Thought about your insurance lately?

We’re all busy, right? Sometimes just knowing that you’ve got bills covered by setting up your bank accounts to automatically pay your mortgage, council rates and those other regular expenses gives you a peace of mind.

But what about those expenses that will inevitably vary as time goes by? Like your insurance.

Reviewing your insurance strategy is an often-forgotten activity, as many of us adopt that ‘set and forget’ approach outlined above.

When it comes to insurance, you should be regularly reviewing your policies to ensure that you are protected, and your coverage meets the needs of you and your family.

Here’s what you need to consider:

Do you still need insurance?

If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, had a flight cancelled, become seriously ill or had an injury that has kept you out of action for any length of time, you’ll know how stressful these incidents can be.

If you have insurance, the cost of repairs, medical treatments, travel changes or recovery treatment can be softened. Insurance provides the money you need when things go wrong and, let’s face it, we all know that sometimes things can go dire.

When should you review your cover?

You should review your insurance strategy whenever there is a change for both   your personal or business circumstances. Changes in any of the following areas should prompt you to review your protection as they can impact the type and amount of insurance cover you need:

  • income
  • assets
  • debt levels
  • dependants
  • relationship status (for example marriage, divorce or a new partner)
  • occupation or employment status (for example if you become self-employed or employee)
  • health (improvements or change in health of you or your partner)


What if nothing has really changed?

You should still review your insurance strategy every year, even if nothing in your personal or business circumstances has changed.  Intense competition in the risk insurance marketplace means that insurance providers are always looking for the ‘edge’ with their products, particularly to ensure they remain as  the highest rated products.

This can often mean additional benefits, better policy definitions and the introduction of new additional options which can be of value to you if you need to make a claim.  While many insurers will automatically ‘pass back’ improvements in their policy definitions, this shouldn’t be assumed.

Next steps

It’s best to speak with your Bridges Lake Macquarie financial planner. They specialise in helping you understand the details of any policies you have, or that you are applying for. Contact us today!

Bridges Financial Services Pty Limited (Bridges). ABN 60 003 474 977. ASX Participant. AFSL No 240837. This is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consult a financial planner.

Superannuation – start your strategy early!

Retirement and superannuation aren’t exactly at the forefront of a 20 or 30 year old’s mind – but we think it should be! Salary sacrificing more into your super now, could make a big difference later in life. An effective financial strategy is to vital in helping you achieve your goals and making most of the opportunities available. It’s never too early to start planning for the future.

So how do you do it?

Salary sacrificing is a strategy in which your employer takes some of your pre-tax salary and puts it into your superannuation fund – the ATO describes it as “an arrangement with your employer to forego part of your salary or wages in return for your employer providing benefits of a similar value”.

Rather than having your salary paid to you, you can have it paid into a superfund. If the sacrificed salary is made to a complying fund, it isn’t considered a fringe benefit. Another benefit, stated by the ATO is “if you make super contributions through a salary sacrifice agreement, these contributions are taxed in the super fund at a maximum rate of 15%. Generally, this tax rate is less than your marginal tax rate”.

This tactic not only increases the super you’re saving, but it also reduces the amount of tax you pay. Since the sacrificed income is not counted as assessible income (for tax purposes), it isn’t subject to Pay As You Go (PAYG) tax. Depending on your income, salary sacrificing could even drop you down a tax bracket!

The ATO has online resources for tracking your super, as well as helpful information on growing your super. They also recommend consulting the Fair Work Act 2009 if you’re considering salary sacrificing (here, you can find more information and check your entitlements).

Chatting with your loved ones and employer is also a good idea when considering salary sacrificing. However, to get the most out of your financial options and to fully understand the limitations that come with strategies like this, we recommend meeting with a trained professional.

Our friendly team are very experienced in their field and your initial consultation with them is free! Get in touch with us today.

Bridges Financial Services Pty Limited (Bridges). ABN 60 003 474 977. ASX Participant. AFSL No 240837. This is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consult a financial planner.