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.
Summer, such as it was, is now very definitely over and autumn is starting to make itself felt. Depending on your point of view, we’re now either coming into the season of hot chocolate and hygge or coming into the season of cold, wet weather and general misery. Even if you love the cooler months, the fact still remains that they do bring their own challenges, but the good news is that you can protect yourself against them by “self-insuring” (following good practices) and taking out formal insurance cover.
Insuring your health
Even though minor illnesses and injuries and frankly part and parcel of autumn and winter seasons, you don’t just have to cave into them. Just being sensible about what you eat and drink can go a long way to boosting your immunity and if you make time for exercise as well, especially outdoor exercise, then you will put your body in a much better place to ward off the cold-weather nasties.
At the same time, however, you have to be realistic about what life can bring and about what you can do to be prepared for it. With that in mind, it could be a good idea to take out dental insurance, if not full medical insurance. Autumn rains and leaves and winter ice are all serious tripping hazards, which can easily leave you with damaged teeth – and dental bills can be very expensive. Thanks to the NHS other forms of treatment are often much more reasonably priced, in fact, they may be free, but there may be a lengthy wait for them and the treatments on offer may not be as extensive as you might have liked (e.g. they might not include physiotherapy after an accident or may only offer limited sessions). This is why full health insurance can be a great investment.
Insuring your income
For most people, their income is dependent on their ability to get to work. If your ability to get to work depends on you having your own transport of some sort, then it’s a good idea to give your vehicle a thorough check and take any necessary action before the cold really sets in. You may also need to think about whether you should take any other precautions related to travel in cold weather, such as upgrading your insurance to include accidents and perhaps even a call-out service.
You may also want to think about what would happen if a long-term illness or injury left you unable to work for any length of time (or to function as a parent, a carer or in any other capacity). Depending on your stage in life, you may be able to get by with a basic emergency fund, but if you have people depending on you in any way, such as for childcare, then you may want to look seriously at Critical Illness Cover for protection during long-term illness.
Insuring your property (and its contents)
Most people will probably already have insurance for their home and contents, however, you can reduce the chance of needing to make a claim on your buildings insurance by making sure that you have done everything possible to ensure that it can withstand everything the weather is going to throw at it. Now is also a good time of year to review your contents cover to ensure that it is still an accurate reflection of what is inside your home and to think about any potential large purchases you may want to make, either at Christmas or in the January sales.
For motor insurance, mortgage payment protection insurance, building and content insurance and general insurance products we act as introducers only.