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5 tips to keep on top of your insurance

Many people seem to think that once they start some form of insurance, they don’t have to think about it anymore and it will stay right for them forever. However, there are quite a few things that people need to consider, both before they get insurance and throughout their lives as they hold certain insurance policies. Below are five tips to ensure you are getting the best out of your insurance.

1. Check your insured sum and your excess

It is necessary to make sure you are insured for the right amount. If you are insured for too much, then your premiums will be a lot higher than they need to be. On the other hand, if you are insured for too little, you may not be fully covered if you end up in an unfortunate situation. Many people find that their cars are over- or under-insured. If your car is insured for market value, not an agreed value, having a higher sum insured noted on the policy will mean your premiums are increased without any benefit to you at claim time. Also, when considering the value of your contents, remember to factor in how much it would cost to replace all your furniture, dishes and clothing – these can often be overlooked in favour of the more obvious items like your smartphone or television. Don't forget to consider if new purchases or selling possessions will mean a change in insured value.

Increasing your excess can mean reducing the premiums you need to pay. You need to consider if you will be able to afford to pay the higher excess in the event of a claim. If not, you may be better off with the higher premium, but if you believe that you can afford to pay a higher excess, you may be able to reduce your premiums and just pay extra if the worst happens.

2. Change how you pay

In many cases, you can choose how often you want to pay your premiums. For some people, paying small fortnightly or monthly premiums in line with their pay schedule is the best option for their budget, however, with most insurance companies, paying annually means you pay less – due to less administration and other costs. It's worth considering if annual payments are an option for you.

3. Shop around competitors

Over time, you may find that either the pricing or the actual policies have changed and you may not be getting what you want from your insurance anymore. Finding out what other insurance providers offer can help in two ways - either, you find a policy with another provider that suits your needs, or, if you could get a better deal elsewhere, your current insurance provider may allow you to negotiate a better deal.

Even better, insurance companies are always improving new offerings to try and beat their competition (just the same as the newest models of cars will usually have better mileage, go faster, and have other improved features). This means that there may now be a better offering to meet your needs than when you established your current insurance.

4. Review your policy

People tend to take out an insurance policy and think that it will be the right policy for them for the rest of their lives. However, this is not always the case – many things change over a lifetime that mean your current policy may not be as relevant anymore. For example, if you have health insurance and you stopped smoking a few years ago, your policy may allow you to switch to the non-smoker's rates, which would make your premiums cheaper. Household changes, such as moving out of home or having the kids move out of home, make a difference too. Small things like this can decrease the amount you have to pay.

5. Don’t just compare prices

Not all insurance products are the same. The wording or terms and conditions of a policy may differ from one provider to another which can account for the price difference. Therefore, it is important that when you are comparing products, consider which product has the features that are most important to you – it is probably worth paying a slightly higher premium to get insurance that will actually suit your needs.

The bottom line

It’s important to keep up to date with your insurances, to make sure that you have the right policies, sums insured, and excesses to suit your lifestyle, and to ensure you aren’t paying too much for what you’re getting.

The Authorised Financial Advisers at Milestone Direct can help you determine the best insurance to have for your specific situation, so contact us on 0508 MILESTONE (0508 645 378) for a review of your insurance today.