House insurance postcode ratings are one of the main underlying metrics insurers use to work out your premium.
House insurance postcode ratings are like a map defining the risk of different locations based on historic claims. For instance they can flag higher potential risks such as crime rates, flood risk and subsidence. A postcode ratings table is basically a huge spreadsheet that matches postcodes against a risk rating.
What’s interesting is that different insurers use different postcode ratings – meaning you are quite likely to find different views of the risk of your property between insurers.
You may find that some insurers refuse to provide you cover at all, or request further details such as a subsidence survey. On the other hand, you might be able to get the same cover without any issues with a different insurer.
This can obviously have a big impact on pricing as the premium you are quoted will correlate closely with the risk of your postcode. Obviously there are other factors at play such as your property and claims history, but postcode is a significant factor in pricing.
This is just one of the reasons it is always a good idea to shop around when buying home insurance and compare prices from different insurers. Afterall, big comparison sites have built huge businesses out of this. However, no single comparison site is going to give you the full view of the market.
Remember that it’s not just price you need to compare but also product features. Try and narrow yourself down to a shortlist and then go direct to those insurers to get the best price while also checking their individual policy wordings.
How Can House Insurance Postcode Ratings Differ?
Your postcode can say a lot about where you live. Most insurance applications will ask you about issues like subsidence and nearby watercourses. But plenty of consumers find that despite answering these questions truthfully they are then told they are at a higher risk of a peril they weren’t aware of. For instance, a small stream might be far enough for you not to deem it a risk but then your postcode flags your property as being near water.
With Emerald Life, if our postcode ratings table deems you high risk then our online quote form will tell you to call us.
From there we can work out what the reason for the issue is and then proceed appropriately. Normally this means we request further details and then escalate your case to our underwriters.
A common one is subsidence. If your postcode is deemed a high subsidence risk but you have not had any issues at your property then we may ask you to fill in a subsidence questionnaire. From there our underwriters can take a calculated view whether to provide cover or not and for what price. In high risk cases you may find you are charged an increased premium.
Alternatively you may also be offered cover with additional exclusions. With subsidence, for instance, you may be offered a policy that covers your home for all the perils listed in the policy wording but not subsidence.
New Build Property Postcodes
New build properties in particular can face big issues with house insurance postcode ratings because their postcodes won’t be in old rating tables. Some big insurers will simply turn you away if you don’t have a postcode in their system because it is not worth their while to help you further.
A smaller firm like Emerald Life on the other hand can go the extra mile to work out the correct pricing for your postcode even if it isn’t in the rating table.