LIFE INSURANCE

What insurance do I need?

What insurance do I need?
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You might take a careful approach to everyday living, but it's a wise move to have insurance. The unexpected can happen - often at a financially inconvenient time - so whether it's your health, home or vehicle, it's a smart move to have cover for life's troublesome moments.

New findings from Roy Morgan Research show 1.4 million insurance policies are unlikely to be renewed with the existing insurer in the next 12 months - 3.8 percent of the overall motor vehicle and household insurance market.

"Loyalty cannot be taken for granted despite the high levels currently experienced in the General Insurance market," stated Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan Research.

"The current market highlights opportunities for those looking to expand their market share, but also highlights the need to protect territory and customers."

Just as you would run a credit card comparison when investigating your borrowing options, so too should you run an insurance comparison if you're looking to switch providers or take out first-time cover.

Preserve your health

Under the government's Medicare scheme, users are entitled to free or subsidised health treatments and care as a public patient in a public hospital. 

However, the Medicare Benefits Schedule limits financial coverage for some treatments and procedures, as well as ancillary costs, such as theatre fees. Alongside flexibility and choice, this is one reason why many Australians choose to take out private health insurance.

In Australia, the government's Private Health Insurance Rebate offers most Australians a 30 percent rebate on their insurance costs. However, if you purchase hospital cover after the 1st of July following your 31st birthday, you will be slogged with a loading (Lifetime Health Cover) on top of your premium, which will then increase each year. If you have no private hospital insurance at all, you could be charged a Medicare Levy Surcharge when you lodge your tax return.

There are various types of private health insurance, including hospital, extras and ambulance cover. You can take out health insurance for yourself, you and your spouse or your entire family.

Protect your vehicle 

Okay — you've run a credit card comparison and weighed up your health insurance options. What next?

Insuring your vehicle is a must if you want to protect yourself financially. Comprehensive car insurance takes care of vehicle replacement or repair costs of your vehicle if a covered event occurs. It also covers damage caused to others' vehicles. There's nothing worse than paying off a car loan on a vehicle you've written off with no insurance policy in the mix!

By contrast, third-party insurance covers situations where you damage another person's vehicle or property. At a minimum, it's good to have third-party insurance. Even if your own vehicle seems barely worth insuring, if you rear-end a brand-new sportscar, the repair bill could be a massive financial burden.

Insure your home

If you're a property owner, home and contents insurance is a must if you want to protect against theft, damage, floods, burglary, vandalism or fire. 

However, you should also seek insurance if you're a tenant to protect against theft of your belongings or fire. If you've signed a tenancy agreement that holds you both joint and severally liable, it's prudent to protect against all possible events - even those caused by a careless flat mate!

Go travelling with ease

Finally, don't forget to take out travel insurance if you've got a whirlwind holiday planned. 

From protection for missing luggage to overseas hospital fees, it can be comforting to know that you're covered for any mishaps that occur while abroad.

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