What Life Insurers Must Tell You

If you are planning to take out a life insurance policy, then you will need to give your insurer personal details about yourself, which will include your medical history. There are also things that your life insurer will need to tell you before and after you take your life insurance policy out.

life insurance

To ensure that you don’t miss a thing in regards to your life insurance policy, here is what your life insurer should be telling you about.

What Should Life Insurers Be Telling You

They Should Give You Your Policy Document

Your policy document is important as this is the agreed contract between you and the insurer and will contain all the specifics and details about your life insurance. The information that is contained within this document includes the type and the amount of cover as well as the terms and conditions of cover.

You should receive a copy of your policy within 30 days from the acceptance of the policy. If they fail to provide you with a copy, then you must contact your insurer and ask for one.

Make sure that you keep your document in a safe place, so that you able to refer to it when you need to.

Tell You What Your Policy Covers

You will obviously need to know what your policy actually covers, the type of cover you have like life cover or critical illness cover and the amount that you are covered for.

This information should be contained within your policy document, so it is important to read it and understand it. This information will also appear on your annual review letters and you can also contact your insurer to find out.

Alongside this, your insurer should also let you know when you can increase your cover, change the cover you have and how to do this. Likewise, if you are not able to increase or change your cover then your insurer should tell you that your policy won’t allow for this.

It is vital that you read your terms and conditions and these should be in a readable and clear text in your policy. Your insurer should go through all of these and explain everything in clear and plain language so that you understand what your policy covers.

Wait…there are still things that your life insurer should tell you about…

How the Premiums Work

Your life insurance provider will tell you what your premiums are and when they are due. It can be easier to set up a debit order so that it comes out of your account automatically each month. This will require authorisation and usually forms part of your application form, but you can also give them your details over the phone.

Also, you should be told when these premiums will increase, which can be on a specific date or on the date that you took out the contract. You should be contacted in advance about any increases, what the new amount will be and when this is due.

life cover

The Exclusions

In the terms of the policy, it should be made clear what the exclusions or waiting periods are.

You will find that life insurance policies have general exclusions and waiting periods, like a death claim, will not be paid due to suicide in the first two years. These details will be in your policy document.

However, there can be specific exclusions, which are conditions that will only apply to your policy, like claims for any specific pre-existing conditions. You must be informed about these exclusions and other details that only pertain to your policy. The insurer must tell you these before you accept the policy.

Exclusions and waiting periods should not be hidden in any fine print, or placed in small text on your policy that you can’t read it. They must be made clear and understandable.

How Do You Claim

If something should happen, then your insurance will pay out a certain amount. Your insurer will tell you when a claim is valid, how you are able to make a claim and who you will need to contact for a claim and to get the documents, you will need to fill out.

It should also be made clear if you only have a certain amount of time to make any claims.

Getting in Touch

The insurance company that you choose for your life insurance policy, should give you their full details including their company name, their registration number, their physical address and their contact details as well as their Financial Services Provider number.

This is so that you know they are a reputable and licensed company who are registered and adhere to all laws, regulations, acts and rules in place and that they are allowed to practice in South Africa.

The details outlined above will give you the assurance and peace of mind that you are insured with a good insurer, who will ensure that you understand your policy, so that you don’t get a surprise if you ever need to make a claim. Life insurance is a personal product that protects your family after your death, so you must make sure that you are using a reputable insurer and that you and your family understand your policy, so that no matter what happens you will not leave your family short.

Top Reasons to Have Funeral Insurance

Funeral insurance, also known as burial insurance, is a great and affordable way for you to protect your family and help them to pay for your final expenses after your death.

There are a number of reasons as to why you will need funeral insurance, with flowers, caskets, funeral home bills and more costing thousands and on top of that, you may have debts that you leave behind.

funeral insurance

Here are the top reasons as to why you should have funeral insurance.

Adding Up The Costs Of Funerals

If you have ever had to pay for a funeral before then you will already know how expensive they are. Funerals and final expenses can easily cost thousands and many people will not have this type of money and even if your family does have this kind of money, wouldn’t you want them to keep that money?

With funeral insurance, your family will not need to fork out thousands to give you the send-off that you deserve. Funeral insurance will pay out a lump sum that will cover the costs associated with your funeral, which means your family will be protected financially from these.

Life Insurance Doesn’t Cover It All

Many of us don’t buy funeral insurance because we already have a life insurance policy and think that this will cover everything but think again.

Firstly, many of us do not actually understand our life insurance policy and have let it expire or we have let the premium lapse and the policy is no longer active. If you have a term life insurance policy, then the policy will expire when you reach a certain age, whereas a funeral insurance policy will never expire, which means that your family is guaranteed to get the money from the premium.

Also, how much did a funeral cost when you first got your life insurance policy? If you have had your life insurance policy for a while then a funeral probably cost a fraction of what it does now, so does your life insurance policy really cover the cost? Even if your life insurance policy does cover it, you may want your life insurance pay out to go towards helping your family with daily expenses and not towards your funeral.

With a funeral insurance policy, you allow your family to enjoy your life insurance money whilst still being able to give you the funeral you wanted.

Funeral Insurance is Affordable

Funeral insurance is more affordable than other types of life insurance. If you have another policy in place, then it is worthwhile looking to see if you are able to get anything better from a funeral insurance policy. There are a number of options out there that will suit your budget and offer what you need.

It’s a small price to pay for helping and protecting your family.

funeral insurance

Applying For Funeral Insurance Is Easy

Funeral insurance applications are usually only a few pages long and all you will need to do is answer health questions and give your vital stats. This information is enough for the insurer to figure out your rate and give you cover.

In no time at all, you can go from having no plan to being covered when you die. You will also find a number of online companies offering online applications, which makes the process even easier to do. You can fill out an online form on some sites and receive multiple funeral insurance offers, which allows you to choose the best one for you and your budget. Once, you have found a plan that you like, you can apply easily and quickly.

So Is Qualifying

Funeral insurance doesn’t have all the medical requirements like life insurance does. Funeral insurance will only ask you a few minor health questions and you will not need to undergo a medical evaluation. You do not need to have perfect health in order to qualify for funeral insurance.

Choose How You Want Your Funeral To Be

The great thing about a funeral insurance policy is that you have the chance to make your own arrangements for your funeral. You can work with a funeral director and figure out the cost of your burial or cremation to ensure that your policy covers all these costs.

funeral

You can also make decisions that might be painful for your family to make and also your family may have different ideas about your funeral. You can make all the decisions from your urn/casket to the flowers and service beforehand and your family will have one less thing to worry about.

There are many reasons as to why you should get funeral insurance and the most important is that your family will not need to worry about money during this difficult time and you will not leave a financial burden on your loved ones.

Compare funeral insurance cover with online comparison sites that will gather multiple quotes for you from reputable companies, allowing you the freedom to compare and choose the best policy for you.

Top 5 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Car Insurance and the Top 5 Reasons Why You Should

Most countries require you to have car insurance by law, but in South Africa, this is not the case, but it can be a costly mistake. Accidents can happen at any time and even if the accident isn’t your fault, you could still be paying out a lot.

car insurance

Here are the top 5 reasons why people don’t get car insurance and the top 5 reasons as to why you should.

Top 5 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Car Insurance

Believing It’s Not Affordable

There are many people that think adequate car insurance or even third party insurance is not affordable, so they don’t even look for quotes. If you think that you can’t afford car insurance, keep in mind that it is a competitive industry, so you should compare car insurance quotes, even if it is just for a basic policy. You might be able to find a deal that suits your budget.

Hardly Driving

If you don’t drive often then you may feel that car insurance is a waste, because you only pop to the shop every now and then. But accidents can occur at any time and the majority of accidents happen close to home. It doesn’t matter how often you drive, you need to have car insurance.

It Won’t Happen To Me

Many people believe and think that something is less likely to happen to them than others, which includes being involved in an accident. This then results in many people ignoring insurance completely, but even though we make think this, it is not necessarily true. Accidents can occur at any time and it might not even be your fault, but you may incur damage that will need to be paid for.

Do You Know The Real Cost Of Repairs?

People are not actually aware of how much car repairs can cost and whilst some cars are more expensive to repair than others, it can still be super expensive if you do not have car insurance.

car insurance

What is even worse is that your car could be written off and it is actually easy to do this. If the cost of repairs is more than 70% of the value of the car then it is written off. If this is the case and you do not have insurance then you could be left without a car.

It’s Just A Machine

There are cases where people just view a car as a way to get from A to B and that’s it, which means that as long as the car works, a few scratches and bumps are nothing that they should concern themselves with.

These type of car owners feel that paying for car insurance isn’t worth it as they don’t actually plan on repairing the damage. However, these owners don’t take third party cover into account. If you are responsible for an accident and don’t have third party insurance, then it can be a costly mistake.

So that is why people don’t get car insurance and as you can see it is actually a mistake to not have it.

Wait… now let’s take a look at the top 5 reasons as to why you need car insurance.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Have Car Insurance

You Don’t Need To Fork Out For Damages

If you are involved in an accident and you are at fault, then you will not only need to pay for the repairs to your car, but also that of the other persons. This can be a lot of money, but when you have car insurance, this financial burden is eased, especially with third party cover. If your car is written off, then depending on the cover you have, you might receive a pay out that can help you to get a new car.

What If Your Car Is Stolen?

You could be a victim of theft and find that your car has been stolen and this can occur anywhere. With car insurance, if you have a policy with a theft option then you are able to claim for the theft of your car and receive a pay out so that you can replace your stolen car.

Protecting Your Car

Life is unpredictable and car insurance is there to protect your car from events like fire or hail that will cause damage. If this happens then your insurance policy will help to pay for the repairs.

fire protection

Getting Help On The Road

Car insurance is a highly competitive industry, which means that you will receive a number of extra benefits from the insurance company. One benefit that is offered as a standard by most insurance companies is roadside assistance. So, if you have a flat tyre, have run out of petrol or breakdown, you are able to contact the roadside assistance and get the help you need.

Incentives To Take Advantage Of

Another benefit that you could possibly enjoy is cash back on your premiums if you go a certain time without any claims or you could be rewarded for good driving with premium discounts.

It may appear that car insurance is expensive, but the alternative is even more expensive as you will need to pay for damages out of your own pocket. If you are looking for car insurance then it is a good idea to compare quotes from various car insurance companies.

This is simple to do as there are many sites that will collect quotes for you based on your needs. You are then able to compare premiums and the cover offered easily. At the very least, you should have the basics covered.

How You Can Save on Life Insurance

If you have ever applied for life insurance before then you will already be aware that life insurers ask a lot of questions and even very personal questions. These questions though serve a purpose as the life insurer will use these answers to determine the risk they take by insuring you.

Your risk profile is based on your health and lifestyle, which will determine if you can be insured and if so, what premiums you will pay, what special conditions will apply to your policy and if there is a need for extra evaluations.

So, once you have applied and you have been insured, are you able to save on your life insurance?

save on life insurance

If you already have a life insurance policy or if you are considering getting one so that your family is protected, then take a look at these tips that could help you to reduce your premiums.

How to Save on Life Insurance

Make Sure You Compare Life Insurance Quotes

As with any type of purchase, you will need to compare quotes and look at both the price and the cover that is offered. It does pay to do your homework, especially for life insurance. You should shop around and get at least three quotes from three different providers. This can easily be done through sites that allow you to fill out one application and gather a number of quotes from reputable life insurance companies on your behalf. You can then compare these and choose the one that suits your budget as well as your needs. Remember to compare both the policy benefits and features as well as the premiums.

Control Chronic Medical Conditions

The premiums that you pay for life insurance are based on risk and chronic conditions generally result in higher premiums. You could qualify for lower premiums though if you work with a healthcare provider to help you manage and monitor any chronic medical condition that you may have.

Time to Get Healthy

The healthy you are the lower your premium will be, as you are seen by the life insurer as a lesser risk. Making adjustments to your lifestyle could lower your life insurance premium. This can include things like stopping smoking, losing weight, exercise more and just to maintain a healthy lifestyle overall.

get healthy

If you have made any of these lifestyle changes, then you should speak to your life insurer. If your overall health has improved then you may qualify for a lower premium.

Keep reading…for more ways to save…

The Right Amount of Cover for Your Family

Deciding on how much life insurance you need to buy requires some thought. You need to work out what you need and make sure that you are not buying too much.

Your life insurance policy should cover costs associated with your funeral, medical bills associated with your death, any debts that you leave behind and being able to settle your estate.

If you have a family, then you will also need to factor in your family’s yearly living expenses, education, medical aid, an emergency fund and other such things that your family may need when you pass away.

What are Your Employee Benefits?

Many employees will offer a life insurance scheme and if you are part of this as well as have a personal policy, then you might find that you can reduce your personal policy.

It is a good idea to speak to a financial planner to evaluate your requirements before you make any changes to your life insurance policies.

There is No Point in Lying

You should never withhold any information from your life insurance provider as this will not help you in the long run. If you fail to disclose all medical and personal information when you apply for life insurance then you risk having a reduced or rejected claim.

Life cover is a necessity and will protect you and the ones you leave behind after your death and make up for the loss of your monthly income. You should invest in a life insurance policy so that you can be sure that you do not leave your family in terrible financial circumstances and so you are able to protect them.

Do You Know What Your Home Insurance Covers?

The insurance market is full of competition between companies, which is shown through the premiums they charge and the cover they offer. It is because of this competition that your home insurance may cover things that you didn’t know about. However, even though some things have become part of the standard cover, other things are not automatically covered by your home insurance.

Here is a look at what your home insurance may offer as part of their standard cover and some things that won’t be automatically covered.

home insurance

Did You Know Your Home Insurance Covers These?

Liability for Injury

Did you know that if a person is injured on your property, whether its inside or outside your home, they can hold you liable for the damages? Well, the good news is that your insurance company may actually cover the medical and legal fees that are involved in these claims. The same is true if your pet is to cause someone injury.

Injury to Your Pet

This may come as a surprise, but if your pet is involved in a fight with a neighbour’s dog or if your neighbour causes injury to your pet via their car, then your home insurance policy may actually cover the veterinary bills associated with these injuries or accidents. Of course, though, your home insurance will not cover any shot, sterilization or illness.

Your Food Goes Off

A benefit that has been added by insurance companies is the cover to your food and groceries due to load shedding and power outages. If your food becomes spoilt due to the lack of power then the insurer will pay out the value so that you are able to replace these items.

home insurance policy

Has Your Money Been Stolen?

This will depend on your insurance company, but quite a few are now covering stolen money, in whatever form it might be. This means that the insurer may pay out if credit cards, cheques, money guarantees and even deeds and other assets are stolen. You should check if your home insurance covers this.

Having Guests Over?

If you have guests stay over often, then you should check to see if your household contents insurance policy covers the theft or damage to your guest’s belongings like their clothes and other property. Adding this to your insurance policy can be worthwhile if you have guests over regularly as the insurance company will pay out, up to a certain amount.

Now.. let’s take a look at what your home insurance doesn’t automatically cover

Did You Know Your Home Insurance May Not Automatically Cover These?

Damage Caused by Flood

It might be surprising, but actually, most home insurance policies do not cover for flood damage. You may find that you have to add this onto your policy and it could be a vital add on if you live near water or below the flood line, but it pays for every homeowner to have this.

Same Value Replacement

You will find that most of your assets will only be insured for the replacement that is the cost it would be to replace the lost item with one of the same value. For instance, a tablet that you paid R10 000 for might only be worth R5000 in a few years, this means that the insurance value will only be R5000. Home insurance does not always include a replacement value that covers the cost and it must, otherwise, you may find that you are underinsured.

replacement value

Mouldy Home and Pesky Insects

A homeowner might be under the impression that they are able to claim for damage that is caused by termites or mould, but then find out that the insurance company doesn’t cover this damage. This is because pests and moulds are seen as a maintenance issue and failing to maintain your home can mean that your insurance claim is rejected.

It’s All Gone

It is a mistake to think that the insurance company will reimburse you for your total household contents should your entire home be lost due to an accident like fire. A home insurance policy will only cover the structure of the home and surrounding buildings, whereas a home contents insurance policy will cover the contents, even in the event of total loss.

You Can’t Live There Anymore

If your home suffers damages and the repairs mean that you are not able to live in your home, your home insurance company may put you in a hotel or alternative accommodation, only if this is stipulated in your policy. You should not assume that your policy includes this benefit.

As you can see, it is vital that you go through your home insurance policy and ensure that you understand what is and what isn’t covered. You do not want to find that you are underinsured and are not able to claim for certain things. Read the benefits of your policy and find out about any optional cover that you can include. You shouldn’t sign your contract until you know what it is you are getting and make sure that it includes the above.

5 Reasons You Need Life Insurance

Life insurance is one of those products that we often don’t pay much attention to. This is usually because we don’t really think about death or think that we are going to live forever, but this isn’t true and having a good life insurance is vital.

A life insurance policy is one that pays out a lump sum to the chosen beneficiary in the event of death. Life insurance policies range in price and the premium that you will pay will depend on the level of cover that you have chosen.

So, what is the point of life insurance? The point is to protect your loved ones from financial issues by offering them financial assistance during a difficult time. It is even more important to have life insurance if you are the only one that is earning an income as your family will be able to lead and afford the lifestyle that you have provided for them in the event of your death.

life insurance

Think about all the expenses that make up your life like grocery bills, school fees, bond repayments and such. Life insurance ensures that your family can continue to meet these financial expenses after their main source of income has gone.

Here are 5 reasons you need life insurance

Financially Protect Your Family

You will definitely need to get a life insurance policy if your family is dependent on you financially, so that they are able to afford their lifestyle. If you have children or are the sole breadwinner, then it is even more important as your life insurance policy will replace your income once you have passed and allow your family to continue the standard of living they have become accustomed to. You will also need to provide enough cover that can be used for the expenses of a growing family like school fees etc.

Leave Something Behind

If you don’t have any assets that you are able to pass on to your beneficiaries then you can create an inheritance with a life insurance policy by naming your loved ones as the beneficiaries. This is a great way for you to set your kids up with a solid financial future and to provide them with the finances they may need in the future.

Wait…keep reading…there are still important reasons below…

Don’t Let Debts Ruin Your Family

Not only do you need life insurance to cover everyday living, you will also need to provide cover for any outstanding debt that you may leave behind like credit cards, a mortgage, a car loan etc. Other expenses that you will need to provide cover for is the funeral and burial costs. The idea is then to not leave your family and loved ones with any additional financial burdens once you have passed.

pay debts

Providing for Your Children Once You Are Gone

Just like most parents, you will want to ensure that your kids are taken care of once you are gone. You will want to be able to provide a top-notch education as well as fund other life events like their wedding or a business venture. You should then opt for additional coverage whilst your children are still at home.

Sleep Better Knowing You Are Protected

There is no way of knowing when we will pass away, but we do know that it will happen. Money isn’t able to replace a person, but life insurance is able to protect your loved ones from the uncertainties in life. Having life insurance will bring both you and your family peace of mind. You will know that your family will be taken care of financially if anything were to happen to you. Life insurance can cover expenses associated with your death, debts and allows your family to carry on with their life without the worry of money.

Life insurance is then a must and is not an insurance product that we can overlook. Life insurance will protect your family financially and ensure that they are able to afford their life once you are gone. You can give your family the peace of mind they need and you will know that if anything happens, your family will not suffer financially. Compare life insurance quotes and choose the product that offers you the best premium for the level of cover that you need and know that your family is covered.

The 3 Types of Life Insurance You Can Get

With life insurance, it is important to determine the amount of coverage that you need as well as the type of life insurance that you need. There are three life insurance types to choose from in South Africa, which are term, whole and universal life insurance.

It is always a good idea to seek advice from a life insurance broker as they will be able to guide you through the types of life insurance and help you to choose the best one based on you and your family needs as well as the level of coverage that you need.

life insurance

So, let’s take a closer look at these three options.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is the most affordable life insurance that you are able to get and offers cover for a set period of time that is determined before you sign for the policy. This can be a great option for those that are only looking for a short or limited cover and during major times of your life. Term life insurance policies are generally offered for 10, 15 or 20 years.

Term life insurance is just insurance and doesn’t offer the insured any other type of value once the policy has been paid off like the other two types. So, once the term has ended for the policy so will the coverage.

If the insured passes away during the term of the policy then the policy will pay out accordingly to their estate.

Whole Life Insurance

A more comprehensive type of life insurance is whole life insurance that offers a guaranteed pay out. This type of policy will have the insured pay on the policy until they die or decide to surrender the policy. This then means that the policy will start to build up a cash value as the insurer is investing these premium payments. When the insured dies, the policy will pay out to their estate.

The premiums that are paid for whole life insurance are usually higher than that of term life insurance, but with whole life insurance, once the policy has been paid for long enough it earns a cash value and the insured is able to borrow money against the policy.

Universal Life Insurance

The last type of life insurance that you are able to get is universal life insurance, which is like a whole life insurance policy with an investment option.

This means that when you pay more than what is required, i.e. more than your premium, the additional cash is invested and can start to earn interest. Universal life insurance can then create growth on this investment.

When you are looking for life insurance it is important that you compare quotes and to also get quotes on all three types of life insurances, so that you are able to make the best decision possible based on your needs. An easy way to compare life insurance quotes is to use an online service that will find you the best life insurance offers from reputable companies and allow you to compare them all at once in terms of coverage, type and premium. You are also able to seek the advice of a life insurance broker that will be able to gather you quotes.

What You Need to Know About Home Insurance

Your home is special, it is the place where you sleep, cook and socialise with family, but it is also the place where you have all your belongings. As a homeowner, you are vulnerable to property damage, theft and loss, which is why it is crucial to have home insurance so that you can rest easy knowing that your property is protected.

home insurance

Are there Different Types of Home Insurance?

Actually, there are three types of home insurance that you can consider. You will need to know what each one of these are and what they protect.

Homeowners Building Insurance

The first type of insurance is building insurance. This type of insurance covers the building structure of your home against damage or loss caused by theft, fire or natural disasters.

This type of cover can also be extended by some insurance companies to include other structures on your property like greenhouses, garages and swimming pools as well as any permanent structures around your house like toilets, fitted kitchens and baths.

There are also some insurance companies that will additionally offer Personal Liability Cover, which protects property owners from third party claims. This type of cover will offer financial protection in the case where a third party may claim against a homeowner for injury, illness or accidental death that occurs on their property as well as protection for accidental damage or loss to a third party’s property.

Home Contents Insurance

Homeowners insurance protects your structure, but it does not protect the contents of your home. You will need to get home contents insurance to protect your items.

Home contents insurance covers your household goods against loss or damage caused by fire, theft, burglary, malicious damage or natural disasters.

Your home contents insurance will protect items like home appliances, furniture, clothing, electrical goods and so on. However, fitted fixtures like taps or a carpet that can’t be moved are usually not covered by this type of insurance.

Personal Valuables Insurance

This type of insurance is a separate policy and covers personal valuables that you would usually carry or wear outside the home like jewellery, laptops, phones and so on.

You are able to get specified items and non-specified items. Non-specified items is a policy that will cover a standard list of general items and will pay out up to a certain amount in the case of damage or loss. A specified policy allows you to individually insure your most expensive items like laptops against damage or loss and will pay out up to the amount that is specified in your policy.

Wait…Home insurance is important…keep reading…

Why is Home Insurance Important

Home insurance, of course, offers you financial protection, but there are also other benefits to home insurance.

home insurance

If your house should get damaged, you are able to get the repairs done in a timely manner and will not have to wait so that you are able to save up the funds that you need.

If you suffer from an emergency covered loss, then your home insurance will offer emergency repair services in order to protect and prevent any further damage to your home.

If you are not able to live in your home due to mandatory evacuation, then your insurance policy will cover your temporary living expenses, but this will depend on whether your insurance claim is approved.

There are some insurance companies that offer a no-claims reward, which is where you will be able to get cash back after a specified number of premiums and when you haven’t claimed.

What Household Cover doesn’t Cover

You need to read and understand the terms and conditions of your cover, so that you know what you are covered against.

If you are unsure about any part of your insurance policy then it is a good idea to speak to a broker or an attorney, so that you can better understand the policy.

The majority of home insurance policies will cover a wide range of accidents, but there are some cases where your claim might be rejected.

Claims that could be rejected include:

  1. Damage occurring from pets.
  2. If you run a bed and breakfast from your home, appliances in the rooms will be excluded from household cover.
  3. Not all theft claims are covered unless violet or forcible entry on the property is visible.
  4. If there are signs of poor property maintenance which results in damage that could have been avoided.
  5. Damage to the property from roots and weeds
  6. If there is a lack of sufficient security in place at the time of your claim.
  7. If your home was left unoccupied for a significant period of time.

Home insurance is important as it offers you the financial protection that you need in the event of any unexpected circumstance. Home insurance will give you peace of mind as you know you are protected. Without home insurance, you may find that you will have to pay a lot out of your own pocket to replace items, repairs and other such things. You can then save money further down the line with home insurance if anything happens.

What To Consider Before Choosing Your Health Insurance Plan

In the event of illness or an emergency, you will want to have access to quality and private medical care, but medical aid can be extremely expensive, which is why health insurance can be invaluable in times of need. When you are looking at health insurance, there are a few things that you need to consider before you choose your health insurance plan.

health insurance

What Can You Afford

You first need to determine what you are able to afford. It is a good idea to compare health insurance plans in terms of their cost and the cover that they offer. If you are not able to afford a health insurance plan, but you know that in times of an emergency you need access to private medical aid, then you can consider taking only a hospital plan. This will give you private hospital care in the case of an emergency.

Do You Get Sick A Lot?

Think about how often you get sick and see a GP. If you don’t get ill often and don’t require too much cover for GP visits then you are able to save money by opting for a starter hospital plan. If you are looking for cover for your whole family, then you need to keep in mind that children who go to school are exposed to more germs and need a fuller cover that offers frequent doctor visits.

Even if you don’t get sick often or if you are only covering yourself, your health insurance plan will assist with x-rays, dental check-ups and other care that you may need from time to time.

Can You Visit the Doctor of Your Choice

Before you sign for a health insurance policy, you need to make sure that you are able to visit the doctor or hospital of your choice. Good health insurance plans will allow you to visit any medical practitioner whereas others may only allow you to visit specified doctors and hospitals in your area. This could mean that you will have to travel further, open new medical records with new doctors in the case of an emergency.

What Cover Are You Getting?

You will determine the amount of cover that you will receive from a health insurance plan. You should find out how much your doctor usually charges for an appointment and then compare this to what the health insurance provider pays. If there is a shortfall then you need to make sure you can afford this. If you can’t then you should consider paying a slighter higher premium for fuller claim amounts, so that you can pay less out of pocket for medical care.

What Does the Plan Cover?

You need to read every single detail of the health insurance plan before you sign. You need to know exactly what you are covered for like maternity care, blood tests, chronic medication and other such things. You need to make a list of items that you have to be covered for and ensure that the policy suits you and your family needs.

What are the Benefits of Health Insurance

Health insurance and medical aid are often confused. Health insurance is the supply of a lump sum that will cover hospital care due to an emergency, accident or operation and you can claim money paid for GP and dentist visits and other medical needs depending on your plan. Health insurance is catered to the customer and is suited for the individual and is literally insurance for your health.

health insurance

So, what are the benefits of health insurance?

Outpatient Care

Getting the care, you need is highly important, especially for those that have chronic diseases like heart conditions, diabetes and mental illness. Health insurance is able to offer cover and privileged care to patients without having to be hospitalised. Health insurance will offer a lump sum that allows for this type of care to be possible.

A Focus on Mental Health

The majority of medical aids will have a maximum limit where they will no longer be able to provide care to a patient in terms of mental health. Health insurance, on the other hand, allows patients to treat their mental illness without having to worry that they will deplete their care benefits. There are also health insurance plans that will cover addiction with rehabilitation as the treatment being offered, which is not common with medical aids.

Life Is Easier with Extra Benefits

Health insurance may offer additional benefits that some medical aids don’t. For instance, pregnant mothers and chronic patients can sometimes receive extra care. Pregnant women may have access to counselling and extra care before, during and after birth. Also, cover can be implemented when necessary as there is no waiting period to go to a medical practitioner or hospital.

Chronic patients can receive care that covers hospitalisation according to their needs, the cost of various tests and emergency cover when patients need care, surgery or counselling immediately that assists in managing their condition.

Suited to Your Needs

With health insurance, you are able to get the care you need at a price that is not determined by your current health, which means those that are seen as high risk by medical aids can get care.

Health insurance is also a viable option for those that seek minimal health cover as they can get cover that is suited to what they want. Cover is based on what you need and doesn’t define you in the same way as everyone else, but rather looks at your extra needs and provides for these.

Health insurance is a great product to have and is more affordable than medical aid that can leave you with shortfalls. Health insurance offers the care that you need at a price that suits your budget, making it a viable option for individuals.

 

Strategies to Pay Off High Interest Rate Debt

If you are sitting with a large balance on a credit card that has a high interest rate then you might be feeling frustrated as your monthly repayment is being used to pay the interest rather than the balance, which means your debt will only be reduced by a small amount each month. Paying off your high interest rate debts first will save you money in the long run, but this might not be the best method to undertake due to your finances.

credit card debt

Here are some top strategies that you can implement to help pay off your high interest rate debt.

Need a Lower Interest Rate – Just Ask

There are creditors that might be willing to lower the interest rates, but this generally goes to the best cardholders, which are the ones that have always paid on time or have only missed one or two payments.

If you have been getting lower rate offers from other credit cards then you can use this in your negotiations for a lower rate.

Make the Transfer to a Low Interest Rate Credit Card

You may only need a few months that are interest free to pay off your balance. You will find balance transfer cards that offer promotional periods where they do not charge interest. This could give you the break you need to pay off your balance without having to worry about the interest. Just make sure that you pay the balance before the interest kicks in.

If you are not able to move your entire balance to a single credit card then just move a portion as this will lighten the load and you can focus on paying this off before the interest is charged.

Take on Your Small Debts

If you are not in a position to first get rid of your high interest debts then you may want to consider tackling your smaller debts first. This will help you to free up some extra money that you can then use to pay down your high interest rate debts. You should create a list of your debts and determine which ones you can pay now and which ones will need to wait.

Once you have cleared a smaller debt, that money you were putting towards it should go straight to paying another credit card balance.

Wait…there are more strategies you can try…keep reading…

Pay The Most You Can

Due to most of your monthly payment going towards interest, you will need to pay more towards your payments in order for you to make any kind of progress in paying off your high interest debts. You may find it best to pay the minimum on all your other debts and any extra money that you have can go towards paying a single high interest rate debt.

Once one debt has been paid off you can start to work on your next highest interest rate debt and so on until you have cleared all of your debts.

Reduce Your Expenses

You will need to look at how you can squeeze your budget so that you have more to put towards your credit card debt. You can cut back on eating out, cut back on coffee, disconnect your cable, reduce your cell phone plan and so on. Making these cutbacks are only temporary and every little bit that you save to put towards your credit card debt will help your progress.

You Might Need to Wait

You may have to delay your debt free goal if you are not able to find extra money in your budget and are not able to generate any extra income. You should keep making the minimum monthly repayments on your credit card balances so that your credit score doesn’t take a hit and so that your debt doesn’t grow any further.

You will be wasting money on interest, but if you are not able to pay your high interest debts right now then wait a few months and then reassess your budget and expenses to see if anything has changed.

Get Credit Counselling

You can seek the help of a credit counsellor or a debt counsellor that will be able to create a debt management plan for you.

With a debt management plan, your creditors will lower your monthly payment and interest rate. You will not be able to use your credit cards during the process and your credit report may get a mark that says you worked with a debt counsellor.

The lower interest rates means that you can send larger monthly payments and you can ask that the additional payment goes to your higher rate first.

A debt consolidation loan is another option that you may have, but it’s not for everyone. This is where your debts are all housed under one loan, which means you will only have one repayment each month. This monthly repayment is usually lower and the interest rates are more manageable.

If you have high interest debt then you do need to tackle it whether, you pay smaller debts first or take on your largest and highest interest rate debt first. You need to look at how you are able to save money so you have extra to put towards your debt and determine the best strategy for you and your finances.