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Life Insurance Q&A

Who can apply for life insurance cover?

Anyone between the ages of 18 and 80 can apply for life insurance. Getting life insurance cover will give you peace of mind as you know that your family will be taken care of.

What length of life insurance policy should I choose?

In most cases people take out life insurance that lasts until some key date in the future. For example it could be when the mortgage is paid off, or the when they reach retirement, or then they feel that the children are independent. Working back with those dates in mind will help you decide the term of your life insurance cover.

Should I choose joint or a single life insurance policy?

Advisers will usually recommend two single life insurance policies since there is not a big difference in cost however, the cover provided is doubled. Having this double life insurance can provide valuable extra cover to support surviving family members for very little extra cost. Having two single life policies is particularly relevant in case of critical illness. If a person is diagnosed with a critical illness their partner will not want their insurance to be lost, which would be the case on a joint life insurance policy.

What level of life insurance cover do I need?

Level of coverage depends on your personal situation. There are many factors to consider:

  • Without your contribution how would your financial dependants meet their bills?

  • Have you provided enough money to pay off any mortgage you owe?

  • Do you need extra money to support your family (especially if you have young dependants)?

Can a life insurance policy be cancelled?

Yes, you can cancel your life insurance policy at any time; however, you should keep in mind the fact that the cover will stop and you won't get any refund for the years you have been paying the insurance premiums.

Will my life insurance payments change?

No. It's good practice for insurers to arrange life insurance policies with guaranteed premiums. However, in some life insurance plans with include critical illness cover the premiums payments are reviewable. This should be clearly indicated and normally the premiums are not adjusted up or down for the first five years.

Will my cover decrease as I age?

Most life insurance policies provide uniform cover for as long as the policy is owned. Some policies, known as decreasing life insurance, do decrease the amount of cover relative to how long the policy is owned, but do not decrease based on your age. Decreasing life cover is an option to consider, however, if you feel your needs will decline over time, meaning you require less from your life insurance policy.

Can I choose who benefits from my life insurance?

You have the freedom to choose who benefits from your life insurance policy, whether it be a spouse, your children, or other associates or partners. Without a designated beneficiary, your life insurance benefit will be allocated to your estate where it may not be distributed in a timely manner.

For children or other dependents, it may be important to set up a trust to ensure your benefits are used only when the time is right. The freedom to choose where your benefit goes allows you to cover your outstanding debts, expenses, and will the way you want to.

Keep in mind that some life insurance products, such as mortgage insurance, are designed to cover the remaining debt on a mortgage loan, and some policies may not allow for the allocation of benefits. It’s important to understand this distinction when taking out a life insurance policy.

Will my Health Issues prevent me from getting cover?

What life insurers will qualify or disqualify depends on the plan applied for and the different qualities the insurer looks for when they undergo a medical examination. If your health situation may prevent you from getting cover, there are products such as No Medical Life Insurance, which do not require the scrutiny of medical exams, a doctor’s note, or blood tests to qualify. These policies can get you cover with as little as answering a few questions about your health.

Can I get Life Insurance even if I’ve been denied cover before?

Being denied life insurance in the past can be a difficult hurdle to overcome, as many life insurance policies do not extend cover to individuals who have been denied before. However, policies such as Guaranteed Life Insurance do provide cover options regardless of your prior insurance history. These policies typically begin offering benefits anywhere between 1 to 2 years after approval, and you cannot be denied for this type of insurance. No matter what your insurance history is like, there are always insurance solutions for your unique circumstances.

Do I need Critical Illness insurance?

Critical Illness insurance is a type of living benefits insurance that provides you or your loved ones with a lump sum benefit in the event you are diagnosed with any one of a number of covered illnesses. The illnesses that are covered under this policy differ between providers, but typically include common conditions such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, or organ failure.

The benefit from critical illness insurance may be used however you like, and can provide a helpful income replacement for your loved ones to help cope with the loss of work, treatment costs, and rehabilitation. Alongside the right life insurance policy, this type of insurance can provide essential protection for yourself and your family in the event of unexpected illness.

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