What is Guaranteed Insurability Feature and why should I take out a policy that includes it?
A Guaranteed Insurability Feature is an optional choice within a life insurance policy that allows you to increase or renew the level of cover you have in place if a defined life event occurs e.g. getting married. Most policies will allow you to increase or renew your level of cover once every 12 months without having to provide any evidence of your health.
What are the benefits of a guaranteed insurability feature?
Some of the key reasons to consider guaranteed insurability include:
- Unexpected changes to health. If you expect your health to worsen in the future, a guaranteed insurability rider can keep you from being worried about being assessed again when you renew your policy.
- Your financial situation changes in the future. If you are not in a position to buy a huge amount of life insurance currently as you cannot pay the premiums, you may opt for such a rider as it will enable you to buy more insurance in the future, when and if you can afford it.
- You personal situation requires a larger sum insured in the future. Your insurance needs may change with time and the current cover that you have could be inadequate in the future due to your advancing age or due to additions in your family.
This can be a huge benefit for you if you are considering buying life insurance, nor do you have to worry about being rejected for additional life insurance on the grounds that you are uninsurable.
What types of insurance can the Guaranteed Insurability Feature be used for?
This type of insurance is generally available for;
Which insurance funds include guaranteed future insurability in their policies?
|Brand||Future Insurability Feature||When will this feature expire (reneweable date following)|
|AIA||yes||Policyholders 55th birthday|
|AMP Elevate||yes||Policyholders 55th birthday|
|Asteron||yes||After policyholders 60th birthday|
|BT||yes||Policyholders 55th birthday|
|Comminsure||yes||"The cover expiry date or after the life insureds 45th birthday"|
|MLC||yes||After policyholders 55th birthday|
|OnePath||yes||Policyholders 55th birthday|
|TAL Accelerated Protection||yes||Policyholders 55th birthday|
|Zurich Wealth Protection||yes||After policyholders 54th birthday|
|Zurich Ezicover||yes||Not stated|
|TAL Lifetime Protection||yes||Policyholders 55th birthday|
|American Express||yes||Policyholders 54th birthday|
General conditions for most providers
Most providers have a few conditions in order to get future insurability.
- You must notify the insurer in writing about a life event (birth, marriage etc) within 30 days of the event happening.
- The event must be listed in the PDS
- You must provide evidence of the event
For some providers:
- An application can be made once every 12 months
Most insurers have some exclusions that make you ineligible for guaranteed future insurability if:
- You are being paid a benefit or are eligible to make a claim for a benefit
- The total amount of all income protection insurance issued by the provider exceeds $30,000 per month.
- A medical loading or exclusion applies to your insurance
Most providers will only allow for this feature to be used up to a certain age i.e. before 55. In some cases, you can only increase your benefit when a certain life even happens.
What options do business owners have?
Business owners should consider a policy with a Business Safeguard Option which provides extra protections designed for them. Your cover and options may vary depending on your occupation.
|Adviser brands||Business Safeguard Option Feature||Maximum benefit|
|AIA||Yes - Business Safeguard ForwardUnderwriting||$10,000,000|
|Asteron||Yes - Business Security Option||$15,000,000|
|Comminsure||Yes - Business Safe Cover Option||$10,000,000|
|MLC||Yes - Business Safeguard Option||$10,000,000|
|TAL Lifetime Protection||Yes - Business Insurance Option||No specific amount stated|
|Zurich Futurewise||Yes - Business Increase Option||The lesser or 25% of the sum insured and $200,000|
Data taken from brand product disclosure statements on May 2017. Benefits, conditions and amounts are subject to change at anytime.
- Conditions may vary based on occupation category
- Pay out may be the lesser of the maximum benefit and a percentage of the sum insured
When would I increase the level of cover in my insurance?
There are a number of key events that may lead you to consider increasing or decreasing the level of cover in your insurance. These include;
- Enter/register de facto marriage
- Legal separation
- Birth/adoption of child
- Child starts school
- Purchase home
- Complete university
- Increase of income
- Take out a buy-sell agreement with business partner
Evidence you will need to provide your insurer
Most insurers will require you to provide some form of evidence if you are applying for an increase following certain life events. Such evident may include;
- Marriage certificate
- Divorce papers
- Death certificate of spouse
- Birth certificate of newborn
- University degree
- Business partnership agreement
- Mortgage bank certificate document
When is Guaranteed Insurability not available?
Furthermore, a Guaranteed Insurability Feature is not available if:
- Your plan has a significant premium loading applied
- Your plan has exclusions applied
- Your plan has special terms in place
- Your premium is being waived