We live and learn and as we learn we grow and change. Some aspects of our life will remain the same all through the passing years, others will change completely and still more will need to be adapted to suit our current circumstances. With this in mind, here are some pointers to look at, when considering what sort of protection you need for your current situation.
What would happen if I lost my job?
If you are currently without debts (including a mortgage) and children, then your first answer might well be savings and/or benefits, but while having emergency savings is always good, by definition, once savings are used they are gone and you may well find you’d prefer to avoid having to deal with the benefits system. Having the right insurance can help to protect and prolong your savings. Some income-protection policies will pay out upon unemployment and hence could be well worth a look. Once debts and/or children come along, then this situation needs to be looked at very seriously.
What would happen if I became unable to work through illness or accident?
Again, if you’re without debts or children, your immediate thought might be to move back with your parents and this can be a feasible solution in some cases. What, however, would happen if your parents’ home needed adjustments made to it to accommodate you until you recovered, for example being made more wheelchair accessible? What if you actually needed care at home? How would your parents and family cope with that? Once debts and children arrive, you really need to have a plan in place for dealing with this situation. You may wish to add critical illness cover for really serious illnesses. Even if you are in employment, it can be worthwhile to arrange your own cover, since you may discover that your benefits are insufficient for your particular situation. The self-employed should make it a priority to check that their insurance cover is sufficient for their needs.
What would happen if I were to die?
If you are without dependents such as children, then life insurance may be irrelevant to you, however if you think that your parents might be in a position when they need help from you in later life, then you may still wish to look at life insurance so as to mitigate the financial impact of your death. As soon as you do have dependents, particularly children, appropriate life insurance becomes of the highest importance, even if you are the home-maker. In the event of your death, someone else will have to undertake all the practical tasks which are currently your responsibility. Life insurance comes in two forms, term insurance (which is for a specific period of time) and whole-life insurance (which stays in place for as long as you pay the premiums). Term insurance is often the best option when people want insurance for a specific purpose, such as to pay off a mortgage and/or to see children into adulthood, but there may be situations when whole-life insurance is a better choice.
Having the right level of cover is as important as having the right sort of cover
If you have too much insurance, your premiums will be higher than necessary, but if you have too little, you will have insufficient protection. Striking the right balance can be tricky, which is why it can be very helpful to get professional financial advice.
For Accident, Sickness and Unemployment insurance we act as introducers only.