Every consumer’s personal circumstances can be diverse, it’s critical to review all the specifics of your situation before making a choice about whether or not to buy certain types of insurance. It’s vital to evaluate the risk against the actual cost you’re actually paying for the protection.
These are Top Tips to make you think – not necessarily act. We’re not advising that you cancel any of the following types of insurance. You should study your own circumstances, carry out more detailed research, and then make your decision. Get professional advice if necessary.
Extended Product Warranties – These “extended warranties” are usually worth skipping. A service contract is simply a promise to perform or pay for certain repairs or services. Service contracts often duplicate what’s provided in the standard warranty you get with a car or an appliance. Read your regular warranty carefully. Then compare it to the service contract. Sometimes, you can purchase service contracts later, when the original warranty expires.
Extra policies for specific items – These items may include portable items, normally stored in your house such as jewellery, bicycles or laptop computers. Buying separate policies to cover such things may not be your best choice. While some policies provide added liability coverage and other features, check out if supplemental coverage is already available through your existing home insurance policy. A major reason is cost. Think of it as buying in bulk. When you add a “rider” to an existing policy, it usually costs less than trying to buy a whole new policy. Also, many of these “things that move” are already covered by your home insurance, albeit at less-than-ideal levels.
Insurance on items on items you’ve just purchased – We’ve all experienced the situation where you’ve just bought a TV, a mobile phone, a PDA or other small electronics equipment, and you’re offered insurance by the kind sales people. I’ve experienced a situation where someone’s told me that the item is prone to breaking and that I’d be better off insuring it – I canceled my purchase immediately instead. You don’t need this insurance – the manufacturers warranty will cover the item breaking, and your home insurance will cover it in your home.
Loan Protection Insurance – This insurance is often pushed on consumers when taking out a loan. The most important thing to remember about credit insurance is that a lender cannot make you buy it. This insurance is for a situation where the policy will pay the lender if you can’t. So why would you want to pass on credit insurance? Consider the likelihood of you not being able to pay, and if you were to lose your regular income? And in such a situation, how likely is it that you won’t quickly find a new job? How much long term savings do you have that you could dip into for a short period if absolutely necessary? There are more sensible and cheaper alternatives than taking out this kind of insurance.
Credit Card Payment Protection Insurance – Similar to Loan Protection Insurance above – evaluate the risk of you being unable to pay your debts at all in the future.
Mortgage protection insurance – It’s more expensive than it’s worth. Besides, you could do better with another policy – one that you might already have. These policies are designed to make your mortgage payments if you die or become disabled. If you’re worried about burdening your heirs with mortgage payments, you’d be better off buying straight life insurance. Adding onto your existing life insurance policy is less expensive than mortgage life.
Health Insurance – In 2006, Brendan Burgess of AskAboutMoney.com, in an article about insurance you might not need, that “you should not take out health insurance if you’re healthy – a young, fit non-smoker, for example. If you’re an older person, and a smoker with a medical history, you should probably take out health insurance, because it’s the same price.” Mr. Burgess added “There’s also this stupid element where the health insurer pays your doctors’ bills. You shouldn’t insure for routine expenses that might be €50 to €250 in a year, but are unlikely to be above that.” The insurance premium may quite likely be more than the benefit you receive.
Additional Extras when Hiring a Car – When you rent a car, you’re going to be offered additional insurance, and it’s not cheap. But does your own car insurance cover you for driving other cars anyway? If you’ve booked by credit card, will the sometimes automatic insurance provided by your card provider provide you cover instead?
Life insurance – Do you have any dependants? Life insurance is money that goes to people who count on your income. If you’re single with no kids, you probably don’t need life insurance. If your spouse is employed and can support himself or herself, you probably don’t need it.
AA or RAC Membership – This is insurance really against your car breaking down. But check your car insurance policy – most companies now include breakdown cover as part of the overall insurance package they give you.
Pet Insurance – I know, I know. But really, think about it.