How insurance needs change at different life stages

In the first of a series of articles, we look at how your insurance needs may change over your lifetime:

Having Children

Your family’s insurance needs and obligations will evolve over time. Periodically reviewing those needs is necessary to ensure that you and your dependents are properly protected.

Car

As the children grow up, you tend to spend more time in the car – dropping them off at school, driving to after school clubs and sports activities and to their friends’ houses. Statistically speaking, as a parent, you will tend to take more care behind the wheel and may change vehicle to one that is less expensive to insure (compare, for example, the cost of insuring a people-carrier with that of insuring a sports car).

At this stage of life, if you have two or more vehicles in the family, you may want to consider putting your insurance policies “under one roof”. Other considerations include changes to your circumstances such as one parent stopping work to care for the children. Don’t forget to inform your insurance company of such changes as this may also have a beneficial effect on the cost of your car insurance.

Home

With children, the typical household inevitably acquires more “stuff,” especially electronic equipment. Between homework research on the internet and after-school relaxation, families tend to have multiple televisions, computers, tablets and phones in the house. Make sure your contents insurance keeps pace with your growing family. Research suggests that 80% of people in the UK are currently under-insured. It is good practice to recalculate the value of your contents at least every 5 years.

Make use of safety features such as alarm systems, window locks and smoke detectors. These not only keep the family safe, but they also tend to save you money on your contents insurance because they reduce the likelihood of a claim.

Life

Once you have children, you should take a closer look at life insurance. If you are the primary earner, your family now depends heavily on you and your income. You want to be sure the family has the resources to maintain the home and have all the opportunities you want them to if you are not there. Life insurance allows you to make sure your family is financially protected in the event of your death.

Policies leave your loved ones with a lump sum or monthly payments over a specified period. Immediate financial commitments (mortgages & loan debts), as well as those in the future (university fees), are then covered and you relieve them of financial worry. Life insurance can also allow you to ensure your family can sustain the lifestyle you have already provided for them. If your children enjoy dance classes, or going on holiday, the payment from a life policy will mean they can continue these activities when you’re no longer there.

Income and Mortgage

Income protection is designed to replace or supplement your income if you are unable to work. Insurance can be taken out to cover accidents and sickness and can provide short- or longer-term protection, depending on the policy and your needs. Common reasons for taking out income protection include protecting mortgage or loan payments which ensure that you can maintain your lifestyle and financially support your family and loved ones.

Travel

It’s always important to make sure you have appropriate travel insurance when taking a holiday, but even more so when you have a family. You don’t want to fall foul of a last minute cancellation, nor do you want to have to pay for emergency medical expenses or the cost of losing your luggage once on your holiday. Travel insurance is not even that expensive. Typically, the average Briton spends more than twice the cost of a typical single trip travel insurance policy on magazines and sweets at the airport! (Source: Association of British Insurers).

Whatever your stage of life, A-Plan can help you review your insurance needs. Get in touch with your local branch to discuss your requirements and for impartial advice.