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Category:  Homes:  Buying and Selling 

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How To Minimize Risks To Your Property For Cheaper Home Insurance Premiums

By Simon Christopher

One of the best ways to cut your home insurance premiums is to reduce the risks to your property and it's contents. All insurance is based upon risk so if you can find ways to reduce the risk to your home insurer, your premiums should follow.

Some of the steps you can take to protect your home may surprise you but by taking steps like putting up storm shutters or repairing roof shingles, can often result in a drop in your home insurance premium. Here are a few suggestions for ways to protect your home, drawn from information provided by the Association of British Insurers.

Reducing Subsidence Risk

One of the major reasons for homeowner insurance claims is subsidence. There are many things that contribute to subsidence, and a number of things you can do to reduce the risk.

- Pay attention to where you plant trees. Trees planted too close to the house may send roots into drains, under walls and beneath pavements.

- Prune trees regularly to prevent damage from overhanging/overgrown branches and to prevent an overgrown root system.

- Clean dirt and leaves from gutters, and carry out regular checks for leaking drains.

- Be aware of the effects of changes you may make. For instance, adding a car park to your front yard may reduce the water available to your trees and shrubs and cause flooding in your basement.

Reducing Fire Risk

Fire is a second major cause of damage to your home and injuries to yourself and your family. These steps will greatly reduce the risk of fire, and reduce the amount of damage that arises from it if it does happen.

- Make sure that there is at least one smoke detector on each floor. Consult a professional to position them for best effect, and check the batteries regularly.

- Always use a qualified electrician for electrical repairs, additions and alterations.

- Check electrical wiring regularly, and check cables and flexes for any exposed wires.

- Kitchen fires are the most common of all. Don't leave flames unattended.

- Know your fire safety rules. For instance, trying to put out a fat fire with water may spread it instead. Smother fat fires.

- Keep a fire extinguisher handy, particularly in the kitchen.

- Store flammable liquids in a secure place, preferably away from your home.

- Recycle your rubbish or bin it. The more you have around, the more fuel a fire has to burn.

- Consider additional fire hazards and guard against them. There are many fire hazards associated with party decorations, Christmas lights and summer barbecues.

Reduce Flood Damage Risk

You can reduce the damage from floods and make handling your claim easier by taking a few steps.

- Store personal belongings like insurance and bank details in a waterproof bag so you'll have them handy when needed.
- If possible, move property to higher floors to prevent damage.
- Switch off gas, water and electricity at the mains to prevent explosions and fire.
- Contact your insurer immediately for advice on what to do next.

Your insurer may offer further advice with specific steps you can take that will reduce your buildings and/or contents insurance premiums.

About the Author: You can find further tips and information on protecting your home and it's contents from flooding and other risks from the ABI at For more tips on buying home insurance online visit UK Insurance Index at


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