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Home Insurance in Northern Ireland

A recent survey took the most popular type of home in the UK, the three-bed semi, and compared the quotes given by insurance companies for different postcodes around the country. Northern Ireland came in top for buildings cover with an average of £119.

The premiums are affected by such variables as the amount of subsidence in the area and the size and rebuild costs of the house. Some policies were based on the number of bedrooms in the house, but there is also the issue of the cost of rebuilding, which vary due to local construction standards, the cost of labour and the availability and cost of building materials. When buildings and contents cover are assed together for a three-bed semi all over the UK, the cheapest average is in Lisnaskea in Northern Ireland, which has an average premium of £223. Compare this to the rather down-at-heel suburb of West Norwood in South-east London, where the number of burglaries and the cost of rebuilding adds up to combined buildings and content cover of £702, and you see how cheap insurance is in Northern Ireland overall.

Another initiative which has helped people in Northern Ireland insure their home has been the Northern Ireland Tenants Action Project (NITAP), which aimed to make it more affordable and simple for housing executive and housing association tenants to insure their personal possessions (contents insurance). This had been difficult before. Anyone who regularly gets home insurance in the UK will know that many insurance companies put a minimum on the amount that you can insure with contents cover of, say £20,000. This is strange, because not many people have contents worth that amount. What this means is that you are insuring yourself for an amount you don’t need to be covered for, which raises your premiums.

The consequences of this are that many people on low incomes are choosing not to insure their personal possessions and household goods. Tenants claim that the minimum cover demanded by insurers cause high premiums. The scheme set up in Northern Ireland, means that those on low and fixed incomes can insure their personal possessions for as little as 80 pence a week, whether or not the total value of their possessions falls below the typical requirements for these policies.


Gavin Parker

Northern Ireland Insurance Centre


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