Finding Life Insurance or Income Protection in 2016
The start of a new year is a time for change, a time to for resolutions and plans for the future. But as well as setting goals for weight loss or career advancement, it’s also the perfect time of year to get your finances in order, whether in terms of savings, investments or your insurance coverage.
Once they’ve taken out life insurance cover, many people simply take a ‘set and forget’ approach. However, this is far from a sensible course of action, as it’s a very good idea to review your life insurance coverage regularly. As you grow older and your life changes, what you need when it comes to life insurance changes as well.
Want to speak with someone about getting life insurance or income protection? Fill out the enquiry form below. Need some more time? Keep reading this guide to find our more about the best life insurance in 2016.
Compare Life insurance quotes from these direct brands
The following insurers offer some of the most popular and highest-quality life insurance products on the market at the moment.
AIA Australia, part of the global AIA Group, is an life insurance brand with more than 40 years of experience looking after the insurance needs of Australian customers. With products that protect the financial wellbeing of more than 2.5 million Australians, AIA offers a wealth of competitive life insurance products through its Priority Protection range. This includes Life Cover, which offers a lump sum benefit when you die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness, as well as a Total and Permanent Disablement Plan when you suffer a serious accident or illness that places a financial burden on your family. Other AIA life insurance options include:
- Crisis Recovery,
- Business Expenses
- Income Protection
- Funeral Protection
- Priority Protection Express
- Life Cover and Income Protection offered through your super fund.
With a history of more than 20 years helping Australians manage their financial needs, ClearView currently manages $148 million of life insurance under advice. In addition, ClearView also offers its affordable life insurance products direct to consumers. It offers a Life Insurance policy which offers a lump sum after your death or terminal illness, allowing your loved ones to manage financially when you are no longer around to support them. ClearView also offers Term Life Insurance with no limit to the amount of death cover you can apply for, in addition to:
- Accidental Death Insurance
- Funeral Insurance
- Injury Cash Insurance
- Serious Illness Insurance
- Income Protection
Third on the list of most popular insurers in 2016 is CommInsure, which is part of the Commonwealth Bank Group and has a 138-year history in insurance. CommInsure offers an extensive range of life insurance products including Life Care, Trauma Cover and Total and Permanent Disability Cover. Each of these options is available as standalone cover, or they can all be bundled together in a comprehensive Total Care Plan. Offering 24/7 protection, CommInsure policies are designed to offer the cover you need at a price that will not break the bank.
Some life insurance providers also offer unique and innovative health programs to help you improve your overall well-being and get in better shape. These include:
AIA’s health and wellness program is designed to encourage its members to make changes and live a healthier lifestyle. It does this by offering a range of member benefits and rewards which entice customers to get active, get regular medical check-ups and improve their overall health. Any AIA customer who opts into the Vitality program can undergo detailed health examinations to assess their medical condition. Members are then provided with a set of achievable health goals which they can then strive to reach, and they can earn membership points by doing things like using fitness monitoring devices, going to the gym and reaching their goals.
Perhaps the most attractive benefit for AIA Vitality members is that they are eligible for cash-back and premium discounts on their life insurance policies. They can also enjoy a number of discounts and rewards at AIA partners.
This is Asteron Life’s health and well-being program, which allows its members to enjoy up to a 20% discount off their life insurance premiums. Once members join the program, they undergo an online health check to determine their health status. Next, the Asteron Life Plus program provides help, tools and advice to allow members to live a better life. Customers can then set health goals, such as losing weight or quitting smoking, and get a tailored online health coach to offer personalised advice and encouragement. There are also sophisticated online tracking tools to help members monitor their health progress.
While you traditionally had to go through a financial adviser if you wanted to purchase life insurance, in recent years the rise of direct life insurance has made it much simpler to buy a policy direct from an insurer online. With simple application processes and fast approval, direct life insurance is designed to be easy to understand and take a lot of the hassle out of applying for cover. This then makes life insurance more accessible to a wider range of Australians.
If you’re looking for a competitive and affordable policy, one option worth considering is NobleOak Term Life Cover. NobleOak has been a trusted insurance provider for more than 135 years, dedicated to providing simple and affordable life insurance options to Australian families. Its Term Life Cover offers up to $15 million of protection and is available for individuals or families. Premiums can be paid monthly or annually, while the policy offers a death benefit, terminal illness benefit, total and permanent disablement benefit and crisis recovery benefit.
Alternatively, another direct insurance worth considering is Freedom Life Insurance. Freedom is Australian-owned company has been in business since 2009 and aims to offer straightforward, hassle-free life insurance to a wide range of Australian consumers.
The Freedom Protection Plan offers three main features: Final Expenses Cover, Accidental Death Cover and Accidental Injury Cover. Automatic inflation protection ensures that the value of your cover increases by 5% every year, while you can choose stepped or level premiums to suit your budget with Final Expenses Cover. Each cover option offers a lump sum benefit - up to $15,000 for Final Expenses Cover, up to $500,000 for Accidental Death Cover, and up to $200,000 for Accidental Injury Cover.
In order to determine whether your life insurance policy still offers the right type and level of cover for you, take the following key steps:
- Review beneficiaries. Have you had a couple of kids since you last reviewed your policy? Is adequate cover provided for them under your current policy or do you need to upgrade? Perhaps you’ve gotten divorced and you need to remove your former spouse from your list of beneficiaries.
- Review your level of cover—has your situation changed? Change is a natural part of life, so you need to make sure your policy reflects changes to your life circumstances. Perhaps you’ve gotten a promotion at work, purchased a new car, or have been hit with the financial burden of school fees. Even something as simple as joining a gym can affect your life insurance, as it will hopefully result in a healthier you and therefore cheaper premiums.
- Is it worth considering bundling cover to include TPD or trauma cover? With the changes that have taken place in your life since you last reviewed your policy, taking out TPD and/or trauma cover may seem like a more suitable option. Bundling multiple types of cover together can help ensure an appropriate level of coverage and also help you save money on premiums.
- Change in relationship status? If you’ve recently married, chances are you’ll want your spouse to be named in the policy and to be looked after when you're ’one. Similarly, if you’ve divorced, you may no longer require any cover for your former spouse.
If you’ve decided that 2016 is the ideal time to review your life insurance cover, there are a number of key steps you can take to ensure you find the best* cover for your situation. These include:
- Take time to get an understanding of different types of cover. Life insurance is often used as a generic term to cover a number of different insurance options, such as death cover (term life insurance), income protection, total and permanent disability cover (TPD) and trauma insurance. Each type of cover offers its own unique features and benefits, so taking the time to understand each type of cover will help you find the right policy for you.
- Assess your cover needs closely. Don’t simply sign on to the cheapest policy you can find. Instead, examine your personal situation and determine what you need cover for and what you don’t. Will you need a replacement income if injury or illness mean you are unable to work? Do you work in an industry where you’re regularly exposed to hazardous situations, and would this make TPD cover a viable option? Also consider the additional options available on life insurance policies.
- Make an enquiry with an insurance consultant. Put simply, choosing the right life insurance can be a daunting and confusing task. An insurance consultant will be able to help you make sense of all the different policies available, and offer expert advice so you can find a policy that’s tailored specifically to your needs.
- Compare different policies on the market. The Australian life insurance market is a competitive place, so make sure to compare a number of policies. Not only will this ensure that you get an adequate level of cover for your personal situation, but it will also help you get the best possible tools. An insurance consultant can help you compare the different options available to help you find a policy that will meet your cover requirements.
- Read closely through the policy terms and conditions. It may not be much fun, but you need to take the time to read the PDS closely. Make sure you understand exactly what your policy involves—what it covers, what it doesn’t cover, and any limits to coverage. It’s a time-consuming process but one that is entirely necessary to ensure you get the right life insurance cover for your needs.
However, buying life insurance can be a dangerous business for some people, so keep an eye out for the following traps and possible problems.
- Don’t go with the first quote you get. It’s a rookie mistake but a common one. It’s impossible to over-emphasise the importance of shopping around for the best deal. Not only will you ensure you end up with the best policy, you can also save yourself a whole lot of money.
- Read the exclusions. The list of exclusions on a life insurance policy is often buried towards the back of a lengthy product disclosure statement. Unfortunately, many people overlook this list and then mistakenly believe they will have cover in place no matter what happens. Then when it comes time to make a claim, they’re left with the unpleasant news that their insurer will not provide cover. Familiarise yourself with your policy’s exclusions so you know exactly when you will and will not be covered.
- Consider more than the price. Yes, cost is an important factor when buying insurance, but it should not be the only factor in your final decision. Consider a policies features, benefits and limits in relation to its price to work out whether you are getting good value for money.
- Make sure you know what you’re getting. Death cover, term life insurance, trauma cover, TPD cover, income protection - with all the different policies and policy names out there, it can be difficult to understand which cover is right for you. Do your research at finder.com.au to discover what each policy covers and which option satisfies your requirements.
- Review your cover. As you grow older and your circumstances change, so do your life insurance coverage needs. What was adequate five years ago may be completely ineffective today. For example, you may have had children or bought a house, so you need to update your cover to reflect the changes in your life. Reviewing your policy annually will ensure that you always have adequate financial protection in place.
Apply for life insurance in 2016
Taking out life cover or reviewing current protection can often be overwhelming. Many people neglect sorting out their protective cover simply because they feel comparing plans and getting through the application is just too much work. This is where using an insurance consultant to help your find cover can be extremely rewarding. An insurance consultant will:
- Help you make an assessment of your situation to help you figure out the type of cover you need and how much cover is suitable
- Help you compare the hundreds of different policy options available
- Help you find specialist cover if you present certain risks to some insurers
- Help you access premium discounts
- Explain any aspects of your policy that you are unsure of
- Once you have found a policy you are satisfied with, they will assist you in preparing and lodging all of the necessary paperwork
There is absolutely no obligation to sign up for a policy when making an enquiry. Insurance consultants are commissioned by the insurance companies so the service is not reflected in your wallet.