Saturday, 10 November 2012

Will you risk it?

I'm not a big fan of insuring myself or my belongings against any misfortunes that might happen to come my way. I prefer to calculate the risks myself then decide if I need cover or not. Some people would not be able to sleep in their bed at night unless they had every possible risk covered by an insurance policy. That is not me, my attitude to life is what will be will be, and I will sort out any problems if and when they arise. 
There was one insurance policy which I was glad I took out, and that was to make sure my mortgage was paid if I was not able to work through sickness or redundancy. When I signed up for it I was fit and well, and my job appeared to be secure, so really the risk was quite low that I would ever need to make a claim on it. The reason I took it out was that I had never missed a mortgage payment in my life, I couldn't imagine going to my lender and saying I couldn't pay, I would be so embarrassed. Well I was sick, and I did lose my job, and it was a relief that the insurance company paid out for ten months. When I hit 60 and retired I cancelled it, because I didn't need it any more. 
I have car insurance because it is a legal requirement, and I suppose it is usefull if you are involved in an accident. I have had to claim once from my insurers, and that was only because my car was vandalised. When my car was written off it was paid for by the other party, thank goodness they were insured. 
I used to have insurance for Bugsy cat, but I cancelled it, and now I put money aside to pay for vets. I make sure I have a little pot of money earmarked specifically for cat care. Having no insurance policy is a risk I am willing to take, I am disciplined enough to self insure. I like that term, I pay my own insurance money to myself so I have some for emergencies. 
My vehicle recovery insurance policy is something I don't mind paying for, I need to know that me and my car will be taken back home, should it break down anywhere in the country. This gives me peace of mind. I would not like to be stranded on a quiet road in the middle of the night. The RAC have been very good at looking after me and my car. 
I have a house insurance policy, which was required by my lender at the time I took out the mortgage. This is to protect the fabric of the house should anything happen to make it fall down. I don't have a contents policy, because to be honest I haven't got anything worth very much. 
I don't have life insurance, don't need it. No family to look after and provide for when I'm gone. There will be enough money in my estate to cover the cost of the funeral.
I was talking to someone the other day about insurance. They had paid £150 a year for ten years to insure their new washing machine against breakdowns. The shop always offers this cover at the time of purchase. The person said they had called out an engineer a couple of times during that time and they were pleased that the problem was fixed. Then there came a time when the machine could not be fixed, and according to the policy the machine would be replaced with a new one. Sounds quite good. Only the company did not want to give them a new machine, saying it was normal wear and tear, and the machine was expected to become old and not repairable. The person kicked up a stink about it and won, and recieved a voucher to be spent in the shop on a new machine. Unfortunately the shop is called Comet, it has gone into receivership and is no longer accepting vouchers. Oh what a mess. I have never insured any of my electrical appliances or gadgets against breakdowns. They are covered by the manufacturers guarantee, that will do for me. If you buy them with a credit card they are covered for a certain time by the credit card company. I take my chance, and luckily everything I buy lasts a pretty long time.   
So think very carefully about insurance, do you really need it for everything? Do you want to pay £1,500 over ten years when you could buy a new thingy for £500 every three and a bit years? Maybe you will be lucky and your original purchase will last the full ten years, if so you have just wasted a heck of a lot of money. Check out your policies, make sure you are not over insured.

Here are a couple of pics for you. Taken on a walk late this afternoon as the sun was going down. The River Ancholme at South Ferriby, and looking across to the cement works and the Humber beyond.


Toodle pip

23 comments:

  1. The light is beautiful in those pics.
    Jane x

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  2. I've been offered that crappy insurance before, buy an item for £20 and you can insure it for 2 years for £12, what a rip off ! It must be embarrassing for the staff to roll out the sale patter when they know its a load of rubbish.

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  3. Nice, moody shots. My neighbours insure washing machine and other appliances! They also have British Gas CH insurance at about £35 per month. Everything that is insured is not all going to go kaput, so if they just saved that money, they would have the money to cover any breakage.

    My Mum has British Gas cover but that means she can just pick up the phone and not think of how to get a gas/electric/water problem done. She had a massive flood a couple of years ago caused by some pipes giving way upstairs, all the ceiling came down in the living room. She just rang them, they fixed it and her house insurance covered the repairs. She couldn't be bothered having a new carpet because of all the furniture needing to be removed, so she just shampooed the one she has. In her case I think it is a good idea, they come immediately in view of her age (92)

    At the moment I just find a tradesman if anything goes wrong at our house and keep the money in my pocket.


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  4. taking out extra insurance on appliances is something we don't normally do. We are required to take out insurance to cover our mortgage before we can get a mortgage over here. Car insurance is a must and you are truly an idiot if you don't have it over here, as folk will sue you at a drop of a hat.

    Interesting post.

    Gill in Canada

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    Replies
    1. Gill, the mortgage insurance is only mandatory if you put down less than 25% on your house. We have one friend who insured her husband on the mortgage when they bought their first house. Unfortunately, they paid out. Her husband died in Kosova. As sh put it, she'd havve rather had the husband than paid for house.

      We've never had to purchase the mortgage insurance. I always figured if anything happened to me or the husband there was enough on our work policies to cover it. I cancelled and reduced insurance policies once youngest hit 18.

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  5. I used to pay for a vehicle breakdown service. It wasn't cheap, almost $100 a year, but then I found out about other services that just do one off jobs without any membership or yearly fees. So rather than pay for it each year and never use it, I've got a number I can call at anytime I get into trouble. It'll probably be expensive, but it's a one off.

    Secondly, not sure what the law is like in the UK, but here, they advise us not to buy warranties etc for any appliances, as they're already covered under the law. They must keep working for a reasonable amount of time.

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  6. I have home owner's insurance and of course auto insurance. I also have a small insurance that covers my furnace. I have fears about having to replace it or repair it because it's quite expensive to do so. It cost me $6 per month for the furnace coverage and the water heater coverage ($6 for both, not $12). I have had repairs done since getting the insurance and have saved quite alot on those repairs. Just having the guy come out to look at the furnace is quite expensive without the repairs. I have an auto breakdown service that has been a godsend when my daughter was away at college. She had my old car to get around with and she kept having problems with it. She called them so many times and they always got the car started, changed the flat tire, unlocked the door for her once, etc., etc. I felt she was safer with that service and she was quite far away from home so we couldn't really help her out if she got stuck on the road.
    There are certain services that might not work or be necessary for some people but there are some that I felt happy to have. I don't need the auto breakdown service any more but when we had it, it was so good to have. I don't normally advocate all these services or extra insurances but some of those worked out to my advantage. I wouldn't get appliance insurance though. Not worth it in my opinion.

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  7. I have spendt the last 6 years of my life in insurance - just left it to work fulltime with hubby at our own company. I completely agree = most people are overinsured. Yes, insure your major assets like home and car. Life insurance is only necessary if you have a family and are the primary earner or are required to insure oneself for a mortgage. Most other insurance is a complete waste of money. Most people should opt for a high deductible to save premiums. Cheers!

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  8. We have to have car insurance in the US to protect ourselves from lawsuits and uninsured drivers. Can you believe that? On top of insuring my car, I have to buy uninsured car insurance!

    I hsve never in my 4 years of being an appliance buyer ever bought appliance insurance until...

    I bought a dehumidifier that barely lasted beyond product warranty date. So, I had to buy another one and convinced to insure it for $39. I was led to believe I would get a replacement dehumidifier if this one did not last for two years. Not so! I was so shocked, elderly, sitting in an electric cart, and just about one the verge of tears. The guy said he would get me a brand new one. I was so grateful. That's two dehumidifiers down. When I got got the third one free, there was no longer a warranty offer on dehumidifiers. So, I am sol if this one breaks.

    My daughter was having grave financial problems and had a fancy phone that was tearing up. She needed to get to the end of her 2-yr contract so she could change companies. There was three months to go. I always call companies for her, pretending I am her and get things straight for her. (she is okay with this and I never do it without her permission) She was paying $15/mth for her phone and same for her son's phone. She had three months left, yet if she got another phone, they would require her to pay something like 90% of the new phone costs because they were old phones--you know, an ancient 21 mth old phone!

    I cancelled her insurance, cut her minutes and saved her enought per month to help her survive, al without her explicit permission on each problem.
    she trusts me. All I undid, like phone plan could be undone. However, her phone was usable for only minutes before it needed a new charge. So, why did she need more minutes? (Yes, I know they don't need a fancy phone, but a mother can only talk so much.) In spite of my warnings, she still insured their next phones and also that of her 11-yr-old's phone.

    Unless a phone breaks in the first few months, a phone insurance policy is useless.

    I have an attorney friend who never insures anything and has no life insurance policy. (he does have the least car insurance that the law allows.) He had a wreck that collapsed a lung, ripped open his spleen, and left him unconscious and in the Intensive care for a week. When he got out, he negotiated the bill, and wrote them a check for 40% of the hospital bill. He owns timberland that he manages, and is leaving it all the children and grandchildren. That is his life insurance. He was single for years and now married to someone who insists their finances be kept separate. She does not need anything if he dies. We cannot all be in his position. But, anyone without medical insurance can negotiate the bill.

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  9. That is my 45 years of buying appliances.
    The #5 on my laptop must be pounded to make it work.

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  10. A friend of mine went into that shop that's gone bust to buy a laptop. They were more interested in selling her the extended warranty for it than the actual laptop. The assistant went on and on about it for so long, then the manager was called and he went on and on, and in the end my friend was so totally fed up with it all that she walked out without buying anything at all!

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  11. I agree with most of what you say re insurance-i cant believe that people take out insurance on new appliances-i always ask sales people if their appliances are so poor quality that one needs to pay for insurance in case they break down
    I do have insurance for my 2 dogs as im so worried that i wont be able to afford vet bills. However, the cover is only £4000 per dog so maybe i should try and increase my savings and cancel my insurance.
    i rent so don't need to worry about the building or central heating etc (a huge relief as I've recently had a new ceiling in my sitting room after the roof on the period property that i live in leaked)
    However i do have contents insurance. Like you Ilona i live quite simply and don't have a house full of antiques or expensive furniture and fittings. However, when i have worked out what it would cost to replace everything-from cooker to pots and pans and from clothes to bed and bedding i realised that some contents insurance would be useful.
    I also have RAC like you and obviously car insurance as its a legal requirement.
    Good post-and nice photos!
    Ruth

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  12. I am a great believer in putting money aside for an emergency, rather than paying someone else for something that may or may not happen. I had British Gas Homecare for many years in the past and never had a problem, so effectively, chucked that money away. I would never consider it now. Instead I have a good plumber that is reliable and honest and if things go wrong, I know I won't be shafted and if things don't go wrong, then I have saved myself a ton of money. Car and house insurance is all I have and I would never consider taking out an insurance on a white good, no way!

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  14. From Housefairy
    Good morning, what a worthy topic...
    We have many insurance policies, not all I agree with. Some are useful...
    House and contents
    car insurance for husbands car

    BG insurance which we do use, I have got quite good at giving then a ring. They come out quick.
    We have the boiler serviced each year. Just had then out x2 for CH.
    They cover drains too. So called them out for a blocked bathroom sink, after we had tried several times to unblock ourselves.
    Our outside drains blocks every year when some one from the 6 houses on our system shoves something down like nappies.

    We have our double oven insured too! It is now about 6 yrs old. Every year the element goes so not a good brand.

    Our dog is now 5 yrs and I paid for the insurance for the first year by default when son was out of work and could no longer pay. When contract was up I canceled, This was followed by a debate of "it should be insured, vets bills, etc...
    Few months ago one of our daughters that lives at home decided she was going to pay for it.So it is insured again.

    I always book holiday insurance if we Traver to Europe, I went to Holland for 5 days in May.

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  15. No insurance, not even life.
    Like you I have enough put by for the ultimate expenses.
    I have free car breakdown cover with my bank account.
    I have a friend who pays £120 a month on various insurances, think how much she would have saved if that had been put in the bank - she has never made a claim.

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  16. The Sale of Goods Act and The Supply of Goods and Services Act also offers up to 6 years consumer protection, but obviously not when a company ceases trading. A manufacture's guarantee is purely voluntary and relies entirely on the terms and conditions of such and is in addition to statutory rights. Seeking redress for unsatisfactory goods or services relies on contract law, which, basically, is sought against the retailer you paid your money to! Hope this is helpful.

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  17. We have very little insurance. Household insurance, life insurance (for mortgage purposes), and car insurance. We have just renewed our car insurance and realised we were paying a premium for a hire car in the case of an accident which is our fault. It occurred to us in the 20 years OH has been driving and the 10 years I have been driving we have never had an accident, therefore never needed a hire car. Chances are that we will not have an accident in the next year (as we are good drivers), but if we did we would either manage without a car whilst repairs were being taken out, or we would hire one ourselves by finding the best price in our area. So a saving of £100.

    We have never had pet insurance, though if money is tight I would recommend it. We always had a plan of action if the worst happened and she needed treatment. In her 15 years she has only ever needed two doses of antibiotics which cost us about £100. Not bad for 15 years. She's too old to insure now, and we would never consider putting her under any stress of surgery or invasive treatment.

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  18. I`ve just bought a new tumble drier. Would never consider paying extra insurance. My previous drier lasted over 10 years and was being used virtually every day during winters, and seldom in the summer, as I tend to use the free fresh air and my clothes line in the garden. Have no house insurance as we previously never could afford it, and just never got to take it up later. There is nothing expensive in my house that would need replacing through any insurance. My cat was never insured.
    Sofar we had no major expense for his health. He`s 14 this year and still in great shape. The only insurance I ever payed out for was for the car. No longer have a car and shall not have to bother with this anymore, either. Life`s so much easier without all this insurance hassle. I`m totally on your wavelength when it comes to unecessary insurances.

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  19. Re your friend and the Comet voucher - If Comet have actually given her 'a voucher' - she should check out the situation - there was something mentioned about them 'honouring vouchers'.

    If it wasn't an actual voucher, I don't know what that situation would be.

    I'd say to tell her to check it all out - don't just think that there's no chance of anything at all.

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  20. Melinda
    Speaking from someone who had contents insurance for roughly 25 years and only the very odd claim (theft etc)and then decided to cancel it as everything was getting pretty old and then three years later a house fire and lost most of our contents in the house fire. We replaced everything except his media television system with second hand most in nearly new condition. We now have contents insurance but just last week was querying whether to continue or not. If you are happy to replace with second hand or freecycle stuff I am now questioning whether we should continue with contents. We did have building insurance and would always have that as replacing a house is quite expensive. Always have had car insurance as we usually have fairly new second hand car. But all insurances are very personal on which ones to have.
    Regards Melinda

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