How do I find the best life insurance policy?

The best life insurance policy is the policy which suits you and your individual circumstances. Every policy offers different built-in features and additional policy options, as well as different price levels. Not everyone will suit every single policy offered by insurers.

Our guide will outline:

  1. The four easy steps to finding the best life insurance policy
  2. General things you need to consider
  3. Additional things to consider
  4. Tips on how to save
  5. How do you know which is the best life insurance company?

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Four easy steps to finding the best life insurance policy:

Step 1: Speak to a financial adviser

The most important step you can take is speaking to a financial adviser. A qualified and experienced adviser can discuss your particular situation with you and make recommendation on the type and level of cover that may be appropriate for you.

Please note any advice provided to you by your adviser is based on the information you have provided to the adviser.

Step 2: Compare Policies

Make sure you compare the products available to you in the market and not just one policy. A comparison of multiple insurers allows you to see the premiums available and the benefits and options offered by each.

Step 3: Research

Do your own research! Make sure you understand the types of life insurance available and what features and options are available.

Step 4: Know your circumstances

Not exactly sure what your mortgage repayments are as they just get direct debited every month? Don’t know what you are spending per week on day to day living expenses? Find out! Knowing your circumstances will allow a financial adviser to find cover that suits you. There is no point in getting cover that is inadequate or insurance that covers you for more than you need, requiring you to pay more.

General things you need to consider:

  • Affordability: First and foremost, you need to make sure that you can afford any policy you can take out. As different policies offer different premiums, it is always best to compare to find the most affordable and best value policy.
  • Worldwide cover: Most insurers offer policies that provider cover 24/7 Worldwide. Make sure your policy has this benefit, particularly if you intend to travel.
  • Sum Insured: While most insurers do not have a limit on the level of cover you can take out, a select few may place a maximum cover amount. You will need to compare policies to find the one which can provide cover for your circumstances.
  • Built-in benefits: The policies we compare all come with a number of built-in benefits such as Benefit Indexation, Terminal Illness Benefit and Funeral Advancement. As each insurer offers different built-in benefits, you need to consider which policy offers the built- in benefits that are applicable to you.
  • Policy Options: available at an additional cost, policy options are designed to enhance your policy. Different policies come with a different range of options and you should consider what you may want to include in your policy so it better suits you.
  • Other cover types: Insurers generally allow you to combine other insurance types such as trauma or total and permanent disablement insurance with your life cover. If you wish to take out comprehensive protection and include other cover types, you may want to consider an insurer who offers different cover types.

Additional things to consider:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions: If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you will need to find an insurer who will provide favourable rates and cover you for your pre-existing condition.
  • Family: You may want to think about insuring your children and your spouse. Select insurers offer free child cover of up to $10,000 when you take out a policy with them.
  • Dangerous Pastimes: Insurers will always try and provide cover to you, no matter what your circumstances are. However some may charge more to provide cover that includes any pastimes or hobbies, while other may exclude the pastime altogether. Finding an insurer which provides cover for your hobby at a price that is right for you is something you will need to consider.

Tips on how you can save:

The first step in saving on your life insurance is comparing policies. By going to a financial adviser who can go through a comprehensive comparison of insurers, you are already a step ahead as you can see the premiums available for each policy.

Other tips on how you can save:

  • Multi-policy discounts: If you take out more than one policy across multiple cover types, insurers may offer you a discount.
  • Multi-life discounts: If you and your spouse both take out a policy or if you take out a policy for a business, a discount may be available.
  • Large lump sums: For large lump sum benefits, insurers may offer a discount on your premiums.
  • Annual payments: By paying your premiums annually rather than fortnightly, monthly or half –yearly, you may be able to qualify for a discount.
  • Quit Smoking: Most insurers classify you as being a smoker even if you have had just one cigarette in the past 12 months. By quitting smoking, you can decrease the cost of your premiums by as much as 50 per cent.
  • Health and Lifestyle: Select insurers may offer you a discount if you can show you live an active and healthy lifestyle.

How do I know which is the best company to take out cover?

All the insurers we work with are reputable companies with a long history in the personal risk and financial services industry. We work closely with each company to deliver the best possible customer experience to our clients.

When you compare policies with us, you will receive a comprehensive comparison report of the premiums for each insurer so you can see what premiums are offered by each company.

However as each company is different and offers different policies with different benefits, it is always best to research each company yourself so you can find out as much information as possible.

What should I do if my personal circumstances have changed?

When you initially take out a life insurance product, be it

  • Life insurance,
  • Income protection,
  • Trauma insurance,
  • TPD insurance or,
  • Funeral insurance.

It’s important to make sure the policy you take out matches your circumstances.

However, we all know that circumstances change as we get older – we get married, have children (dependents), buy a home, start earn more money and eventually have children that are no longer dependent.

You can make changes to your cover by either increasing, adding cover, or reducing your cover level.

Getting married, having children or buying a home:

If you are about to:

  • Get married;
  • Have your first or second child;
  • Buy your first home or move a new and bigger home;

A number of options are available to you:

1. The Future Insurability Benefit:

The Future Insurability benefit is generally a built-in feature with most of the insurance companies we work with. It allows you increase the level of cover on your existing policies – without supplying additional medical information – when significant live events occur.
Significant life events generally include:

  • Getting married
  • Buying a home
  • Having children
  • Increases your mortgage

To find out more about how this option works, please visit our Future Insurability page.

2. Increasing cover

If you wish to increase your level of cover and don’t fall in the Future Insurability guidelines, this can be done at anytime by simply contacting us 1300 135 205. You will generally be required to provide your medical history.

3. Adding cover:

If you have previously taken out life insurance but now want to add trauma or TPD insurance to your policy to make it a combined policy, simply call us and we can help arrange any other additional types which is a more affordable option for you.

*Combined policies are when life cover is combined with either trauma or TPD cover.

There may be times when you want to reduce your cover. This may be due to:
  • Lower levels of debt or no debt at all,
  • Less or no dependent children or,
  • Lower living expenses.
Reducing your cover may make your insurance more affordable.

A number of changes which may not require any changes your level of cover:

1. Updating your Beneficiaries

You may want to update your beneficiaries if you:

  • Get married or re-married; or
  • Have children; or
  • Get separated or divorced

This can be done at anytime by simply writing to your insurer outlining the changes or updates to be made.

2. Updating your contact and payment details

You may need to update your details if you have:

  • Moved homes; or
  • Your credit card or bank account details have changed

Simply contact us and we can arrange for this to be updated with your insurer.

3. Changing Jobs

If you are changing jobs or have recently changed jobs, you are generally not required to notify your insurer of the change. However please note that if you need to change or increase your cover you may be required to disclose your new occupation.

4. Quitting smoking

Firstly, congratulations! Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you can do but also one of the best things you can do for your health! It is also one of the best things you can do for your life insurance as smokers typically pay 50-100% more for insurance.
If you have:

  • Not smoked in over a year; and
  • Are not relying on any quitting aides such as patches or gum

You may be classified as a non-smoker. Call us today to get a free review of your cover – we may be able to find you more affordable insurance.

5. Moving Overseas

If you are moving overseas and had no intention to move overseas at the time of your policy application, your cover may still be valid while overseas. However this may depend on your insurer and on the type of cover you have.

6. Diagnosed with a critical illness

If you are diagnosed with a critical illness that is not pre-existing once your cover is in place, you are generally not required to let your insurer know anything about the changes your health.
The only times you are required to let your insurer know about a critical illness is when:

  • You are increasing your level of cover outside of the Future Insurability Guidelines.
  • You are adding additional types of cover your existing policy
  • You are taking out an entirely new policy with your insurer
Author: Russell Cain
Published: March 24, 2017
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