RIAS Home Insurance Review
Typically, people in the over 50s age group represent a lower risk for insurers.
That’s why there are some providers who like to specialize in this area and tailor their products to be aimed at that age group.
RIAS is one of these.
It’s the trading name of Ageas Retail Limited and provides almost a million insurance policies for car, home, travel, caravans and life cover.
The company has been around since 1992 and in 2014 it became a Which? recommended provider.
To see if you could save money switching, compare home insurance quotes now.
RIAS home insurance offer
RIAS claim that 10% of new customers pay £124 or less for home insurance - that's combined buildings and contents.
They offer 20% off for one year to existing customers buying a new home insurance policy.
Accidental damage comes as standard for laptops, tablets, desktops and audio equipment and TVs.
You can also fix the price of your home insurance until 2019.
RIAS buildings and contents insurance
This is what most people will select as it’s almost always the cheapest way to get cover.
It’s a policy that covers what it says: both the structure of your home and what is in it.
Of course, there are many optional variations within these broad definitions.
RIAS buildings and contents offers:
* Up to £50,000 contents cover as standard (you can choose to raise this to £100,000)
* Up to £1 million of buildings cover
* Cover for the structure of your home, fixtures and fittings, garden walls and gates, drives and patios and greenhouses and outbuildings
* Access to a 24/7 claims centre
* Online management of your policy
* Identity Theft Assistance Service
If your contents are covered by another policy or you don’t feel it necessary to insure them, you can opt for buildings insurance alone.
Benefits include up to £1 million buildings cover and cover for the structure of your home (protecting the same features as in combined buildings & contents).
If you’re a tenant, your landlord will usually take care of buildings insurance but not contents.
Similarly, if you live in an owned flat, but pay a service charge, the building insurance is probably included in that charge, so you don’t need to worry about it.
In which case, you can opt for contents cover only.
The RIAS contents policy offers:
* Up to £50,000 of contents cover as standard (contents cover can be increased up to £100,000)
* New for old replacement on damaged or stolen items (this doesn't include clothes or household linen you've had for more than 3 years)
* Cover for up to£1,000 for food in your fridge and freezer
* Up to 20% (of the maximum claim limit) towards alternative accommodation if your home is made uninhabitable due to an insured event
RIAS home insurance optional extras
Like all insurers, RIAS offers optional extras that will increase your premium.
Personal legal protection – This provides up to £50,000 protection to help pursue legal matters.
Cover includes: legal expenses for personal injury or death cases, contract and employment disputes, clinical negligence and disputes relating to the ownership or occupation of your home.
Home protection – There are two levels of home protection, each offering 24-hour assistance should there be an emergency at home.
Level 1 is £59.88 a year, offering 24-hour assistance for emergencies and up to £500 to cover call out, labour, parts and materials for emergency repairs.
Level 2 is Home Protection Plus at £79.99 a year. This is the same as above, except it also covers partial electrical malfunctions and heating and hot water systems up to £1,000, including boilers.
Key protection – If your keys are lost, stolen or broken, this offers you up to £1,500 of cover. Keys for the home, car, office and security safes are included, as well as reprogramming of alarms and immobilisers.
Garden secure – Most policies don’t cover garden fences, nor expensive plants if they are stolen. This option covers loss or damage to walls, gates, fences, hedges, patios, lawns and trellis and also theft of trees and plants up to £750.
Personal accident cash plan – This provides up to £30,000 a person per year if you or your partner suffer an injury that results in death, loss of sight, loss of limbs, loss of speech or loss of hearing.
Difference between buildings and contents insurance
Sometimes the difference between the two can cause confusion when it comes to home insurance - for example, where does the building end and contents begin? Is a fitted kitchen buildings or contents?
The old rule usually applies: imagine tipping your house upside down. Anything staying in place is building and anything that doesn’t is contents.
Beware of under insurance
Don’t try and save cash by insuring either building or contents for less than their overall value or cost (the cost of rebuilding your home in the case of buildings insurance and NOT the value of your home on the property market).
If you under-insure, this may be taken into account if you make a claim.
If you have electronics stolen, for example, and it’s decided by the insurer that your entire contents are under-insured by, say, 20%, you may get 20% of knocked off what you’d otherwise be paid for the stolen items.
How RIAS scores
Which? carries out the most comprehensive assessment of customer satisfaction around.
It also looks at policies and terms and makes an assessment.
RIAS is placed joint second along with five other providers out of 31, with Which? awarding it an overall score of 73% and RIAS customers 68%.
Its buildings policy earns a score of 79% and its contents policy scores 75% one of the better scores in our home insurance reviews.
RIAS scores an impressive five stars out of five for customer service and its handling of queries, four out of five stars for value for money, and three stars out of five for clarity of charges.
One point to make about any insurer that claims to specialise in a certain kind of insurance – in this case, it’s the over 50s: don't assume they’ll either be the best or offer the cheapest price just because they specialise.
* Accidental cover as standard in contents
* Simple, no-fuss insurance products
We don’t like
* An APR of 24% on monthly payments – you’d obviously be better off paying outright. If you can’t, borrowing on a credit card and paying your premium like that might be cheaper than paying 24%
* Cancellation fees of £35, which is pretty steep!