Life Insurance FAQ'S

In this life insurance frequently asked questions section we deal with some of the more common queries received by us in regard to Life Insurance in Ireland. 


Which life insurance Companies in Ireland do you deal with?
We provide you with suitable life products by analysing the best products available from the Companies below and selecting a solution to meet your needs:

Irish life
Royal London
Zurich
Aviva
Friends First
New Ireland

Irish Life is Ireland's largest Life Insurance Company and this company was recently acquired by Great West Life Insurance which is one of the leading Life Companies in the world.
Irish Life have a very strong reputation in the pensions area managing pensions for some of Ireland's leading companies.

There protection product is very strong but tends to be dearer than some of our other providers. They will price match other providers basic pricing but at present they do not offer anything like the level of discounts currently available to us, of up to 15% off the lowest rates in the market.

Royal London is a mutual company but ownership or shares in the company does not follow if you purchase a life insurance from them in Ireland. However they are highly competitive and have an excellent service level.They have agrowing mrket share and continue to add features to their products. Examples include offering dual life cover for the same price as joint life- in order words they will not charge extra for potentailly paying out on two lives in a life insurance policy.

Zurich is another household name and the Irish Business is part of the global Zurich group.

Zurich are very strong on service and price in regard to Life Insurance in Ireland and are one of our leading providers because of a strong discounting policy with largest Life insurance brokere, allowing us to pass on great rates to you. 

Aviva are another household name and are part of the large global group with headquarters in the UK.
One feature of their life insurance offering in Ireland is the " Best Doctors" facility which allows policy holders and their family and parents have access to a free second medical opinion from leading doctors across the world in respect of any medical condition.

Friends First were  part of a large European Insurance Group  but they have been recently acquired by Aviva.
While they are competitive in the Life Insurance area, they are market leaders in the area of Income protection providing the most comprehensive cover on the market backed up with exceptionally strong service levels.

New Ireland

New Ireland are part of The Bank of Ireland Group.Thye tend to be more expensive than othe rcompanies.

Bank of Ireland place most of their business through this company. They  have some very attractive features in the insurance products that are not available elsewhere in the market and again provide a very strong level of service,


Popular terms used in Life Insuranec industry
Explanation of abbreviations and terms used in Life Insurance

 

 

(Mortgage Protection Insurance) is a Life Insurance Policy taken out for the term of a mortgage. It is known as Decreasing Term Insurance because the cover reduces or decreases over the term of the Policy in line with the estimated reducing balance outstanding on a Capital and Interest Mortgage.

 

Level - (Level Term Assurance) is a Life Insurance Policy taken out for a fixed period of time. The Policy will pay out a capital sum on the happening of a specific insured event during the term of the policy, i.e. death and/or serious illness.

 

Convertible - (Convertible Term Assurance) is the same as Level Term Assurance, but with an added benefit - it allows the policyholder to convert or extend the term of cover of the policy at a future date without the need for updated medical evidence, subject to Policy conditions.

 

Joint Life means that there is only one pay-out possible, which will be paid on the first death/serious illness.

 

Dual Life cover means that both lives are covered independently, that separate pay-outs are possible on the death/serious illness of both lives assured.

 

Standalone Serious Illness cover provides the payment of a capital sum in the event of the insured person being diagnosed as suffering from or contracting any of the serious illnesses specified in the particular Policy. It can be attached to a Term Policy or it can be a Standalone Policy.

 

Accelerated Serious Illness is an additional optional benefit on any life insurance policy whereby a specified sum is paid as an advance payment, (accelerated), of the Life cover chosen. It is paid on the diagnosis of a serious illness as specified in the Policy and will reduce the Life cover by the amount of that advance payment. The Policy will continue if there is any remaining Life cover.

 

Non-smoker – to be considered a non-smoker a person needs to be free from all tobacco products* for a period of 12 months. (* the treatment of Nicotine replacement products varies between the Providers – please check before applying).


Indexation_ This is a term used in Life Insurance to indicate that the policy has been written or accepted on the basis that the payout will rise over time in line with inflation.
A very useful way to understand this concept is to compare what a sum of money 20 years ago might be worth today. A house costing 100,000 20 years ago would probbaly cost 350,000 today!




 

Why choose Lifeinsurance.ie as my adviser?
We would be delighted if you choose us as your adviser.

Experience is very important when it comes to advising on financial products.

Lifeinsurance.ie was established in 1996 by Shane Lavin, a qualified Chartered Accountant with over thirty years experience in financial services.


Our experienced team are all qualified life insurance advisers and are totally focused on understanding your needs and trying to find the best protection balance for your circumstances.


Lifeinsurance.ie is a trading division of Finance Company of Ireland Ltd.

Finance Company of Ireland Ltd was established in 1996 and we have extensive experience advising thousands of valued clients over the years.

We are committed to advising you on the merits of competing mortgage protection and life insurance options, with a view to ensuring your dependents are adequately protected.
  • Quoted premiums are the same whether you deal directly with a Life company or through an intermediary. The difference is that by dealing through us, not alone do you get great additional discount of up to 16% off the lowest quotes on the market, you also receive independent advice on the best products available from the leading Life insurance Companies.
  • We are authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland.  
  • Our consultants are experienced and absolutely committed to providing you with advice to meet your specific life insurance needs.
  • We provide a friendly and highly professional service.
What is life insurance?
Life insurance is an insurance policy that pays out the amount insured to the beneficiary of the policy.

A life Insurance policy can be taken out for a specified term or it can be taken out for the whole of your life. The premiums must be kept up to date to process a valid claim under the policy

If you take out life insurance on yourself, the proceeds of the policy will go your estate and will be distributed in accordance with your will, after any debts have been cleared.

If you take out a life insurance policy and specify one of your dependents as the beneficiary, the proceeds of the policy will be paid directly to the beneficiary.

For example if you insure your life for Euro 200,000 and you die during the term of the Life Insurance policy, the insurance Company will pay out the sum assured to your estate.



Why do I need life insurance?

Life insurance provides a death benefit, money that your beneficiary or beneficiaries can use for whatever purposes they choose, helping to:

  • Pay your last expenses, which may include taxes and burial costs
  • Replace your income and help to maintain your family's standard of living
  • Protect your family's home by enabling them to pay off the mortgage and other debts
  • Pay others to do some of the tasks you do routinely, such as caring for an aging relative or a child.
  • Ensure a child can go to college by providing a lump sum towards future education needs.
  • Provide supplemental retirement income for your spouse or partner
  • Pay expenses incurred to keep your business in the family
Life insurance policies can be set up to provide a lump sum on death, a recurring income for the beneficiary for a certain term or a combination of both.

Most life policies provide lump sum on death. 

Do I need to take out Life insurance with my mortgage provider?
We get this query all the time because our clients often feel an obligation to deal with the bank who provided them with their mortgage.

The simple answer is that you are under no obligation to buy life insurance and mortgage protection from your lender.

We will always provider cheaper quotes than are available through your lender.




Do i need life insurance if I am already insured through my job?

Participating in your group life insurance is a good idea because you will often be able to receive life insurance at a lower, group price. When deciding whether to buy insurance beyond your group coverage, consider these questions:

  • Will you still have your group life insurance coverage if you leave your job?
  • Converting your group coverage to an individual life policy may be an option. But will it be more expensive to do that than to purchase a life insurance policy on your own?
  • Does your existing group coverage provide enough insurance?
  • If you need to apply for a new individual policy because you leave your job, are you prepared to pay higher premiums (premiums may be higher due to your age or due to health status)?
In general we see employment schemes as an added bonus, rather than a policy suitable for the long term benefit of you dependents.
What are the principal Life Insurance cover options I need to consider
Close to 50% of the population with children under 17 have no life insurance, either mortgage protection or stand alone life insurance..

Like other purchases you need to consider how much you are going to spend.
A good approach to this is to ask what perecentage of your total net income should you spend on protection. If you have net income of Euro 3,500 should you put aside 1% or 2% or more!

Before selecting the best provider we need to establish some basic requirements.

The key issues are:

Why do you want the cover?
Who do you want to benefit from the life insurance cover?
What amount  would you like to have and why?
Whats is the minimum level of cover you need?
What term do you require the cover for?

The next decisions are easier:


Would you like to be able to review the cover in the future without and new medical evidence?
Would you like to protect the value of you policy against inflation?
Would you like the policy to pay out if you got a serious illness?

Cost benefit analysis

Once we establish these matters we can then compare life insurance quotes from all the Life insurance companies for you.
This process discloses the cost of meeting all your objectives.
You then consider if the cost is affordable and amend the cover requirements based on you finances.

Are there risks in switching life insurance companies?
As life insurance and mortgage protection premiums fall many policy holders are looking around for better value. There is absolutely no harm in arranging cheaper insurance, as long as you are comparing like with like.

It is important to seek independent advice when considering a switch.Matters to consider are:
  • Do not cancel an existing policy until you have been approved for a replacement policy and are satisfied with the new cover? Do not  cancel your old policy until the new policy is actually in place.
  • Rushing in and cancelling could be disastrous if you find that  you cannot effect a policy with similar benefits.
  • You need to compare like with like and if you are prepared to drop some benefits you should fully understand the implications of this decision.
  • You need to be happy with the financial strength of the new Life Insurance Company..
  • You need to satisfy yourself in regard to whether the premiums are fixed or variable.

Is is important to have life insurance cover for my spouse?
Both parties in a partnership or marriage should have life insurance. The same level of cover may not be required for each person but there is no doubt that cover is necessary..

If your spouse contributes to the family's annual income, then he or she should have adequate life insurance protection to replace that income in the event of his or her death, in order that you can live as normal a life as possible after the bereavement

If your spouse does not earn an income, life insurance can still play an important role in helping to pay for their contribution, both tangible and intangible; for example, providing child care, elder care, or managing the home and being there to look after children.
What factors should influence my choice of life company?
  • The benefits provided by the product
  • The cost of the life insurance product compared to similar products in the market
  • The Financial strength of the Company.
  • The reputation of the company in the market  in regard to customer service .The last thing you need is a provider who will make it difficult to process a valid claim
  • The price of the policy .In a competitive market most companies track each others prices quite closely.Life insurance companies tend to differ in regard to product extras or specific attitudes to risk factors.
  • The length of time the Company has been operating in the market .A well established company with a strong record of sound management is preferable to a newly formed organistaion.

What are the benefits of setting up a life insurance policy under trust?
Any Life insurance policy can be set up in trust, whether it is a regular savings plan,a single premium investment bond or a life protection policy.

A trust is a legal document that transfers ownership to the trustees.

In the event of the death of the life insurer, the proceeds of the policy are paid to the Trustee. The Trustees must then forward these proceeds to the beneficiaries  you have
named in the trust deed.


The advantages of writing a policy under trust are:.
  • There is no delay in distributing the proceeds of the policy in line with the policy holders wishes. The benefit of the policy is paid directly to the trustees, on receipt of the necessary proofs.
  • Setting up a policy under trust removes the need for it to be included in the will
  • Setting up a policy under trust protects the proceeds of the policy from creditors, unless the policy was specifically effected to defraud creditors.
  • the trustees must pay the proceeds of the policy to the beneficiaries named on the trust form.

What are the rules in regard to completion of health questionaires.
We are often asked questions by clients in regard to the completion of health declarations.

The key guiding principle is that answers must  be honest and you need to disclose the true facts in answer to all questions.

If you are in doubt about a particular question please record your concern and our underwriters will deal with it. 

If you smoke say so and if you drink please record accurate drinking habits. 

Failure to disclose facts or disclosing misleading facts could well invalidate your policy..

It is important to disclose all material facts. A material fact is any fact that the insurer would regard as likely to influence the assessment and acceptance of the proposal. Failure to disclose all material facts, including full disclosure of your medical details and history
may delay or prevent the issue of your life insurance policy;;cause it to be cancelled at a later date; and/or invalidate future claims. If you are in nay doubt whether it is material you should disclose it.
How often should I review my policy?
You should review all of your insurance needs at least once a year. If you have a major life change, you should contact your adviser . Here at Finance Company of Ireland we schedule a meeting once a  year in advance with our clients. 

Life changes may have  a significant impact on your insurance needs. Life changes may include:
  • Marriage or divorce
  • A child or grandchild who is born or adopted
  • Significant changes in your health or that of your spouse/domestic partner
  • Taking on the financial responsibility of an aging parent
  • Purchasing a new home
  • A loved one who requires long-term care
  • Refinancing your home
  • Coming into an inheritance

We are here to assist you make the right decisions. 

How should I organize and store my life insurance records?
The last thing you want to happen after you die is for your beneficiaries to be unable to locate and submit a claim on your life insurance. To prevent this, you should have copies of your life insurance records in at least two places. This is to make it less likely that you'll lose them (to fire, flood, accidental discarding, etc.) and more likely that, after your death, your beneficiaries will find them.

What information should I keep?

For each individual life insurance policy on your life, you should record the following information:
  • The full name of the life insurance company that issued the policy
  • The name and  headquarters of the group, if the issuing company belongs to a group of companies
  • The policy number
  • The date the policy was issued
  • The amount of the death benefit
  • The name and address of the adviser  who sold you the policy
  • The type of policy (e.g., term, whole life, etc.)
  • The location of the original life insurance policy.
  • The type of policy that has a death benefit as part of its features
     
Where should I keep the information?

Keep one set of these records in your home, in a place where others who need this information are likely to find it (and after you put the information there, tell the people who'll need it where it is). This might be with your other financial records (such as income tax,  investment records), with your other legal papers (such as a copy of your will, living will, health care proxy, etc.), or anywhere your survivors are likely to look for them.

Keep another set of these records "off site"--that is, outside of your home, perhaps in a safe deposit box, or with a professional or a relative who can be counted on to produce them when they're needed.Finance Company of Ireland are pleased to store your information on our secure server and to allow access to designated individuals appointed by you.

On each page, record the date on which the information was last updated. That way, if the copy in your home differs from the one in the safe deposit box, it's easy to tell which is the more current.
Will I get approved for life insurance?

Some of us put off taking out life insurance because we feel we will not qualify for cover.

In some instance a person may have a medical condition which concerns them,for others it might be because they are overweight or have high cholesterol etc.

Very few life insurance applications received by us do not record some medical issue. However, the vast majority of our policies are written at standard rates. Where medical conditions are more serious, but under control, life cover is generally available, although sometimes at an increased premium.

Applying for life insurance is a relatively straightforward process.

You can give us a call and we will go through an application over the phone. You are under absolutely no obligation to take out a policy whatsoever and even if you do there is both a cooling off period and if you so wish you can cancel a policy at a later stage.
 

Can I cancel my Life Insurance policy?
You can cancel your Life Insurance policy at any stage by notifying the insurer in writing of your wishes. The issues to consider if contemplating cancelling are as follows:
  • Are you satisfied that you will lose the full benefits of the policy and that this may have implications for your dependents after your death?
  • Have you considered reducing cover?
  • Are you likely to get affordable cover in the future if you change your mind?
  • Are you likely to leave debts that my fall to be paid by your dependents?
E cigarettes and Smoking
Smoking will almost double your life insurance premium.

One of our Insurers Royal London Life Insurance, will look at reducing your premium back to a non smoker rates after one year once you  have been off tobacco products for one year and you sign a declaration to that effect..

Also some companies will consider you a non smoker if you have been smoking  e cigarettes for one year..