You should ensure your major risks are protected against. This could be as a result of death or serious illness but when your budget is limited; money should not be wasted on over-insuring. You should therefore prioritise what needs to be protected, the big one is the property you reside in and your valuables. Where applicable there should be cover in place to replace the property itself and items inside it in the event of damage through fire, storm damage etc. A discount is usually offered when buying both buildings and contents insurance together.
It is important to take care of your loved ones by insuring against the risk of your loss. Life insurance would repay the mortgage if one of you died. If you are a couple then you should consider whether joint life insurance, or single policies are more suitable. Should you choose single life policies then a trust should be setup to ensure money is passed immediately to your loved ones on death so that they wouldn’t be subject to waiting for their deceased partner’s estate to be finalised, nor have to pay tax.
If you suffer a critical illness such as a heart attack, then today’s very skilled doctors would probably keep you alive. This renders life insurance useless. However you might not be in a fit state to return to work, so to cater for this eventuality critical illness cover should be included. It is far more likely that you will suffer a critical illness during the term of the mortgage than pass away. And with one in four of us likely to suffer from cancer before reaching retirement age, you can see how important this is to insure against this peril.
Critical Illness insurance will help you remain in the home and provide money to rehabilitate should you fall critically sick. Life Insurance will allow your loved ones to remain in the home should you die.
Whilst on the grim subject of death, have you made a will? As well as arranging your assets to be passed to your loved ones in line with your wishes, if you have children then as part of the will writing process you can appoint a guardian for them, so that if you and your partner pass away suitable resources are in place for the guardianship to be carried out.
Whether it is just you or you are looking after your family, it is all well and good having the mortgage paid off but what about all the other monthly expenditure? How would you or your family survive if your incomes were no longer available to support you?
Here are two possible solutions. One is a family income benefit policy. Instead of paying out a lump sum of money this will pay an income each year for a fixed number of years. Alternatively a policy could be set up that pays out a lump sum. Normally this would be arranged to be placed into a discretionary trust so that it ensures that the right amount is in the right hands at the right time and in the right form.
It is of course possible that you could be away from work ill for a long period but are then able to return to work. You should use an income protection policy that would pay you up to half of your salary until you were well enough to return to work. This payment is totally tax free.
You should always find out what benefits you have available from your employer before taking out insurance.
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