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Protection

Quite often you hear ‘it could never happen to me’ or ‘I’ll sort it out later’.

Well, the old maxim of “failing to plan is planning to fail” is no better suited to the ignoring of crucial decisions on protection.

Insurance

We can search through a range of policies to find the one that suits you best from our extensive list of insurers.

So this year leave the shopping to us, as just one phone call could find the best cover and price for you.

Accident, Sickness & Unemployment

Accident, Sickness & Unemployment Insurance


Accident Sickness and Unemployment insurance is the only policy that covers you against losing your income through redundancy.

In the current climate of job uncertainty, knowing that you’ll be able to keep up to date with your bills in the event of redundancy is one less thing to worry about, and having that peace of mind knowing that your family’s welfare and lifestyle can be maintained if you become unemployed due to job cuts, or simply through ill-health can be a weight of one’s mind.

So what does ASU insurance provide me?

ASU insurance is a time-limited insurance product that provides short term assistance in paying your debts, in the event that you are temporarily unable to work.

ASU cover usually starts a month after you stop work, and pays out for a limited period of 12 or 24 months, depending on the policy. As independent advisers we take a whole of market approach, and look at all available ASU policies to find the cover that’s right for you.

When considering ASU insurance, reading the small print is essential, as there are important differences between the various policies available. It is particularly important to check which health conditions are covered by each policy, and if you have had a particular health issue in the past, to make sure that is included, or, more importantly, that it is not excluded for you.

Buildings Insurance

Buildings Insurance


If you have a mortgage, your lender will insist that your property (and their security) is protected by buildings insurance. It usually pays out if your property is destroyed by fire, floods or subsidence (although you will need to check if you live on a flood plain, for example). Damage to fixed fittings such as baths and kitchens are often included, as well as sheds, greenhouses and garages.

You might be offered buildings insurance when you take out your mortgage, but you don’t have to take what’s on offer. Use the key policy information to shop around and get the best deal for you.

If you purchase a leasehold property (such as a flat in a block of flats) the freeholder may have arranged buildings insurance for the whole block, in which case you may not need your own buildings policy.

What isn’t covered?

Your cover is based on what your home would cost to rebuild. You can check whether you have enough buildings insurance through the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) website. It has an online tool to help you calculate the sum you should insure your building(s) for, in case your home has to be entirely rebuilt.

You need to tell your insurer if you extend your property, for example with a loft conversion or conservatory. Your belongings are not covered – these need to be covered separately with contents insurance – see Contents insurance.

Keeping costs down

As always, shop around. You may also find that you get a better deal if you buy buildings and contents insurance together. Most policies have a standard excess charge which means you agree to pay the first part of any claim, for example the first £50 or £100. If you agree to pay a higher excess you might get a cheaper policy. Always compare what’s covered by a policy, not just the price – the key policy information will help you do this. Some might be cheaper than others, but they may not offer the same level of protection.

Benefits Include:

  • Accidental Damage Cover
  • Building Cover
  • No Claims Discount
  • Legal Liability
  • Metered Water
  • Loss of rent or costs for alternative accommodation
Business Protection

Business Protection


Business Protection aims to reduce the financial impact of death or critical illness affecting key people within your client’s business.

Helping to protect the future of your business

Do you depend heavily on the skills and judgements of others within your business? Are these people vital to its effectiveness and profitability? If so, have you considered the financial impact that the death or critical illness of such a key person would have on your business?

The impact could be:

  • A loss of profit
  • An interruption to cash flow
  • An inability to make loan repayments
  • A change in shareholder control.

In some instances, the financial impact could be so great, that the business is unable to continue. Business Protection allows you to put in place cover that would ensure that funds become available, should a key person in your business become critically ill or die.

Contents Insurance

Contents Insurance


What’s it for?

It covers the loss of or damage to the contents of your home. This includes your furniture, electrical goods and other items within your home. Some policies cover you for items you take outside, for example cameras, jewellery and briefcases. Different policies offer different levels of cover but generally you’ll be covered against theft and fire, and have the option to insure against damage you may cause by accident. It is always vital that you thoroughly read and understand the full policy terms and conditions.

If not already covered by your contents insurance, you may want to consider travel insurance for loss or damage to your personal belongings whilst travelling. For more information see Travel insurance.

What isn’t covered?

Anything beyond the maximum amount your insurer says they will pay, and it may pay a maximum amount on single articles. You’ll need to specify the value of the contents. Some companies have limits on the value of any one item under the general policy so you’ll need to specify individual items such as expensive jewellery or camera equipment, for example. Your cover may also be affected or cancelled if you leave your home empty for a long period of time, or if you let it out. Damage to the building itself is also not covered; this needs to be covered separately with Buildings insurance – see Buildings insurance.

Keeping costs down

Many insurers will offer discounts if you have a burglar alarm, window locks or if you’re a member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. You may also get a deal if you combine contents and buildings insurance.

Most policies have a standard excess charge which means you agree to pay the first part of any claim, for example the first £50 or £100. If you agree to pay a higher excess you might get a cheaper policy.

Always compare what’s covered by a policy, not just the price – the key policy information will help you do this. Some might be cheaper than others, but they may not offer the same level of protection.

Level of cover

Some contents insurance policies offer new for old. This means they’ll replace old damaged appliances and possessions with new ones when you claim.

Bear in mind that your premiums may increase the following year, or the insurance company may refuse to cover you for the same risk if it happens more than twice, for example.

Benefits Include

  • Accidental Damage Cover
  • Credit Card Misuse
  • Deeds, registered bonds and personal documents
  • No Claims Discount
  • Domestic outbuilding contents (other than garages)
  • Door lock replacement
  • Frozen food
  • Garden
  • Gold, silver, jewellery and furs
  • Money
  • Seasonal / Wedding increase info
Critical Illness Cover

Critical Illness Cover


What is it?

A Critical Illness plan is designed to pay out a lump sum on the diagnosis of certain specified illnesses. It is often ‘bolted on’ to a life assurance policy as an additional benefit but can also be a standalone plan.

Who is it for?

This type of plan is designed for those individuals or families whom want a lump sum if they are diagnosed with a serious illness. As an example of where this lump sum could be used is to repay a loan, mortgage, or perhaps pay for time off work. The lump sum could even be used to pay for any necessary alterations to your home.

The quality of cover and the illnesses covered can vary significantly between different providers. As Independent Financial Advisors we can help you find the plan that best meets your requirements.

Income Protection

Income Protection


What is it?

An Income Protection plan is designed to pay out a regular income in the event you are unable to work due to an accident or illness. These types of plans continue to pay out an income as long as you are unable to return to work up until the end date of the policy (typically your normal retirement age).

This type of plan is quite often seen as the foundation of any financial planning as it is likely that other plans will have to be given up if you do not have sufficient income coming into the household.

Who is it for?

This type of plan is designed for anyone whom is working (employed or self employed). It’s worth pointing out that even if your employer provides sick pay, it is unlikely to last for longer than twelve months and so ongoing protection is essential. Plans can be adapted to fit in with any existing protection you might have. As Independent Financial Advisors we can help you find the plan that best meets your requirements.

Key Person Protection

Key Person Protection


Your employees are one of the most important resources for the future success of your business. Have you given thought to how your company would cope if a key member of staff were to die, be diagnosed with or suffer a critical illness?

The death or critical illness of a key person is likely to have a significant impact on your business. You could suffer a loss of profits, be unable to quickly recruit a suitable replacement and face significant disruption to your own business activities.

However, you can help protect the future survival of your business with Key Person Protection, which can help you financially cope with the loss of a key person.

Life Assurance

Life Assurance


What is it?

A Term life insurance plan is the most basic form of life insurance and is usually the cheapest way to insure your life. It covers you for a fixed period and pays out a one off lump sum if you die during the policy term.

With some term insurance policies you can add additional options, for instance critical illness cover. If you do add on critical illness cover, the plan will pay out once on diagnosis of a qualifying critical illness or if you die during the term of the policy.

Who is it for?

This type of plan is designed for those who want to leave a lump sum in the event of their death within a specified time period whilst keeping the cost to a minimum. Term assurance can protect your family from the financial implications of a personal tragedy and is particularly important if you have young children or dependents. It can be used to cover a mortgage, other loan or to ensure that your family is protected from the effects of having to repay a debt after the main breadwinner has passed away. As Independent Financial Advisors we can help you find the plan that best meets your requirements.

Mortgage Payment Benefit

Mortgage Payment Benefit


It is quite possible that when times get tough you could end up worrying about how you’re going to meet your mortgage payments, whether you’re a young, first-time homeowner, with a growing family or approaching retirement.

Your home really is your most important possession and if you fail to pay your mortgage, you and your family could be faced with repossession and homelessness. For this reason mortgage insurance is a very important product to consider, whether you’re buying a new home or you’re simply looking for extra security and peace of mind.

If you were unable to work due to an accident, illness or unemployment, you would feel better knowing that your investment is protected.

Mortgage insurance offers you tax free monthly payments that help you pay your mortgage should your income cease for any reason. This could be as a result of an accident or long-term illness that has left you unable to work, or because you have been made redundant. If you were unlucky enough for any of this to happen, a comprehensive mortgage payment protection policy could ensure that you don’t fall behind on mortgage payments, thereby removing that worry while you’re out of work.

It is important to be aware that there are conditions attached to a mortgage insurance policy, and we will advise you on this. As an example some policies may not pay out until you have been out of work for a full month, although many will then backdate your first payment to include this period. Some mortgage insurance policies only cover a limited amount of time, usually 12 – 24 months, and some may offer you the option to extend your cover period, so it’s vitally important to consider your circumstances before choosing to buy a mortgage payment protection policy.

Unemployment Cover

Unemployment Cover


If you are in full time employment or self-employment you should consider the benefits of a redundancy cover plan. We are all vulnerable to the potential of involuntary redundancy and having ‘a job for life’ is no more. For your own peace of mind consider how to minimise the possible financial impact of such an important event.

How can you protect yourself against involuntary unemployment?

Well you can buy peace of mind when you take out an unemployment protection plan. Part of the payment protection insurance – PPI – family, redundancy cover provides a tax free monthly amount that can be used to help you manage financially in the event of involuntary unemployment.

Once you are made involuntarily unemployed, the policy will begin to pay out after a set period of time, and whilst this can vary among different providers it is typically from 30 to 90 days after redundancy.

What income level can you expect?

A typical plan will allow you to insure up to 50% of your monthly gross earned income, or up to £1,500 – whichever amount is the lesser, and when you compare this to whatever you may receive from the State, (not everyone is eligible for financial assistance from the Government if they are made unemployed), you’ll appreciate how valuable this type of cover can be.

How long will the cover pay out for?

This varies from provider to provider but most policies will pay out for up to 12- 24 months, or until you get back to work – whichever event is sooner, giving you peace of mind in knowing that you are still receiving an income even when yours has ceased.

Why it’s important to consider a policy

We’ve already mentioned that getting help from the State can be difficult and there are eligibility hurdles to jump. If, for example, you were unemployed and had mortgage commitments to meet, even if the State were to contribute towards your mortgage, it would only cover the interest part of the repayments.

Unemployment cover can be quite affordable and can cost from just a few pounds every month for every £100 worth of protection required. We can advise you on appropriate providers for your needs. This type of policy gives you financial breathing space at an already difficult time.