How do you choose the right insurance for you?
How do you choose the right insurance for you?
Taking out insurance is often a process we don’t think too much about. People seem to take it out as part of some other activity, either because it’s compulsory, such as motor insurance and home insurance in the case of home loans, or because it’s a habitual activity that simply goes hand-in-hand with certain aspects of life. These include travel insurance, or often health insurance, to ensure easier access to specialist doctors or to provide some extra benefits for employees in a company.
But how do you decide which insurance company you should go to in order to obtain the insurance policy you need? What should you look out for in the insurance on offer? Why isn’t basing your decision solely on the price of the insurance policy a reasonable thing to do?
Before you take out an insurance policy, it’s important to first figure out what you want to insure yourself against and what exactly you expect from the insurance. In this case, it’s much easier to screen the different service providers for those that meet your conditions and choose the one that’s right for you.
- Think about your wishes and expectations for insurance cover
Therefore, before choosing a specific insurance solution, it’s important to think through what exactly you want to insure, what the specific insurance should include and what it should cover. In this context, it’s also important to analyse how big the insured sum should be, so that it would help you to restore the situation prior to the insured event. It’s important that this is in line with the actual value of the insured items and not chosen to keep the premium as low as possible. For example, in the case of travel insurance, it’s important to analyse the value of your luggage and choose the amount of cover accordingly. Likewise, you should determine the value of your assets when taking out home insurance. It’s also important to analyse the different deductibles that come with the respective options – the initially chosen maximum deductible may reduce the bill for the policy, but the client will have to pay it themselves in the case of an actual accident. In order to reduce risks, you should consider the amount of the deductible payable in the case of an insured event that would be optimal and not make an unexpectedly large dent in your personal budget.
- Focus on what different insurers actually offer
After mapping out the terms and conditions you want, the next step is to look at the options available from different providers and work through the insurance products they offer. It’s important to emphasise here that you should also read the terms and conditions of the various insurance products to make sure that you buy a product that will meet your requirements in the event of an actual accident, and not just attract attention with the best premium or some other attractive offer. As a rule, the products of different insurance companies can be easily reviewed on their websites where, in addition to the descriptions of different insurance products and the benefits they offer, the terms and conditions of the different insurance products are also given. A number of insurance brokers also offer the possibility to compare products from different insurance companies. You should also take the opportunity to contact the specialists of the insurance companies with any questions. The necessary contact details are also provided on the websites, offering in many cases the possibility to send messages via the website in addition to telephone and e-mail communication.
- Cover the risks that are most relevant to you
Once you’ve studied the products of the different service providers and chosen one of them based on their terms and conditions, the next step is to take a closer look at the various additional risks when you take out a policy and choose the ones that interest you and are necessary to further reduce your costs in the event of a loss and thus also reduce your risks. Again, it’s worth thinking through the scenario of a real insurance case and what additional risks you would most value in such a case. Oftentimes, choosing various additional risks does not lead to a significant increase in the premium, but can be of considerable help in the case of actual accidents. In the case of comprehensive insurance, for example, this could be the additional risk of a replacement car or the completion of repairs in the official dealership. The first of these is an additional risk that we would primarily recommend to people who are highly mobile and whose daily lives depend heavily on having a vehicle. In such cases, those who opt for the additional risk of a replacement car will have the option of either driving a replacement car or using public transport according to their preferences, and will be able to continue at least part of their normal life while their personal car is being repaired. We recommend choosing the second additional risk primarily to car owners who have purchased a new car and would like to continue having repairs at the official dealership of the specific brand even after the expiry of the warranty. It’s also recommended to car owners who appreciate the quality of a particular car dealership and the reassurance that comes with having repairs carried out at the dealership of the specific brand.
In the case of home insurance, such a recommended additional risk would certainly be liability insurance. This is an additional risk that also covers damage caused to surrounding neighbours or other third parties as a result of an insured event originating in the insured apartment or house. Liability insurance also provides extended cover for private individuals operating in the territory of the Republic of Estonia and includes pet owner, cyclist and pedestrian liability insurance. This means that in the cases where damage is caused by a cyclist, another non-motorised means of transport or even when walking, those who have chosen to add extended liability insurance to their home insurance will only have to pay the deductible.
- Make sure your insurance doesn’t leave you in a lurch when an accident occurs
Finally, and most importantly, we cannot emphasise enough that when you take out an insurance policy, you should take your time and familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions of the policy, not just do it in passing. This is your investment in a policy that, in the case of an accident, should provide you with peace of mind and the certainty that the situation will be resolved, at least on terms that are economically more favourable to you. It’s therefore important that you check what is included in the policy and which insured events it covers before you sign on the dotted line. Consequently, it’s also important that when further questions arise, they should not be left hanging in the air as you hope for the best but should be addressed to insurance company specialists or insurance brokers who work on a daily basis to answer the questions of clients, map their insurance needs and help them find the right insurance solutions.
Article is published in Estonian here.
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltics, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA employs more than 1,000 employees in the Baltics. The sole shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG with close to 200 years of experience in the insurance business. With about 50 companies in 30 countries and more than 25,000 employees, Vienna Insurance Group is a clear market leader in its Central and Eastern European markets, and takes care of more than 22 million customers. Vienna Insurance Group is the best-rated company of ATX, the leading index of Vienna Stock Exchange (since 1994) with a rating of A+ with stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s. Vienna Insurance Group works in close partnership with Erste Group – the largest retail bank in CEE.