Top tips and key things to consider
For many of us, the past few months have unexpectedly provided the opportunity to take stock.
We have uprooted gardens, painted rooms and finally taken on those odd jobs which had forever been waiting on ‘another day’.
The pandemic has also given us time to assess our finances and look seriously at the short and long-term provisions we have made both for us and our loved ones. All of those hypothetical situations that we previously viewed with a touch of scepticism now seem a lot more real and pressing.
It was vital that during this time, as we were forced to distance ourselves from our friends and wider support networks, that Owl Financial Protection Advisers maintained face to face, human contact with our customers.
We have done that through our online meeting service and, using Skype, Microsoft Teams or Zoom, we have continued to talk directly to our customers, hearing the real concerns and questions that have arisen during the pandemic.
Our advisers will talk to you about your current cover and situation, about what’s best for you. And once a policy is sold, we continue to be on hand and are always on the end of a phone or video call if you have a question or do need to make a claim. We are with you through life.
When it comes to finances and cover, it can sometimes be a little daunting working out just where to begin. It helps to have the options laid out in black and white and we have pieced together a very simple guide to some of the cover we provide and how it will provide financial protection for you and your family.
Accident Protection - Multiprotect
This is one of our most popular policies – but how can MultiProtect actually help? The short answer is that it provides financial support for a vast range of accidental injuries. It covers everything from broken bones to permanent disability and includes hospitalisation cover. You can even include Active Lifestyle cover, so if you are injured playing football or tennis (on a non-professional basis) and forced to take time off work, you can make a claim. One of the enduring myths is that insurers ‘never pay out’. According to the ABI (Association of British Insurers), in 2019 a record number of claims were paid out in the UK and, speaking to our advisers, customers are often surprised to hear what they are eligible to claim for. Again, we will talk you through every stage of that process. MultiProtect is also affordable. It starts from £8 per month and gives you the option to add on extras from just £1 per month. These extras can include child cover, which pays out if your child has an accident which results in them having an injury covered by the policy or have to stay in hospital for at least 24 hours. With MultiProtect you can make multiple claims (without any impact on the premiums you pay) also benefit from well-being cover through HealthAssured, which gives 24-hour access to counselling services.
Ask most people what their most valuable asset is, and they will most likely tell you that it’s the property they live in, followed by their car. This is one of the great misconceptions. A person’s most valuable asset is their ability to earn. Our wages pay for our home, our car, all of our other assets and every year millions of people find themselves unable to work due to serious illness or injury. If this does happen, few could afford to cover their bills on statutory sick pay. If you are the primary breadwinner in a household this will obviously have a serious impact on you and your family. Income protection pays out a regular monthly income that can help you keep up with your mortgage and other repayments. Most importantly, it allows you to focus on your recovery or adapting to your change of circumstance. There are different types of income protection plans, including long term and short-term income protection which pays out a monthly sum related to your income, for a limited period of time. Longer term Income Protection pay out until you can start working again, until you retire, die or the end of the policy term - whichever is sooner.
Critical Illness Cover
Is a form of insurance which has been brought sharply into focus by the Coronavirus pandemic. Critical illness will pay a large one-off lump sum if you have a specific serious illness covered by the policy. This has supported clients who, for example, have been forced into intensive care after contracting Covid-19. Traditionally, it has also helped people who have been diagnosed with a defined illness, like cancer, or suffered a heart attack, stroke or another serious and debilitating illness. Leading insurers typically cover a wide range of critical illness conditions, plus offer additional options, e.g. global treatment cover. You can buy life and critical illness cover at the same time and, as they’re separate policies, both could pay out.
An obvious policy but one that can sometimes be difficult to consider. Life insurance is really about giving the ‘gift of cover’ to your family. If the unthinkable does happen, your loved ones will be taken care of financially. Some life insurance policies include terminal benefit, which means they pay out on diagnosis of terminal illness. Some policies also include options to cover funeral costs. You can have an open and honest chat with your Owl adviser to find out what is available and what works best for you. The harsh reality is that state benefits are often much lower than people think. If you want to ensure that your family are financially protected, life insurance is a must.
Whether you rent or are a homeowner, it’s important to consider whether you have sufficient home insurance to protect you if anything happened to your property or personal possessions. Most of us believe we have our gadgets, furniture, appliances and technology covered, but more often than not, Owl Financial Protection Advisers find that people do not understand what they are actually covered for or do not have enough building and contents cover. There are other pitfalls, for example accidental damage due to flooding or fire. Our advisers will talk through your personal circumstances, go through your options and will also be there for you, should you ever need help in making a claim. We’ll help you identify where you need cover and arrange a policy that provides protection for your building / contents, as required - and if you’re a landlord, we can help with landlord’s cover too.
So, in nutshell our top tips are ...
- Think about whether you and your family would be covered financially if for any reason you were unable to work. Could you cope purely on state benefits?
- Consider existing policies you currently have – would they be sufficient?
- Have a no-obligation chat with a specialist protection adviser who can talk to you about your individual circumstances and arrange a package that is right for you.