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Rias home insurance review: Over-50s specialist policies analysed

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Rias home insurance – Buildings, contents and combined policies reviewed

Launched in 1992, Rias offers car, life, and home insurance from its base in Bournemouth. It’s owned by Belgium insurer Ageas Retail Ltd and is underwritten by Ageas Insurance Ltd, which also provides Rias’ claims service.

The company’s insurance for homes covers buildings and contents as separate entities and as a combined policy. Along with a broad range of optional extras, these allow customers to create a fully tailored package. 

It focuses particularly on the over-50s demographic and offers several products that could be more applicable to physically challenged customers, including cover for stairlifts and wheelchairs. However, its standard policies also include a broad range of coverage that would apply to any customer looking for home insurance. 

Rias has been recognised by The Institute of Customer Service for providing an excellent level of support.

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90-second read

Rias is a well-established home insurance provider specialising in comprehensive and customisable policies for homeowners across the United Kingdom. With a focus on serving the needs of the over-50s demographic, Rias provides competitively priced buildings and contents insurance, along with a policy that combines the two. Policyholders can also benefit from a 24/7 claims helpline and a simple claims process.

Our researchers have compared Rias products with other home insurance providers, analysing the coverage offered, its customer services and the claims processes in depth to create a complete and unbiased review of the company.

Our product review and research process

3
policies considered
6
competitors compared
100+
hours of research
400+
customer reviews read
3
experts consulted

Our researchers and writers are dedicated to bringing you accurate and up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to comparing and buying home insurance.

We will only endorse home insurance products after hundreds of hours of research, policy comparisons and mystery shopping, and after taking into account verified customer feedback and reviews, and the opinions of industry experts.

To write our articles, we’ve compared (and continue to compare) hundreds of insurance policies from dozens of the UK’s insurers – big and small. We focus our research on:

  • Cost and value for money
  • The level of coverage offered (and what’s not covered as standard)
  • Customer service and ease of making a claim

All of our articles are verified by industry experts, including regulatory compliance specialists, and the policy data verified by the insurance providers themselves, so you can be assured that our content is as accurate and up to date as possible.

Even after all that, we would still recommend that you don’t just take our word for it – you should compare quotes to get the best deal for you and your home. Read more about our methodology in our article on how we cover home insurance companies.

Rias home insurance policy comparison

Rias offers one insurance tier, which provides buildings or contents coverage, or a combined policy that insures both your property and belongings. Several optional extras can be included on the policy for an additional fee, allowing you to customise your insurance cover. 

Payment is either monthly instalments or an annual lump sum, with the yearly premium price working out cheaper overall.

Policy Policy type Building maximum sum insured* Contents maximum sum insured**
Rias buildings insurance Buildings £1 million N/A
Rias contents insurance Contents N/A £50,000
Rias buildings and contents insurance Combined buildings and contents £1 million £50,000

*Eligibility criteria applies.
** The maximum sums can be increased as optional extras, but will increase monthly or annual premiums.

What does Rias home insurance cover as standard?

Rias includes a comprehensive range of cover as part of its home insurance policies. We were particularly impressed to see the ‘theft by bogus officials’ cover, as this type of crime appears to be increasing. Theft or burglaries typically involve forced entry into your property; however, Rias also covers theft following an unforced entry by someone falsely claiming to be an official.

Rias provides up to £1,000 towards counselling fees – something not generally covered by other home insurance providers.

Policy → Buildings Contents Buildings and contents combined
Cover ↓ Buildings Contents
Buildings insurance £1 million £1 million
Contents insurance £50,000 £50,000
Public liability as owner of the building £2 million £2 million
Personal liability as occupier of the home £2 million £2 million
Alternative accommodation £100,000 Up to 20% of maximum sum insured £100,000
Protection against squatters £10,000 £10,000
Protection against damage caused by emergency services Included Included
Moving home Included Included
Trace and access leaks £5,000 £5,000
Replacement locks and keys £1,000 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000
Contents at university £5,000 £5,000
Theft or attempted theft Included Included
Theft by bogus officials £500 £500
Damage caused by oil leaking Included Included
Accidental damage to electrical equipment Included Included
Accidental breakage in your home (including glass and ceramic hobs) Included Included
Loss of metered water £1,000 £1,000
Loss of metered oil £2,000 £2,000
Refrigerated and frozen food £1,000 £1,000
High-risk items £1,500 £1,500
High-risk items – business equipment £5,000 £5,000
High-risk items – money and credit cards £500 £500
High-risk items – deeds and documents £2,500 £2,500
Loss or damage to downloaded data £2,500 £2,500
Property in the open air (including a carport) £2,000 £2,000
Contents of outbuildings £5,000 £5,000
Jury service £1,000 £1,000
Shopping in transit £500 £500
Carers’ content £350 £350
Guests’ contents £350 £350
Contents professionally packed Included Included
Dual contents cover Included Included
Fatal injury £5,000 £5,000
Damage as a tenant Up to 10% of the maximum claims limit Up to 10% of the maximum claims limit
Celebration cover Automatically increases by 10% for one month before and the month after the event Automatically increases by 10% for one month before and the month after the event
Counselling fees £1,000 £1,000
Nursing home/ residential care home/staying with family and friends 20% of your contents sum insured 20% of your contents sum insured
Medical equipment on loan £5,000 £5,000
Accidental damage to wheelchairs and stairlifts in the home Included Included

Optional extras

Optional extras can be added onto your home insurance, either as part of buildings, contents, or combined cover. While they allow customers to tailor policies, they come at an additional cost.

Policy → Buildings Contents Buildings and contents combined
Cover ↓ Buildings Contents
Home protection £500 £500
Home protection plus £500 (plus £1,000 for emergency call out and boiler repair) £500 (plus £1,000 for emergency call out and boiler repair)
Personal legal protection £50,000 £50,000 £50,000 £50,000
Accidental damage extension Yes Yes Yes Yes
Excess protection £500 £500 £500 £500
Key protection £1,500 Yes £1,500 Yes
High-risk item extension Over £100,000 Over £100,000
Unspecified personal belongings away from home Yes Yes
Specified personal belongings away from home Yes Yes
Pedal cycle extension Yes Yes
Bikes over £350 £5,000 £5,000
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What’s in the small print?

Whenever you purchase home insurance, it’s essential to read and understand the small print, which can usually be found in the policy documents either online or as hard copies. 

Our experts have reviewed Rias’ documents and analysed the small print to highlight some pertinent points. 

Where are you covered?

Rias provides buildings and contents insurance in the UK and the Isle of Man; however, if you are submitting a personal belongings claim, the cover applies worldwide. 

Policy exclusions

Policy exclusions define specific risks which are not covered under Rias home insurance policies. They include:

  • Buildings insurance will not provide cover if your home is unoccupied for 60 days or more in a row or is unfurnished
  • Loss or damage caused by wear and tear and from gradual causes
  • Storm or flood damage to gates, hedges, fences or swimming pool covers 
  • Electrical or mechanical breakdown
  • Items held for business purposes, except for particular items, such as personal computers, laptops, or office furniture that are owned by you 
  • Contents at university – theft/attempted theft is restricted to forced or violent entry only
  • Property in the open air – loss or damage to plants, trees, high-risk items or pedal cycles

What are the excesses and no claims discounts for Rias home insurance?

When you make an insurance claim, you usually have to pay a contribution towards it, called an excess. 

The voluntary excess is the amount agreed when you take out your policy and should be a figure you anticipate as being affordable in the event of a claim. The higher the excess you feel you can pay, the lower your monthly or annual premiums. 

The compulsory excess is a figure set by the insurance provider, and it must be paid along with your voluntary excess if you need to put in a claim. Although most of the home insurance providers we’ve reviewed only demand a compulsory excess on specific claims, Rias places a compulsory excess of £50 on all claims, with the exception of: 

  • £1,000 on any claim for subsidence, ground heave, or landslip (under contents insurance this excess is reduced to £50)
  • £250 on any claim for water leakage

As an optional extra, Rias offers excess protection cover. This covers any financial loss incurred from paying the compulsory excess should you need to make a claim. 

No claims discount

If you don’t make a home insurance claim for 12 months, some providers will offer a discount the following year. This no claims discount can accumulate for every year you don’t claim, typically for up to five years. 

Rias does not offer a no claims discount on its buildings or contents insurance policies.

How to make a claim on your Rias home insurance policy

There are two ways to make an insurance claim with Rias – online via the website, or over the phone.

Online claims

The online claim form is easy to complete and takes around four minutes, depending on the complexity of your claim. You’ll need to have your account details to hand and, if the police have been involved, your crime reference number. 

Step 1: You are asked to confirm your property is safe, or whether you need urgent help. If this is the case, Rias recommends you ring its emergency number: 0345 166 6358

Step 2: Confirm the type of claim you wish to make; for example, accidental damage to an item of furniture or the loss of frozen food

Step 3: You are asked whether you have the protected excess optional extra cover

Step 4: If you do have this cover in place, you are advised to ring the claims team on 0345 165 5795 between the hours of 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, or 9am to 5pm on Saturday

Step 5: If your policy doesn’t have excess protection cover, you are given a selection of items to claim for, including carpets, jewellery, electronic devices, or something else

Step 6: You need to input your account details or claim number for existing claims, and date of birth

Step 7: Complete the online form by detailing the reason for your claim request

Phone claims

There are several numbers to ring, depending on the nature of your claim. Our researchers found that, once through the automated service, their calls were answered by a person in two rings. 

Step 1: After an automated message, you are given a choice of options regarding the reason for your claim

Step 2: With each selection, there is another short automated message, and you are asked a series of more detailed questions

Step 3: Once these are answered via the keypad, you’ll be connected to the department that can assist you

Step 4: You can then speak to a member of the relevant claims team

Rias phone numbers

Existing home insurance policy: 0800 952 0698

Renew home insurance policy: 0345 234 0116

Home insurance quotes: 0800 561 0711

Rias office hours: 

  • Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 6pm 
  • Saturday: 8.30am to 4pm 
  • Sunday: Closed

Home insurance claims: 0345 122 3281. Available 24/7

Legal expenses: 0345 841 0018

Home Protection and Home Protection Plus: 0345 840 2730

Home Excess Protection: 

  • If your policy is provided by Ageas Insurance Limited: 0345 125 2431
  • If your policy is provided by Axa Assistance Limited: 0345 164 0897

Live chat 

  • Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 6pm 
  • Saturday: 8.30am to 4pm 

Sunday: Closed

Rias customer service

Rias provides three ways to contact its UK-based customer service team, and our researchers tested all three over several days. 

Email

If you don’t require a rapid response, complete the email form, and you should receive a reply within three working days. Our team received replies, on average, on day two within around 40 hours of sending the initial email. 

Phone

Our research found this is the quickest method to contact Rias. 

Step 1: After listening to the recorded message, which lasts around two minutes, you are required to select the reason for your call

Step 2: You are then given another four options, one of which is to speak to the customer service team

Step 3: On average, our calls were answered by a member of the customer service team in two rings

The personnel were friendly and helpful and took time to expand on their answers if necessary. 

Live chat

The live chat service is initially manned by chatbots, which provide a limited number of answers. There is a queuing system in place to chat with Rias’ customer service department, and typically we were waiting around 12 minutes. 

Once through the queue, our questions were answered promptly. However, on several occasions, we were asked to ring instead and speak to a specific department.

How do customers rate Rias?

Trustpilot awards Rias 4.2 out of five, rated as “great”, with more than 7,700 customer reviews. Four and five-star reviews make up 78 per cent of the total, with 12 per cent giving a one or two-star score. 

It should be noted that many customers were invited by Rias to leave a Trustpilot review. While many providers will request reviews, Admiral, More Than, Esure, and Aviva have far fewer invited reviews. This could suggest that these providers send out fewer requests than Rias, or simply that policyholders ignore the sent requests. 

It should also be noted that Rias’ customer service team responded to very few reviews, either positive or negative, whereas the teams from Esure and More Than left prompt replies to almost every review. 

Many customers mention having good experiences with customer services, the simple quote process and the competitive prices. Conversely, there are several reviews from policyholders who have had problems getting through to customer services or not receiving confirmation or renewal emails.

“Fantastic, friendly, knowledgeable service from an advisor who really made you feel a valued customer.”

“Generally good, except requesting written confirmation of the policy was a nightmare. Having requested it, I was then asked if I wanted written confirmation. I got into a loop after making several requests and eventually gave up. I hope that I will get confirmation.”

“I found it very easy to renew online. Fortunately I haven’t needed to make any claims. Wasn’t pestered [with] loads of adverts, [I was] just invited to renew my policy. I opted not to have automatic renewal but was easily renewed online rather than having to make phone calls because of this choice! The price was competitive as well, so everything was fine for me.”

How do others rate Rias?

Financial institutions and advisors use Defaqto to provide informed, independent advice on services and products. Its experts research and analyse many financial products every year, producing relevant, up-to-date results. 

Defaqto has awarded Rias home insurance:

★★★★★ Rias buildings and contents insurance

How does Rias compare?

Our researchers compared Rias’ buildings, contents and combined policies with six other top-level home insurance providers. 

The company offers one tier of policies, with several optional add-ons, allowing cover customisation. Every other provider we reviewed, bar Esure, offers two or three tiers with differing amounts of cover. Although this gives customers more choice over how much they want to pay, by adding optional extras to the basic tier, they could easily end up paying more for the same cover. 

Defaqto has awarded Rias the maximum score of five stars for its policies. This compares favourably with several other insurance providers we’ve reviewed, including Aviva and Esure – both receiving five stars across the board. 

However, Trustpilot’s score of 4.2 places Rias in the middle range, below Policy Expert, LV and Aviva but above More Than, Esure and Admiral. Many of the negative customer reviews for these providers mention similar issues – poor customer service and premium increases – while the satisfied policyholders are generally happy with their customer service experience. 

Although Rias is a relatively small provider compared to home insurance giants Admiral, Aviva, LV, and More Than, it offers a comprehensive range of coverage. Included in its standard policy are theft by bogus officials, protection for loaned medical equipment, cover for accidental damage to wheelchairs and stairlifts, and £1,000 towards counselling fees – items which are not listed by the other providers we reviewed.

Insurer Buildings Contents Buildings and contents combined Defaqto score Trustpilot score
Rias ★★★★★ (Buildings, contents and combined policies) 4.2
Policy Expert ★★★★ (Silver and Bronze policies) ★★★★★ (Gold policies) 4.7
LV ★★★ (Essentials policies) ★★★★★ (Home and Home Plus policies) 4.6
More Than ★★★ (Primary and Upgraded policies) 3.8
Aviva ★★★★★ (Online and Premium policies) 4.5
Esure ★★★★★ (Buildings, contents and combined policies) 4.1
Admiral ★★★ (Admiral cover policies) ★★★★★ (Admiral Gold and Platinum policies) 3.3

Independent Advisor’s verdict

Rias offers a competitive home insurance service with broad scoping coverage, easy online quotes and a receptive customer service team. 

Although it doesn’t rate as highly with Trustpilot as other providers, its five-star Defaqto score demonstrates its ability to provide policyholders with a good service. 

Our researchers found Rias’ customer service department easy to deal with, friendly, and responsive, and the claims process quick and efficient.   

Due to the inclusion of protection for loaned medical equipment and accidental damage to wheelchairs and stairlifts in the home, alongside the bogus official’s theft cover, Rias would be an ideal choice of provider for older or medically challenged customers. Another welcome addition to its home insurance policies is help towards counselling fees, which could easily give Rias the edge depending on the customer’s circumstances.

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.