Taking care of your insurance documents

It’s likely there’ll be lots of different types of financial documents you’ll be sent throughout your life, especially once you rent or own your own home.

Insurance documents are very important as they provide a point of reference to check what you are and aren’t covered for but also can be needed as proof of cover, for example when applying for a mortgage or remortgage.


How long do I need to keep my insurance documents?

Insurance documentation should be kept, as a minimum, until the policy expires. However, it can be useful to keep information on your old policies to compare the features, benefits and price against any new policies you’re considering moving to. When you do decide to get rid of your older documents, its’ a good idea to shred them before recycling them as a torn-up letter could still be used to find out key information with the help of a bit of sticky tape.


How can I keep my insurance documents safe?

All financial paper documents, including insurance documents should be kept somewhere where they’re safe from damage or loss, for example in something waterproof such as a sealed bag so they’re safe from a potential flood. It’s a sad thought that documents that contain your personal information can be used by criminals looking to commit identity theft if they can get their hands on them. Therefore, paper documents should ideally be stored in something like a lockable filing cabinet.

The downsides of keeping paper documents, is the space they take up and the fact that if something ever happened to your home like a fire or flood that meant you couldn’t return to your house for a while, you also wouldn’t be able to get to your insurance documents with the information of what you’re going to be covered for and who to call for help.

That’s why opting to receive your documents electronically from your insurance provider can help. However, you still need to make sure that your electronic documents are safe. It’s very important, for example to make sure you use a strong password when setting up your online account so it can’t be easily guessed. A strong password is one that includes a mix of special characters, numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters and is of a good length.

If you choose to download your documents onto your own computer or hard drive then it’s important to make sure it is in a secure, password-protected folder (with a strong password again).

Article last updated: 17/04/2023

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