached to policies and examined the restrictions on contents insurance. It found that the difference in the excess that applied on policies ranged from €125 to €500 and a lower quote did not mean higher excesses. In six of the seven profiles, the lowest quotes were for policies that did not have the highest excesses in the survey.
A total of seven profiles for homes in Cork, Monaghan, Galway, Dublin and Longford were surveyed across nine insurance providers including Aviva, Allianz, Zurich and FBD Liberty.
The biggest difference in quotes provided was for a three-bedroom house in Co Cork with a rebuild value of €130,000 and contents valued at €40,000. The highest quote (€1147 from Chartisdirect) was €864 or 305 per cent more expensive than the lowest quote (€283 from FBD).
One profile in the survey reviewed the quotes for a Co Longford property liable to flood damage. Four of the nine providers would not provide a quote in this situation, while one home insurer provided a quote that does not include flood cover and another provided flood cover subject to further assessment.
Commenting on the findings, chief executive of the NCA Ann Fitzgerald, said: “the results of the survey show that consumers can make significant savings by getting a number of home insurance quotes before they buy or renew their home insurance policy”.
She urged consumers to take advantage of the competition which exists in the market and any potential savings that are available by getting quotes online, by telephone or through a broker.
She also advised consumers to compare excesses and restrictions on contents cover as well as price when shopping around.
“Ensure that the value provided for contents is enough to replace the contents of the home with new items of the same quality and type. In addition, consumers need to examine the amount of cover given for specific items or categories of contents under the contents cover”.
According to NCA research published last October some 38 per cent of consumers do not shop around for home insurance.
Louise Ledwige, home insurance expert with getcover.ie said the company had seen an estimated 50 per cent increase in calls over the last 18 months from consumers looking to re-negotiate a better deal on their home insurance or restructure their policy to produce a lower premium.
“We are now seeing the emergance a new wave of tougher, price conscious and value savvy consumers who have mastered keen negotiation skills and are prepared to go through the contract with a fine tooth comb to achieve cost savings”.