The days are getting longer and Spring is in the air. As well as spring cleaning your home, you might be thinking about clearing out your finances. But have you freshened up your insurance cover?
A lot can change in a year. You may have moved house, had a baby, started a new job, got married, started caring for an elderly relative… The list of big life changes that may have happened in twelve months is enormous. But be aware: many of these could have an effect on any insurance policies you have. For example, you may now be paying too much or too little, not have all family members or the right property covered.
Dust off your policy documents
Whilst it may not be the most riveting way to spend a Sunday afternoon, checking through your policy documents to understand who and what is covered, and for how much, can be important. If you’d like a five minute refresher on the different types of protection insurance available, check out our handy Guide to Protection.
Many people choose not to read the T&Cs for their insurance products, which could be a crucial mistake if they ever have to make a claim. If you’ve changed address, occupation or marital status, you may face problems in making a claim on a policy. If you’re regularly paying towards your cover but your details or needs have changed, you have all the more reason to take a fresh look at your policies.
Protect your home
An Englishman’s house is his castle, so they say, but how would yours fare in the nasty event of a burglary or fire? If you originally insured your contents for £20,000, for example, but the current value of your belongings is more, your insurer may not pay your full claim. Also, if you’re unable to provide receipts or other evidence to prove you own stolen or damaged belongings, your insurer may refuse to pay up.
Check to see if there’s a clause about failing to maintain your property - your insurer may refuse a claim for storm damage if you already have missing roof tiles, for instance. There may also be single item limits on your policy - if you’ve bought something that is more valuable than these, you may need to inform your insurer.
Check your health
Whether you receive cover from your workplace or are enrolled in a private medical scheme, it might be a good idea to check that all the members of your household you’d like to be covered are still covered. For example: if you’ve recently welcomed a child, had a child who has turned 18, or anyone has been diagnosed with an illness, you may need to let your policy provider know. Find out more about the different types of medical cover on our health insurance pages.
Income protection, critical illness and life insurance
Changed jobs? Had a pay rise or demotion? Been diagnosed with a medical condition? The level of cover you’re paying for may no longer meet your needs, whether you’re in a workplace scheme or have a private policy. If it’s time to renew, you can compare quotes on our life insurance and over 50s life cover pages. Your occupation, age and state of health may have an effect on the level of cover and the amount you pay for it - so it may be worth making sure that your insurer has all the information so that you remain covered should you ever need to make a claim.
Travel and other insurance
Planning a holiday this Summer? If you’ve got annual travel insurance cover or you get cover through your current account package, for example, you should check that it still covers any medical conditions that you may have been diagnosed with since taking the policy out. You may need to declare all pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer, however small. Check your destination is covered - some European policies don’t cover Turkey. As with home insurance, you might also want to check if a single item limit is in place, particularly if you plan to take your laptop or other valuables on holiday.
Have you added an expensive sound system or made any modifications to your car? Changed who regularly drives the car, where it is parked, the number of miles you drive a year…? All of these are potential pitfalls in the event of a claim, so now could be a good time to check your insurer has the right information. Similarly, if your white goods or tech gadgets are insured, its worth checking that they are still insured for the right value - have you changed any items in your house, and could you still be paying for cover on old items?
Time to renew
It pays to shop around when it comes to insurance if you know the type and level of cover that best meets your needs. Our real-time insurance quotes tools could help you to find a great deal on your cover, from life insurance, over 50s life cover, and private medical insurance, to income protection.
Our award-winning Money Hub technology could help you make sense of your finances as a whole, understanding your net worth and tracking your insurance payments as part of your budget and everyday spending. You also have the option to seamlessly share any details you wish with a financial adviser if you’d value some advice.