24th February 2020

Buy Cheap, Buy Twice

By Steve Moores, Dip CII
Account Executive
Modern home

If some of the mainstream media are to be believed, the most important aspect when choosing your home insurance is the price. Online headlines abound such as “Beat your current premium”, “Best price guaranteed” and the like and we’re encouraged by consumer websites to find the cheapest policy.

But, just like when choosing a car, you do get what you pay for when buying your home insurance. The race to the bottom has inevitably led to policies which offer a lower level of cover, offshore call centres, less experienced staff, and often, an inferior claim service.

Key differences can often be seen by reading the insurer’s Policy Wording. You probably won’t bother doing this though, right? It’s cheap, and you’ve saved some money. So you’re happy. It’s often only when you go to make a claim that you’ll discover the small print which can mean the difference between a claim being paid in full and being reduced, or even declined.

As a Chartered Insurance Broker, we know that the devil is in the detail. We’ve read the policy wordings, we check for unusual terms and we work with reliable insurers who are more likely to respond when you need it.

Here are a few things you should look out for when comparing your home policy.

  • Average clause. Often to be found in the section “How we will pay your claim”. This states that if you are underinsuring (even accidentally) the insurers can reduce your claim proportionately.*
  • Short unoccupancy clause. If your home is deemed “unoccupied” cover is restricted. Cheaper policies have shorter definitions of unoccupied, some as short as five days.
  • A theft limitation clause. This restricts theft from home so that it’s only covered if there’s a sign of a break in.
  • A security warranty. If you leave a door or window unlocked or the alarm off, insurers may not pay a theft claim.
  • A short claim notification period. This is the time after an incident during which the insurer will accept the claim. Some policies give a maximum of 48 hours. After this time, the claim may be declined.
  • Other restrictive terms which are added on your policy schedule.

With Aston Lark, you’ll have a dedicated Account Handler, no call centres and an award-winning claims team to support you in the event of a claim

Please call 020 8712 8076 or email privateclients@astonlark.com to find out more.



*So if your contents are insured for £50,000, but after a claim, the loss adjuster visits and thinks the figure should be £60,000, insurers will pay 5/6ths of any contents claim.