Need assistance finding cover? Here's how a life insurance review can help you out.
Life insurance, for many, are two words that don't inspire feelings of interest or excitement. When it comes to sorting out cover, customers are often uninformed and don't know what exactly to look for. THis is where a life insurance review can help out. A life insurance review can help you understand
- How much cover is offered
- The key features included
- If you are eligible
- Any limitations or exclusions to be aware of
Check out these reviews available on finder.com.au
Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) December 7 2017
What are the benefits of reading a life insurance review?
Life insurance is important, which is why choosing the right policy is crucial. While it can be tempting to simply sign up for a policy that offers you the cheapest quote, this is a mistake and could lead to you having an inadequate level of cover in place.
Do plenty of research and shop around to compare a range of policies, all of which you can do yourself online. The Internet offers a wealth of information when it comes to life insurance – you can visit sites and product pages from different insurance providers in order to work out the cover you need.
Find out more about companies and policies at finder.com.au. Read life insurance reviews online to get an in-depth understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each policy.
Policy options available
Reading online reviews is the best way to get an idea of the policy options available from different insurance providers and what they do and don't cover. While you might think a certain policy from one insurance provider sounds adequate, doing some basic research could help you track down a policy that offers a much better level of cover for your requirements.
You'll also be able to find out what benefits and features competing policies offer. Does one policy offer a higher benefit payout than another? Are there additional cover options that you can add or subtract to tailor a policy to your needs?
You can then get an understanding of the terms and conditions that apply to a policy, such as the benefit limits and any unexpected exclusions that may apply.
Claims handling process
Another important thing you can learn from online life insurance reviews is each company's claims handling process. Some things to look for include:
- How easy it is to file a claim
- How to track your claim's progress
- The typical time for a claim to be processed
- What processes are in place if your claim is not resolved to your satisfaction.
Previous customer experience
Finally, perhaps the greatest benefit of online life insurance reviews is that you get to hear about the experiences real people have had with different insurers. Rather than the exaggerated descriptions taken from glossy marketing materials, these are real world situations and experiences that people have dealt with. This can be a great help as you form an idea of which insurance provider best matches your needs.
As you review your policy summary to make sure that your life insurance is still the best for your needs, these are the features you should be thinking about:
- The brand: Think about the provider you’re insured with, and how they have been operating since you last reviewed the policy. Are you happy with their customer service, have they been reported as paying out claims, and are they still operating solidly, have they been bought by another company and are they still Australian owned?
- The date of issue: This is especially important if you have a term life insurance policy, which has an expiry date. Otherwise the date of issue is simply when your policy renews for the coming year.
- The premium: If you have opted for a life insurance policy with level premiums, you pay the same amount each year, with small increase for inflation and cost of living rises if you have chosen that option. However, if you have a policy with stepped premiums, you will be paying more and more each year, so make sure when you review your policy, you also review your budget to check affordability.
- Your beneficiaries: The beneficiaries of the policy can change over time, for example if you get married or divorced, you have children, or your children move out of home and you want to reduce their benefit amount.
What are the key policy features should I consider when reviewing life insurance?
- Benefits and features. Compare the benefits and features offered by different policies and see how they stack up. Does one offer more benefits or a higher level of cover than another? Check out the minimum and maximum sum insured to get an idea of whether or not certain policies will offer you enough protection.
- Optional benefits. Some policies will allow you to add special optional cover to help you tailor a policy to your specific needs. This could include cover for your children, total and permanent disablement cover, and critical illness cover.
- Cover for more than just you. Can you take advantage of a discount by taking out joint cover for you and a spouse? Also look at whether policies can be tailored to offer cover for your whole family.
- Entry age. What are the minimum and maximum entry age limits for each policy? Most companies will offer cover up to an age limit of between 65 and 75 years.
- Premium structure. Will you be paying stepped or level premiums, or a combination of the two? It's also a good idea to look at whether a company offers flexible premium payment options – for example fortnightly, monthly, six-monthly or annually – to let you tailor a payment schedule to suit your budget.
- Cooling-off period. This is the time when you can cancel your policy before it is actually put in force. Most such periods range from 28 to 32 days.
- Exclusions. No matter what type of cover you're buying, make sure you familiarise yourself with the circumstances under which claims won't be paid. Doing so now will ensure you don't get a nasty surprise when you try to make a claim.
- When the policy will end. This can vary from one policy to the next. For example, a policy may end after a benefit is paid, when the policy owner dies, when the policy expires or if you fail to pay your premiums.
- Bundle and save. Some insurers will let you save money on premiums if you take out multiple insurance policies with them. If you need more than one type of cover, look for providers that offer this feature.
Where can I find life insurance reviews?
There a numerous sources online where you can find life insurance reviews. This includes:
- Forums. You can typically find customer discussion on their experience with a life insurance product and what is covered.
- Customer review sites. Customers will usually leave comments and a rating on the policy on a customer review site. This can serve as a rough guide for accessing an insurers customer service, especially during claim time.
- The website of the insurer. Some life insurers will post testimonials from its policyholders.
- finder.com.au. We provide reviews to help you breakdown policy features, how much cover is available, extras and the eligibility requirements of a life insurance product.
What to be aware of when reading life insurance reviews
Online life insurance reviews can be a hugely beneficial resource when it comes time to research your cover options. However, it's important that you don't base the very important decision of which policy you choose on one single review. There are a number of very good reasons for this, including:
- Unhappy customers. Use these reviews to assess how effective and efficient a company's claims handling process is, as well as how friendly and professional its customer service team is. Besides, it also pays to remember that some people may leave a negative comment with not being able to claim and not have been aware of the policy exclusions, so take these reviews with a grain of salt.
- Few people post positive reviews. The simple fact is that people are much more likely to post a scathing review after having a poor experience than they are to post a positive review after having a wonderful experience with a life insurance company. Keep this in mind when reading reviews.
- Reviews on the website of insurance providers. Reviews on a company's website are obviously only going to be completely positive, but they can be a useful source of information in terms of information about policy features and the claims handling processes.
- Awards and industry bodies. Before you take the word of one review site as gospel, weigh up its opinions against those given on other sites. If you’re looking at a website that gives ratings to insurance providers, remember that this is just the opinion of one organisation or industry body. Organisations have differing opinions that could be better or worse than the one in front of you.
- Who wrote the review? If you come across a review that claims to be written by some sort of expert, make sure to look into their qualifications, experience and overall right to pass themselves off as an authority on the subject in question. Look for reviewers with in-depth knowledge of the life insurance industry and the products available.
- Look out for fake reviews. Though these sorts of things aren’t as common as they might be on some travel or restaurant review websites, be wary of fake reviews of life insurance products. If something sounds ridiculously over the top and too good to be true, there’s a chance it could be. Verify the source of the review before passing judgement.