The 10 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Insurance Adviser

The decision to take out life insurance is a very important one, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly or made on the spur of the moment. Whether you’re considering term life, income protection, TPD or trauma insurance, it’s essential that you talk to a professional and independent life insurance adviser beforehand to get a full understanding of your various options.

With a little bit of legwork and some expert advice, you can get the valuable peace of mind and financial protection you and your family deserve. Here are the 10 most important questions to ask your adviser to make sure that they – and the cover they can provide – is right for you:


#1: What type of life insurance should I choose?

There is a range of different life insurance options available including term life, income protection, total and permanent disability, and trauma insurance. The benefits, features and costs of each will vary, and the type of cover you choose will depend on what you need from your policy.

A good insurance adviser will explain the different types of policies available and help you compare their benefits and costs, to decide which one is best suited to you and your family.


#2: How much cover do I need?

Like with the type of cover you choose, the amount of cover you decide on will depend on a variety of factors such as your lifestyle, financial commitments, future plans and personal circumstances.

Everyone’s needs will be different so there is no standard answer to this question, but your adviser should help you determine the appropriate amount of cover by thoroughly assessing your income, assets, liabilities, lifestyle and circumstances both short- and long-term.


#3: How much will my cover cost?

Again, this will depend on the type and amount of cover you want. While the cost is a very important factor when choosing insurance, you need to make sure you also take into account the features, benefits and limits of the policy in relation to its price to work out whether you’re getting good value for money.


#4: What sort of discounts are available?

Many people aren’t aware you can even ask for discounts, but a lot of insurance providers do offer specific discounts for eligible clients such as those in a particular age group, on a group policy, or who have paid the policy in full.

It may require a few adjustments to your policy, but it can be well worth talking it through with your insurance adviser if it means saving on the total cost of your cover.


#5: What is not covered in the policy?

Don’t overlook the importance of exclusions – it’s vital that you go through them in detail with your adviser to make sure you completely understand what is and isn’t covered under the plan you are considering.

Not only will this save you a lot of time and heartache in the future if you do need to claim, but it also ensures that if you need something specific covered now or in the future, then you’ll be able to get the right cover from the beginning. 


#6: How do you handle my claims?

The claims process will vary between providers and policies, so it’s worth finding out what the process involves. Ideally, you’d like one that’s simple and straightforward, and that your insurance adviser can either take care of for you or can help you through.

Understanding the complexities and intricacies of insurance law and making a successful claim is your adviser’s specialty, and they should be able to discuss all the finer details with you as well as make it easy to claim if the need arises.


#7: What are my guarantees?

For insurance policies such as term life, income protection, TPD and trauma insurance, there are some aspects that policies are guaranteed to cover. For example, some policies are guaranteed to remain at a steady rate despite any changes in the economic market, while some may be affected by any changes to your health, income or lifestyle over the period of your policy.

Ask your adviser about these beforehand to make sure you won’t be hit by any unexpected rate rises or changes to your premiums or deductibles.


#8: What are the policies for adjusting rates?

In a similar vein to guarantees, it’s important to find out what your provider’s policy is on rate adjustments. Some providers won’t inform customers when the rate changes, and while you probably won’t notice if the rate goes down, you’ll certainly notice if it goes up.

To avoid getting caught out by a surprise rate increase, find out what the policies are about premium adjustments before you commit to cover.


#9: When does the cover start?

It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance adviser about the exact date that your cover starts, so you know when you’re being covered from. In some cases, there can be a delay between signing the policy and when the cover actually starts.


#10: What happens if I can’t pay?

If something were to happen in the future and you suddenly weren’t able to meet your life insurance payments, you need to know what your options are. Many insurance providers will have some sort of contingency plan in place, such as an option for income protection insurance together with your life insurance to help you pay your bills if you suddenly lose your income.

Whatever you choose to do, just remember that losing a policy that you’ve been paying into for several years – or even decades – can be a huge financial loss. So being prepared for the worst is never a bad decision; find out what your options are and don’t be afraid to ask more questions.

While there are numerous other questions worth asking your insurance adviser before you commit to a particular policy, these are the most important. Your adviser is there to help you secure your family’s future, so make sure you take advantage of the service to get the cover that’s right for you. 

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions or get in touch with one of our insurance advisers for yourself to find out more about the comprehensive service we provide to help you make sure you’re getting the right cover.

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