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Mortgage Insurance To Protect Your Most Valued Asset

Apr 16, 2008
It is believe that only about one in every four people has a mortgage insurance protection plan to cover their mortgage payments in the event of a short-term job loss. This is in spite of the fact that the State does not offer financial assistance to the unemployed for nine months, generally. Mortgage cover is a way for many to protect their homes by paying small monthly premiums to cover job losses due to involuntary redundancy, illness, or accident.

Part of the reason that a small percentage of home owners currently have protection is that many are uneducated on the benefits of the insurance, or are unfamiliar of how it works. Amazingly, even though a small percentage of home owners are covered, research also shows those that do have a plan are often not even aware of it, or do not understand its benefits.

A big reason for the lack of knowledge in the mortgage insurance industry is that for years, much of the plans sold were provided by large institutions, such as high street banks and lenders. Keeping a limit on the amount of information customers had about the products was a part of the strategy for several of these companies. Many banks either hid the coverage in the fine print of disclosures and sold it in combination with mortgages, personal loans, or credit cards, or used manipulation or pressure tactics.

As consumer advocate groups have been putting more and more pressure on the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to produce more consumer friendly regulations, consumers have become more knowledgeable. Many consumer groups are attempting to educate consumers on their options. They want them to learn before buying loan products, what the common selling tactics are. It is also important for consumers to read the details and fine print of financial services or loan products before agreeing to terms or signing contracts.

Brokers and insurance specialists have a better reputation than the larger sellers. They generally offer premiums that are 40 to 80 per cent lower than those offered by most banks and lenders. This cost savings can make a huge impact on the value proposition for customers exploring their coverage options. Brokers are usually helpful at lining up customers with the best benefits available, and fewest coverage exclusions, based on the customers indicated needs and requests.

Mortgage insurance plans are part of the umbrella of income payment protection products. These are short-term insurance plans that typically offer monthly payments ranging from 12 to 24 months. Longer-term plans are usually covered under other product categories, including income protection products. Payment amounts vary depending on the customer's needs, budget, and allowable cover. Coverage limits are based on monthly mortgage amounts and normal incomes. Most mortgage payment protections offer full mortgage coverage with some extra money for additional expenses. Some plans are based on a percentage of monthly income. Obviously, the more coverage required by the customer, the higher the premium cost.
About the Author
Simon Burgess is Managing Director of the award-winning British Insurance, a specialist provider of mortgage insurance .
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