Find out how home insurers scored for customer satisfaction and the quality of their policies, including our Recommended Providers

How do I find the best home insurance?

Finding the right home insurance is far from easy, whether it’s comparing differing cover levels, excesses or exclusions. Picking the wrong policy could prove disastrous should the worst happen.

Which? is here to help. Not only do we rigorously analyse the quality of contents insurance and buildings insurance policies from dozens of home insurers – we also gather feedback from thousands of real customers who’ve actually claimed on their home insurance.

As well as using our reviews to find the best cover, you can use our tips to save money:

Don’t just renew

Insurers used to be able to charge you more if you were renewing with them than they would if you were new. They can’t do this anymore, but you still stand to lose out by not checking if you’re being offered a good deal.

Whether you’re thinking about switching or want to stay put, assume that the figure posted out to you in your renewal letter is up for debate.

Take 10 minutes to run a quote on a comparison site. This will give you an indication of what your insurer’s rivals are prepared to offer.

Haggle

Negotiating a cheaper insurance price isn’t a dark art – it can be as simple as calling your insurer and asking if they can do better than the renewal offer.

If you’ve shopped around, you’ll be able to give examples of deals you’ve seen elsewhere.

Find out more: See our haggling script, and other price-reducing tips

Calculate how much you need to cover

To ensure you have the right cover, it’s worth having a precise idea of how much you need to insure.

Find out the rebuild price of your property (this will be lower than the value). The Association of British Insurers provides a free-to-use calculator to help you estimate this.

The same goes for the combined cost of your contents. Our contents calculator can help you tally up the value of your possessions.

Set the right excess

One way to reduce the price of your insurance is to increase your voluntary excess. But be mindful that this is a compromise, and effectively reduces your cover.

When choosing your excess, consider how much of a claim you could comfortably afford to pay yourself.

Try the specialists

Not all of us live in ‘typical’ circumstances or conventional properties. If your home has a thatched roof, a history of subsidence or is of unusual construction you may need to stray off the beaten track to find reasonably priced cover.

There are insurers and brokers that specialise in particular types of risk, so it’s worth including them in your search. The British Insurance Broker’s Association’s website has a ‘Find Insurance’ tool and a helpline (0370 950 1790) for this purpose.

Best and worst home insurance companies

We use our customer survey and policy analysis to rank home insurance companies.

The top-scoring providers will be awarded Which? Recommended Provider status, if they have met certain conditions:

  • be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • be available to the general public
  • have received responses from 30 or more customers in our customer survey
  • must achieve a high score in our customer satisfaction survey
  • must also achieve average or above policy scores for buildings and contents.

This list, ranked by total score, contains only those home insurers we were able to rate for both policies and customer service. Therefore a number of insurers aren’t included.

 

Who are the home insurance Recommended Providers?

NFU Mutual

NFU Mutual once again earns Recommended Provider status, topping our table with an outstanding customer score of 87%.

Customers were complimentary about various aspects of its service, including how it handles queries, its treatment of longstanding customers, and the sense that they’re getting good value for money.

It’s also one of the few providers we surveyed that won’t charge you extra for paying your premiums monthly, or a fee for cancelling early.

Unfortunately, NFU Mutual will only insure homes located in certain areas of the UK.

Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank had the second highest customer score, with policyholders lauding the clarity of its policies. Its Silver and Gold policies provide full accidental damage cover as standard.

LV

LV maintains its Recommended Provider status; it’s joint second (with Lloyds Bank and Saga) overall in our table. Both its standard home insurance policy and its more expensive ‘Plus’ policy were among the top 10 highest scorers of 58 we reviewed.

Saga

Our fourth WRP – Saga – offers a three-year fixed price promise with its main ‘Plus’ policy. This means that the price you pay today is guaranteed not to go up over the subsequent two renewals if you haven’t claimed or changed your cover. It was one of three insurers to get four stars in our survey for value for money.

How we calculate the scores

Customer scores

The customer score is based on a survey of 1,284 claimants and is worked out using a combination of overall satisfaction and customers’ likelihood of recommending their insurer.

Providers must receive a minimum sample size of 30 to be included.

Why only talk to customers who’ve claimed?

You’ll only know how good an insurer’s customer service really is when you have to make a claim. That’s when good insurers will show their ability to deal with problems, quickly process your claim and arrange replacements or repairs as soon as possible.

Policy scores

The policy score is our assessment of the quality of standard cover, comparing 46 elements of a buildings insurance policy and 65 elements of a contents insurance policy.

Total score

Total score is made up of 50% customer score, and 25% each of buildings and contents policy scores