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The pandemic highlighted the importance of insurance.  More particularly it highlighted the importance of having the right type and level of cover for your needs.  With the UK starting to return to some kind of normality, now is arguably a good time to review your own insurance cover.  With that in mind, here are some points to consider.

Make sure you are clear about your assets and liabilities

This may seem like stating the obvious but sometimes you need to do some outside-the-box thinking here.  In particular, you need to think about intangible assets (like your life, your health and your income).  You also need to think about potential liabilities.

If this seems confusing, then think about what you own and then ask yourself two questions.  Firstly, could this get sick/need repaired?  Secondly, could this get me sued?  If the answer to either question is yes, ask yourself if you could cover the necessary costs.  If the answer is no, you need insurance.

This can lead you down some surprising directions.  For example, if you have pets, legal insurance could be at least as valuable as health insurance.  Similarly, if you have a bicycle, legal insurance could be more valuable than insurance against theft.  Essentially, in both instances, you want to be able to protect yourself (and your pet) in the event of a dispute.

Cyclists in particular should note that drivers are legally obliged to have insurance.  Not all do.  If, however, you get into an incident with one who does, the situation could get very challenging.  You may find it very helpful to have your own insurance company at your back.

Think carefully about the level of cover you really need

When it comes to medical and legal bills, it can be advisable to opt for the highest level of cover you can afford.  The harsh truth of the matter is that it’s very hard to predict these but they can be extremely expensive.  It’s therefore generally better to err on the side of caution.

With some other kinds of insurance, however, it makes sense to make sure that you are insuring exactly what you need, no less but also no more.  One common example of this is buildings insurance.  Buildings insurance is for the rebuild value of your home.  This is likely to be substantially lower than the sales value of your home because you already own the land.

Similarly, if you have life insurance purely to pay off a mortgage, then you can lower the level of cover as you pay off your mortgage.  On the same logic, if you have life insurance to protect minor children, then you may be able to lower the level of cover as they get older.  Basically, it will be less time until they are adults, fending for themselves.

Consider specialist policies as well as general ones

If you have a lot of items to insure, you may have to choose between insuring them as a bundle and insuring them individually.  One common example of this is insuring the items you keep at home.  You may be able to cover all of these with a single home-contents policy.  Alternatively, you may be able to cover some of the items with specialist policies.

Having everything under one policy can be convenient.  It may also be the more affordable option although this is not guaranteed.  You could, however, miss out on important benefits offered by specialist policies.

For example, if you cover a bicycle with your home insurance, your bicycle may only be protected when it’s actually at home.  Even if you are covered for travel, your cover may be limited to theft.  You may not get cover in the event of an accident or a brush with the law as you might if you opted for specialist insurance.

For more information, please contact us.

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