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What is insurance and why does it matter?

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, things just go wrong.

You might have an accident, be the victim of a crime or suffer an illness or injury that puts you out of action for a while.

In addition to being unpleasant, these events can also hurt your wallet. Stolen or damaged valuables have to be replaced, and lost income from periods of time when you're unable to work can make it difficult or impossible to pay your bills.

Insurance is a way to protect yourself against these situations before they occur. By paying a regular annual or one-off fee, you can get a guaranteed pay-out to cover unexpected costs that occur due to something that wasn't your fault.

Types of insurance

Here are some common types of insurance that you might want to consider purchasing: 

Travel insurance

It’s important to take out travel insurance before you go abroad, as it can protect you from a wide range of problems. If your luggage is lost or stolen, you could claim money to replace lost valuables, or even to cover the cost of replacing a lost or stolen passport. If you are injured or become ill while abroad, travel insurance can cover your medical bills. You could even reclaim money for a trip that is cancelled or delayed due to events beyond your control. 

Motor insurance

If you own a vehicle such as a car or bike, you'll need motor insurance to protect you against theft, vandalism, road accidents and collisions with other vehicles.

If you're involved in an accident in which you are judged to be at fault, for example due to reckless or careless driving, your insurance can also cover the liability that you may have to pay to other drivers or passengers.

The amount you'll pay for your motor insurance, sometimes referred to as your premium, can increase if you have a history that indicates you might be a higher risk, so drive safe! 

Home contents insurance

As the name suggests, home contents insurance covers the valuable belongings within your home: clothes, furniture, jewellery, any electrical goods and even your bikes in case they are damaged or stolen. This can be particularly important in Bermuda due to the risks posed by our annual hurricane season.

Home buildings insurance

Home buildings insurance offers financial cover against structural damage to your property. This could include damage caused by strong winds and hurricanes, storms, flooding and water damage, fires, theft and vandalism.

This cover can help you to pay for essential repair work or even extensive rebuilding. Remember, this type of insurance only covers structural repairs, so you’ll need to combine it with a home contents insurance policy to fully protect your possessions.

Loan protection insurance

When you take out a loan, you make a commitment to pay it back over a period of several years. But what happens to that money if the worst happens?

Loan protection insurance can help you to protect your loved ones from taking on your debts after you die. You can take out coverage on a loan up to BMD $100,000, and if you pass away unexpectedly, the remaining balance will be repaid on your behalf. Any remaining funds will go directly to the beneficiary of your estate - usually your closest living relative or spouse. 

Mortgage protection insurance

Much like loan protection insurance, mortgage protection helps to prevent your loved ones from inheriting the cost of your mortgage repayments in case you die unexpectedly.

You can take a sole or joint policy worth up to BDM $2million. This insurance should be valid through the full duration of your mortgage agreement, as long as you keep up your payments. Mortgage protection doesn't need to be purchased at the start of a mortgage agreement either - you can buy it at any time. 

Insurance tips

  • make sure you know when your cover starts and when it pays out
  • read insurance documents carefully, so you know exactly what's covered and for how long
  • compare different companies before committing, as policies can vary

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