It’s not enough to simply have insurance – you need to have the right insurance. By right, we mean insurance that will cover you, without needless expense or prolonged waiting periods, for what you need, when you need it.
There’s nothing worse than paying out your insurance premiums for years only to find that they’re not actually terribly helpful when disaster hits. Buying a policy simply because it’s cheap or convenient to obtain isn’t the best strategy for choosing insurance.
Obtaining insurance online usually means that you’ve filled out a form and a computer has spat out a ‘best match’ solution. What can happen in these instances is that critical nuances are missed, which might have been detected with more forethought or professional consultation. Having a bad experience and then, right when you’re most vulnerable, discovering that you’re not covered, is a situation no one wants to face. Unfortunately, it happens more often than we’d care to think.
So, how can you avoid this unwelcome situation?
Make a checklist
Sit down and have a good, honest think about where it would hurt most were something unexpected to happen. Do you rely on one income to support your family and therefore income protection insurance is essential for you? Are you already cutting it close on your mortgage payments with no extra room to move if you suddenly needed critical home repairs? Identify your weak spots, as well as what types of insurance may not be so necessary for you, and make a list of the absolute bare minimum you would need to in the event of an unforeseen emergency.
Plan for the unexpected
As much as we all hate to think about it, the situations that are the hardest to recover from are usually those extreme events that we can hardly bear to consider, such as the sudden, early death of a spouse or complete loss of our home. It’s worth at least considering where you would be, and what you would need, if the absolute worst were to happen.
Get professional advice
Cheaper policies often have limited coverage and broad exclusions. If you want to shop around and get the best deal, engage a professional insurance adviser to do the hard work for you. After all, they are trained to spot the gaps and will be able to quickly identify any critical missing elements. Ideally, an advisor that is familiar with your current financial situation, assets and risk areas is the best placed to advise you on what insurance you do, and don’t, need and help you find a package that ticks all the right boxes.
Some things to consider
- How long will your insurance cover you for after any illness or disability? Is the benefit provided ongoing or for a limited period of time?
- What are the waiting periods? Could you afford to be without in the interim?
In the case of home and contents insurance – what excess will you be required to pay upon making a claim?
- Would you actually be able to get by, pay for home repairs or replace your most essential goods given the level of insurance you currently have?
- Would your major assets be fully protected by your insurance in the event of an illness, disability, accident or unforeseen event?
For more information or advice call us on (02) 8268 2900 for an obligation-free chat.