UK home insurance premiums fall to five-year low

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Fall in burglaries and mild winter cited tumbling home insurance bills

The dramatic fall in burglary rates across Britain, plus fewer claims for flood and storm damage, have sent the cost of home insurance to a five-year low, with households in Norwich enjoying the lowest premiums in the country.

The cost of insuring the typical British home is now £116 a year, compared with £160 five years ago, according to analysis of 2.6m customer quotes by comparison site MoneySupermarket.com.

Even in parts of the country with the worst record for claims, prices have tumbled. Harrow in north-west London has the highest average home insurance premiums in the UK, at £182, but this compares to £214 in 2010.

Only Bolton in Lancashire has witnessed an increase in premiums over the past year, rising by £10 on average, although they are down £54 since 2010.

Many households are now overpaying for home insurance, accepting year-on-year increases put through by their insurer without realising that across the market, rates have tumbled.

As recently as 1995, 8.7% of homes in England and Wales were victims of a domestic burglary, but this fell to 2.7% last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Kevin Pratt of MoneySupermarket.com said: “Anyone who has never switched, and just auto-renews their home insurance policy every year, could be in line for significant savings.

“With the exception of Bolton, prices have been dropping steadily over the past five years thanks to a number of factors; burglary rates have been falling in most areas; and the fairly mild winter of 2014-15 meant fewer claims for flooding and storm damage.”

Residents of Norwich enjoy the UK’s lowest premiums, averaging £100.70 a year, closely followed by Salisbury and Dorchester.

Those living in Kingston-upon-Thames have benefitted from the largest price drop, with premiums falling by £19 in a year. However, premiums in this area are among the highest nationally at £135 – 16% more expensive than the national average.

Postcode areas in London generally have the highest premiums. Among the worst areas for household insurance premium are Ilford, London north-west, Southall and London north.

By Patrick Collinson, The Guardian

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