Searching for cheap home and car insurance online nets homeowners bigger savings than going directly to insurance firms or dealing with a broker.
Figures compiled by the AA reveal that the average buildings insurance policy bought this month would cost £218.93 when going direct to an insurer. Buying from a comparison site, the same cover costs £179.39.
For contents cover the average direct price is £112.29 and for comparison sites it is £115.79. For combined cover the direct average is £293.71 and from a comparison site is £242.81. This last figure represents a whopping 5.7% fall in cost since January 2013.
In general terms, the AA reports that home insurance premiums are continuing to fall in spite of insurers wanting to claw back the £1.2 billion cost of last year’s floods. However, there are wide regional variations, especially in those areas that were hardest hit by the continuing wet weather.
And for those homeowners affected the outlook is not so positive. Many have seen big rises in their premiums and excess amounts, says Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance.
The “statement of principles” between government and insurers means that affected homes can still obtain insurance, but the agreement is set to end this June. It had been created in 2000 with government commitment to increase the investment in flood risk management, but in fact this has fallen.
A new deal has not been reached, which could spell further worrying times ahead for owners of the more than 200,000 homes said to be at serious risk of flooding.
The risk now is that insurance cover could be out of reach for many, Mr Douglas warns. The Association of British Insurers has been discussing a proposal to spread the total cost of flood claims, and one broker suggests mutualising flood losses.
But both of these options would require new laws that would compel all insurers to participate, so even if given the go-ahead, a new scheme could take a while to take effect.