Three in 10 would upgrade their home security to cut annual insurance costs

Three in 10 homeowners in Ireland would upgrade the locks on their property and/or install a home alarm system if it meant they could get cheaper home insurance.

This is according to the findings of a new survey by Peopl Insurance, which examined the steps people would be prepared to take in a bid to slash insurance costs.

The survey revealed that the top five steps which people would be willing to take are:

Shop around (53pc of those polled said they would do so )

Not claim for minor damage (32pc )

Upgrade locks (31pc )

Pay premium upfront (28pc )

Install alarm (28pc )

“Just 470 out of the 886 homeowners we surveyed – 53pc - said they would take the basic step of shopping around for cheaper cover. CSO figures show that home insurance costs are up nine pc over the last year, which means that at renewal time, people are often seeing an increase in their premiums. However, this does not mean the policy holder should just accept the higher price. In the first few months of this year, tens of thousands of households will receive these letters from their insurers advising them that their policy is up for renewal and we are advising all, not just half, of these policy holders to take a few minutes to shop the market – and possibly save themselves a good amount of money by doing so.

Much of the increase in home insurance costs is likely down to a recent move by insurers to safeguard their customers against underinsurance, whereby insurers adjusted the buildings sum insured on policies in line with inflation. While it is crucial that customers are not underinsured, such adjustments can lead to increases in home insurance premiums," Paul Walsh of Peopl Insurance said.

The experts at Peopl are also highlighting that there are a number of other relatively straightforward steps people can take that in certain instances will result in a lower premium for the homeowner.

Findings from the Peopl Insurance home insurance cost-cutting survey reveal that age and gender and even location can have a role to play in buyer behaviour when it comes to home insurance:

Men are twice as likely as women to increase the excess (the first part of a claim a policyholder covers themselves ) on their home insurance policy in order to save costs (28pc v 14pc ).

Women are more likely than men to pay their premium upfront (30pc versus 21pc ); so too are those aged 55 plus (36pc )

Those aged between 25 and 34 were the most inclined to say they would improve the safety and security measures around their home in order to secure a home insurance discount. More than four in ten (43pc ) of this age category said they would be prepared to upgrade their locks to do so and this age cohort was also the most likely to install or upgrade their house alarm, as well to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in order to save money.

Those living in Ulster[3] are the most likely not to claim for minor damage to their home in order to save on home insurance – more than half (53pc ) of Ulster residents expressed this sentiment compared to 31pc of Dublin residents and 31pc of Munster residents.

Residents of Ulster (70pc ) and Connacht (60pc ) were the most likely to shop around for a better price. So too were those aged 35 and upwards.

“Claiming a combination of discounts could reduce the cost of a policy substantially. So it is important that customers ask their insurer or broker what discounts they are eligible for as customers are often unaware of the range of discounts available. These discounts could include loyalty discounts, discounts for credit union members, and discounts for having an intruder alarm, smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. Some insurers offer discounts if your home as a Building Energy Rating (BER ) of A or B. Most home insurers offer a no-claims discount if you haven’t had a house insurance claim for a set number of years. People should however be careful to meet the conditions of their policy for any discount they are claiming," Mr Walsh concluded.


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