When you turn 18 in the UK, banks will start throwing credit cards at you, while everyone else will try and sell you insurance. Insurance documents are confusing and full of legalese, so you could be forgiven for being confused by it all. The following types of insurance are the most important for any UK adult to understand.
Home and Contents Insurance
Home insurance is a type of insurance that covers the costs of repairing any damage that your home suffers. This can include natural disasters like floods, high winds, felled trees, and any other ‘acts of God’, as they are known in legalese. Home insurance will also protect you if you are the victim of arson, burglary, or other crimes that cause damage to your property. There are two components to home insurance, buildings insurance, and contents insurance.
Buildings insurance doesn’t cover general wear and tear. Over time, any home will begin to degrade in some way. If you buy a new house, you may never have to worry about the wear and tear. If you have a family, some damage is all but inevitable.
Having buildings insurance may be a requirement in the UK for your mortgage lender. If you rent your property, you don’t have to pay for buildings insurance – that will be up to your landlord. Most mortgage lenders will require you to have building cover before they will lend to you.
If your home does suffer any damage, then the cost of repairs can add up very quickly. Buildings insurance could save you a lot of money. In some cases, buildings insurance will be the difference between repairing your home and having to write it off. Make sure that you always read your home insurance documents thoroughly so you understand exactly what is and isn’t covered.
Contents insurance, the other component of home insurance, covers the items within your home. If high-value items are stolen or damaged, then your insurance will cover some or all of the costs of replacing them. Like with your buildings insurance, contents insurance doesn’t protect your items from expected wear and tear – you can’t claim for a games console that breaks down, for example.
With both types of home insurance, if you leave your property unoccupied for a certain period, your insurance may no longer cover you. You can also augment your home insurance policy in some cases so that it also covers items that you take outside the home.
Pet insurance will help you to cover the costs of vet treatments that your pet may require. Pet insurance is usually sold on a per-animal basis, although some providers offer multi-pet packages. Some breeds of cats and dogs are much more susceptible to certain illnesses and health conditions. Insuring these animals might cost a little more with some providers, but it still represents excellent value when compared to the costs of paying for treatment out of pocket.
Vet bills can be very expensive and if they come at the wrong time then they can leave pet owners facing an impossible choice between their finances and their pets. There is nothing more heartbreaking than having to put an animal down because you can’t afford to treat their illness. The cost of veterinary procedures and medicines is rising; the costs of medicine could soon be even higher for the UK.
Pet insurance doesn’t typically cover elective procedures such as spaying and neutering. These you will have to pay for out of your pocket. Your policy will also often become invalidated if you fail to keep up with all the necessary jabs and shots for your pet. If your pet is already very old, it can be difficult to get a new insurance policy for them. Some insurance providers have upper age limits where you’ll need to be covered by them before that age. Though if you stay with them, they should cover your pet as your pet gets older.
You may struggle to find pet insurance for pre-existing conditions, although that’s not to say that it can’t be done. Any plan that applies to a pet with a pre-existing condition can raise the costs. Cats and dogs that are genetically predisposed towards certain health issues will usually cost more to insure, but their breed isn’t treated as a pre-existing condition.
For an example of the kind of dog insurance available in the UK, check out everypaw.com here – https://www.everypaw.com/dog-insurance. Note that in addition to providing cover for vet bills, Everypaw’s insurance also provides cover, up to the policy limits, for the cost of cancelling a holiday at short notice because of your pet’s health. It also provides cover for the costs of advertising to help you locate a lost or stolen pet.
If you plan on travelling outside the UK, travel insurance will protect you from the most common unexpected costs that you might incur in an emergency. Most travel insurance packages will cover unexpected medical costs that you face abroad. Remember, not every country is lucky enough to have a health service as we do in the UK. In many countries, suffering an unexpected injury can prove to be very expensive.
If you have a pre-existing health condition before you go on holiday, this will usually be excluded from your coverage. For example, if you have a pre-existing heart condition and then suffer a heart attack on holiday, your travel insurance may not cover the costs of being treated for a heart attack while you are abroad.
Most policies have a technical limit on the cost of treatments you can claim, but this cap should be in the £1 million range. They may also be able to cover you to fly you home at the earliest opportunity.
As well as covering you in a medical emergency, travel insurance will also protect your most valuable possessions in the case of theft or damage.
Insurance can be a minefield for young adults. Insurance is one of those subjects that they don’t cover in school, and so people are often thrown in at the deep end. It is worth finding out about the most common types of insurance in the UK and how they work.