The Over-55’s are regularly targeted, uninvited, with a range of documents – and even emails – from organisations offering all sorts of insurance products, equity release, funeral plans and even pet insurance. Water companies also compete, offering policies for pipes on private property, when this is likely to be covered by existing home insurance (always check when renewing).
The information can be confusing, or even misleading, designed in such a way that the most vulnerable may be scared into taking out unnecessary policies at prices they can ill afford.
All too often, individuals fail to read the small print, explaining the terms on which they are signing up: when payouts may, or may not be made, or be insufficient to cover actual costs;
- Over time, inflation will reduce the value of the payout;
- The insurance may be insufficient to cover funeral costs;
- You may end up paying in more than is ultimately paid out;
- Monies are only paid out on the death of the policyholder;
- Should the policyholder fail to complete the payment period, cover ends without redress.
So, don’t be simply tempted by the ‘free gifts’ or a free Will writing service if you take out a policy. Wills should be drawn up to meet specific circumstances, with specialist legal advice, so remember that better value insurance is available, offering greater clarity on what cover is provided, whilst avoiding any duplication with other policies’ terms.
Equity release, for example, should be tailored to individual need and affordability: what do you intend to do with the money? Is there a better way to achieve that ambition?
Even pet insurance should meet the needs of individual animals and breeds; whilst the more sophisticated treatments now available to address ongoing health problems are expensive, most pets only require occasional veterinary treatment at reasonable cost unlikely to be covered by a policy.
What can also be concerning for some, is that occasional mailshot packages include partly completed application forms, with names and addresses filled in. Recipients should be careful to prevent identity theft when recycling the material, ensuring that they remove any personal information, tearing names and addresses off the documents into small pieces and not recycling them. Access to a shredding machine is increasingly helpful!
Before any decision, it makes sense to review all aspects of your personal finances, including life and home insurance, as well as insurance for a car, taking into account family members who may benefit from sharing costs. Careful planning for the long term, including a Will, can ease any concerns, without pressurising you to purchase unnecessary, expensive, insurance products.
Seek guidance from our Premier Equity Release professionals in one-to-one discussions, which will always remain confidential. We do not share any individual’s information.