Coffee Break

How Essential is Insurance?

Image Credit

Insurance is often described as a necessary evil that’s required to protect your interests… be that your health, vehicle, home, personal belongings or even your ability to make repayments.  There are, of course, certain insurances that are compulsory such as car insurance yet there are many insurance products sold on the basis of fear mongering that you could perhaps live without.

In many ways, insurance works in tandem with legal representation; as insurance is the prophylactic measure that acts as a safety net should an incident happen whereas lawyers such as tend to step in once the damage is done in order to put right a wrong in terms of financial restitution.

This articles looks at a number of different types of insurance that we could perhaps live without, in order to reflect on the value of paying the required premiums, with a view to considering the likely return on investment and gauging whether the myriad of insurance products available are unnecessary expenses we could live without.


The truth is, if we thought we were going to have an accident whilst on holiday, we would probably cut our losses and stay at home; there’s often a sense of denial when it comes thinking about having an accident abroad!  However, Murphy’s Law has a funny way of bopping us on the head at the very time we are wanting to enjoy our holiday; and at a time we don’t have the healthcare privileges of our home country.

If you were to consider the prospect of breaking an ankle whilst walking on a remote mountain range, you can see how quickly the costs could spiral out of control – from the cost of dispatching an emergency helicopter to the specialist treatment required in hospital.  Whilst this is not a life threatening emergency, each day, people on their travels face life threatening situations that require urgent medical treatment – sometimes even surgery, and in some countries, without the necessary insurance in place, they require a Visa Card in order to be admitted.

Your health is your most valuable asset… as without it, all the money in the world won’t make any difference – so out of all the insurance policies to consider taking out, a decent travel insurance policy is a wise investment.  However, try to avoid the super cheap policies that have so many exclusions you would be lucky to ever have a claim honoured; particularly be careful with terms that exclude claims made as a result of an act of terrorism, as you never know when this could happen, and in the awful event of something like this you would want to be sure that your insurance would cover you for treatment.

Also, be sure to check the activities you wish to undertake on your trip are covered – as most won’t insurance policies won’t cover adventurous sports like whitewater rafting and some won’t even cover relatively low risk activities like bodyboarding.


Life insurance, could be said to not provide much tangible benefit to you as an individual when compared with something like travel insurance… but it does provide the peace of mind that in the inevitable event of your death, your loved ones, will have a cash payment to help look after them once you’re gone.

Life Insurance is an interesting concept, as insurers tend to like to insure against risks that might happen; rather than those that will definitely happen.  Some view life insurance as being akin to an investment that pays out upon death – but if that’s the case why not just pay a weekly amount into a bucket of cash kept under the bed and let your loved one know where it’s stashed!  Aside from the obvious tax evasion issues, the main benefit of life insurance, is that it covers you in the event of your death irrespective of age; meaning from a purely financial perspective, it can offer a decent return on investment.

In summary, life insurance doesn’t have any direct financial benefit to you as an individual but it will benefit your family in the event of your death; just be sure to go with an insurer that covers a wide variety of risks and check the small print, so that in the event of your death, your loved ones aren’t confronted with an insurance battle.


A very popular, yet surprisingly expensive form of insurance today is gadget insurance which is becoming increasingly necessary as we collect more and more gadgets in the form of smartphones, tablets and laptops.  We take these items everywhere we go, and have this innate yet somewhat misplaced trust, that nothing bad can happen to the lifeline that is our mobile device.  Yet, all it takes is an accidental spillage whilst eating lunch at your office, a quick sleight of hand on a busy train, or a sudden drop to the ground and your precious.  

The majority of gadget insurance covers against most risks and provides much needed peace of mind.  That said, when someone loses their gadget, it’s often not the gadget itself they are most upset about – it’s the data; and most the time insurance companies are unable to recover data that hasn’t been backed up.  The best type of insurance for this, is regular back-ups to the cloud so that even if you lose your piece possession, the data, that is often much more valuable and far less replaceable will at least be able to be recovered with ease.

As with most insurance policies, you’ll want to read the small print and check the significant exclusions as terms such as theft from an unattended vehicle where the item was left on display might not be covered.  Another thing to consider is that your home insurance policy might already provide adequate cover for your gadgets, both at home and abroad.

In summary, a lot of us rely on insurance products to prevent us in the event of a disaster – but these all cost money on an ongoing basis, that could be better spent on living in the present rather than worrying about the future.  The choice is ultimately yours, as protecting your health is absolutely essential, but if you’re looking to save money there are many insurance products such as gadget insurance that might be unnecessarily draining your bank balance each month.