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Insurancewide urges caution over festive insurance offers

Insurance comparison website Insurancewide.com has warned UK home insurance customers to compare the market before committing to special Christmas discounts and special offers from insurance companies.

As insurers seek to entice new customers by offering seasonal increases in home contents cover, the insurance comparison website has advised consumers to check the long-term suitability of the policy, which is more important than seasonal offers and discounts.

It’s great that insurers are remaining competitive and offering their customers a chance to save money. But we urge people to pay close attention to the increase in the sum insured, to compare like with like, watch out for unexpected policy exclusions and check other insurers’ offers according to their precise needs before being lured by advertising campaigns, said James Harrison, chief executive of Insurancewide.

It’s also important to know that attractive seasonal offers and initial discount periods are often outweighed by a large hike in premiums later on.

A number of insurers have released advice about the need for insurance over the festive period, and several have announced their own Christmas insurance deals. For example, Tesco has unveiled a home insurance deal that gives customers an automatic 10% increase in contents cover levels over the festive season, from December 1, 2006 to January 15, 2007.

American Express has also automatically increased household insurance cover by 10% for the same period for all of its customers, and has warned consumers about the risk of burglaries during the festive season.