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Last updated: 24 May 2021
Insurance renewal can happen in the blink of an eye. And while it’s easy, the question to ask yourself is: is it cost-effective? Let’s take a look.
What is auto renew?
Home insurance auto renewal is when a policy renews at the end of the contract term, usually at twelve months. This means you’re placed on a new deal automatically. Why is this good? Well, the insurance companies will tell you that it guarantees you’re not left without cover at any point which, admittedly, is a great USP. But is everything as simple and easy as that?
While auto renewal is convenient and does prevent you from being left uninsured, when it comes to the bare figures it’s not always your cheapest option for home insurance. New customers almost always get the best prices, so by renewing you’re actually shutting yourself off from better deals on the market.
Keeping this in mind when you compare home insurance deals can help you score a policy best fit for you.
When should I renew my home insurance?
Here at usave, we advocate for switching home insurance providers. That’s because in almost all instances you’ll save money by doing so.
But if you do want to remain loyal to your current provider – perhaps they have top tier customer service, or you genuinely can’t find a better deal elsewhere – then the best time to renew your policy is around three weeks before the end date. This is when providers are most likely to offer you the best rates in order to retain your custom. Plus, that brief window before your policy end date is when you can switch providers fee-free, so they’re looking to hook you in.
How much does it cost to renew my home insurance?
What home insurance renewal will cost for you depends on a number of factors. Insurers may offer you the same premium or an increased one, but rarely if ever do they offer your policy at a cheaper price.
You won’t be explicitly charged to renew your policy – your insurer needs a reason to keep your custom! – but you’ll likely find your premium increases. This’ll be the case in particular if you’ve bought new contents or made modifications to your home.
Similarly, you’ll see a premium increase if you’ve made a claim in the previous year. This is because insurers assess you to be a higher risk.
All this being said, there are a few instances when your premium could reduce, for example if you’ve built up no claims and your property has depreciated in value. However, even with that in mind, you’ll still find in most cases you’ll save money by switching.
Should I let my home insurance auto renew or should I switch?
A word of warning that you can take as gospel across any form of insurance: you’ll almost always save money switching to a new supplier, so we’d err on the side of caution letting your home insurance renew. As a general rule of thumb, it doesn’t pay to be loyal, as new customers almost always tap into the best deals on the market.
Similarly, over time your policy may need to change. Perhaps you’ve bought a bunch of new, expensive goods, meaning your contents insurance needs to be modified. Or alternatively, you’ve made renovations to your building, such as an extension.
Whichever the case, when your circumstances change or even if they don’t, an auto renew policy rarely, if ever, is the best choice.
Carefully consider whether your current policy still serves you appropriately. If it doesn’t reflect your home accurately – particularly if you underestimate – you may find it becomes invalid should you make a claim.
Can I cancel if I auto renew by mistake?
When your policy auto renews, you have what’s called a cooling-off period, which lasts for 14 days. During that time, you’re at liberty to cancel your policy without penalty, though you’ll still have to pay for the period you were insured. That being said, some insurers may charge a fee to cancel, so check the terms of your policy or better still be certain renewal is the right choice for you.
After the cooling off period you can still cancel, but you’ll likely have to pay off the remainder of the insurance policy, so weigh up whether this is worth the cost.
How to get cheaper home insurance
Having a policy that befits your specific circumstances is your first step to ensuring you don’t overpay. Yet a considerable proportion of the population spend more on their home insurance than they should.
It’s no coveted secret that when your policy is up for renewal, running a home insurance comparison is the most effective way to gauge the market. Is your renewal quote competitive? Do you need a level of cover no longer offered by your current provider? Use our search tool to find out.
In the same vein, you can compare home insurance quotes in order to have leverage with your current insurer. Let them know you’ve found a better deal elsewhere, and if they’re not willing to match it, you’re out.
Lastly, renewal time is a great opportunity to review your circumstances. Review the value of your contents and worth of your property, and take this into consideration when looking for quotes.