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Compare Life Insurance Quotes 18 Ways!

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Buying the first Life Insurance policy you see is like agreeing to marry someone a half-hour into your first date. You’ll have horsed half a glass of wine into you and established that they’re probably not a serial killer, but you’ll still have no idea who they are as a person.

And maybeeee it’ll be grand, and you’ll live in relative contentment. Or maybe you’ll soon find out that your beloved views showering as optional or believes Trump is a genius.

The more you know, the better.

Always.

It’s why this blog exists! Well, not for the relationship stuff. I’m not here to counsel you on that. For all I know, maybe you like the musky smell of the unwashed, or you also think that Trump is tremendous, really really great, the best ever.

I will judge you, however, if you don’t do the right research into Life Insurance. Why? Well, you could potentially be wasting money on a policy that isn’t worth it.

For example, if you bought a reviewable policy, you could be facing price hikes and end up paying out the wazoo. Likewise, if you didn’t get a conversion option with your term policy and you want to ‘renew’ when the term is over, you could be hit right in the bank balance.

You could be missing out on some nifty benefits too. If you’ve read these last two paragraphs and all this information seems new, then chances are I might be able to help you get a great deal on your Life Insurance policy.

How to Compare Life Insurance

As consumers, we’re fascinated by comparisons.

We love knowing the best, the worst, and everything in between.

And having all the information in the world at our fingertips has made us even hungrier to find out all we can before we make a purchase.

But there’s a downside to this – analysis paralysis – the state of over-thinking about a decision to the point you never make a choice. It’s an easy trap to fall into and a dangerous one when it comes to life insurance as the longer you leave it, the older you’re going to be and the more likely you’ll suffer a health issue. Older age plus bad health = mucho expensive premiums.

If I had a euro for every person who told me they wished they had put cover in place before their birthday or before their check-up, I’d have about €37.

So today, to save you from spending hours on the interweb trying to compare insurers,  I’ll do it for you in a quick table and bullet form no less.

The Big 5 Irish Life Insurance Providers Compared

Irish Life Insurance Provider Royal London Zurich Aviva New Ireland Irish Life
Guaranteed insurability Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Medical 2nd Opinion Yes No Yes No Yes
Conversion option Yes Yes No Yes No
Accidental Death Benefit No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waiver of Premium No Yes No No No
Child Cover €5,000 €0 €5,000 €4,000 €7,000

 

We’ll now go through each of the main providers, in no particular order though I think points 14 and 18 are must-reads:

1 Which insurer is best for inflation protection?

If you add inflation protection to your policy, the insurer will increase your life insurance amount and your premium by a certain percentage each year. Over time these seemingly small differences can have a huge impact on the price of your cover. I’m not a fan of inflation protection as you’ll see here but if you see the benefit, here’s how it works at each insurer:

  1. New Ireland : increases cover and premiums by 3% 🙂
  2. Royal London and Aviva  : cover +3%, premiums +4%
  3. Irish Life and Zurich Life : cover +3%, premium +4.5% 😨

2. Which insurer gives you the most free children’s cover?

  1. Irish Life and Zurich Life : €7,000
  2. Royal London and Aviva : €5,000
  3. New Ireland : €4,000

Here’s our in-depth article on children’s life cover

3. Where can you convert your term life insurance into a whole of life plan?

  • Yes – Friends First and Irish Life
  • No – The Rest

What’s whole of life anyway?

4. Who offers you the first month free?

Royal London and Aviva will give you the first month free but with Zurich you can get up to six weeks free if you structure your policy in a certain way.

5. Who will make an immediate payment for funeral expenses before the grant of probate?

Royal London and Zurich will pay €10,000 up front once a claim has been accepted.

6. Which insurers allow you to increase your cover without answering medical questions?

This is know as guaranteed insurability and is available at all of the insurers except Aviva.

7. Can you convert your life cover into cash if you need long term care?

Zurich Life allow you to convert €150,000 of your cover into monthly payments if you become permanently disabled.

8. What’s the maximum age you can apply for life insurance?

  1. Irish Life : 82
  2. Royal London, Zurich, , Aviva, New Ireland, Friends First : 74

9. What’s the maximum age you can insure yourself to with term life cover?

  • Royal London : 90
  • Aviva, Zurich : 89
  • Irish Life, New Ireland, : 84

HALFWAY – LET’S HAVE A BREAK

Ready.

Good.

Let’s continue with our Life Insurance comparison

10. Who offers fixed price whole of life cover?

Zurich, Royal London and Irish Life. You can also use these policies to pay an inheritance tax liability.

11. For how long can you insure yourself?

  1. Royal London : 51 years
  2. Irish Life and Aviva : 50 years
  3. Friends, New Ireland and Zurich : 40 years

*Assuming you’re within the maximum age limits outlined in 9 above 

12. Who offers a free medical second opinion service?

We looked at this before in detail in our value added life insurance article.

Aviva are the market leader here but Irish Life and Royal London also offer a medical second opinion.

13. Does your policy pay out on the first death or on both deaths?

You can choose either joint life that will payout out on the first death or dual life that will payout on the first and the second death.

Should you choose joint or dual life cover?

14. Is there a minimum premium you must pay?

This is really important important especially if you have a health issue and you get a loading on your policy. You see the loading is a percentage increase on your base premium so if you choose an insurer with a high base premium, your final premium will be a lot more than if you had gone with an insurer with a lower base premium. Confused much??

An example will clear things up.

You’re faced with a 100% loading.

New Ireland are quoting €20 as their base premium but Zurich’s is €10.

Adding 100% means you’ll end up paying €40 at New Ireland compared to €20 at Zurich Life for the same amount of cover.

Zurich Life and Aviva have a base premium of €10

Royal London and Irish Life start at €15 per month.

New Ireland is the outlier here at €20 per month.

If you’re with New Ireland / Bank of Ireland Life, you may be paying twice as much as you should.

15. Can you receive the payout as a regular monthly income instead of as one lump sum?

Yes, you can with New Ireland and Zurich Life.

Monthly income benefit is a useful way of guaranteeing that maintenance will be paid on death in separation or divorce cases.

A lot of people will use term cover because it gives a lump sum to the family. But there are some difficulties using term cover

  • how do you calculate the right amount
  • the maintenance payer may not want to leave more than the monthly maintenance payment
  • the person receiving the maintenance may not be comfortable receiving a large lump sum to invest.

So the monthly income option has the following benefits:

  1. A specific amount can be covered (e.fg on death, the insurer will payout €1500 per month for the remainder of the policy term)
  2. No investment risk, the income is paid in monthly just like a pay cheque.
  3. It’s easy to understand, costs less than term life cover, is convenient and guarantees a specific payment each month.

You can also add some Lump sum to a policy with a monthly income benefit. In fact I recommend you do so in order to get the conversion option.

15 Is there automatic free accidental death benefit as soon as the insurer receives your policy?

This is available at all of the main Irish insurers bar Royal London.

16 Can you add a whole of life benefit?

Only New Ireland offer this benefit, click here to read all about life insurance that can pay for itself.

17. Is there a payment for broken bones, if you have an accident, need surgery or have a long stay in hospital?

Yes, yes there is – here’s more on these little known benefits of life insurance

18. Who covers the largest amount of serious illnesses?

Honestly I don’t know and I’m not going to even check because a lot of the illnesses covered are simply window dressing that you’ve little chance of ever claiming on. Adding ridiculous illnesses gives the insurer the chance to boast “we cover the most illnesses” in the market. How many people do you know have succumbed to Necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease in case you were wondering).

Here’s the truth:

Eleven illnesses make up around 98% of all claims, and these eleven are:

  1. Cancer
  2. Stroke
  3. Heart Attack
  4. Angioplasty
  5. Bacterial Meningitis
  6. Brain Tumour
  7. Cardiomyopathy
  8. Coronary Bypass
  9. Heart Valve Repair
  10. Parkinson’s Disease
  11. Multiple Sclerosis

All the insurers cover these illnesses but some have better definitions, and when I say better, I mean it’s easier to claim for those illnesses.

Aviva’s definitions for heart attack, cancer and stroke are quite strict so I would avoid.

That leaves just 2% of claims that are caused by the other 80 or so illnesses that some insurers cover – as I said window dressing, no real substance, all show.

Compare all Life Insurance providers in Ireland

Meet Steve.

Steve, come talk to the lovely people.

Steve.

STEVE WILL YOU FECKIN COME HERE?

Sorry, Steve is a bit shy.

Steve is 40 and in reasonably good health. He doesn’t smoke and is looking for €250,000 cover paying monthly over 30 years. Steve also wants a conversion option. At 70 when his policy expires, he’ll be able to get more coverage without having to answer loads of pesky medical questions. We can see Steve’s future and it’s not pretty. (Fast women, slow horses, and lots of booze = lousy health). Without the conversion option, no insurer will offer him cover in 30 years.

Steve can navigate to lion.ie/quick-quote and fill in his details, and my magic quote machine will spit out his quote.

Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat has nothing on Nick and his Mega-Whopper Quote Machine. Musical coming January 2022.

His quote looks like this:

life insurance quote

Now you and Steve would be forgiven for looking at that and seeing that New Ireland is the cheapest and just picking them. I get the impulse. Cheapest = less cost for you in the long run. But cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean best.

So what Steve will do next is he’ll find out what each of the policies includes. Because here’s the thing: each plan gives you Life cover for the next 30 years and a conversion option, but every policy also differs slightly in what they offer.

Now because only about two of you will actually read the policy documents, I’m going to summarise each one in short for you.

Pros and cons of Life Insurance policies in Ireland

With all the insurers, the basic product is the same. You also have the option of bundling Serious Illness Cover in too as an added policy – but that’s not what this blog is about, so let’s focus on the extra bits.

As with all the below, terms and conditions apply. When you read about extra coverage for injury, accidents, what have you, take it with the caveat that the damage (or whatever) has to be included in the individual policy. Some things will be; other things won’t. We’re not going to get into the specific ins-and-outs as we’d all be here until next Tuesday and ain’t nobody got time for that.  

A second caveat: the insurers call lots of the benefits different things, even when they are the same thing. Because: confusion! Yay being confused!

⚠ DRY WARNING: the following is drier than a spoonful of cinnamon. Unfortunately, there’s no real spicing it up, though I’ve explained it all as simply and clearly as possible. 

New Ireland Assurance, Life Insurance

  • Hospital payment: A daily amount up to €300 if you’re in the hospital for more than three days.
  • Accident payment: A payment of up to 50 per cent of your gross weekly earnings if you can’t work for more than two weeks because of an accident.
  • Broken bones payment: A payment of between €1-3,000 if you suffer from one of the injuries covered in your policy.
  • Surgery payment: Up to 12.5 per cent of the Serious Illness Cover (if you have it) benefit is payable to you if you have major surgery.
  • Increasing cover: The option to get 3 per cent more cover per year at 3 per cent more cost. This could be useful if you intend to get a little extra something-something in your paycheck every year as your career progresses.
  • Child cover of up to €4,000.

Who is this useful for? Someone who intends to have an accident, surgery, and then spends some time out of work could benefit in terms of cold, hard cash. WHO SAID THAT!?

New Ireland is the cheapest rate for Steve, so if you can’t afford more expensive cover this one is a good starter. New Ireland is also the market leader in Serious Illness Cover, so if that’s a big driver for you, you can’t go wrong with these guys.

Zurich, Life Insurance

  • Cancer cover is an option so that you can get a pay-out if you get diagnosed with cancer.
  • Surgical cash: If you require major surgery, you get a payment of up to 10 per cent (capped at €25,000) of your Serious Illness Cover.
  • Hospital cash: Spending money for a hospital stay.
  • Personal Accident Benefit: Payment if you’re out of work because of an accident.
  • Permanent Total Disablement: A payment if you’re unable to permanently go back to work.   
  • Inflation protection option: The option to increase your premiums and the coverage amount.
  • Waiver of premium benefit: If you can’t work for more than 26 weeks, Zurich will pay your premiums for you/you won’t have to pay your premiums.
  • Guaranteed insurability: The ability to increase your cover due to a significant life thing (birth of a child, marriage, etc.) without having to answer medical questions.
  • Reinstatement clause: If you stop paying your premiums, you can pick it back up within a specific time frame, and cover will continue, instead of being cancelled.
  • Children’s cover: Life cover up to €6,000 for your child, plus a bunch of other payments and benefits such as Serious Illness cover, hospital cash, surgery etc.
  • Terminal illness benefit: If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, Zurich will start paying your policy before you die.
  • Accidental death benefit: Cover for the period between your application being submitted and your application going through entirely.
  • Long-term care conversion: You can convert part of your life cover into payment if you’re unwell/had an accident.

Zurich is the second cheapest for Steve and comes with an absolute BOAT-LOAD of benefits. ⛵ 

For my money, it’s the best deal for your money

Royal London, Life Insurance

  • Hospital cash benefit. Moolah if you’re in the hospital for more than a certain amount of time.
  • Special events increase benefit: The option to increase your cover without medical questions because of a particular event (marriage, the birth of a child, etc.).
  • Terminal illness benefit: A payment if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Indexation option to pay 4 per cent more for a 3 per cent increase in cover.
  • Advance funeral payment up to €10,000 that your loved ones can put towards your funeral.
  • Your first month is free.
  • Helping hand: Access to a range of services for free such as bereavement counsellors, second medical opinions (if you want to check treatment or diagnosis), massage, and physiotherapy.
  • Life Change Option: If you get 15 years into your policy and decide you don’t want to keep paying for cover (maybe your kids have grown up, or your family win the Lotto, idk) you can stop paying your policy and still get a pay-out, albeit lower when you die, OR you can cancel your policy and get an instant cashback.

This is a good one if you’re in it for the protection while your kids are young, rather than if you care about leaving behind a windfall when you die.

Aviva, Life Insurance

  • Surgery cash: If you have Serious Illness Cover and you need surgery, you can get a payment of 50 per cent of your cover (up to €30,000).
  • Terminal illness benefit: Payment if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Child cover: Up to €5,000 on the death of your child, plus Serious Illness Cover for them too.
  • Best Doctors 2nd Medical Opinion: Get medical advice/opinions from excellent doctors for free as part of your cover.
  • Aviva Family Care: A counselling and support service.
  • Reinstatement Policy: If you stop paying your policies, you can continue your cover (within a specific timeframe) if you start paying again.
  • Accidental death benefit: To cover you in the time between your application between submitted and accepted.

This cover is great if you have a pre-existing condition and aren’t sure about your treatment options. Aviva gives you free access to  a second medical opinion from the World’s Leading Practitioner through Best Doctors, and their Family Care is class too.

Irish Life, Life Insurance

  • Protection flexibility: The option to change your amount of cover or the length of your term, in exchange for an updated premium cost.
  • Children’s cover: Life cover of up to €6,000 and Serious Illness cover as an option.
  • Accidental death benefit: A pay-out if you die as the result of an accident between submitting your application and it is accepted.
  • Guaranteed insurability: The option to get more cover (before age 55) without having to answer medical questions.
  • Terminal illness: A payment if you get a terminal illness.
  • Hospital cash cover: A daily amount between €70 and €260 if you’re in the hospital for more than a certain number of days.
  • Accident cash cover: If you’re out of work for more than two weeks because of an accident, you get a payment of €70 and €260.
  • Inflation protection: Increase your amount by 5 per cent in exchange for 3 per cent more cover.
  • Guaranteed cover again: The option to change your plan to another secured term plan at any point.

Irish Life is the most expensive insurer, and while the benefits are excellent, they’re pretty much in line with everyone else so I wouldn’t be in a rush to recommend them to you.

Over to you…

As you can see above, there’s a lot more to insurance than meets the eye. It’s also a bit of a moot point to approach Life Insurance as a one-size-fits-all. Instead, it should be tailored to fit you.

Now, you can read the policy docs yourself in the list below, or you and I can chat, and I can recommend you the best policy for you.

I know which option is easier. 😉

If your head is spinning and you want me to help you figure out the best provider for you, I’d be delighted to help. Simply complete this questionnaire and I’ll be back in a jiffy with a personalised recommendation.

Prefer a quick chat first – I’m on 05793 20836

CALL ME BACK
Nick McGowan
lion.ie | making life insurance easier

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