How to save money on insurance

If you want to learn more about saving money on your insurance premiums, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve outlined all of Bob’s top tips for each type of insurance below – helping you save money on life insurance, income protection insurance, home insurance, car insurance, health insurance and travel insurance.

Use the quick links below to see the money saving advice for each type of insurance…

During times of continued austerity measures being implemented, coupled with the rising cost of living, it’s good to know that there are still opportunities to save money in some areas of our lives; providing we look hard enough and receive the right advice and tip-offs in the first place.

While we’re not suggesting scrimping (or general corner-cutting) when it comes to arranging any type of dedicated insurance policy, we have long made it our business to offer ideas and pointers on how best to reduce the cost of oft-spiralling insurance premiums, yet never compromising the level of cover you receive from the insurance provider.

There is a range of ways to look to minimise what you pay for a raft of everyday and specialist insurance products, most of which require little effort on the part of the potential policyholder, yet could result in huge savings on premiums paid across the insurance spectrum.

There’s no escaping insurance – and nor should there be – as without the protection offered by companies in the business of shielding us from both risk and probability, we would all be exposed to excessive bills which would be beyond the reach of many people. Although not an evil – far from it – it can never be argued that insurance in all of its ways, shapes and forms isn’t a necessary one; an all-encompassing one which safeguards us from the possibility of trouble which can lurk around every corner.

We’re hardly scaremongering when we say that injury or illness can befall any one of us at any given time in our lives, and to ensure that we have the financial provisions in place to deal with both the immediate and long-term fallout is of paramount importance going forward. This unseen force, constantly working behind the scenes on our behalf to protect our fiscal interests in the event of a myriad of largely unforeseen circumstances (and colloquially referred to as the insurance industry) is imperative for our peace of minds, and therefore a valued and priceless ally to have at our backs anytime and anywhere.

bobBob’s tip:

“Perhaps the most important factor to saving money on all types of insurance is to always shop around and compare quotes.

“Here at Bobatoo we do the hard work for you, making it easy for you to find great quotes quickly.”

Read more of Bob’s insurance advice and tips

What follows is our bite-size guide to just how you can save money on the leading insurance products available at any one time here in the UK, and as proffered by a host of specialist insurance providers.

Everyone from the instantly recognised, household name firms (who are a constant in our subconscious courtesy of their memorable TV ads) through to the newer kids on the insurance-providing block from the realms of public service (the Post Office and AA) to the high street banks and supermarkets (Sainsbury’s and Asda among the latest to throw their insurance-purveying hats into the plentiful ring).

Presented as a user-friendly, bullet-point tips-listing guide, our aim is to give counsel and deliver a series of ‘at-a-glance’ style leads as to how everyone considering a particular insurance product can effectively help themselves to lessen the blow of hefty policy premiums from the outset.

How to save money on life insurance

 

Let’s face facts; the clock is ticking and the odds of long-term survival are stacked heavily against us. But that doesn’t mean that we should be ripped off while we’re still in the land of the living every month by forking out for depressingly steep life insurance cover.

Instead seek out the most comprehensive policies currently out there, while keeping one eye on the most affordable premiums presently available.

To assist you in doing this, we’ve compiled a quick hit-list of ways in which you can save money on life insurance products, right here and right now. None of our suggestions are rocket science, yet they might be ones which many people might overlook or perhaps deem irrelevant. But trust us when we say that the pointers which follow will stand you in better stead for discovering the life insurance policy which suits both your personal needs and your pocket.

Keep your eye on the prize

That’s right, stay focused and don’t let a life insurance policy provider razzle dazzle you with all manner of inconsequential offers and gimmicks. Our advice would be to do your homework, decide what level of cover suits your requirements and don’t be distracted by extra features which go beyond the remit of what you’re looking for from your life insurance policy.

Remember, not everything that glitters is gold. That highlighted £150,000 lump sum pay-out might grab your attention, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it comes at a (hidden) cost. Usually not that well hidden in your monthly premiums.

Rule of thumb is to buy precisely what you think you need, and nothing more. That includes critical illness cover which some life insurance providers attempt to bolt-on to an agreement.

Kick the habit

Quit smoking and the lower the risk you are to life insurance policy-makers and the more willing they’ll be in reducing those premiums.

Smoking kills in excess of 100,000 people in the UK every year, directly or indirectly. Life insurers know the risk, and even if you still choose to ignore it, they won’t – and it will be reflected in your premiums.

If you decide to stop smoking before signing up for a life insurance policy, then be aware that most insurers won’t deem you a non-smoker until you have been cigarette-free for 1-2 years.

Buy as young as possible

It’s no coincidence that the older you get, the less likely you are to receive what could be called competitively priced life insurance.

As the clock ticks, this insurance product sees its premium prices rise. Cynical, perhaps, but a harsh, inescapable reality which isn’t lost on life insurance policy providers. There is a way around this accepted ageism though, and that’s by acting quick and moving fast. Which is far easier to put into practice when you have age on your side.

By arranging your life insurance policy at a younger age – when you’re at the peak of your physical and mental fitness, allegedly – you are well positioned to get the best offers.

Without putting too fine a point on it, one of the keys to sourcing cheaper life insurance is to not delay the decision a minute longer and organise it now.

Two heads are better than one

Have you ever run the rule over joint life insurance policies? No? Then might we suggest you do so?

If you’re in an established relationship and plan on spending the remainder of your days together, than the majority of the time it makes fiscal sense to pool your life resources and take out a joint life insurance policy; rather than mess around with two separate ones.

The main advantage to this is that it represents better value than individual policy agreements. But a word of caution. These policies have a habit of paying out only the once, after which it’s effectively null and void. So if the surviving partner then passes afterwards, any dependents will find it difficult to, well, depend on any future pay-outs, because in the eyes of the insurer/law, all parties concerned have been settled previously.

Know your options

It’s natural to consider life insurance as cover that lasts until you die, and then pays out to your dependants. However, this is known as ‘whole of life’ cover and is just one of the options available to you.

There is also ‘term life insurance’, which provides life cover for a pre-determined amount of time e.g. for the period of your mortgage, or until your children reach an age where you deem them to no longer financially dependent on you.

If you live longer than your term life insurance cover, then you don’t receive a payout – which means the premiums are lower.

Whole of life cover is often called ‘life assurance’ as there will definitely be a payout on it, which translates into higher premiums.

It is important for you to put a lot of thought into what form of life cover you need, to ensure you don’t end up paying for something you don’t ultimately need.

Do the math and be realistic

The more you’re expecting as a pay-out should the unfortunate happen, the more the premium you likely to pay each month.

Scale down your financial expectations for the end game and reap the rewards of more affordable monthly life insurance premiums while you’re still with us. There’s very little logic in paying for a sum of, say, £500,000 if your surviving family could comfortably get by on half of that amount after your death.

It’s also worth finding out whether or not your employer provides ‘death in service’ benefits for your dependents, should you pass whilst in their employ. While this doesn’t eradicate the need for some form of life insurance, it does diminish the projected sum sought at the end – and therein the (potentially) high monthly premiums.

New customer rates vs. fixed premiums

One of the biggest faux pa’s played by life insurance policyholders is not upsetting their long-established policy applecart. Or rocking the fixed premium boat. Or any other proverb which we can apply to this.

Traditionally, people tend to take out life insurance and then forget about it; repeatedly paying the same premium month after month, year after year. Loyalty as we already know in today’s society counts for very little, so there’s no need to honour this long-standing life insurance agreement ad infinitum.

What a lot of people may not be aware of is that you can move/relocate your life insurance as and when suits you, with no obligation to stick with an insurance provider. The odds are, that providing you remain in reasonably good health, you’ll be able to find a much better deal elsewhere by shopping around, and ultimately taking your life insurance business elsewhere.

With competition being the key motivator of premiums, there’s a constantly expansive range of prices offered by leading life insurance providers. For the most part you should be able to cancel your current policy without penalty, although make sure you look into this before you decide to switch.

Shop around

Following on from the above – and irrespective of whether you’re an existing life insurance policyholder or in the frame to arrange one from scratch – ALWAYS shop around.

Like most other personal insurance products, life insurance is a buyer’s market where potential policyholder’s often hold the winning cards; just so long as they know how, when and where to play them.

We work with leading life insurers to help find you a great deal on life insurance. Give it a try and get a free, no obligation quote today…

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How to save money on income protection insurance

 

It’s right to shield yourself (and therein your dependants) from the spectre of losing your main income source by arranging income-protection insurance, but it’s certainly not just or proper to have to be held to ransom in terms of the policy premiums.

After all, we arrange income protection insurance so as to provide financial respite for ourselves and our immediate family/dependents in the unfortunate event that we should lose our job or see our ability to earn an income compromised in unforeseen ways with regards to serious injury or life-changing illness. And not to create even more stress as we move to shoulder the burden and fiscal cost should this unthinkable scenario present itself.

Which is why we’ve come up with this handy, bullet-point guide which outlines just how YOU can save money on income protection insurance.

Stay in good shape

The ruder the health you’re in and the fitter you are adjudged to be by your income protection insurance provider, the greater chance you have of reducing your premiums.

Prove to them that you lead an active and healthy lifestyle – and by that we mean don’t smoke or drink in excess of the recommended units per week as well as take regular exercise – and this will go a long way to suggesting that you won’t become easily susceptible to injuries or illness which will effectively hamper your ability to hold down a job.

Which equates to lower income protection policy premiums, based on established and accepted risk factors and protocol stipulated by the insurer.

Get it when you’re young

Admittedly a tough call when you’re past a certain age in life, but the younger you are (sorry, we know none of us can turn back time, you’ll just have to grin and bear it we’re afraid) the better chance you have of being afforded more competitively priced income protection insurance policies.

It kind of adds up when you think about it. The younger you are, the better shape you’re likely to be in and, historically speaking, the longer you’ll live. Furthermore, young people are in a better position to overcome certain illnesses or avoid them in the first place.

Therefore you’re deemed a far lesser risk by default in the eyes of the income protection insurance provider; hence the more realistic premiums paid.

So if you’re young, fit and healthy, make sure you jump on the income protection insurance policy bandwagon right away!

Don’t actively seek out danger

The riskier your employment type, the higher your income protection premiums will be. However this spells great news for those of you who work in offices who routinely face little, if any, immediate danger in their habitual line of daily duties.

Such workers will typically benefit from reduced income protection insurance premiums as insurers naturally believe that a miner, soldier, offshore oil worker or fireman puts themselves in greater danger than a librarian, and is subsequently subject to more chance of picking up serious injury or illness as a direct result of their chosen vocation in life.

It’s a man’s world

Far from being an even playing field, women it seems are lagging a long way behind their male counterparts when it comes to receiving attractive income protection insurance policy premium rates.

Despite long overdue gender equality in recent times making great strides in most areas, it seems that it pays to be a man when you’re looking to secure affordable income protection insurance deals from the leading purveyors.

Basing their premium settings on historic statistics which suggest that women put in far more claims than men for conditions such as breast cancer, hysterectomies, stress or depression (all of which hugely compromise their capabilities to continue their careers at various junctures from diagnosis through to and way beyond procedures and treatments), women find themselves now paying more for their income protection insurance premiums.

Don’t over-do it

It’s definitely worth remembering that income protection insurance is there to pay out should the worst case scenario come to bear, and your ability to work is seriously restricted due to illness or injury.

Therefore as a policyholder you should ideally be looking to cover the essential monthly outgoings in this event, such as mortgage repayments, utility bills, council tax, loans and food expenditure. It’s not about covering you disposable income as much as it is about offering a degree of continuity with regard to those outgoings which unfortunately won’t take into account your changing circumstances.

In real terms this means that if you were to reduce your level of income protection insurance cover needed from £2,000 per month to £1,500, the monthly premiums would decrease by some 24% in one fell swoop.

Put off for a few weeks what you can do today

We know it flies in the face of the old adage/convention, but by actually increasing your pre-agreed deference period cited in your income protection insurance policy could see premiums dramatically reduced, by up to an incredible 40%.

More and more policyholders are choosing a range of deference periods at the outset of their policies, with some targeting 3 months as an option, so as to ultimately minimise that monthly income protection insurance premium pay-out.

If you think – once you’ve done the sums of course – that you could live off due sick pay/savings/partner/other means for a protracted period such as this in the immediate aftermath of being forced to stop work due to illness or injury, then savings in the region of 40% can be successfully achieved.

5 is THE magic number

5 years that is. Which is, essentially the maximum pay out length in relation to income protection insurance policies, which would ultimately guarantee lower premiums for the forward-thinking policyholder.

According to recent research, the average claim length for income protection insurance plans was 9 years, so if you were to freely suggest that you’d agree to a maximum 5 year pay-out duration (consecutively for the same medical condition/injury) then the insurance provider would look favourably on this and lower the premiums appropriately.

This could equate in real terms to reductions of around 14% when based around a hypothetical case study of a 35 year old office based, non-smoker. Pretty much the same applied logic is used with regard to the like-minded 2-year pay-out plan, proffered by numerous income protection insurance companies here in the UK.

Although generally considered as much more of a risk (given that it wouldn’t, effectively, provide many long-term safeguards against a serious medical condition), the fact of the matter is: pulled backs or broken limbs account for far more income protection insurance claims; which by and large can be recovered from to some extent within this proposed passage of time.

Reducing a 5-year pay-out plan to 2 years lowers the monthly income protection insurance premium by a staggering 44% (based on the abovementioned hypothetical individual/situation).

Be selective

Don’t settle for your first quote for income protection insurance. There’s no excuse not to get the very best deal today by shopping around, and Bobatoo can help you with that.

We work with leading insurers to find the right income protection insurance for your particular needs.

Give it a try and get your free, no obligation quote today…

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How to save money on home insurance

 

We start our whistle-stop ‘How to Save Money on Insurance’ guide by addressing one of the biggest and most popular insurance products on the market (the clue is in the last word there), namely home insurance. While it may at first appear a minefield of potential pitfalls and perceived problematics, the truth of the matter is that there are various ways in which to side-step paying-out extensive prices on your premiums by adopting some or all of the advice found beneath.

Shop around

Customer loyalty counts for nothing these days, so as a result a perpetually returning customer normally tends to be on a hiding to nothing.

Most home insurance providing companies are intent on rewarding potential new customers rather than looking to sweet-talk their existing ones, by way of offering lots of new customer incentives.

When it comes to renewal time, speak with a cross-section of competitors and/or compare all the very latest home insurance quotes online (or let Bobatoo do the hard work for you).

For the sake of answering a few virtual questions – which are typically done and dusted in 20 minutes, max – you could save serious £’s on an array of home insurance products, including buildings insurance, contents insurance, home and contents insurance combined, tenant’s insurance and landlord’s insurance.

Two for one

Admittedly, you don’t get anything in life for free, and everything comes at a price. But what if you could cover the cost of both your buildings insurance AND contents insurance for significantly less than both policies separately? Wouldn’t that be something worth shouting from the rooftops?

Comprising of the two traditional elements which together essentially cover the structure of your property, (buildings insurance throws a protective insurance blanket over the bricks and mortar and protects against damage against acts of God for the most part, with contents insurance guarding against damage to your possessions found within the four walls), many policyholders insure the two separately, seemingly unaware that impressive savings can be achieved when safeguarding the sum parts under the one plan.

Don’t sell yourself short

Or conversely undervalue your home for that matter, as both have a habit of coming back and biting the home insurance policyholder at a later date.

Firstly you’d be surprised at the amount of homeowners who routinely over-calculate the cost of reconstructing their des res in the unfortunate event of it being damaged beyond repair/irreversibly destroyed by fire, storms or an unexpected act of God (e.g. direct hit from lightning).

By the same token don’t over-estimate the value of your belongings found under the roof, as again this could result in paying needlessly expensive monthly premiums as the perceived value of the home and/or contents are then overinflated and passed on to the policyholder.

On the flip side avoid under-insuring in both these key areas, as if you put in a claim you risk receiving a massive shortfall in what you think it was worth and actually what it IS worth, based on the current market values; as it’s these which the home insurance provider will verify any future claim by.

Bear in mind that a basic definition of being inadequately insured is where the cost of replacing/repairing contents, or of rebuilding/repairing buildings, at the time of loss or damage is greater than the sum you are covered for. Eek.

Fort Knox

OK, this might be going over the top, but the more secure you make your property the more your home insurer will like it. And happier home insurance provider = more competitively priced home insurance policy premiums.

Although not entirely set in stone, the general consensus of opinion is that the greater the priority you place on the security of your house (in terms of warding off potential thieves), the greater the discount a home insurance specialist will offer.

Deadlocks, state of the art burglar alarms, electronic gates and and/or CCTV can all work to the homeowner’s advantage when negotiating over the price of home insurance cover. Well worth investing in.

One hit wonders

Although not everyone can afford to cough up for their annual home insurance premiums with a one-off sum, the advice is to do this if you are in a position to.

Like most insurance products, the majority of home insurance providers will afford policyholders the options of paying monthly or in the one hit.

While distributing the yearly amount of the course of 12 months works best for a large percentage, if there’s any way at all you can pay at the gates so to speak, the more you’re likely to save in incremental interest during the subsequent year.

Speculate to accumulate

It’s advice which is as old as the hills, yet when it comes to an insurance product like a home policy then it really does bear running the rule over.

We’re talking about your policy excess of course, and the amount you’re willing to pay up front in the statistically unlikely event of you making a claim as a homeowner.

We say ‘statistically unlikely’ presuming that you are the sort of person to take the utmost care of your property and personal possessions and therefore fervently believe that it’s almost impossible to imagine yourself making a claim per se.

It’s a calculated gamble, yet one which could easily pay dividends month in, month out. You see, the higher the excess you select (the initial part of any claim your home insurer will have to pay out and a standard requirement on all like-for-like policies), the lower the premium. Definitely worth mulling over this one.

Protect your assets

Following on from the above, the longer you go without making a claim on your policy, the more no claims bonus you accrue with direct regards to your home insurance plan.

Just like motor insurers, their home cover-providing counterparts regularly offer notable discounts to those policyholders who can prove they haven’t recently claimed on any home insurance plan they may have taken out.

The moral of this particular story being that by treating your property to regular maintenance and rigorous checks as to its ability to stand up to all that Mother Nature might have to throw at it, and are careful with your possessions, your odds of making a claim against your insurer due to a series of (at least) avoidable circumstances are greatly diminished. Thus ensuring your no claims bonus not only stays intact but burgeons over the passage of time.

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How to save money on car insurance

 

With some motor insurance policies leaving your bank account running on empty, it’s crucial that car owners shop around to get the green light on a policy that not only covers every eventuality but one that doesn’t leave them feeling an alternative road rage whenever they’re reminded of it. Which is generally every month, when the direct debit goes out.

With the RAC suggesting that one in every three of us pays over the odds for our car insurance, then it really is time we knuckled down and did something proactive about challenging this damning statistic.

So here’s a quick reminder as to how YOU can save money on motor insurance with immediate effect.

Shop around

In many cases a car owner can save in the region of a couple of hundred pounds (on average) on their motor insurance simply by checking out the opposition.

These days it’s easier than ever to compare car insurance policies, and at Bobatoo we’ve made it even easier. We work with leading car insurers to help find you a great deal on your car insurance policy – whether you are renewing your policy or are a new driver, we can help you save.

Get a free, no obligation quote now:

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Keep the number of named drivers as low as possible

The greater the number of named drivers you cite on your motor insurance policy, the more likely the premium will rise according to the increased risk posed by the personal circumstances of those additional drivers.

Aim to keep named drivers to a minimum and only those who you see as being classed as regular drivers of the proposed vehicle over the next 12 months of the policy’s envisaged term.

Protect your assets

Your vehicular pride and joy is worth a lot of money, so make sure that it’s a secure proposition – as there’s every chance that potential car thieves will view it as an attractive one.

Approved alarms and immobilisers can ensure a useful discount on your motor insurance premiums – on average around the 5% mark – while fitting a tracker device will see further £’s knocked off the amount you pay per month on your policy.

Bear in mind that many newer makes and models will come with either/or as standard, having been factory fitted; so don’t forget to check and pass on this information to your motor insurer from the start.

Keep your car parked somewhere safe

Car insurers want your car to be safe at all times, so if you have a driveway – or better still, a garage – then you could well get lower premiums.

This is because there’s less chance of it being stolen or suffering any damage while it is parked up.

Remember, it’s all about risk management as far as the insurance providers are concerned. You keep up your end (by looking at ways of minimising risk) and they’ll keep theirs up by minimising your premiums for being proactive rather than reactive.

Size IS important

Typically, the smaller the vehicle you’re wanting to insure, the cheaper your policy will be.

Makes and models make a huge difference when it comes down to car insurance premiums, with smaller-engined, more efficient and less powerful models being the most impressive in terms of competitively-sized premiums.

Additionally, the more economical the car is, the more money you save on petrol/diesel too. What you might call a rare win-win situation for the motorist.

Stop pounding the streets

Distance yourself from excessive miles – ergo limit the (tarmac-covered) ground you cover each year – and you’ll see your car insurance premiums shed pounds in the long run.

Seriously, if you restrict the number of approximate miles you cover during proposed car journeys throughout 12 months, your auto insurance provider will reward you by trimming pounds off your policy.

Cut 10,000 miles per annum and you could easily witness a saving in the region of £100. The general rule of thumb is, the fewer the miles your car covers, the greater the saving on insurance.

Of course some work/life situations are better geared up to this, with remote-working employees and freelancers perhaps in the best position to take advantage, but either way it’s well worth doing some calculations to determine if you can cut a few (highway) corners.

Experience top trumps youth every time

Youthfulness counts for nothing in the car insurance stakes; in fact it historically goes against you, with the more mature driver habitually bagging the best deals.

It will make little difference if the main named driver has decades of no claims bonuses built up and is classed as the safest driver on the road in the eyes of the car insurer if at the same time they try and add a young or inexperienced new driver on their policy. The mere mention of the younger driver’s name (or more precisely, their driving licence) will ensure that your motor insurance premium will automatically rocket as the potential risk increases exponentially.

It’s nothing new, as parents have been putting their offspring’s names on their insurance policies for years in a bid to cut costs (they see this as a cheaper alternative to said offspring arranging their own policy), yet in reality it’s a false economy.

Plus parents aren’t doing their kids any favours by deferring their opportunity to start building no claims bonuses of their own.

No Claims Bonus makes a massive difference

Arguably THE best way to reduce your car insurance premiums, a long and established no-claims bonus will always impress motor insurance providers and ultimately pay dividends in the long run.

OK, protecting your NCBs may mean stumping up a little more for premiums during the early days of your driving life and times, but this is a small price to pay when you look at the bigger picture. Like for instance if you were to face a potential loss of a 90% discount accumulated over many years trouble-free motoring in the subsequent event of a claim being made by/against you.

But also note that the very definition of a no-claims discount often differs significantly between purveyors, so it’s imperative that you get your insurer to explain the nitty-gritty of their stance on NCBs and privileges.

Despite accidents agreed to have been caused by a third party usually having no impact on a NCB, those found to be caused by the policyholder, could.

Exceed expectations

Up the motoring insurance premium ante by, well, upping your voluntary excess. By agreeing to pay more towards the projected cost of any future accident involving your car, your premiums will consequently tumble.

Plus, if you’re not implemented in any accident and exonerated of any culpable blame, then the excess can be recovered on your behalf.

The only cautionary note being not to be hoodwinked by a car insurer to agreeing to pay too much excess from the outset, especially if your vehicle is of a lower value.

Sign up for telematics/black box insurance

No, we’re not suggesting that you join fellow fame-seeking contestants in a no holds barred TV reality show, but rather invest in a little Orwellian-esque in-car tech which WILL reduce your car insurance premiums.

Highly recommended if you’re a newly qualified or younger driver, the emergence of black box technology has brought with it dramatic reductions in motor insurance premiums among the aforementioned target-audience of drivers.

The installed system typically monitors your driving skills and aptitude on the road, which your insurer has access to. This is crucial evidence in helping them offer you a more competitively priced auto insurance policy.

Widely referred to as telematics, these black boxes check your speed, handling and how much care and attention you apply to driving, as well as ascertaining if you use the roads at what they perceive to be more dangerous times of day.

These systems are at the front line of minimising otherwise sky-high insurance for younger drivers.

How to save money on health insurance

 

The last thing anyone wants is to be faced with the onset of a serious illness or begin the often long and arduous rehabilitation process after recovering from an unavoidable injury. And by the same token nobody would be happy stumping up huge health insurance policy premiums year on year to cover them for such events playing out in the foreseeable future.

So read our tips below and learn more about saving money on health insurance, and specifically how you can get the best deals on the burgeoning health insurance market.

None of the tips are brain surgery-complex to get your head around, and by taking this at-a-glance, summarised advice, hopefully you’ll save an arm and a leg when arranging your health insurance.

Think about your policy excess

As with most insurance products, by increasing your excess – and thereby agreeing to pay a greater percentage towards the cost of any subsequent claims on the policy – the more chance you have to reduce the annual/monthly premiums you pay.

Most health insurance providers will reward those who willingly volunteer to pay more towards any potential claims by offering generous discounts on projected premiums.

No claim, no pain

Again, like the majority of other personal insurance business models, no claims bonuses reward those policyholders who don’t make claims on their health insurance plans on a regular basis.

Year-on-year NCB points tallies help reduce successive health insurance policy premiums – with some maximum discounts totalling 75% over a period of accumulative no-claiming. Beware though, as there are catches. It’s more a case of health insurance providers successfully managing claims as much as it is about reducing the cost of cover, with evidence to suggest that would-be policyholders could get caught out.

There have been instances where even the smallest of claims have directly resulted in the policyholder dropping several levels of discount.

As always, determine the facts and figures from the start.

Be more upfront

By which we mean pay your health insurance premium up front and in one go.

Naturally, this won’t be a financially viable proposition for everyone, however if your finances do allow it then you could see savings of between 5 and 10% slashed off the annual premium.

Exercise your rights

Or rather, prove to your health insurer that you lead a remarkably healthy lifestyle – eating well, exercising regularly, non-smoker, less than a unit of alcohol consumed in a week – and you’ll be pleasantly surprised as to the savings you can make in terms of your annual/monthly premium.

Essentially the healthier you are, the better proposition you are as far as your health insurance provider is concerned. If you’re classed as obese, have a 40 a day nicotine habit, prop up the bar all weekend and have never cast your sizeable shadow over a gym door, then the chances are that your health insurer will immediately see you as a considerable risk, and afford you hefty premiums as a result.

Olden is not (necessarily) golden

Although age and maturity stand you in good stead when it comes to motor insurance, conversely – and as with life insurance – health insurance policies are far more attractive (fiscally-speaking) for younger people.

It’s not difficult to understand why, as the law of averages normally dictates that the older you are the more increased are the risks of developing life-shortening/threatening conditions and illnesses; although in reality many are just as likely to beset a younger person.

Don’t overlook health cash plans

Health cash plans – as promoted by many leading health insurance providers – are of particularly interest to those looking to ring fence their medical provisions; and go some way to offer a peace of mind across the personal health spectrum.

These multi-functional plans will contribute towards your routine healthcare costs and come into effect as and when you hand over payment for dental, chiropody or optical work.

A health cash plan will refund the policyholder a percentage of these health-related expenses every time they attend one of the aforementioned medical-based practitioners, leaving you with extra cash to spend on whatever you want.

Extending to such additional areas as physiotherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy, and podiatry amongst others, a health cash plan – while not an out-and-out insurance policy as such – will assist towards medical expenses that otherwise may not be covered.

Pick n mix health insurance

Increasing numbers of health insurance providers are offering policies where the emphasis is placed firmly on treatment rather than diagnostics.

Ruling out diagnostic costs and concentrating efforts solely on procedure and potential treatment generally comes at a lesser cost.

Be picky

Restricting the choice of hospitals you’d be prepared to attend for procedures and treatments will have surprisingly cost-effective repercussions on your health insurance premiums.

By drawing up dedicated hospital lists (earmarking certain hospitals which are primarily private patient units of NHS Trust and Partnership hospitals) it’s more than possible to make savings of some 25% on your health insurance premiums.

Time it right

A growing selection of health insurance policies underwritten by various leading medical insurance providers here in the UK are promoting a special cover which only kicks in once it’s confirmed by the NHS that treatment for that particular condition/illness isn’t available within a dedicated six week period.

How to save money on travel insurance

 

It’s one thing circumnavigating the globe, exploring new cultures and expanding your horizons (or simply just jetting off to somewhere infinitely sunnier/warmer than the UK on a regular basis), but just how much has your existing travel insurance policy premium curtailed your globe-trotting ambitions?

Below we share with you just a few of the best tips for locating the right deal for you, which we’d urge anyone planning a trip away to read and make note of.

Don’t buy travel insurance from your tour operator

It is often best to avoid purchasing your travel insurance directly from your tour operator, travel agent or airline as by and large they can charge way over the odds.

You may feel like a captive audience at the time of arranging a mini-break or holiday (especially if you complete the deal in person at a retail establishment), but beware that they’ll almost certainly charge the earth for cover you can get much cheaper elsewhere.

Check your home insurance policy

Stop right there, in your tracks, as it’s more than likely that your home and contents insurance policy may well cover you for specific aspects of your travel insurance as well. At the very least allowing you to forego expensive baggage cover. And if your home and contents doesn’t cover certain belongings/possessions while you’re on your jollies, there’s every possibility that your credit card or the current account with your bank extends to travel insurance.

That’s not to say that if it is then it will offer sufficient cover for your holiday requirements, as often what’s billed as ‘free’ travel insurance doesn’t protect you from every eventuality in a travelling respect.

As always, check with your insurance/banking provider beforehand.

Extreme activities need extreme cover

Anything from jet skiing, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, scuba diving and even horse riding may all be deemed ‘risky’ from a travel insurance company’s perspective.

So it is important to ensure that horse riding, mountain biking, et al are inclusive within your travel insurance policy, or potentially find yourself stumping up for your own medical bills in the event of an accident.

Also, be extra aware that extremely sporty, high risk activities aren’t normally covered by standard travel insurance policies; so speak with your provider first.

What’s more, this inclusion tends to bump up the price of the premium (winter sports participation particularly), so perhaps the best policy would be to arrange a single trip travel insurance package on the occasion of a one-off adventure-orientated holiday.

Don’t end up counting the cost in other ways

Although it’s great to negotiate a money-saving deal with your travel insurance provider, make sure you’re not paying an even higher cost in the long run.

Like any other insurance product it’s imperative that you don’t focus solely on driving the cost of your premiums down, and instead concentrate on making sure your individual plan ticks ALL the boxes before signing on the dotted line.

As a general rule your travel insurance policy should ideally comprise of the following cover: £2 million for medical expenses, £1 million for personal liability, £3,000 for cancellation, £1,500 for baggage and £250 for cash.

Specific emphasis should be placed on medical cover as even minor surgery abroad (e.g. appendicitis) could easily cost in the region of £7,500 in Europe, while that ballpark figure rockets to a pain-inducing £25,000 in some American states.

So make sure you always broker a cost-effective yet extensively covered travel insurance policy with your provider.

Consider an annual policy if you travel a lot

Depending on how often you plan on travelling (i.e., more than three times a year), an annual policy which provides cover for a full 12 months can offer far better value for money than an alternative collection of single trip policies; the latter of which have become increasingly popular in recent years.

However, be aware that each trip you take throughout the 12 months must not exceed 31 days in duration, otherwise you’ll then be technically classed as a backpacker. Not a bad thing, but something which necessitates a specialist travel insurance policy in its own right.

In a nut shell, a single trip policy is the best route if you holiday on average once a year. Which when compared with annual cover which typically begins from around £25 an annum represents a great saving.

If you think you’ll be accumulating the Air Miles in the next 12 month period, it’s best to plump for traditional annual cover though, which also means you’re automatically covered for any last minute or unforeseen travel arrangements too.

What type of holiday maker are you?

It’s important to ascertain which travel insurance policy is best suited to your needs. With knowledge being power and all that, it really helps your cause if you know the basics. Like, for example, that worldwide travel insurance cover will set you back more, financially, than European cover in terms of premiums paid.

So with this in mind it would be more fiscally prudent to purchase a single trip worldwide policy to cover yourself for any travel outside of Europe.

It all really depends on how globe-trotting you’re planning to be over the next 12 months, and whether your funds match your ambitions.

Make sure it’s not over before it’s even begun

By rubber stamping your travel insurance far enough in advance you will guard against getting stung by last minute cancellations – providing you opt for the cancellation cover option from the outset of agreeing your individual policy.

While a few hundred pounds worth of cancellation cover is fine and dandy if your holiday isn’t taking in the most exotic of destinations, if your cruise is cancelled before you embark you’ll need to ensure that your cancellation cover is at least to the value of a few thousand pounds to compensate for your potential loss.

Our best tip would be to have your cancellation policy cover the cost of the holiday as a minimum requirement, because it’s also worth remembering that your travel insurance provider won’t pay out £3,000 cancellation cover when the holiday only cost you £1,000, so you’ll find yourself out of pocket from the off.

Play family fortunes

Family travel insurance is a virtual no-brainer if you’re heading of on your jollies with your partner and/or children, and can end up saving you money.

The flexibility of modern family travel insurance policies means that the policyholder can specify the number of adults and children too. The only cautionary notes with this being that some policies may not cover you in the event of a child falling ill while on holiday which might subsequently force you or your partner to remain with them and make the return journey at a later date, if they are declared too unwell to travel there and then, as per the pre-agreed schedule.

Again, thrash these various elements and potential restrictions out with your travel insurer far in advance.

Avoid airline fractures

Back in the late 2000s several airlines and travel companies collapsed as result of the economic downturn; which resulted in an increase in travellers voicing their concern that their travel insurance might not safeguard them against airline failure as such.

Although many airlines DO cover this eventuality as standard (and many more as an optional extra) it’s always worthwhile reading the small print just to be on the safe side. For in some case as little as £7 per annum, you could easily add this to your existing/planned travel insurance policy.

There are other considerations to bear in mind at the same time though, with regard to airlines and/or travel operators going bust after you’ve paid for your holiday. These include flights purchased by credit cards mostly render you covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for purchases between £100 and £3,000, while providing that your tour operator is ATOL-protected, you’ll be in a favourable position to reclaim any lost money should this unfortunate and unpredicted scenario play out in the future.