Life assurance

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    Hi Dave,

    Our life assurance is up for renewal and I called up the providers today and asked if they could do better on price and they said no. So we are looking at our options and considering moving.

    The thing is, I don’t like the idea of going through all the medical stuff for a brand new policy but as we are all fairly healthy in our house, with no major ailments, there should not be any red flags with getting insured. Its just the idea of the potential hassle.

    Then again, we want to make sure we are getting the best value possible, so we are looking for advice before we make a decision.

    Our current policy is with Aviva and is around 35 euro a month. Is this good or should we be trying to get a better deal elsewhere?

    thanks for your help.

    Financial Companion

    Hi Sabbi, yeah a lot of people reach this dilemna and often take the easiest route and stay where they are. Firstly, it’s important to make sure that you get the best value for your monthly premium. There are a few other important factors as well; there are so many different aspects of life cover, there is no way to know if you have good value at that price without knowing the details. Life cover can be reducing term, level term, convertible term, increasing and have other benefits attached to it. It’s like someone saying they bought a car for €20,000 and someone else saying they bought a car for €12,000, it would be wrong to just assume they got a better deal and go and change the car! Cover does get more expensive as we get older but there are clever things you can do. In terms of the medical side of things, if the people to be assured are in good general health, it’s just a matter of completing the medical questions. If there is anything that may require the insurer to write to a gp or request a medical, it is far, far better to go through this inconvenience now, and have complete peace of mind that you are fully covered, than in the event of a claim, find that you forgot to mention something (non-disclosure) that could prevent a claim being paid out.
    The correct method (and best advice to a client) is for us to analyse their precise requirements based on their own circumstances and then based on needs and affordability, illustrate what is most appropriate and best value. In terms of an appoximate quote, I can do these with very little info on an email but to make sure what we are quoting is best for you, it’s important to take the time to go through the details. Otherwise, it’s like asking the doctor for some tablets without telling him what is wrong with your or your medical history. I hope this helps but make sure you come back if you have any othe questions Sabbi 😉

    Financial Companion

    Just a repeat of a word of caution I posted a while back. As many people look to cut back on monthly spending, they have sometimes cancelled life or specified illness policies without fully considering the consequences. It can often be the case, that when affordablitiy allows them to re-apply for cover, that they may be "rated"or even declined. One of the options to overcome this is to apply for a plan that is much cheaper (a way to do this without compromising the level of cover too much is to reduce the term to maybe 7 or 10 years but include a "conversion option", this gives the client the right, up to the end of the term to extend the plan without further evidence of medical health. To give an example, if 4 years down the road you were diagnosed with diabetes, normally you would be declined specified illness cover and heavily rated for life cover. The conversion option would give you the right to be accepted at standard rates, assuming you were standard rates at the start.) then when the cheaper plan is accepted, you are free to cancel the more expensive one without fear of having no cover at all. As usual, you can PM me with details for quotes or questions or email me at

    Financial Companion

    Another tip for anyone considering their life or specified illness cover options, if your birthday is within the next three months, don’t wait until too close to the date because if the life company needs to write to your GP, the delays can run into weeks (and sometimes months!) putting the start date past your birthday and hence increasing the monthly premium.


    Reading all these posts made me get out all of our stuff and go through them with the hubby, I was actually shocked going through some of our correspondence! It seems our life plan gets reviewed and they can increase the premium, is that normal??

    Also, when we took out serious illness cover a few years ago, the amount seemed okay but looking at it now I think we need to update! I think I’ll have a look at your website and give you a shout. What do you charge for going through our existing stuff to help us understand it and see what would be best?

    Financial Companion

    Bubblesue, there’s no charge whatsoever for a consultation to review your existing planning and see what’s appropriate and no obligation either!

    The type of life plan you described is a unit linked life policy. The way it works is, every month you purchase units in a multi-million euro fund managed by the life company. Every month, some of these units are encashed to pay for yourbenefits (life cover etc.) but over time, the cost of your cover increases so they encash a greater number of units. They quote that assuming a certain growth rate, the premium will sustain cover for a certain period. However, as you can imagine funds have not performed well in the past couple of years, so it reaches a point where there are not enough units being purchased to pay for your benefits, which forces a review, sooner than scheduled, where they will offer you the option to either increase your monthly premium or else reduce you life cover. Most people with this type of plan do not realise this, they just think they pay a monthly amount for the cover and that is it, but closer inspection of the policy schedule and documents will confirm the type. What has become more common in the last few years is the guaranteed term type of cover. This way people know exactly what they will pay for the full term with no shock surprises of large premium increases. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or want to arrange a review.

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