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Wednesday 26 July 2017

The 60-second guide to... getting a quote from a fussy insurer

'Get your alarm professionally installed - an insurer could refuse to offer cover if you have installed your house alarm yourself' Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
'Get your alarm professionally installed - an insurer could refuse to offer cover if you have installed your house alarm yourself' Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Insurers are becoming fussier about the homes they are prepared to insure. Many are now refusing to quote homeowners for cover - even in instances where they have quoted the homeowner before, where there is no risk of flooding, and where the homeowner has never claimed before.

"The underwriting criteria is getting stricter," said Jonathan Hehir of insuremyhouse.ie.

"Insurers now take a number of things into account before quoting insurance, including the age of the house and the type of heating system it has. They can now map houses down to individual streets." So is there anything you can do to ensure you don't get turned down for house insurance?

Get your alarm professionally installed - an insurer could refuse to offer cover if you have installed your house alarm yourself. Make sure the alarm meets the standard expected by most insurers, too.

Upgrade the locks in your home. Most home insurers only cover you if you have three-lever mortise deadlocks on all external doors. Some even require five-lever mortise deadlocks. Make sure your windows all have locks too.

Don't buy a home with a large flat roof. A flat roof could see you struggle to get a quote -particularly if it is felt or fibreglass and it represents more than 25pc of the overall roof area. Some insurers quote for up to 30pc. "There are some insurers who cover properties with flat roofs of up to 50pc, but they tend to operate through brokers," said Hehir.

You will run into difficulties getting a mortgage if you can't get home insurance because lenders won't approve a mortgage without it in place. You will also be in breach of your mortgage contract if you don't keep your home insured for the duration of the mortgage.

Tell your lender if you run into difficulties getting insurance. You may be able to buy home insurance without cover for a specific risk (such as flooding) in place.

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