The working mum’s guide to insurance cover

These days, it is possible to take out an insurance policy for virtually any reason to cover any sort of asset; after all, supermodel Heidi Klum’s legs are insured, famously, for £1.3 million.

With so many different types of insurance around, it is useful to get to grips with the most important policies so that key areas are covered, rather than incidental ones.

The main types of insurance policies most people need are life, health, property and vehicle insurance. Knowledge of how to make a claim under each type of policy is also useful.

Life insurance
Sometimes neglected by those who do not have partners or children, life insurance is important for everyone, as funeral costs alone can place a great burden on relatives and friends. People with close family or dependents should make provisions for an income stream that will replace what is lost if their income disappears as a result of their death.

Health insurance
Since good health is essential to being able to work and live life to the full, a policy that protects against sickness and accidents is essential. Some employers provide health benefits – for many, this will be a useful money saving option. A comprehensive policy will include provision for claiming compensation not just in the case of an accident at work, for example, but also in the unfortunate circumstances where one or more elements of medical treatment go wrong, in which case clinical negligence claims may be necessary.

Property insurance
Most people are familiar with home and contents insurance in relation to a property they own or occupy. When buying a home and paying a mortgage, insurance will normally be a requirement of the lender. When renting a property, the landlord will have a policy relating to the building, but this will normally not extend to the tenant’s belongings. Both types of policy are important, as a home is often the most valuable asset most people have, and the replacement value of contents alone – not counting the value of any unique items – can soon amount to a considerable sum.

Vehicle insurance
It is a legal requirement to have vehicle insurance for cars and vans used for domestic or business purposes. Not only is this necessary to cover the cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle following an accident, it is also essential in case of injury or death resulting from an accident. Most policies will cover medical and legal expenses, regardless of who was found to be at fault.

Making a claim
Life insurance claims are generally straightforward, and most companies strive to ease the stress caused by bereavement by making the process as simple as possible. Unfortunately, where health insurance claims are concerned, valid cases for medical compensation can fail if a specialist firm of solicitors is not used, as these firms tend to know the most appropriate medico-legal experts for each set of circumstances. Medical negligence claims therefore require specialist medical solicitors who will use independent experts as commentators on whether the treatment provided was negligent. For property and vehicle insurance claims, companies normally handle these relatively quickly and smoothly.

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