It's important to be insured

Insurance means that we do not have to pay the bill ourselves following a house fire, burglary or car crash.By pooling premiums from many different customers, an insurance company can step in when disaster strikes.It is a system based on solidarity and trust.

Non-life insurance is a broad term covering many different types of insurance, including home, home contents and motor cover.

Premiums vary between companies, and the policies with the most cover are often the most expensive. The most important things to insure are the things of greatest value.

It is normal for the customer to pay the first part of each loss (known as the deductible), but this is only a small amount compared with, say, the cost of an entire building following a fire.

Premiums vary from year to year, so it is worth checking prices regularly. When it comes to home contents, you can use Finance Norway’s calculator to find out more about how you can insure your belongings.

To compare premiums for different policies, try the Norwegian Consumer Council’s Finansportalen website. Be sure to check both prices and terms before deciding. You can buy policies from different insurers or have several from the same company.

Remember that the deductible can vary from company to company and from claim to claim.
The entire insurance system is founded on honesty and trust. Anyone committing insurance fraud risks being reported to the police and imprisoned.

Most insurance policies are voluntary, but some are particularly important to have. Almost everyone in Norway buys insurance for their homes. Fire cover is extremely important, because otherwise you will not be compensated for losses in the event of a fire.

Home insurance

Home insurance covers the most common losses in homes and holiday homes. Natural disaster and legal expenses cover are included in these policies.

If you don’t own your own home, you don’t need this, just home contents cover.

Special policies are available for detached houses, covering not just the contents, such as furniture and other fittings, but also the actual building.

Check with your insurer whether you have the right cover.

Home contents insurance

Home contents insurance covers:

  • Financial loss in the event of fire
  • Damage caused by natural disasters such as storms and floods
  • Water damage due to pipes bursting or leaking or problems with appliances like washing machines, hot water cylinders and dishwashers
  • Food in the freezer following a power cut
  • Losses and damage due to break-ins and thefts
  • Legal expenses

Essential safety precautions

It is important to take some safety precautions. For example, keep the doors to your home locked, and make sure your home has a fire extinguisher and a smoke alarm. If you do not take these precautions, there is a risk of claims being reduced or rejected altogether.

Motor insurance

A motor insurance policy can include several different covers:

Third party
All car owners in Norway must buy third-party cover when registering their car. This is a compulsory insurance and covers any damage that your car might cause to other people or property.

Fire and theft
This covers fire, theft, damage in connection with theft, and glass damage. It is mainly used for cars more than ten years old.

Comprehensive
This covers not only fire and theft but also damage to your own car in the event of a collision or other accident.

Travel insurance

Remember to have travel insurance in place before you depart. This is actually the best bit of travel advice you could have. The Norwegian authorities are also keen for people to take out travel insurance.

Travel insurance normally includes:

Luggage
Covers damage to luggage and loss of luggage due to theft, robbery or criminal damage. Also covers loss of tickets, passport and money.

Travel illness
Covers any necessary expenses due to acute illness or accident, such as costs for doctors, medicines and hospital care.

Travel accident
Covers losses due to accidents. If you are over 70, there are limits on the amounts paid out for death and invalidity.

Repatriation
Covers the cost of returning home if you or a close family member should have an acute illness or accident or die.

Extreme holidays and possible exclusions
If you go on an extreme holiday or take big risks, your insurance may not apply. There are often exclusions for high-risk sports such as diving and riding. Check the terms carefully.

Credit cards
You will only be covered by the travel insurance that comes with your credit card if you can document that you paid at least 50% of the travel costs on that card.

Credit card insurance is less suitable if the journey is in stages, as you may end up in a situation where you are insured only for parts of the trip.

Long holidays
If you plan to be away for more than 45 days, you should be aware that most policies do not run that long. You will probably have to buy an extension to your policy. It is also important to check that your policy covers the areas you are going to.

Health insurance
There are many different forms of health insurance. You can buy policies that pay out in the event of death, disability, critical illness or a combination of these.

Insurance that pays out in the event of death due to accident or disease is known as life insurance. There are also policies that provide for you and your family financially in the event of disability. You will usually have to complete a health declaration form.

Many types of insurance
There are many more types of insurance than those mentioned here, but it is important to think carefully about what you really need. This is just an overview of some of the most important types of cover. Check out the insurance companies’ websites to see what they offer, and get in touch with them to find out more about their policies.

If you are working, your employer will often provide some forms of insurance. Membership of a trade union may also include insurance cover.