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Insurance: Is Your Life Worth A Million Dollars?

Is your life worth a million dollars? Perhaps not. Even if you think it is, can you afford that level of cover? Naomi Ballantyne talks about common insurance mistakes.

5 October 2021

With life and health insurance, some people pay too little to get what they expect.

Some pay too much for more than they need. Still others buy the wrong kind of policy altogether.

I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t spend any money at all on life and health insurances. I believe they’re essential to living a secure life, because they protect us from the risk of losing our jobs, our health, or our retirement dreams.

But many of us are getting the wrong level of insurance for our needs.

There’s a quick way to work out if you have the wrong level of cover. Just talk with an adviser about the type of cover you need, and how much of it is right for you.

Advisers don’t cost anything, and you can soon make sure that you’re spending the right amount and not wasting your money.

You can also avoid stress at claims time, and you might even save a bit of money.

Here are the biggest mistakes I see people making.

Spending too much

You can end up paying for more insurance than you need.

Is your life worth a million dollars? Or can you and your family get by with a lot less cover if the worst happens?

Did you check online to see how much a million-dollar policy costs and then find yourself walking away because it was too expensive? You might not need that much cover. An adviser can work out what your needs really are.

And the last thing you want to be told is that you could’ve been saving money all these years if you hadn’t been overpaying for your insurance policy.

You may have been buying benefits that you could easily manage without, or benefits that you might not ever be able to claim.

Not spending enough

The opposite can sometimes be the case.

We see people not buying what they need in insurance cover – effectively not spending enough on their policy.

When bad things happen, they could end up not being covered enough, or not being covered at all – leading to financial strain.

In the worst case, they may have to use their own money or sell assets to make up the difference between what they were covered for and what they needed.

We’ve seen people come to a standstill in their life with no room to move forward, especially if their money’s running out.

It’s a waste of their money to pay for a policy that isn’t fully covering them for what they need, leaving them exposed to huge costs when bad things happen.

Buying the wrong type of cover

Sometimes people find that the insurance they’ve been paying for over the years doesn’t cover the health events that these days cause the biggest interruptions to people’s finances.

Yet they might still be covered for other health events that are a lot less likely to happen, or that would have less of an impact if they did.

How not to waste money on insurance

The most common reason why people end up wasting money on their life and health insurances is that they didn’t get the right (or any) advice.

Maybe they didn’t go to an adviser to get the right cover for their individual needs.

Seeing an adviser doesn’t cost anything and only takes up a small amount of your time – but it can make a huge difference to your financial outcome.

And many people don’t realise they should get their policies reviewed every year or two to take in any changes in their lives.

Sometimes these reviews don’t happen because life gets in the way and the adviser and client never get around to talking about the changes. But it is important to get your cover reviewed at all the important life stages.

This means that when you need to, you can successfully make a claim on your cover to lighten the burden that medical or financial issues might create.

I don’t know what’s worse, not paying enough for your insurance policy and not getting the right cover, overspending on insurance you don’t need or can’t use, or not being covered for the benefits you need, especially when you thought you’d been paying for the right cover.

Ask an expert

The simplest way to get a new policy or update an existing one is to ask an expert, so you fully understand how insurance could help you in your current circumstances.

An adviser can check how appropriate your existing policies are at matching your current insurance needs. They can make changes to, or suggest products to close any gaps.

Then, if you ever need to claim on your insurance, they’ll be on hand to help you get the most out of it, so you have a positive, stress-free experience.

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