A guide to buying insurance

There are various different kinds of insurance that are sensible to have in place. Depending on which assets you own (for example, a house or car), you may already have certain kinds of insurance but it’s always important to check whether you’re getting the best deal and that your policies cover you appropriately.

Different kinds of insurance

The payment you have to make on all kinds of insurance is called a ‘premium’. Here’s a few common types of insurance to consider:

  • House insurance – if you own our home then you must have buildings insurance to cover any potential damage that happens to the house.
  • Contents insurance – this is insurance taken out against any loss or damage to your possessions.
  • Life insurance – this will ensure your family get a payout should you die.
  • Pet insurance – covering your pets against potential vet bills or costs incurred finding lost animals can save you money in the future.
  • Travel insurance – this is against the cost of delays, medical bills or losing property while travelling abroad.

Where to buy insurance

There are various places you can buy insurance from, either online, over the phone or in person.

These include the insurer itself, a bank or building society, an insurance broker or financial advisor, a supermarket or another general retailer. Whichever insurance product you decide to buy, make sure that the firm you’re buying from is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This will give you a measure of protection against anything going wrong with your potential claim.

Always shop around

It’s worth getting quotes from several different firms when buying insurance. There are different tools available online, such as insurance calculators, that will help you get the best deal. Alternatively, you can employ an insurance broker to compare prices and find you the best policy.

Be aware that the cheapest policy may not be in your best interests. For example, it may seem cheap initially, but the insurance policy may have restrictions against the kinds of claims you can make should the time come.

Insurance buying tips

Here’s our basic advice on buying insurance. It’s always worthwhile taking time to do appropriate research either online or through a broker before you purchase an insurance policy.

  • Whichever kind of insurance you’re looking for, it’s important to:
  • Always give a full account when asked for information. If you don’t then the policy might be declared void when you come to make a claim. This includes medical conditions and financial history.
  • Check any excess charges on policies. The ‘excess’ refers to the amount you have to pay towards any claim you might make before the company will contribute
  • Check whether there are any age limits on the cover you’re buying.
  • Read all of the terms and conditions carefully or ask for the company to explain them to you.
  • If you’re thinking about buying an extended warranty for an item, check you’re not already covered through contents or other insurance.

What about old insurance policies?

It is worth tracking down any old savings, pensions or life insurance policies as these can retain some value. However, other kinds of insurance such as household or car insurance, don’t hold any value after the period of cover finishes.

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