House insurance is available as buildings cover and contents cover, and if you need both (i.e. if you own your house) then you can often get a discount for taking both from the same insurer (e.g. if you take buildings and contents cover and AXA is your house insurance provider, provided you have five years’ or more no-claims bonus you will receive a 45% discount).
Paying for your house insurance and shopping around for competitive quotes having assessed how much cover you’ll need is a time-consuming process. However, having to claim against your insurance is something that no-one really ever wants to have to do: making a claim means you’ve suffered a loss or damage to your home in some way, and that can be very stressful and difficult to deal with. Submitting a claim can be easy or it can be hard, depending on which insurance company you have opted for (AXA is a home insurance provider that manages its claims online but with telephone support available should you need, and with an online process for making and tracking your claims, which helps you to keep abreast of how your claim is progressing).
In order to reduce the chances of ever having to use your insurance, there are a number of steps you could take. Keep your house well-maintained and cared for and you’re less likely to suffer damage from things like burst water pipes. Sometimes insurance claims can be denied if they are caused by an obvious lack of repair or maintenance (e.g. if tiles that have been dislodged by a storm are not repaired in a timely manner, they could cause your roof to leak and water damage to be caused to your ceilings, or they could blow off and damage a neighbour’s property).
You can also reduce the risk of a house fire by installing smoke detectors and by keeping fire extinguishers handy. If you suffer any pest infestation, particularly mice, it’s sensible to get your wiring checked because it might have been nibbled in places, making your home more vulnerable to fire.
If you fit insurer-approved locks on your windows and doors you will reduce the chances of being burgled, as you will by installing an insurer-approved burglar alarm. Make sure you regularly check your burglar alarm (and your smoke detector).
You may not receive any discounts for maintaining and securing your home, but if you reduce the chances of having to make a claim then you will soon build up some no-claims bonus that can really add up (e.g. AXA house insurance can be reduced by 45% if you buy buildings and contents cover with five years’ no-claims bonus).