What you should know

What risks do you wish to cover? Nowadays, there is a way of insuring against almost any risk and for most risks there are also a variety of different providers. Some large insurance companies offer all types of insurance; others are mainly specialists in a particular type of insurance.

Intermediaries and direct writers

Many insurers provide their products via intermediaries (also known as agents or brokers). Banks often provide insurance as well. In addition, there are insurers who arrange the sale of their products and provide the advice themselves: these are the so-called 'direct writers'. Contacts between direct writers and their customers are mostly via Internet or call centres.

Regular or one-off premium

For an insurance policy you have to pay regular premiums or a one-off premium. The regular or one-off premium is based on the risk that the insurer calculates that it is taking on. In return for paying the premium, you get the security for a given period of time that you are not running or only partly running the risk that is covered by the policy. Insurers do not assume all risks when you take out a policy, which is why each policy is subject to a set of terms and conditions that include a statement of what is and what is not covered. These terms and conditions should play an important role in your ultimate choice of provider.

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