1. Don't rely on assumptions.
One of the most important considerations when looking for insurance is just how much cover you need. When looking at this, there are some things you can very easily overlook. For a life, total permanent disability or trauma insurance policy a sum assured that only covers your existing debt or that is just an arbitrary figure may not be enough. Factors such as inflation, growing cost of living, interest and more need to be considered thoroughly otherwise yourself or your beneficiaries may end up with a payout that isn't enough to support them in their most difficult time. For disability and long term insurance, the situation is even more complicated and very difficult to work out just how much money your beneficiaries would need. This is where talking to an adviser before you get your insurance becomes essential. You will most often need more than your current income to maintain your current living conditions in the future so don't make assumptions of how much you'll need.
2. Cheaper is not always better.
Often the primary consideration when choosing insurance is the cost of premiums. Understandably, people are extremely motivated to pick the policy with the cheapest monthly premium but in the insurance industry, this can be a dangerous choice. For example, as a rule in general for health insurance, the higher your premiums the less you will be paying when you have to claim for healthcare. The company's reputation and amount of coverage you'll get also needs to be thought about carefully. If you're going to encounter problems at claim time, your savings in premiums are going to pale in comparison to the consequences if you won't get paid out in full. A qualified adviser can inform you of the differences between insurance providers and it's something that definitely needs to be taken into account.
3. Not knowing what is covered.
Make sure that you don't gloss over the details of what specifically is covered by your insurance. For health insurance, policies can cover GP visits, surgical costs, dentistry and optical. Your policy can cover one, all or a combination of them. General insurance policies such as home or contents insurance can cover certain events, but it can also not cover them, leaving you in a costly hole if certain circumstances should ever come to pass. Not knowing exactly what's covered beforehand is a bad mistake and could cost you hugely in the long run, so either ask an agent or go over your policy fine print thoroughly before making any decisions.