Personal insurance, in its many forms, is designed to provide financial protection from the ‘what ifs’ that life may throw your way. But with premiums usually increasing with age, securing affordability is key.
Money’s tight and you’re thinking about budgeting? Or perhaps you’d like to afford your cover for many years to come, when you’re most likely to claim on it? Read on for our SHARE insurance advisers’ tips for reducing your premiums without compromising on quality of cover.
Be your healthiest self
Insurance providers often reward customers for their healthy lifestyle; for example, non-smokers usually pay lower premiums than smokers. So, if you’re a smoker, there’s room for significant savings. You just have to quit for at least 12 months (without any intention to restart), apply for a change of conditions and begin paying non-smoker premiums.
Focusing on your fitness is another great way to keep insurance costs down and even get rewards. Some life insurance providers offer discounts and other perks to customers who make healthy lifestyle choices, like getting health checks, exercising or eating well. It may be the incentive you didn’t know you needed to give your wellbeing a boost.
Do you have any risky hobbies, like skydiving or car-racing, and are those already covered in your policy? You may be paying a higher premium because of that.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should give up something that you like. What would life be without a bit of adventure, after all? But if you ever decide that the thrill isn’t worth the extra charge, you could review your cover and ask for that to be removed. Just make sure you don’t take any chances…
No longer need that much cover?
A good reason to regularly review your cover is the opportunity to check that you’re paying for exactly the right level of protection – not too much and not too little.
Over time, your financial circumstances may change. Since you took out cover, you may have paid down a significant chunk of your mortgage, turned an unexpected windfall into an extra source of income, or become an empty nester. In all these cases, you may be able to comfortably downsize your level of insurance cover (including any extras you no longer need) and reduce your premiums.
Like to reassess your cover? Our SHARE insurance advisers will take the time to work with you on an appropriate course of action.
Have you built a healthy rainy-day fund?
Depending on the size of your emergency funds, you may be able to change the structure of your cover. For example, you could increase the excess on your policy, which is the amount you pay (or is held back by your insurance provider) in the event of any claim. The higher the excess you select, the lower your premiums are likely to be.
Some insurance types (like income protection) also have a wait period before they start paying benefits – and again, the longer the wait period you choose, the lower the premium is likely to be. The most appropriate wait time depends on how long your family can live on reduced or even no income. So, if your emergency funds have grown, you may be in a good position to extend the wait time a bit further.
What about long-term affordability?
All the tips we’ve just gone through can help with short and medium-term affordability. But what about making sure that your cover remains affordable down the track, when you’re most likely to claim on it?
You may be interested to know that not all premium types increase with age. Some insurance providers also offer the option to lock in costs by choosing level premiums. The key difference is that level premiums usually start higher than their age-related counterparts, but they don’t increase over time.
If you’re in your 30s or 40s, and your current budget allows it, now can be a good time to consider this option. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.
Get in touch with SHARE
If you’re thinking about the affordability of your insurance plans, our SHARE advisers are here to help you adjust your cover according to your budget and protection needs, now and over time. Visit sharenz.com to find an experienced SHARE adviser near you. Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.