Benefits of Income Protection

Benefits of Income Protection

What is income protection insurance?

Income protection insurance is a long-term insurance policy to safe guard you if you can no longer work because you’re ill or injured.

  • It replaces part or most of your income – if you cannot work because you become ill or disabled.
  • It pays out until you can start working again – or until you retire, die or the end of the policy term – whichever is sooner.
  • There’s often a waiting period before the payments start – you generally set payments to start after your sick pay ends, or after any other insurance stops covering you. The longer you wait, the lower the monthly premiums.
  • It covers most illnesses and accidents that leave you unable to work – either in the short or long term (depending on the type of policy and its definition of incapacity).
  • You can claim as many times as you need to – while the policy lasts.

Do you need it?

  • According to the ABI, in the UK alone one million workers a year find themselves unable to work due to a serious illness or injury.
  • It doesn’t matter whether or not you have children or other dependants – if illness would mean you couldn’t pay the bills, you should consider income protection insurance.
  • You’re most likely to need it if you’re self-employed or employed and you don’t have long-term sick pay to fall back on.
  • Check what your employer will provide for you if you’re off sick with a serious illness.

Who doesn’t need it?

You might not need income protection insurance if:

  • You could survive on government benefits – but they might not be enough to cover all your outgoings.
  • You have enough savings to support yourself – remember that your savings might need to see you through a long period of time.
  • You could take early retirement – if you’re near retirement age, perhaps you could afford to retire early. If you’re unable to return to work you might be entitled to take your pension early.
  • Your partner or family would support you – perhaps your partner has enough income to cover everything the two of you need.

Please note this article is for information purposes only.

Shareholder Protection Insurance Cover

Shareholder Protection Insurance Cover

What happens if an owner or part-owner of a company dies unexpectedly?

Regardless of the industry you operate in, it’s critical to ensure that you protect your business with a safety net. After all, it represents not only the livelihood of you and your family, but also that of your employees and fellow shareholders.

The event of a business owner dying unexpectedly can have a serious detrimental effects on their enterprise, not to mention the lives of their family. When it comes to distributing shares, family members and other beneficiaries may prefer to cash them in. Meanwhile other shareholders may wish to purchase the shares but may not have adequate funds at their disposal. This is where shareholder protection insurance comes in extremely useful.

The benefits of shareholder protection insurance:

  • A safe and stable business plan
  • Support for family members
  • It covers serious illnesses

Key Person Insurance

The death of a key employee in a business can have a devastating financial impact. You can provide your business with a safety net against the death, terminal or critical illness of a key employee with key person protection.

  • What is Key Person Protection?

Put simply, Key Person Protection (also known as key man insurance) is a business insuring itself against the financial loss it would suffer if a key person in their business died or were diagnosed with a specified critical illness.

  • How does Key Person Protection Work?

Key Person Protection is a life assurance or life assurance and critical illness cover policy taken out to cover the life of a key person within your business. The policy is owned and paid for by the employer, so any pay-out is payable to the employer.

  • Why do I need Key Person Protection?

The business could suffer badly, with sales and profits falling and increased workloads for the remaining staff. The reason this coverage is so important in a small company is because the death of a key person could also lead to the immediate death of the company itself.

What is Key Person Insurance

What is Key Person Insurance?

Key person insurance (also known as Key man insurance) put simply, is life insurance on a key person within a business. In a small business this is typically the business owner, or perhaps a key employee or two. These are the people who are critical to a business — the ones whose absence could potentially sink the company. For example if something happened to the top sales person, the loss of revenue could cause major financial implications for the business.

So how does Key Person Insurance work?

Here’s how key person insurance works: A company purchases a life insurance policy on its key employee(s), pays the premiums and is the beneficiary of the policy. If that person unexpectedly dies, the company receives the insurance payoff. The reason this coverage is important is because the death of a key person in a small company can cause the immediate death of that company. The purpose of key person insurance is to help the company survive the blow of losing the person who makes the business work.

The company can use the insurance proceeds for expenses until it can find a replacement person, or, if necessary, pay off debts, distribute money to investors, pay severance to employees and close the business down in an orderly manner. In a tragic situation, key person insurance gives the company some options other than immediate bankruptcy.

If the company is a sole proprietorship and employs just you and no other employees or has no other people who depend on it, then key person insurance isn’t as necessary. You’ll notice we didn’t mention your family – don’t confuse key person insurance with personal life insurance. If you have a spouse and/or children who depend on your income, then you should have personal life insurance for that purpose.

Who typically needs this insurance?

Look at your business and think about who is irreplaceable in the short term. Within small businesses certain key staff hold so much experience and knowledge of processes and systems, that if anything was to happen to them, it’s not just a matter of replacing them – a new person could take years to fill their boots.

In many small businesses, it’s the owner who holds the company together – they may keep the books, manage the employees, handle the key customers and so on. If that person is gone, the business pretty much stops.

How much key person insurance do you need?

That depends on your business, we recommend you seek independent financial advice from an adviser who is experienced in business protection.

This article should be taken as information only and should not be taken as advice.

The Hidden Facts Surrounding Price Comparison Websites

The Hidden Facts Surrounding Price Comparison Websites

General Insurance: The Hidden Facts Surrounding Price Comparison Websites

An investigation was recently undertaken by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to determine the level of service that Price Comparison Websites (PCW) provides to their customers.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, but operates independently of the United Kingdom government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry.

The main findings by the FCA were that the information these PCWs were providing were often lacking in detail and were not always clear.

  • Misleading information in relation to cover levels, excesses and exclusions.

They found that the PCWs did not always make the product information clear and consistent so individuals were not aware and did not understand what their policy entailed or included. It was also apparent that these website’s focal point was their price. Therefore, this resulted in many features of the policy being removed, even though it was suitable for the client.

  • There is a significant confusion over the service these PCWs provide.

It was evident that due to the personalised questions asked on these quotes, customers felt their quote was tailored to their own needs, whereas in reality they were left with a policy that did not satisfy them.

  • The PCWs completed an automatic credit search on the quotes submitted.

Many PCWs often carried out a credit search when an individual completed a quote without the individual knowing; this highlights the issue that using these websites could have a significant impact in the future when you come to apply for a mortgage. In some cases clients were found to have had over 30 credit searches made against them.

  • There were often misleading fees applicable that are not made visible.

It was made obvious that while these PCWs were declaring that it didn’t cost anything to use these sites, in many circumstances there was an indirect cost to the individual as the providers may include the fee they pay the PCW when calculating the cost for their chosen product.

Furthermore, many PCWs also did not make it transparent that with this policy, there could be additional fees such as cancellations or mid-term adjustments.

Although these PCWs can be useful for individuals, seeking professional help from Independent Financial Advisers could provide you with General Insurance that is suitable to your needs at a competitive price. Independent Financial Advisers also ensure that you understand the product and can provide advice on the whole of the market and are not tied to just a few General Insurance providers.

We can provide you with a Home Insurance Quote without the hidden dangers, fill in our form for a Quick Insurance Quote

 

This article should be taken as information only and should not be taken as advice.

Critical Illness Insurance the Basic Facts

Critical Illness Insurance the Basic Facts

Critical illness cover allows the policyholder to receive a lump sum if they’re diagnosed with a life-threatening illness for example a heart attack of a specified severity, or a loss of limb that results in permanent physical severance.

You are able to choose the amount of critical illness cover you want. This means that you could receive a lump sum big enough to pay off any existing debts including your mortgage, providing you with the peace of mind that in the event of a critical illness occurring, you are able to maintain your standard of living, whilst ensuring your debts can be paid off.

Critical illness plans mostly benefit individuals who do not possess any savings that could be used to support you if you became critically ill. Likewise, it would benefit individuals that do not have a good employee benefits package which covers you for a period of time if you were off work due to illness.

Critical illness cover can often be expensive, so it may not be for you if you are on a strict budget.

It is important to be aware that just because you have critical illness cover, you may not be able to claim. This is because the definitions of critical illness frequently vary with different providers. Therefore, it is essential that you check the providers T&C in order to determine what critical illnesses apply to you.

This article is intended for information purposes only and should not be taken as advice. Seeking professional help can provide you with the best possible route for your protection planning.

The Importance of Life Insurance

The Importance of Life Insurance

Individuals often ignore the need of the life insurance as they do not want to think about the concept of death. However, it is vital that more people establish life insurance as it can:

  • Ensure the security of your family and loved ones

Establishing life assurance can help to secure the future of your loved ones and family. It is particularly important when they depend on your financial support for their current lifestyle; this especially relates to parents with young children or couples who may find it hard to cope without the others added income. Life insurance provides you with the peace of mind that in the event of your death; your family will be protected, ensuring their standard of living isn’t affected.

  • Ensure that any debts can be paid off

Having life insurance also provides your loved ones with extra financial support for any debts you may have left. For example, it could help them to cover the cost of the remaining mortgage repayments. This will provide you with certainty that your estate will be left debt free and the financial and emotional burden of debt does not fall on your loved ones.

  • Ensure some inheritance is left

In the event of an individual’s death, they can name beneficiaries that they wish to receive this claim. Therefore, this can be seen as inheritance even if you do not have any other assets to pass on to your loved ones. This will provide you with confidence that your children, spouse etc has a positive financial future.

Individuals can often be sceptical of life assurance companies paying out but according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), in 2013 £3.1bn was paid out to 99,000 customers/families as a result from claims on people’s protection policies. Likewise, out of the claims that were made during 2013, 97% were paid out.

Important Considerations

  • Determining the amount of life cover: It is important that you do not just guess a random amount, you need to establish a suitable and appropriate amount and seeking professional help can really help to establish this.
  • Don’t rely on your employees workplace benefits: You need to check that the benefits provided is enough to cover your loved ones future and also take into account that once you stop working for that company, you may lose this benefit.

This article should be taken as information only and should not be taken as advice.

A to Z House Insurance

A to Z House Insurance

In regards to house insurance, the main policies individuals can obtain are:

  • Building
  • Contents
  • Combined Buildings & Contents

Building Insurance

This policy ensures that the structure, fixtures & the fittings of your home is covered. This type of insurance is compulsory if you have a mortgage.  If you rent, there is no need to have this insurance as it should be covered by your landlord. You are usually covered against events such as flooding, fires and vandalism etc, but it is vital that you check your terms and conditions to clarify what you are covered for.

Contents Insurance

This policy covers your belongings within your home. Although not compulsory, it is a policy individuals should consider if you have expensive or sentimental items. This policy usually protects you against theft and damage of your belongings within your home and garage.

Combined Buildings & Contents

This policy includes cover for the structure & your belongings; this policy is most suitable to individuals who own their homes.

It is important to be aware that just because you have insurance, it doesn’t protect against everything. Often home insurance won’t cover you for events such as terrorism and general wear and tear. Therefore, individuals must take care when reading the small print in order to determine what your own policy covers.

Making a Claim

When making a claim, it is important to be aware of several factors:

  • Excess
  • Accidental Damage
  • New for Old

Excess

If you make a claim, the excess is the amount you pay towards the cost. If your policy has a higher excess cost, your premiums will generally be cheaper. This is because in the event of you claiming, the provider will be paying out less.

Each policy usually comes with a compulsory and a voluntary excess. For example, if your laptop was stolen and your claim was £400 and you had an excess of £100, you would receive £300 for your claim as you would have had to pay your agreed excess cost of £100. If your cover also involved a voluntary excess, for example £50; this would mean you would pay your compulsory £100, and your voluntary £50, giving you a sum of £250.

Subsidence is when the ground beneath your home begins to sink. Building insurance often covers damage caused by subsidence so when it comes to claiming for this, the excess can be very expensive, depending on your terms and conditions it can range between £1,000 and £5,000.

Accidental Damaged

Cover for accidental damage to buildings or contents can often be limited within home insurance policies. Many providers may offer the feature of extra cover for accidental damage, but this usually results in an added cost. Therefore, it is very important that you check your terms and conditions in order to clarify what your own cover consists of.

New for Old

Depending on your cover, you can be entitled to brand new products or you may only receive products that are equal to the value at the time of damage or theft etc. In certain circumstances, insurers may only offer the cost of actually repairing the product rather than replacing it.  Therefore, the small print must be studied to understand your cover.

Several other features of house insurance can often be forgotten, but it is essential to be aware of what your individual policy covers you for:

  • Garden Cover
  • Trace & Access Cover
  • High risk Items
  • Personal Possession Cover

Garden Cover

Although buildings and contents cover may include some cover for your garden, the level of this cover will differ with different insurers. Many individuals may underestimate the value of their gardens with the equipment and plants etc so for some individuals, garden cover should be considered.

Trace & Access Cover

This cover involves finding the source of water or gas leaks. Frequently, in these events the costs can add up fast and can be extremely disruptive to your day to day life. Like garden cover, the levels of cover for trace & access can vary and may not actually be covered within your standard policy. If you are covered for trace and access, it can aid with paying for the process of finding the damaged pipes and repairing the problem. Therefore, it is important to check within the small print to establish whether this cover is included or whether the insurer is willing to add this onto the policy.

High Risk Items

Insurance of high risk items is not necessarily the most expensive items held within your home but the items which are mostly likely to be stolen. Usually, insurers ask you to record the contents in your home you feel are the high risk items; this then aids the insurer to determine the premium that is best for you and whether that will actually cover you for high risk item insurance. Cover for these items can be found within standard cover but sometimes they can be limited. Therefore, it is key that you are informed of what high risk items are included in your cover, if any.

Personal Possession Cover

Although contents insurance covers belongings within your home, they don’t cover your belongings that are stolen, damaged or lost away from the home. Some policies automatically include this cover within their standard terms so reading the terms and conditions can help you establish whether your needs are catered for.

Need an insurance quote? Call Heritage today.