Saga Home Insurance Review
Typically, people in the over 50's age group represent a lower risk for insurers, which is why some providers specialise in this area and tailor their products to be aimed at that age group.
Saga is one.
In fact, you can’t take out insurance with them unless you are 50 years old or over.
The company has over one million home insurance customers and has been around since 1959.
Saga doesn't, of course, only supply home insurance products, but also car, travel, caravan, pet, private medical and life insurance, as well as a range of personal finance products, including credit cards, savings accounts and travel money.
In this review, we will cover the key aspects of Saga's home insurance.
To see if you could save money switching, compare home insurance deals now.
Who’s behind the badge?
The company claims its insurance products are uniquely tailored to its customers.
However, it’s polices are provided by a range of underwriters, including Ageas, Legal & General, and Royal and Sun Alliance.
Saga’s home insurance offer
The company’s big marketing message is that it provides insurance and other services for the over-50s only.
As they say, “All of our policies are designed with the over 50s in mind and are tailored to your needs.”
That seems to imply that, if you're in that age bracket, you may be likely to get the best deal from Saga.
Whether you're looking to save money on your home insurance or not, we suggest anyone should take that idea with a large pinch of salt.
And that means ensuring you compare a Saga home insurance quote with the rest of the market, whatever age you are!
One specific offer is that Saga will pay up to £25 to cover any exit fees that might be imposed by your current insurer.
They also boast that they do not use automated phone menus and that all advisers are UK-based.
Saga buildings and contents
Most people will find it cost-effective to combine a buildings and contents policy, so long as they need cover for both.
More information: How to choose home insurance - what you need to know.
There are two levels of cover – Essential, which is the basic policy and Premier, which will cost more but offers a few extras.
Both offer as standard:
* Up to £1m rebuilding costs (remember the cost of rebuilding your house is usually far lower than its market value)
* Accidental damage cover for windows and underground pipes, cables and tanks that supply your home and for which you’re responsible.
* A payment of up to £100,000 for alternative accommodation if your home is made uninhabitable following a claimable event, such as a fire or flood.
* Cover for up to 60 consecutive days when your home is unoccupied. This is useful for anyone splitting their time between two homes, or who spends a lot of time travelling.
* Protection for fittings and fixtures, which would include a fitted kitchen, for example.
Most of this is fairly standard.
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; if that’s the case, you don’t need to worry about it and you can opt for contents-only cover.
Saga contents cover again comes with a choice of Essential and Premier cover.
Contents insured can be set at a total of either £75,000 or £100,000, although higher levels can be fixed for those who need them.
New fold cover comes as standard – this means that, if repairs are not possible, a damaged item will be replaced by a new equivalent.
Only those single valuable items worth over £2,500 need to be itemized.
If your keys are stolen or lost, replacement locks up to £1,000 are covered as standard.
If you want to insure the contents you take out of the home, you’ll need to opt for the more expensive Premier level of cover.
Saga does a good job of explaining exactly how different levels of cover would work in different scenarios, especially around what is ‘accidental damage’ cover.
But if you're in any doubt about what level of policy applies in different circumstances, it’s important to ask so you're clear.
Doing so will help you avoid any home insurance pitfalls.
Optional Saga home insurance extras
Like all insurers, Saga offers optional extras, which will, naturally, increase your premium.
Something to take into account as you read this review.
Personal belongings cover – This covers your possessions worldwide for up to £10,000 for an individual incident – lower levels of cover are available at lower premiums. Premier cover includes this as standard.
Home emergency – This is cover for a fairly wide-range of emergencies that may affect your home, such as a plumbing or drains emergency, failure of electrics and pest infestation. Cover includes an emergency helpline, no call-out charges and guarantees of permanent repairs. Cover comes at a standard charge of £39.99 a year.
Legal expenses – This offers unlimited personal legal advice and cover of up to £100,000 for a number of legal proceedings. The kind of situation this may apply to includes, neighbour disputes, being unfairly dismissed, or being injured in an accident.
Note: claims will only be met if the Saga legal team believes you have a case that you can win.
Garden cover – Up to £1,500 to cover replacement of shrubs, trees and hedges and up to £2,000 the contents of your garden.
Difference between buildings and contents insurance
If you’re in any doubt about the difference between what is covered by buildings insurance and what by contents, then it’s always advisable to check with an insurer.
But, as a rule of thumb, if you picture being able to tip your home upside down, whatever stays put comes under buildings, whatever falls is contents.
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 Saga scores
Which? carries out the most comprehensive assessment of customer satisfaction around. It also looks at home insurance policies and terms and makes an assessment.
Saga is placed in 12th place out of 31.
Which? gives it an overall score of 70%
Saga customers score it 66% – 15th out of 31.
Its buildings policies get a score of 78% – 4th out of 31.
And its contents policy scores 71% – 13th out of 31
Saga scores an impressive four stars out of five for customer service and its handling of queries and complaints.
For clarity of charges, it scores three out of five stars, as it does for value for money.
Remember – just because you’re over 50 years old it doesn’t mean you’ll get the best deal from a company like Saga.
We strongly suggest you look at any quote from them like one from any other company, compare it with the rest and see how it stands up.
* Nice, clear website
* No automated phone menus
We don’t like
* An APR of 22.9% on monthly payments – you’d obviously be better off paying outright. If you can’t do that, then check out the repayment rate of your credit card – there’s a good chance it will be cheaper.
* Cancellation fees of £35 and an ‘adjustment fee’ of £14.50. These often involve someone doing nothing more than typing a few words into a computer. They’re a rip off and you should always argue about the charge and threaten to leave when your policy runs out if the charge isn’t waived.