Life assurances: what are you covered for?

Posted on Feb 23 2015 - 11:34am by Samantha Clark
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It’s always hard to consider the future let alone considering something going wrong in the future. It’s inapprehensible! But what if it did? We’re not necessarily able to have enough in savings to ensure we’re covered for every eventuality, particularly if something serious happened. Insurances give us that piece of mind that if something did go wrong at least we know there are measures in place and our wishes can be carried out. Of course having assurances in place can be a costly affair, costing hundreds of pounds per household per year.

There is an extensive amount of assurance products out there but how can you tell what you is right for you and what it is you need? Unfortunately there is no simple solution- it’s about conducting research, looking at the various sources of information on the web, using impartial representation such as broker/financial advisor to do the searching for you, contact with insurance companies/solicitors directly and/or relying on friends and acquaintances who might deal in specific avenues of insurance/wills. We also have to succomb to the fact that, in the case of most policies, we pay quite a bit of money for insurances but see no immediate benefit except a depletion in our monthly earnings.

Policies available: 

  • Home insurance– contents only for those renting, builder and content for those that own
  • Car insurance– must have by law basic policy is third party
  • Pet insurance– it is ideal to have if you have pets (The Telegraph reports that a dog injured in a road traffic accident can cost £674 and £300 for a cat with more serious conditions costing £4,000)
  • Holiday insurance– covers a number of things and can include breaks in the UK. More essential for European or International holidays which will cover you on cancelled flights, severe weather conditions and can aid in treatment abroad should you fall ill.
  • Life insurance– payouts when you die to loved ones/cover large debts (mortgage companies usually insist you have one) but can also cover you in cases of serious illnesses as well with payouts on diagnosis. Look to MoneySavingExpert.com for further advice.
  • Wills– are ideal to express your wishes for your finances and assets and how children will be cared for. You can find out more on Money Advice Service about what happens if you don’t have a will in place upon your death. There are also some common questions explored on The Will Site. Wills are ONLY implemented in the event of your death, you may also want to consider;
  • Power of Attorney– setting up a Power of Attorney means that you’ve nominated an attorney to handle your affairs (assets, finances and in some circumstances determine your wellbeing) when you’re no longer able to make or communicate decisions yourself. See MoneySavingExpert.com for more information. If you do not have a power of attorney in place when you lose mental capacity, a process to act on your behalf can be lengthy and costly for your friends and relatives. Moreover, you’re unable to nominate someone you trust to make the decisions on your behalf.

But the above is just a taster of the policies available, the offerings under each policy will require much thought and consideration in determining what is right for you and your loved ones.

We had a chat with Becky O’Rourke of Asset Harbour who talked with us about Vitality Life the NEW insurance policies that reward you for being healthy and gives you many perks that you can take advantage of the minute you set the policy(ies) up. We asked some of the most common questions about life insurances and wills.

*Note: Asset Harbour deal specifically with Vitality Life, Serious Illness and Income Protection Cover, they also specialise in Wills and Trusts. If you are seeking a broader overview of policies available it is recommended that you make an appointment with a trusted financial advisor.

Why set up a life/serious illness insurance policy?

We all like to plan for the future: buying a house, a car or simply putting money away for a rainy day. Taking out life cover and/or serious illness cover is simply planning for the things that you don’t see coming.

What is the difference between life insurance, serious illness insurance and income protection?

These are our 3 core covers; you can have 1, 2 or all 3 as part of your personal protection plan;

Life cover pays a cash lump sum to your family or other nominated person upon your death while you are covered. With Vitality it also pays a cash lump sum if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Serious illness cover pays a cash lump sum if you are diagnosed with a condition that we cover, and because vitality covers more conditions (166 conditions covered) than typical critical illness policies, you are more likely to get a pay-out. Vitality also pays out on the severity of the condition, so you can get paid part of your cover amount and still have a remaining amount.

Income protection cover will pay a monthly income if you become ill, injured or disabled and cannot work.

How much insurance is needed?

This depends on an individual’s circumstances, we will assess their need for insurance and create a policy which best suits them; whether it be to ensure that a mortgage is paid off or to leave a lump sum to their loved ones, Vitality is extremely diverse in the way that it can be tailored.

I already have an insurance policy am I able to switch providers?

Off course, but I would always check with your current provider first. Many people find that there life cover isn’t doing what they need it to do, for instance if you took life insurance to cover a mortgage but have since moved house or borrowed more and did not renew their cover it is very likely that you do not have enough cover in place- it is always advisable to have your policies reviewed when circumstances change.

If I have an insurance policy in place do I still need a Will?

Yes, a will is your last wishes and can ensure that what you leave behind goes where and when you want it to. Without a Will means you die intestate, estranged partners may lay claim to your assets, your children may be put into care or you could leave your loved ones in financial difficulty.

If you’d like to discuss life insurance policies with Asset Harbour South West about the Vitality offering, you can contact them on Facebook, email: rplaistow@assetharbour.com or call: 08009800766.

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