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Insurance tips

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Written by:
01/06/2012

1. Cut motor insurance premiums

Make sure you shop around for car insurance and compare all types of policy; comprehensive cover won’t necessarily be more expensive than third party, fire and theft.

The higher the excess you choose the lower your premium will be but make sure you can afford the excess as this is the amount of a claim you’ll have to pay if you have an accident.

Car insurers base their premiums on a number of factors, some of which you can control and some you can’t. For example, young drivers pay more than older drivers. Drivers with a history of claims, accidents and motoring offences will pay more so drive carefully. High performance cars will cost more to insure while cheaper, slower cars will be cheaper.

Try and build up a “no claims bonus” (NCB). The more years of no claims you have, the cheaper your premium will be.

Make sure you tell the truth. If your insurer finds you guilty of “fronting” – putting down an older more experienced person as the main driver when it’s really a young driver – your insurance could be invalidated.

2. Tips for cheaper home insurance premiums

Securing your home can lower your home insurance premiums. So make sure you have adequate locks on doors and windows and consider getting a burglar alarm.

Claims can make the cost of insurance go up so think carefully before making a claim. For example, you might be better off fixing a broken window yourself.

Always compare what’s covered by a policy, not just the price – the key policy information will help you do this. Some might be cheaper than others, but they may not offer the same level of protection. “Add-ons” such as possessions outside the home, legal expenses and accidental damage could prove invaluable in certain situations.

Most policies have a standard excess charge. If you agree to pay a higher excess you might get a cheaper policy.

3. Tips on buying life insurance

Consider whether you really need life insurance. If you’re single and don’t have children, you don’t really need life insurance. Other types of protection insurance might be more appropriate. These include income protection, payment protection insurance and critical illness cover.

If you decide you do need life insurance there are various types; term insurance, decreasing term insurance, renewable term insurance, whole-of-life, and convertible term insurance. It’s best to take professional advice to decide which type is best for your circumstances.

How much you’ll pay for life insurance depends on your age, gender, health and lifestyle. Premiums are paid monthly.

4. Tips for buying travel insurance

Travel insurance isn’t compulsory but it’s advisable when travelling abroad. It covers things such as medical treatment, repatriation, cancellation and delays, baggage, possessions, and personal liability. Without it you could face massive medical bills if you have an accident abroad or find yourself stranded if your passport or money is stolen.

When buying travel insurance make sure it covers you for the activities you plan to do on holiday, for example, skiing or bungee jumping. Also check limits for possessions and lost luggage as some cheap policies won’t cover very much.

You’ll need to admit to any pre-existing medical conditions when buying travel insurance and if you’ve got a serious illness or condition you might find it hard to get cover.

If you go abroad more than twice a year it will probably work out cheaper to buy annual rather than single trip insurance.

5. Tips for insuring art

If you have original works, it’s a good idea to have your art insured separately by a specialist rather than including it on your home insurance. Most art insurance companies will require you to have the art appraised by a licensed art appraiser before they will offer you insurance. This will satisfy the insurer that the work is as valuable as you say, and reassure you that you are covered for the full value of the piece(s).

The cost will also depend on whether you need to transport your art to showings or whether you will just keep it at home.

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