I’m young, single and no one is dependent on me…why get life insurance?
A. You may not want to pass on outstanding mortgage debt, personal debt or final expenses like funeral costs to your family and friends. Disability insurance protects you if you suffer a serious injury and can’t work for a few months or longer.
Am I better off just putting funds into a high interest savings account?
A. Most people are not fortunate enough to have adequate funds invested in a high-interest account that would be enough to cover their outstanding debts and give their family support for the future. With some life and disability claims reaching up to $2 million, it’s a fair amount of cash to just have sitting around!
Aren’t I already covered by my health insurance for illness and injury?
A. Not exactly. Health insurance covers medical expenses that are associated with sickness and injury but does not provide support for bills, debts or loss of income if you can’t work for an extended period or ever again. Life insurance covers the gap between the expenses covered by health insurance and additional costs of ongoing treatment, rehabilitation and loss of income.
Who can apply?
A. United States citizens, US permanent residents (those residing in the US at time of application) and non-residents. Age restrictions vary between brands and cover selected.
What if I already have coverage in place?
A. An insurance consultant can help you review your current policy to help you decide whether you can benefit when switching to another option or increasing or decreasing the level of coverage in your current policy.
What are the classifications of a smoker?
A. Insurers classify anyone that has smoked tobacco or any other substance in the last 12 months as a smoker.
Can I increase or decrease my level of coverage?
A. Yes. You can apply to increase or decrease your coverage at any stage to meet your needs. It’s worth noting that you will be required to undertake another round of assessments with your insurer.
Can I add/remove beneficiaries from my policy?
A. Yes. You can update beneficiaries at any stage.
Can I cancel my policy?
A. Yes. Most policies offer a 30 day cooling off period whereby premiums paid during this period will be refunded. No premiums will be refunded if you cancel your policy after the cooling off period.
Am I covered overseas?
A. Some do. Policies are out there that provide coverage 24 hours a day anywhere in the world. Countries that have been advised against travel are generally not covered.
If I pass away, how is my claim paid?
A. In the event of your death, your life insurance brand or 401K trustee will pay out the nominated death benefit to one or more of your financial dependents or to your estate. A “binding nomination” can ensure the benefit from the coverage in your 401K is paid to the beneficiary of your choice. You should make sure your estate has the necessary documentation so that they can claim on your behalf.
What does a beneficiary need to provide to claim a benefit from a deceased policyholder?
A. Generally, the beneficiary will need to provide:
- A completed claim form.
- Original policy document and policy schedule.
- A copy of the deceased’s birth certificate.
- A certified copy of the deceased’s will.
- Probate or letters of administration.
Can I take out coverage with my spouse/partner?
A. Yes. Generally, two people can be covered under a single policy. Discounts for multi-policies are offered by some brands.
Can I add my partner later?
A. No, generally they will be required to take out a separate policy.
Can I get coverage if I have a medical condition?
A. It depends on the condition and treatment. Every insurer has different conditions for pre-existing conditions so it is best to check the terms and conditions before taking out cover. If the insurer decides that your pre-existing medical condition presents too great a risk for them, they will generally exclude it from your coverage. As an example, if you are applying for coverage and have a history of back problems, your insurer may exclude all claims related to back conditions from your policy.
Is there anything I can do if I have taken out coverage and my condition is not covered?
A. There are generally two options available to you:
- It might be worth speaking with an insurance consultant to see if there are any other companies out there that are willing to provide you with coverage. Assessment criteria is not the same for all insurers so it’s always worth looking around if you have struggled to get coverage due to a medical condition.
- You may also be able to have your current insurer review your condition when it comes time to renew your policy to see if the exclusion can be lifted if your situation has changed.
When won’t I be paid for life insurance?
A. Generally all deaths are covered except for suicide within one to two years of the policy. Accident only life insurance will only provide coverage for death that is the result of an accident. Some policies may exclude death related to pre-existing medical conditions for a set number of years from the start date of the policy.
When won’t I be paid for disability or critical illness?
A. Most policies will not pay a benefit for claims arising from:
- Intentional self-inflicted injury or self harm.
- Acquiring HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C unless if through performing duties of the your occupation.
- Disability caused during engagement in armed forces of any country.
- Claims related to pregnancy, uncomplicated childbirth or miscarriage.
- Claims caused by your engagement in unlawful acts.
- Claims from aviation activity unless you are a fare paying passenger on a scheduled flight.