BusinessDesk's Frances Cook reveals top tips on what Kiwis should insure

An expert is urging Kiwis to make sure they have the key things in their life insured, not the nice to-haves. 

With Kiwis battling a cost of living crisis, stopping insurance payments can seem like an easy way to free up some money. But when an accident or disaster hits, it can end up placing people in an even more unfortunate position. 

BusinessDesk investments editor Frances Cook joined AM on Tuesday morning to reveal her top tips, discuss the importance of insurance and what to prioritise.  

She told AM people should insure themselves, their money and lastly their stuff but they tend to be doing the opposite.

"We see it all the time and we look at it and we think, 'Oh my phone, I'd be lost without it' but actually you'd be lost without your house or your partner's job or your health, those are the big things," Cook said.  

"Insurance, you try to use it for those big one-off events that you couldn't pay for yourself and that's when it really, really comes into play and is so valuable."  

Cook was then asked about mortgage protection insurance and what Kiwis should target. 

"If you think people, money, stuff that just helps you sort of think about priorities and then when you're looking at those priorities what you're thinking is, what happens if something goes wrong there," she explains.  

"So if you are still trying to pay off a mortgage and you have kids that live with you, are dependents, it's really, really important that you have some sort of insurance, whether it's life insurance for if you pass away so your kids are still housed and whoever's taking care of them." 

But she also suggests that people who have fully paid off their house and don't have any dependents could look at reducing some of those costs but she stressed people should keep home insurance.  

"If your house burns down, very few people can replace that out of pocket," Cook explains. 

AM co-host Melissa Chan-Green asked whether people should be paying their insurance annually rather than fortnightly or monthly?  

"It really depends on the policy," Cook said. "So what you want to double check is sometimes if you spread out payments, they can have a little bit extra on... but if they let you spread out your payments through the year and it's the same added up as if you paid it once, then yeah, absolutely go for it, that'll make it so much easier." 

Watch the full interview above.