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Additional Benefits of Life Insurance in Ireland

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But what if I don’t die? Isn’t life insurance a waste of money?

Some people find it difficult to see the value of life insurance if they outlive their policy.

And I could bang on about things like peace of mind and the value of knowing your loved ones are OK should the worst happen

But instead, let’s look at what I call “living” or additional benefits of life insurance (or what you can get while you’re still above ground)

Additional Benefits of Life Insurance

Personal Accident Cover

Pays you a weekly amount of up to 50% of your average weekly earnings if you’re unable to work due to an injury resulting from an accident. This payment will be made for a max. of 52 weeks
in total.

In other words, your policy pays you every week you cannot do your job due to an accident.

How does it compare with income protection?

tl/dr Get income protection instead.

Be careful of the exclusion on personal accident cover. For example, I have taken this from the Zurich T&Cs

• Disability which occurs as a result of lifting, twisting, turning or bending cannot be considered as having occurred as a result of external violent and visible means and therefore cannot be considered under this

Available on life insurance policies from:

  • New Ireland
  • Zurich Life
  • Irish Life

Surgical Cash Benefit


This is available through New Ireland and Zurich if you have Specified Illness Cover on your policy.

If you do, it will pay out up to 12.5% (to a maximum of €32,500) of your cover  if you have to undergo one of the major operations covered.

The most common surgeries that trigger a claim are the old reliables

Hip Replacement

Knee Replacemeent

If these run in your fmaily, then it would be wise to add surgical cash to your policy.

These operations are regarded as Major Surgeries under this policy:

• hip replacement;
• knee replacement;
• surgery to the brain or meninges of the brain;
• surgery to the lungs;
• surgery to the spinal cord or canal;
• surgery to the spinal vertebrae and intervertebral discs;
• surgery to the Cranial Nerves; and
• surgery involving the removal of an eyeball or orbital contents.

You will receive a smaller payout for an Intermediate Surgery:

In the event of the life insured undergoing one of the following procedures, the amount of benefit payable will be 5% of the specified illness benefit subject to a maximum of €13,000.

• amputation or replantation of limbs;
• coronary catheter treatment including angioplasty;
• hysterectomy;
• mastectomy and breast reconstruction;
• removal of spinal disc;
• single vessel coronary angioplasty;
• surgery to the pharynx;
• surgery to the cerebral, carotid, iliac or femoral arteries;
• surgery to the pituitary or pineal glands;
• surgery to a kidney;
• surgery to an inner ear;
• surgery to the bile duct;
• surgery to the bladder;
• surgery to the gall bladder;
• surgery to the larynx;
• surgery to the liver;
• surgery to the nerve roots;
• surgery to the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, or rectum (excluding
• surgery to the pancreas;
• surgery to the parathyroid, thymus, or adrenal glands;
• surgery to the prostate;
• surgery to the spleen;
• surgery to the thyroid; and
• surgery to the ureter.

Available on policies from:

  • New Ireland
  • Zurich Life

Hospital Cash Cover

If you’re in the hospital for more than three days, the insurer will pay you.

You can buy cover of up to €300 per day so if you’re in hospital for 7 days, the insurer will pay you €2100

hospital bed

The insurers will not pay out for inpatient treatment in a mental health facility.

Available on policies from:

  • New Ireland
  • Zurich Life
  • Irish Life

What is Hospital Cash Cover? 

Waiver of Premium

If you’re unable to work because of accident or illness for a period longer than 13 weeks, the insurer will keep you covered but will suspend your premiums.

Available on policies from:

  • Zurich Life
  • Aviva

Broken Bones Payment | Sports Injury Cover

Pays you cash if you suffer one of the following injuries:

  • Fracture of upper leg €3,000
  • Fracture of ribs/collar bone €1,000
  • Fracture of lower leg/ankle €1,700
  • Open fracture of skull €3,000
  • Closed fracture of skull €1,700
  • Fracture of arm €1,700
  • Fracture of wrist €1,300
  • Fracture of jaw/cheekbone €1,300
  • Fracture of foot €1,300
  • Dislocation of hip €1,700
  • Dislocation of ankle €2,500
  • Dislocation of elbow €1,700
  • Dislocation of shoulder €1,300
  • Fracture of Vertebrae, shoulder blade or sternum €1,300

New Ireland is the only insurer offering broken bones cover.

What is Permanent Total Disablement (PTD)?

PTD is an additional benefit to your serious illness cover.

If you are permanently, totally, and irreversibly unable to do your job due to illness/accident/disability, the insurer will pay out your serious illness cover as a lump sum.

PTD cover lasts until you turn 65.

At least twelve months of inability to do your job is normally required to support a claim.

Free Digital GP

Aviva and New Ireland offer a free Digital GP service as additional benefits on their policies.

Medical Second opinion for You and Your Family

If you or someone in your extended family (children, spouse/partner, parents, spouse/partner’s parents) becomes unwell, you can have an independent review of your diagnosis.

Available on policies from:

  • Aviva
  • Irish Life
  • Royal London

One‑to‑one Personal Support from your own Nurse Adviser

Available on policies from:

  • Irish Life
  • Royal London

Bereavement Counselling

Available on policies from:

  • Irish Life
  • Royal London
  • Aviva

That’s a breakdown of what you can get from your life insurance even if you don’t make a death claim.

You can also add other living benefits such as a payout for a specified serious illness.

Of course, income protection insurance will replace your income while you’re alive and kicking making it the most important insurance you can buy!

Over to you…

As you can see, not all of the insurers are equal when it comes to the Additional Benefits of Life Insurance so choose wisely.

If you need some help, please complete our financial questionnaire:

Thanks for reading


Editor’s Note | We first published this Additional Benefits of Life Insurance in 2020 and have regularly updated it since.

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