Are you covered against possible risks in 2024? Insurance premiums might seem expensive at first but provide significant relief when the insured losses occur. It also gives you peace of mind knowing your family is financially covered or your assets are covered for redemption if anything happens. And most importantly, you can use your premiums to lower your tax liability for the year. KRA allows for the tax deduction of insurance policies, like life and health insurance of 15% of the annual premium or up to KShs. 60,000 per annum.
4 Must-Have Insurance Policies in 2024?
So, when are your insurance policies up for renewal, and how much will each cost? The sooner you start saving for these expenses, the easier it will be to settle the payments. In fact, it will help you avoid getting into debt, whether from financial institutions or individuals, in a bid to renew your policies.
If you have no insurance coverage, maybe it is time you consider getting some that can cover you from significant expenses in the future. Here are 5 must-have insurance policies in 2024:
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Health insurance will come in handy when you are sick and need quick cash for treatment or hospital admission. We all know how expensive hospital bills can be for inpatient care and some medical conditions. There is a saying that many of us are one illness away from poverty, and it is not a joke.
The first option is to use a national health insurance carrier (NHIF) for your health insurance coverage. Some countries have a contributory public health fund that provides affordable health insurance premiums for its citizens compared to using a private insurer. I’d recommend checking whether your country offers such if you can’t afford health insurance coverage from a private company.
If you’re in Kenya, start with NHIF, which is Ksh. 500.00 per month or Ksh. 6,000.00 per year for the self-employed. From experience, outpatient payment can be tricky in private hospitals, even just paying for my glasses, but it paid part of my inpatient bill in 2017.
I remember my mother’s cover paid for my inpatient charges back in 2008 as a beneficiary. It might be a long time ago, but I have seen my family members upcountry, including my late grandpa and grandma, benefit from it. Cover yourself when you can (this is not an AD for NHIF but my honest opinion and experience).
If you have the money and do not mind making a one-off payment, pay the whole amount and forget about it (Kes. 6,000.00). If not, include the NHIF payments in your monthly budget and make payments before the monthly deadline, which is the 9th day of every month. Late payments attract a penalty of Ksh. 250.00 per month (See Tweet).
For employed individuals, the rates vary depending on your gross salary amount, and your employer is in charge of deducting and remitting the funds to NHIF in time.
The second option is to get health insurance coverage from private insurance companies. I have realized here in Kenya that premiums are more affordable for inpatients than outpatients. Your premiums will depend on, among other factors, your age, and other underlying conditions. The older you are, the more costly the premiums. These premiums are more expensive for individuals with underlying health conditions, but it doesn’t hurt to get one.
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I used Pesa Bazaar in 2020 and in 2023 when I was shopping for an insurance cover to compare the different options. You can still approach your preferred insurance companies for quotes and settle for the one that suits your needs and budget.
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Have you protected your prized possessions against risks like theft or natural disasters? If someone broke into your house and wiped it clean, how much would you spend to replace everything, from your flat screen to your laptop, phone, other electronics, and furniture?
Homeowners insurance will apply whether you are in a rental house or not. If you own your home, this policy will have the building, its fixtures and your personal items. If you are renting, the insurance to get is renter’s insurance, which only covers your personal items and not the building and its fixtures.
In Kenya, some insurers refer to it as a domestic package. It is actually quite affordable, especially it you are a renter. My premium was lower than what I paid for the health insurance. I did an article sometime in 2020 on Home Insurance: Advantages and Insurers to Use Kenya. But do your research and weigh your options from other insurers, not on my list.
Remember to update your policy with any new purchases that you consider pricey if you got new items in the previous year and are not part of the current policy. You also do not have to wait for the year to end to update items in your policy. Whenever you purchase a pricy item that would send you back a couple of bucks if stolen or destroyed, talk to your agent to have it added to your policy.
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If you have a car, auto insurance coverage is a must-have in Kenya and most countries. Should you get the third-party or the comprehensive cover? That will depend on your financial capabilities, where the third-party cover is more affordable. The comprehensive cover is expensive but offers more protection. If you want to change your insurer, now is the time to start shopping and budgeting for any extra costs involved in the process.
If you are Kenyan, keep in mind that some insurers are raising the premiums for comprehensive cover by up to 50%.
How would your beneficiaries fair financially if you were to pass on? A life insurance policy pays a lump sum when you die. In exchange, you will pay premiums.
There are different types of life insurance policies, so ensure you shop around and weigh your options. Some pay a benefit to your beneficiaries when you pass away in the case of a whole-life policy, while an endowment cover includes an investment option. You can also lose the benefits if you outlive your cover, in the case of a term assurance cover.
Not everyone can afford each of these covers, but it is important to get a policy that affects you and your family. There are other insurance policies to consider, like liability insurance and disability insurance. I would suggest you start with health insurance coverage since your health is the most important thing. Car insurance is a must if you own one. You can then add other covers like home insurance for the expensive items in your house and life insurance to protect your beneficiaries.
Are you protected this year? What insurance policies do you have?