Home Insurance Price Gap of over 100% between Brokers & Banks

“Households could be overpaying by up to €300 a year by dealing with the bank”

Homeowners are being advised to consider their options when shopping for home insurance, as cost comparison figures across insurance providers reveal that Irish banks are charging much higher premiums than other providers.

Jonathan Hehir, Managing Director of insuremyhouse.ie explained, “We took five standard sample customers and looked at the premiums between ourselves and the five main banks. The results were staggering. In every single case the bank was dearer, but not only that, in some cases the price differential reached several hundred Euro!

Experts at insuremyhouse.ie say that unlike motor insurance, home insurance is very competitive at the moment but that this should not mean homeowners should be apathetic in their approach to taking out what is often a compulsory cover for mortgage holders.

Jonathan continued, “People may feel they are safe just going to one provider to get a good rate, as home insurance rates aren’t suffering the same fate as car insurance. Our figures reveal that this is simply not the case. There are huge differences in the prices people pay for the same cover – a couple of our cost comparisons revealed a difference of over €300 – there are not many households that can afford to pass up a saving like this”.

House Insurance Savings Table

Jonathan contends that the reasons banks charge invariably higher premiums is that home insurance is not their core business, “It’s just one of the many products and services they offer and so they don’t focus their attentions on getting the best value for customers”.

Jonathan went on to say, “My advice to anyone who already has a home insurance policy in place is to take out your policy details, look for your renewal date, and make a note of it in your calendar. Then a few weeks before this date, go and search the market for the best value instead of letting the renewal date roll around and having to accept the new premium that your existing insurer offers you. I would guestimate that approximately 70% of Irish people do the latter i.e. do nothing – and that of this 70%, 9 out of 10 of them could get a better deal.”

Tips for cutting the cost of home cover

There are several ways to avail of cheaper premiums on home insurance:

Secure your home. Most insurers will offer discounts for people with alarms and/or monitored alarm systems. If you have one of these ask if any discounts apply. A monitored alarm could reduce premiums by up to 25pc. While these may have been expensive a few years ago the cost of alarm monitoring has reduced significantly.

Check policy “add-ons”. Extras like accidental damage are often costly and not always necessary. There’s little point in specifying valuable items such as iPads and bicycles if you opted for a higher excess, say €500.

Increasing the excesses on your policy will invariably reduce the cost of your premium However, you need to ensure that you don’t end up having to pay out a fortune in the event of a claim – you should always take expert advice when considering changing policy excesses.

Lock in your rate for two or three years. Some insurers are now offering these policies, which means that if a person chooses to opt in for the next two to three years, they will be insulated from any market rate increases during this time. This is a cost effective measure for those who would prefer some sense of certainty when it comes to premiums. There is no charge for this. Instead, there is a small administration discount. If a customer’s premium is €400 for one year, then two years will cost €790, and three years will cost €1,180.

Another benefit of the new product is that the premium will not increase during the two to three years no matter how many claims are made on the policy in this time. Homeowners would normally be hit with a significant premium increase just months after the claim when they go to renew their policy.

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