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Competition is keeping home contents and building insurance down

Average bills for home insurance have increased by 2.1% in a year, taking the average buildings and contents policy to £136, new research shows.

It is a competitive marketplace, keeping roughly in line with the UK’s headline inflation rate, according to the figures from data analytics expert Consumer Intelligence.

Over the longer term, average premiums have fallen 1% since February 2014, when Consumer Intelligence first started collecting data. And despite the 2.1% uptick in premiums over the last 12 months, prices have yet to trend higher than the first recording five and a half years ago.

Across the market, the average home insurance premium sits at £136. For the over 50s, however, premiums increased by a marginally steeper rate of 2.7% over the same period, averaging £143 per premium whereas price rises for the under 50s it was 1.5% to £129.

Regionally, Londoners continue to pay a hefty premium for their home insurance, ranking streets ahead of any other UK region. At £187 for an average buildings and contents policy, households in London now pay almost 60% more for their insurance than the cheapest region which is the North East at £119. Even the South East at £140, London’s nearest neighbour both in terms of geography and price, is still a third cheaper than the UK capital.

Wales was the only place in the UK to see home insurance premiums fall in the last 12 months with a decline of 0.3% and the biggest rise was 4.1% in the South East, followed by the East of England up 3.4% and the West Midlands up 3%.

Victorian-era properties, erected before 1895, continue to carry the highest annual premiums in the market at £162. And insurance policies attached to houses built from the turn of the 20th century to just before the outbreak of the First World War from 1895 to 1910 follow closely behind at £146.

Properties built between 1985 and 2000 are now the cheapest for home insurance at £126, with those built after 2000 attracting premiums of £133. Properties built between 1925 and 1940 have seen the highest increases to their premiums of any age group, at 2.9%, in the last 12 months.

‘Home insurance is a very competitive marketplace, helping to keep overall pricing down. London unsurprisingly maintains its number one spot with some of the most expensive properties in the UK and the biggest urban area with cities generally having a much higher crime rate,’ said John Blevins, pricing expert at Consumer Intelligence.

‘Regional pricing is based on localised claims experience, looking at general perils such as fire, accidental damage but also specific areas such as crime rates, weather events and subsidence. And with subsidence claims levels reaching a peak this year, areas where the weather tends to be dryer, such as the South East, have seen higher rates of subsidence,’ he added.