Australia is often referred to as ‘the lucky country’, but in order to be one of the lucky ones with enough money to live comfortably and enjoy our lifestyle, it’s important to make sure you have adequate protection for your family and your possessions. Having enough home insurance, contents insurance and life insurance, and car insurance is a must for all Australians.
While many people see insurance as a ‘necessary evil’, the alternative – or not protecting yourself – could mean losing everything you’ve worked hard for.
These days, you can take out an insurance policy with complete coverage to suit your individual needs in mere minutes. There are many comparison websites online which will take away the drudgery of visiting different providers and manually comparing their policy inclusions. In most cases, you only need to answer some basic questions relating to your needs.
There are many facets to life insurance and the categories can be broken down into four basic types.
Death Cover…which pays a lump sum in the event of your death to help your family and loved ones survive financially. Depending on the amount insured, the funds will pay off a mortgage and other expenses. Permanent Disability Insurance…will provide a lump sum should you become permanently incapacitated due to injury, and unable to work again. Funds will cover medical expenses, ongoing care and any expenditure related to your injury in the future.
Trauma or Critical Illness Insurance…is when you are diagnosed with a serious illness like heart attack, stroke, cancer and other life threatening conditions. As with Permanent Disability, this insurance provides funds to cover medical expenses during your illness, rather than after your death
Income Protection Insurance…is a specific insurance designed to replace most of your income, should you become injured or ill, and unable to work and to earn an income.
Your home is your most valuable asset. Anyone with a mortgage or who owns their home will have the building, garage, fences and driveways, plus any improvements covered against fire, theft, vandalism or storm damage. You should always ensure that the amount of insurance coverage on your home reflects the cost of rebuilding your house at today’s prices. Some insurance companies will provide cover for flood damage, but make sure you are clear on how they define ‘flood damage’, as for example, many companies will cover rain water entering and damaging your home, as opposed to water damage from a rising river which has broken its banks.
Whether you own a home, have a mortgage, or are renting, it’s imperative to insure the contents in the event of theft, fire, or any disaster that threatens your possessions. The best way to calculate how much cover you need is to catalogue all things of any value. Go through each room of the house and list everything that isn’t a fixture. If you have receipts for larger items, or valuables like jewelry then file them in a safe place, and make copies to store digitally. If possible, take photographs of your items and store those too, so that the claims process flows more smoothly.
Your car is your second most valuable asset, yet many people neglect to insure their vehicles. Fully comprehensive car insurance insures your vehicle against damage or being written off. It also covers damage to another party’s vehicle should you be at fault. Third party property insurance covers you for damage to another party’s property if you are at fault, although some policies will cover you in a no-fault accident with an uninsured vehicle
These days, nobody can afford not to have insurance, at least at a basic level. Adequate car insurance, home insurance, contents insurance and life insurance provides peace of mind and helps safeguard you and your family against the rising cost of living.