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18 Ways to Compare Life Insurance Quotes

December 12 2018 7 min read Life Insurance

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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 that a choice never gets made. It’s an easy trap to fall into and a dangerous one when it come to life insurance as the longer you leave it, the older you’re going to get and the more likely you’ll suffer a health issue.

You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who tell me they wished they had put cover in place before their birthday or before their check-up or before they found a lump.

So today, to save you from spending hours on the interweb trying to compare insurers, in this article I’ll do it for you.

How to Compare Life Insurance

So here we go, in no particular order though I think points 14 and 18 are a must read:

1 Which insurer is best for inflation protection?

If you add inflation protection to your policy, the insurer will increase your cover 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. Friends First : cover +4%, premium +5%
  4. 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 Friends First : €5,000
  3. New Ireland : €4,000
  4. Aviva : €2,500

Here’s my article on children’s life cover

3. Can you convert your term life insurance to 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 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 and Friends First.

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 : 89
  • Irish Life, New Ireland, Zurich : 84
  • Friends First : 79

10. Who offers fixed price whole of life cover?

Zurich, Royal London and Irish Life. You can also use this 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 outlines 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 second opinion.

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

All the insurers can pay out for both deaths on life insurance but for mortgage protection, only Royal London and Friends First offer dual life cover.

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 Friends First have a base premium of €10

Royal London, Irish Life and Aviva 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. Specific amount can be covered.
  2. No investment required, monthly income is paid in monthly like a pay cheque.
  3. Runs until the end of the policy, with 3 years guaranteed if the life assured dies within the last 3 years.
  4. It is easy to understand, affordable, convenient and covers the specific amount involved.
  5. Lump sum cover can also be added to a policy with a monthly income benefit

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

This is available at all of the insurers bar Royal London

16 Can you add a whole of life benefit?

As discussed last week, 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?

Honetly I don’t know and I’m not going to even check because a lot of the illnesses covered are pure window dressing, you’ve little chance of ever claiming. How many people do you know have succumbed to Necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease in case you were wondering).

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 definitions that make it easier to claim. Zurich Life and Royal London are leading the way.

That leaves 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.

Over to you…

If you love comparing and analysing, well I guess you enjoyed this article.

However 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

Nick McGowan
lion.ie | making life insurance easier

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