Home insurance reviews

When it comes to home insurance, it is essential to focus on having the right cover, and not shop on price alone.

After all, saving a few pounds on a home insurance policy can end up costing you thousands if you have not good adequate cover if you need to claim.

Additionally, different insurance companies have different reputations for support and service, with budget home insurance providers generally making the cost savings by reducing support costs.

The result is that a cheap home insurance policy may cause a lot of frustration and anger if you need to claim, and the service is not up to scratch.

With this in mind, Finance Markets has done a comprehensive review of a number of leading home insurance providers, to determine the levels of service, competence, as well as pricing.

No single insurance provider comes out as “the best” as personal circumstances can radically change the pricing of a policy, but all of the big name companies generally have a good reputation for claims handling.

However, we’ve listed the reviews below according to how well the company was seen to handle claims and look after their customers, rather than just on pricing issues - as the caveat is that you usually “get what you pay for”.

Overall, you need to balance the issue of pricing vs service - the cheapest are usually cheap for a reason, but some providers will price themselves out as an option because one or more of your details (such as your post code) will unnecessarily flag your policy as a risk, and price accordingly.

Often it’s best to compare one of the bigger, mid range, and cheaper companies, just to get an idea of what is on offer.

Of course, you could always use a price comparison website, but be aware that:

- a number of important companies are not represented, for example, Direct Line and Nationwide home insurance are not represented, which are major omissions,
- providers often give discounts for coming to to them direct, that you don’t get on comparison sites,
- comparison sites list a number of small companies you might need to think twice about going with,
- the comparisons cannot be held to be accurate and the FSA is coming down on them for this,

Really, it’s worth taking a little more time to compare a few companies directly, because you’ll not simply open yourself to better offers, you’re also likely to get a more accurate and detailed quote.

Personally, I would recommend checking the following companies for home insurance:

1. Prudential or Aviva - big insurance specialists, often providing very good protection, but not always best pricing
2. Nationwide or Barclays - good middle ground, usually offering good protection and good pricing
3. Churchill or Direct Line - budget providers you can compare service offerings with to the above

Through this small but select choice, you can quickly get an idea of the range of pricing and service levels offered, and take your pick among them - as there is unlikely to be any big differences if you look at a larger range of companies.