There are a huge variety of insurance policies available on the market, so much so that it can be difficult to decide which ones you would benefit from, and which ones would quite simply be a waste of money.
One of the most popular types of insurance policy is home insurance, and it comes in two sorts; buildings insurance, and contents insurance. Buildings insurance is vital if you own your own home; infact if you have a mortgage your mortgage provider will usually insist on you taking out a policy. Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your property if it is damaged by fire, storms, floods or subsidence. Contents insurance, on the other hand, covers your possessions against loss or damage, and offers valuable protection for both homeowners and tenants alike. Both types of policies do not cover you for general wear and tear, and both will incur an excess, which is the portion of the claim that you will have to pay yourself. Nevertheless, both types of policy, depending on your residential status, are strongly recommended to protect both your home, and its contents.
In most countries car insurance is required by law; you are usually legally obliged to take out at least third party cover. There are three levels of cover, and depending on which type of policy you choose they will cover you for damage to your own vehicle, and personal injury and damage caused to other road users. The most basic level of cover is third party insurance which covers damage to other people’s property and injuries sustained by others in the event of an accident. However, it does not cover the cost of theft or damage to your own vehicle so it is useful only if your own vehicle has a very low monetary value. Second, is third party, fire and theft which provides all the benefits of third party insurance in addition to paying out should your own vehicle be stolen or set on fire. The most comprehensive level of cover, as the name suggests, is comprehensive car insurance which incorporates all the benefits of third party, and third party, fire and theft insurance in addition to paying out for damage to your own car.
If you are travelling, either on holiday or for business purposes, then it is highly recommended that you take out travel insurance; infact most travel agents and holiday providers will insist on it, especially if you are travelling overseas. The majority of policies will cover you for lost or stolen belongings, medical expenses, and the cost of cancelling, cutting short, or delaying your trip. The majority of policies offer around £1m worth of medical cover, and will guarantee that they will fly you home. However, if you enjoy adventure sports such as abseiling and skiing then you will need to take out additional cover as most standard policies do not cover you if you sustain injury whilst partaking in these activities.
Life insurance, critical illness cover, payment protection, and income protection policies cover either you, or your dependants should you suffer a serious illness or die. Life insurance pays your dependants either a lump sum, or regular payments, if you die and is useful if your partner and/or children depend on your income to cover monthly expenses such as mortgage payments etc. Critical illness cover, unlike life insurance which only pays out in the event of your death, pays you a fixed lump sum, or a monthly installment, if you contract a critical illness such as multiple sclerosis or certain types of cancer, or if you sustain a serious injury which in turn leads to you becoming disabled. Payment protection insurance covers your monthly mortgage, credit card, and loan repayments if you become unemployed, have an accident, or become ill and are unable to work, whilst income protection policies pay a percentage of your take-home pay if you are unable to work for a while due to illness or disability. Income protection policies cover the majority of illnesses that result in you being unable to work, but do not cover you for periods of unemployment.
If you have a pet then you are probably aware that veterinary treatment can easily run into double figures. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that if your pet is unwell, or involved in an accident, then your bills will be covered. However, annual jabs, spaying and neutering are not covered by a pet insurance policy. This type of insurance is best suited to individuals who would find it difficult to afford the cost of treatment out of any spare income, and if you have a certain breed of cat or dog that is likely to require a greater amount of medical treatment. However, you do need to make sure that your pet receives regular vaccinations or your pet insurance will be invalid, and it can be difficult to obtain cover for an animal that already has an ongoing medical condition, or is old.
Many insurance policies offer invaluable cover depending upon your individual circumstances. If you are not entirely sure whether a policy would be beneficial to you then it is advisable to consult an experienced insurance broker to seek professional advice.