Category : Insurance Adviser

Insurance Business

What is insurance?

What is insurance?

Almost every adult in the UK has taken out some kind of insurance policy – whether it’s to protect themselves, their home, their car, their possessions, or their beloved pets. But what is it?

An insurance policy is essentially a contract taken out with an insurer which pays out an agreed sum of money (in the form of an income or lump sum) on a valid claim. You can buy insurance to cover many aspects of life including your income, health, your business, your car etc… Read More

Home Insurance

Shining a light on home insurance

Shining a light on home insurance

Home and contents insurance seems to be a mystery to many households according to research by the Co-Op, which found more than five million have no cover despite the average value of contents reaching almost £40,000.

On the face of it, this type of insurance seems straightforward. It covers you for the loss of, or damage to, personal possessions in your home; ranging from laptops, TVs and furniture to clothing and jewellery. It’s perhaps when you get to the small print that the problems start. Read More

insurance

Self-Employed lack protection

Self-Employed lack protection

Just 4% of self-employed workers have income protection in place, leaving the majority vulnerable to financial difficulties if they are suddenly forced to stop working through illness or accident.

In its survey of more than 9,000 adults, LV= identified the self-employed as a niche group who would struggle to make ends meet if they stopped earning. This is partly down to the fact that they have no employer’s safety net and little, if anything, in the way of emergency funds.

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Income Protection

Barriers to protection

According to an online survey of 2,000 adults by Royal London, half of those surveyed believe life insurance is essential for someone with a mortgage or dependants and yet only 60% of people with a mortgage have life cover.

While 60% of those surveyed with a mortgage have a life insurance policy, just 29% have critical illness cover and 19% have income protection insurance, suggesting that better education is needed to help make people more aware of the benefits of taking out protection.
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Family Cycle

The value of protection

Buying a new home is possibly one of life’s biggest and most exciting events. It’s also a major financial commitment – one that could be with you for 25 years or more.

Your ability to maintain your mortgage payments relies on a constant income, so how would you continue to make your mortgage repayments if your income was reduced – or stopped? Here we look at two similar scenarios with very different outcomes.
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critical-illness-insurance

Critical Illness cover can make a difference

Critical Illness cover can make a difference

If you’ve ever turned down a recommendation of critical illness because you can’t see the value of it, this real-life case study might make you think again.

Peter Simpson is a successful commercial manager for a Berkshire-based firm. He’s married with three children aged 13, 11 and 9 and has a £297,000 mortgage. His wife gave up work to bring up the kids, making Peter the main breadwinner.

When he was 24, buying his first house, Peter had arranged to see an Openwork adviser who helped him sort out a mortgage and critical illness cover. Over the years, Peter’s circumstances changed; he got married, started a family and moved up the housing ladder. During that time he has stayed close to his adviser and updated his cover in line with his changing circumstances.

The value of critical illness cover
Peter has always been able to see the value of critical illness cover, particularly because his father had sadly died of cancer. Aside from covering his mortgage, Peter also wanted to make sure his wife and children would be OK financially if anything happened to him.

In December 2016, totally out of the blue, Peter had a stroke. He had stopped at a friend’s house on the way to work when he suddenly and unexpectedly experienced a terrible buzzing sensation at the back of his head. He lost the feeling in his right-hand side and his speech became slurred. Spotting something was obviously very wrong, his friend got him into the house and immediately called an ambulance. Within 45 minutes Peter was being treated in hospital with his wife by his side.

When he was back home recuperating, Peter started the claims process, which turned out to be extremely straightforward. After a few phone calls and emails Peter received confirmation that his policies would pay out in full and he could expect £380,000 in his bank account.

Avoiding the financial impact of serious illness
Thanks to careful financial planning and an appreciation of the difference a critical illness plan can have on the financial impact of a serious illness, Peter and his family now have the freedom to make choices.

They have been able to make two platform investments, one that would act as a pension for Peter’s wife, and the other to enable Peter, a higher-rate tax payer, to maximise his personal allowance every tax year. They have also reduced their mortgage and swapped it from interest only to repayment.

This case study highlights the importance of protection especially if you have a loan or you’re the main breadwinner.

Please talk to us if you think you need cover, or you need to update your existing provision.

Social

Could your status update affect your claim?

Could your status update affect your claim?

Given the nature of social media and the millions of us who use it every day, you probably weren’t alone in posting pictures, videos and status updates showing off your recent Christmas presents and festive celebrations.

But did you stop to think that posting information like this on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat could be advertising your property, your whereabouts and your latest expensive Christmas gadget to criminals, and potentially void your home insurance?

Counting the cost of burglary
There were 650,000 domestic burglaries in the 12 months to March 2017, costing, on average, £2,267 in stolen valuables and £566 worth of damage.

Figures also show that the number of claims relating to domestic burglary increases by a whopping 36% from November to March. This could be down to the longer nights providing more opportunities for criminal activity, and the likelihood of burglars finding expensive purchases and presents following the Christmas period.

Take a break from social media
If you suffer a break-in shortly after publishing your latest holiday snaps on social media, it could lead to your home insurance provider deciding you are partly at fault for advertising an empty property and this could affect your claim.

Are you vulnerable?
When assessing an application for home insurance, insurers are reportedly considering asking homeowners if they use social media, as the risk of over-sharing becomes more and more common. If you use social media and think it could affect your home insurance, consider taking the following steps to reduce your risk:

  1. Turn off location-based services on the social media accounts you use
  2. Never share your home address on social media
  3. Make your posts private so that only your friends and connections can see them

It also makes sense to review your home insurance cover, especially after Christmas or birthdays when you may have bought or received expensive items.

If you’re concerned you may not have the right type of cover, or you think you might be underinsured, please talk to us.

Adviser Jobs

The business of protection

The business of protection

Every business has a lifecycle; from its early development through to start-up, expansion and, hopefully, maturity and exit. At any stage, though, it’s important to consider how key assets or loans are protected in the event that something risks the ability to continue trading.

Key person protection
Perhaps the greatest asset of a business is its people. Despite this, Legal & General’s latest ‘State of the Nation’s Small and Medium Enterprises’ research found that more than half of the UK’s small businesses think they would cease trading in less than a year if a key employee died or became unable to work. This stark figure highlights the importance of protecting the people responsible for the continuing success or growth of the business.

If your business relies on certain employees, it’s important to arrange protection against the financial loss caused by their death or serious illness.

An insurance policy often referred to as Key Person Insurance can be taken out on the life or health of such an employee. This may be appropriate where that individual’s knowledge, work, or overall contribution is considered uniquely valuable to the company. It can cover the costs or losses that may be caused by the loss of that person.

Business loan protection
After the initial whirlwind of setting up a business passes and thoughts turn to growth, the business owners might choose to borrow money to fund its expansion. In fact, the research from Legal and General shows two thirds of businesses have some form of borrowing.

The most common type of borrowing taken out over £50,000 is for business loans, overdrafts and Directors Loan accounts.

Most types of business loans can be protected with a policy that provides a lump sum to cover loans and other credit facilities if a business owner dies, or in some cases becomes seriously ill (if critical illness cover is included).

Share protection
Once a business is more established, a share protection policy might be appropriate because it can help cover the value of an owner’s share of a business. If an owner dies or is diagnosed with a critical illness, share protection written in trust can provide the other business owners with enough cash to buy out the shares and continue to run the business.

Whether you’re just starting up, or looking to expand your business, we can advise on a range of business protection options that might be suitable. Please get in touch.

Life Insurance

Peace of mind for the cost of a coffee

Peace of mind for the cost of a coffee

Many of us pick up a morning coffee on the way to work – it’s a little bit of luxury to start the day for just a couple of pounds. But did you know you could provide something even more satisfying for you and your loved ones for less than the cost of that coffee?

Peace of mind
Protection insurance (or, more specifically, life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection) should be considered essential – especially if you have a mortgage, or people who depend on your income.

A life insurance policy can provide much-needed funds if you’re no longer able to work through illness, injury, or worse. There are even some policies that will also cover you for unemployment. Cover provides peace of mind because you know you and your family will be financially supported if the unexpected happens – and cover might be cheaper than you think.

When it comes to a claim…
If you’ve declined the offer of protection insurance in the past because you don’t believe your insurer would pay out, think again. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), 97.3% of all protection insurance claims paid out in 2016, totalling £4.7bn. That’s around £13m a day paid to households hit by the emotional and financial distress and disruption that an unexpected accident, serious illness or death can cause.

Things change – and so should your cover
Even if you already have one or more of these types of plans in place, it’s still important to regularly review your cover levels. Personal circumstances can change and you should make sure your level of cover remains appropriate.

Choose security
Next time you’re in the queue wondering whether to go for a flat white or hazelnut mocha, why not consider a third option and choose long-term financial security for you and your loved ones. The satisfaction it can provide you is far greater than that from a coffee.

Based on latest data, a 35-year-old non-smoker looking for £250,000 decreasing life assurance and critical illness to cover a 25-year repayment mortgage, could pay a premium of £58.54 per month, equivalent to £1.88 per day based on a 31-day month.

Figures correct as at 7/8/2017

If you’d like more information on what sort of protection insurance would suit your circumstances, please get in touch.

Family Cycle

Protecting your mortgage repayments

Protecting your mortgage repayments

We think protection advice is imperative when you have a home or family you want to protect. So, talk to us about a mortgage and we’ll talk to you about life cover.

Buying a house could be one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make: getting a deposit together
can wipe out your savings and paying your mortgage will take a chunk out of your income. So how would
your family continue to meet this commitment if you stopped earning?

When taking out a mortgage, it’s essential to consider how you would continue to cover your mortgage
payments if you fell ill or died unexpectedly. There are a number of ways you can do this:

Life Insurance
If you died suddenly, a Life Insurance policy would pay out a cash sum to your dependents. They could
use this to pay off their mortgage and keep the roof over their heads.

Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance (MPPI)
Also known as Accident Sickness and Unemployment (ASU) cover, MPPI covers your mortgage related
repayments if you can’t work because of redundancy, accident or ill-health. Benefits are usually paid for 12
months although some providers offer 24 months’ cover.

Critical Illness Insurance
Critical Illness Insurance pays out a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a specified critical illness such
as cancer, stroke or heart attack. You can use the cash payout to clear your mortgage, pay for medical
treatment, take time to recuperate or anything else you choose.

Income Protection
Income Protection can replace part of your income if you’re unable to work for a long time due to illness
or disability. It will pay out until you return to work or the policy ends – whichever happens first. Income
Protection plans usually have a waiting period before the benefit becomes payable.

Choosing to protect yourself

When you take out a mortgage through us, we’ll ask if you want to take out protection as well. What’s more, we will analyse your lifestyle and any protection shortfall and recommend a protection plan that will help protect you and your family from the financial consequences of serious illness or death.