By Elda Shehu
Life brings many surprises to all of us. While we usually can not stop them from happening, at least we can choose to give our lives a little more protection. Insurance is intended to give us a measure of protection, at least financially, in the event of a disaster. There are many insurance options. However, with so many options, it can be difficult to determine what insurance you really need. Buying the right insurance is always determined by your specific situation. Factors such as: children, age, lifestyle and economic status are what should be considered when planning your insurance portfolio. In Albania, compulsory insurance is more widely used, while even those in good financial condition, although they have the opportunity for a more complete insurance, are still far from the culture of voluntary insurance.
However, there are four insurances that financial and insurance experts recommend that we all have: life, health, vehicle and long-term disability. Each of these involves a specific aspect of your life and each is very important to your financial future.
The greatest importance in life insurance is security for those you leave behind. This is extremely important if you have a family that depends on your income to pay your dues. When estimating the amount of life insurance coverage you need, remember to consider living expenses such as loans, credit cards and taxes, but also childcare and future school costs.
In our country, life insurance is offered by 3 companies: Insig, Sicred and Sigal, which according to the data reported by AFSA for the 7 months of 2019 had respectively 18%, 20% and 62% of the market in total which was around 6 million euro prime or 7% of a total of 80 million euros, an increase of 6,67% from the previous period. Insurance with higher specific weight is: '' Debtor Life '', '' Combined Life '', '' Group Life '' and '' Life on Savings ''; which in 7 months occupied approximately 92% of the total of all gross written life insurance premiums.
Companies offer a variety of packages combined with other insurances that make this insurance more attractive to individuals. You can find more detailed information on the websites of these companies.
The most common in our country are life insurance for loans and life insurance combined with term. The first guarantees the release of the family of the insured or business partners from the banking obligation, the second guarantees the benefit of a payment of 100% of the insurance amount for family members, in the form of a single and immediate amount, if the insured loses his life inside insurance period.
Lifetime insurance is a policy you have to pay until you die and ''Long life'' is a policy for a certain time. There are significant differences between the two policies. In making decisions between them, consumers should take into account their age, occupation, number of dependent children and other factors to ensure that they have the necessary coverage to protect their families.
Health insurance (accidents and health)
Health insurance is very important and is becoming more and more necessary, especially when in our country the fees of private hospitals are very expensive for most Albanians and the state continues to provide a poor medical service with significant shortages of medicines and their unsatisfactory refunds.
Only these facts should motivate you to get health insurance or increase your current coverage. While the best and least costly option is to participate in your employer's insurance program, but many smaller businesses do not offer this benefit so you have to take care of it yourself. Insurance companies have continuously developed this product by offering customers various packages of individual or family coverage.
As the debate over healthcare continues, most Albanians are without accident and health insurance coverage. Consult your employer about health care benefits as well as accidents at work, or contact insurance companies for detailed information about the many benefits. Accidents and health in the 7 months of 2019 amounted to 6.6 million euro premiums with a decrease of 2% from the previous period, but occupying 30% of total premiums of ''Not Life '' which were approximately 74 million euros.
Coverage with long-term disability
This is an insurance we think we will never need, as none of us assume it will one day become incapacitated. Statistics in many countries, however, show that three in 10 workers entering the workforce will become disabled and will not be able to work until they reach retirement age.
Even those workers who have a secure protection, and a good life insurance policy, never prepare for the day when they may not be able to work for weeks, months, or may not be able to return to work. . While health insurance only pays for hospitalization and medical bills, where does the money come from to pay the daily expenses covered by your salary?
Consider what you can face financially if you suffer from a deadly disease and have not been able to work for more than a year.
Many employers offer short-term and long-term disability coverage as part of their benefit package. This would be the best option to provide affordable disability coverage. If they do not, look for an insurance company that offers it. If you are not sure how much coverage you need, companies will give you all the right information.
A policy that guarantees revenue replacement at a certain percentage is the optimal policy. The cost of disability insurance is based on many factors, including: age, lifestyle and health, devastating illness or injury. Disability insurance will guarantee that you will have an income when you can not work.
Vehicle insurance (motor insurance)
Vehicle insurance or motor insurance includes 4 products: TPL, Border Sig. Green Card and Sig. Casco where the first three are mandatory. These insurances in the 7 months of 2019 amounted to 53 million euro premiums occupying 72% of total premiums of ''No to Life' ' and with an increase of 5.7% from the previous period.
In Albania, road accidents continue to be very high in relation to the number of population compared to the countries of the European Union. According to the Institute of Statistics, for the 7 months of 2019, there were 862 accidents, of which 746 were due to drivers and 116 were due to pedestrians. 1188 people were injured, of which 115 lost their lives and 1073 were injured.
Although it is a compulsory insurance by law, thousands of drivers continue to circulate in the country without taking out insurance. According to the data provided by the State Police, only in the first 6 months of this year 1616 vehicles were fined after being caught in traffic without insurance. Insurance experts urge you to be aware not to travel by car without insurance as the financial consequences can be extremely high.
If you are insured and it happens that the passengers in your car or other driver are injured in the accident, your car insurance will cover those costs and help you protect yourself from any litigation that may result from the accident. Vehicle insurance, casco, also protects your vehicle against theft, vandalism or natural disasters.
As with all insurances, now with TPL insurance starting from April 1, 2020 comes into force the malus bonus system called BMS (which we will talk about in more detail in future issues). This scale system calculates the payment of your vehicle insurance premium based on your individual circumstances and especially from the history of damages caused last year.
Get as much information about insurance contracts as possible on the websites of insurance companies that offer service packages even online by being closer to you in order to feel as protected as possible from the uncertainties of life.
While insurance is expensive and certainly takes up a portion of your budget, being without it can lead to irreparable financial damage. Always check with your employer first for available coverage, as this will probably be where you will find the most economical way to secure coverage. If your employer does not offer it, then turn to insurance companies. A good protection, a peaceful life!