If you're looking to tighten the household budget, saving on your home insurance policy could be a good place to start.
When it comes to insurance, it's important to understand how different factors such as improving your home security or increasing your excess can reduce the overall cost.
Once you know where to look, it can be easy to adjust your policy to suit your budget. So if you want to cut costs, check out our guide on how to get the most out of your home insurance policy for less, both before and after you buy insurance.
Before You Buy Home Insurance
Before buying an insurance policy, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you're getting the best deal possible.
Consider Your Area
The area you live in generally impacts the cost of your premium. If you're located somewhere that has a higher risk of bad weather or theft, then you might have to deal with a higher premium.
This is why doing research before settling into your new home is a good idea to help save you money in the long run.
When you're looking at moving house, you should evaluate the risk of severe weather events in the area including floods, bushfires, hail and storms. You can also check the crime rate in your suburb using Budget Direct's Safe Suburbs Map.
Accurately Estimate the Value of Your Home and Contents
To get the right amount of cover, you first need to figure out how much it would cost to completely replace your home and contents if they were damaged or destroyed.
This figure is known as the sum insured. If you've overestimated the sum insured then you might end up spending more on your home insurance premium than you have to.
However, underestimating the value could mean paying out of pocket for repairs and replacements if anything were to happen, even if it’s an insured event.
While calculating a replacement cost can be tricky, Budget Direct's free Home and Contents Replacement Cost Calculators can help you find a ballpark figure to give you somewhere to start.
Install Safety Features and Home Security
For many insurers, a secure home generally poses less risk, and less risk can mean cheaper premiums.
Installing cameras, deadlocks, security screens for doors and windows and a security alarm can help keep your house safe and secure.
And while it can give you a lower premium, having extra security around the house can also help give you peace of mind, particularly if you're in a high-risk neighbourhood for theft or crime.
Choose Your Cover Wisely
The type of cover you choose will generally depend on your circumstances. For new homeowners, you can buy home insurance before settlement or once the contract has been signed.
Whether you're a new customer or switching insurers, there's also the option to add contents cover to an existing policy or purchase a combined home and contents policy.
Additionally, some insurers offer discounts such as a multi-policy discount or a discount for having a good claims history, depending on the type of cover you choose. At Budget Direct, a home insurance customer could even get a discount for buying their policy online rather than over the phone.
Increase Your Excess
Whether it's home insurance or car insurance, every time you make a claim on your policy you have to deal with an excess.
An excess is the amount you have to pay to your insurer to go towards repairs or replacements when you make a claim. A lower excess will usually mean a higher premium, while choosing to have a higher excess can reduce the cost of your premium overall.
Although having a higher excess might sound like an easy way to save on your policy, it also means you'll have to pay more towards a claim if an insured event happens.
Plus in some circumstances, there might be additional excesses that apply.
Pay Your Insurance Premium Annually
Paying insurance premiums annually instead of in instalments can mean you get a lower premium overall. Paying annually also means you can avoid instalment processing fees if you choose to pay monthly or fortnightly.
While forking out one large sum each year might not be feasible for everyone, it's worth considering at your next renewal date if you can afford it.
Combine Home and Contents Insurance
Combining your home and contents policies could be an easy way to save on home insurance in the long run.
With Budget Direct, you can combine your Home and Contents policies and receive 30%^ off (15% Combined + 15% Online) on your first year's premium for a new policy purchased online.
Additionally, if you hold two or more insurance policies with us, you're invited to become a Budget Direct Rewards customer, which gives you full access to exclusive offers and discounts across popular brands in travel, accommodation, shopping and much more.
Select the Right Level of Cover
When buying home insurance, you'll want to figure out which optional benefits you need most so that you can get enough coverage and still save money.
While choosing an optional benefit might not lower the cost of your premium, it could help in the long run by protecting your home in the case of an emergency or incident.
As part of Budget Direct's Home and Contents Insurance policy, optional covers include:
Personal Effects Cover
Check out the Product Disclosure Statement for more information.
Still, we make these benefits optional to keep premiums low because it means you can choose only the cover you think you’ll need.
Buy Your First Year's Premium Online
With Budget Direct, you can get a discount on your first year's premium for a new policy if you buy online.
To qualify for our 30%^ discount on a combined Home and Contents policy or a 15%^ discount on a Home and/or Contents policy you must start your home insurance quote online.
After You Buy Home Insurance
Choosing the right home and contents insurance cover is just the beginning. The next step is to maintain and check your policy regularly to make sure you're getting the best deal possible.
The better you understand your cover, the better you'll be protected should you ever need to make a claim.
Keep Security Devices Well Maintained and Activated
Whether it's a burglar alarm or cameras, taking proper security measures can help put you and your home at lower risk of crime or theft.
You should always keep your security devices around the home in good working condition and check your fire alarm regularly.
Activating systems and locking windows and doors before you leave the house can also help if a theft or break-in happens and you need to make a claim.
Not only could this be one of the ways to save on your premium, but these small home improvements could also help reduce the number of claims made over time.
Keep Track of Your Assets and Value New Items
Making a successful claim can be a whole lot easier if you're prepared. One of the best ways to do this is to take photos or videos of everything you own and everything you've insured to keep on file.
Collecting records of items can help provide proof of ownership if you do need to make a claim.
Proof of ownership can include:
Closeup photographs and videos
A certificate of authenticity
Creating a home inventory can make it easier to keep track of your belongings and provide extra peace of mind if something goes wrong. It’s also a good idea to give a copy of the records to someone who doesn’t live at the same address as a secure backup.
Keep Your Home and Contents in Good Condition
Keeping your home and contents in good condition is one of the ways to make sure you're maintaining your cover.
In general, a house that's well maintained and has no damage, defects or faults will meet the conditions of a policy. If this standard isn't met, there's a chance it could impact your cover.
To keep your house in the best condition possible, you could have a regular maintenance calendar throughout the year that includes:
Clearing debris or broken tiles from the roof
Making sure all alarms are in working order
Booking a pest inspection
And if the job is too big or inaccessible, you can always put some money aside throughout the year to go towards hiring a professional.
How do our home insurance prices compare?
Compared to other home insurance providers, our customers nationwide said they saved an average of $341† when they switched from a comparable policy to Budget Direct’s Combined Home and Contents Insurance.
Ready to save? Find a level of cover that suits you and start saving with Budget Direct Home Insurance.