The price of home insurance is a significant part of your household costs each year. The following information will provide you with information on some of the factors that may affect an Insurance Companies decision as to the premium they would charge.
The premium is based on a lot of information, primarily;
It is vitally important that you give your insurer full and honest information and always keep them up to date if your Insurance details change.
Age – Household Insurers will generally allow a discount if the proposer is over a certain age (Generally 50+)
Previous Incidents – Insurance companies will always ask if you or any members of your household have sustained any losses, damage or incurred any liability whether Insured or not. They would generally be interested in incidents within the last five years and the frequency and type of claim(s) sustained could influence an Insurer’s decision to accept the proposed risk. If you have been claims free, some Insurers may allow a no claims discount and reduce the premium accordingly.
Previous Convictions – Insurers would ask if you have any previous criminal convictions or prosecutions pending (other than minor motoring offences) or whether you have previously been declared bankrupt. Depending on the nature of the offence Insurers may decide to charge a higher rate or not to provide a quotation at all.
The price of Household Insurance will differ depending on whether the property you wish to insure is your main residence, a property you rent out to tenants, a holiday home or is currently unoccupied and whether the property is of standard construction or whether it is a wooden structure, timber framed building or has a thatched roof
Some Insurers may also charge different rates depending on the property type ie Detached or an Apartment, the number of bedrooms, the size of the property, the source of heating and when it was built.
Main Residence – Insurers may charge higher rates if your residence is partially occupied as a home office and you need additional cover for equipment relating to your work, you use as a child minding facility or you have lodgers permanently residing with you.
If your property is regularly unoccupied during the day Insurers may charge higher rates, request a minimum level of security ie an intruder alarm must be installed and operational, or they may refuse to provide a quotation at all.
Unoccupied Properties – If the property you wish to Insure is currently unoccupied the Insurer would require full details of the reason why the property is unoccupied, when you expect it to be occupied and who will be living there. Most Insurers do not like to insure unoccupied properties due to the higher risk of vandalism, malicious damage and also if an incident arises such as a water leak it would take a longer time to be identified and therefore more damage may occur than if it was occupied and spotted at an earlier stage.
Where Insurers would be prepared to grant cover they would charge a higher rate and also restrict cover typically to Fire only benefits or Fire, Storm and Flood.
Rental Properties – Insurers would generally charge different rates depending on whether the property is let as a single unit to a family or professionals compared with renting the property out to students. Most Insurers who Insure rental properties will also include cover such as loss of rent incurred following Insured damage and your property consequently becomes uninhabitable.
Holiday Homes – Insurers would charge different rates depending on whether the property will solely be occupied by you and members of your family or whether it will be rented out to individuals on a part-time or full time basis.
The rates that an Insurer will charge will differ depending on where the property is situated. All Insurers will have different rating areas which will depend on a number of factors including the frequency of claims in areas such as subsidence, storm, flooding or theft. As a general rule properties in urban areas would attract a higher rate due to the larger density of people and increased instance of crime.
Household Insurance companies would typically allow discounts if the property is installed with an intruder alarm (discounts may vary depending on whether the alarm is “bell only” or connected to a centrally monitored station such as Eircom Phonewatch), high quality door and window locks, smoke detectors and if you are a member of a local community alert scheme.
Certain Insurers may require that a certain level of security be in place to grant cover which could depend on the area in which you live, the occupancy or sums insured applicable.
The price of Household Insurance will differ depending on the amount you stipulate as the rebuilding cost of your premises and/or the replacement amount of the Contents. These are known as the Sums Insured and will be the main factor for calculating your Insurance premium. There would also generally be different levels of cover available which are briefly outlined below.
Standard Cover – This cover is the traditional level of cover for occupied dwellings and offers cover based on specified perils such as Fire, Burglary, storm damage, malicious damage etc. Cover would also normally include New for Old benefits, property owners, domestic employee and personal liabilities. Most Insurers would provide this level of cover on their standard policies.
Accidental Damage Cover – This cover includes Standard Cover as per above and would also include damage to your property following accidental damage. Insurers would generally charge a higher rate for this level of cover and it may only available on a restricted basis ie Main Residence policies only.
High Value Items – Insurers would generally charge a higher rate if a large percentage of your total Contents are considered High Value items such as jewellery, works of art or precious metals
All Risks Cover – Higher rates will apply if you wish to Insure personal possessions such as watches, jewellery or cameras etc on an all risks basis and they would be separately Insured to the Contents Sum Insured. This will provide cover for accidental loss or damage both inside and outside of your home. You may specify such items individually or Insure them on a miscellaneous basis which is useful for smaller items to be Insured.
Other Optional Extensions – Some Insurers may provide optional additional cover for items such as Caravans, Mobile Homes or Small Craft and rate accordingly.
Excess – Some Insurers may have different excess options where you could either increase the excess amount for a cheaper rate or decrease the excess amount for an additional rate.