As we enter the sixth week of lockdown, it’s not surprising that many people have spent much of the time in isolation from the rest of the world thinking about their health, financial security and the ways in which they can best protect themselves in the future.
From health insurance to life cover and from income protection to critical illness cover and everything in between, the options available to you in terms of safeguarding yourself financially are plentiful to the point of being bewildering.
I’ve talked about some of the most obvious and popular products on the market quite recently in a couple of previous articles and if you missed them at the time they were published, you can find them in our News & Views section of the website.
But knowing what the products are and what they do is only part of the story.
It’s also important that you choose the right product for your circumstances, and that comes down to a number of things – all of which start with getting finding someone who can give you the right advice based on your existing circumstances and future needs.
Financial protection: Getting the right advice
We live in a digital world in which Google is the primary source of information, and it’s where most people might be tempted to start when it comes to finding the right product to protect themselves and those they love in the future.
But trying to find something when you don’t really know what you’re looking for is a tricky business.
Let’s say you’ve decided you need critical illness cover – or cancer cover, as it’s sometimes referred to. You might be right. But do you know what policy terms and benefits to look for? Or which providers have the products that best suit your needs? Do you even know what your needs really are?
In the end, and regardless of the type of product and level of cover you might ultimately buy, the financial consequences of making a bad and ill-informed choice could run to thousands of pounds should you need to claim.
By working with a professional adviser, you’ll get the benefit of someone with expert knowledge and advice of the financial products you might be considering. That adviser will know which products to avoid and which are likely to be the most favourable in terms of your potential needs.
Protection: Knowing what you need
There are all sorts of reasons why you might be considering a particular policy.
Maybe you have a family history of cancer and are looking for critical illness cover. Maybe you’re worried your life insurance no longer covers your needs. Perhaps you’re worried about a long-term absence from work that could threaten your income.
All of these scenarios are perfectly valid and good reasons for considering each of those products.
But it’s better to talk to someone who’ll take the time to understand your current circumstances and your potential future needs and then guide you to making a decision ‘in the round’, by which I mean looking at all your needs and assessing the priorities.
It may be, for example, that you’re in a position financially that enables you to take all the cover you need at the same time. But there’s a good chance that you might not have that luxury, in which case it makes sense to triage your needs.
That’s hard to do if you’re not sure what the priorities are.
So you might be thinking about income replacement plans, but you haven’t realised your life cover will no longer meet the outstanding balance on the mortgage because you’ve added to the loan over the years but forgot to update your life insurance.
Getting the right advice at the start and working with a professional who can take an overview of your current financial arrangements and then make sensible and logical recommendations about how and where to invest in further protection means it’s less likely there will be nasty surprises down the line.
Now is also a great time to sit down and start having those discussions. Most of us have a little more time to spend on the things we tend to put to one side when we’re at the mercy of a busy working life.
At Oportfolio, we’ve moved much of our work online during the current crisis, which means that although we can’t sit down with you in person, we’re still able to meet you in a video conference or chat to you over the phone.
Please note: all information contained within this article was accurate at the time of publication.
Oportfolio Limited is an appointed representative of Primis Mortgage Network, a trading name of First Complete Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Oportfolio Ltd fees are payable on application. We charge a broker fee for property purchases of £495 and a remortgage/further advance fee of £395. Our product transfer fee is £295.