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7 Essential Steps to Help You Choose a Life Insurance Policy in Ireland

So you’re ready to take the plunge and shop around for a new life insurance plan but where in de bejaysus do you start?

Buying the right life insurance policy can be a boring daunting experience.

With loads of different insurance companies, plan types, and benefits, it’s hard to know where to start.

So let’s start at the very beginning.

Where can you buy life insurance in Ireland?

Remember, you’re not meant to know anything about life insurance at this stage.

But there are a few basic life insurance concepts you need to know.

So you get a policy that protects you and your family (without spending too much of your hard-earned cash).

By the way, we have a life insurance crash course that simplifies this into 5 bite-sized emails. If you don’t have time to read this whole article, you can sign up here:

life insurance course

1 – Decide where to go for life insurance advice

There are three main places you can get life insurance advice here in Ireland:

i) Through a bank

But a bank can only sell you a policy from one insurer.

A bank cannot offer advice on a range of policies from various insurers.

  • If you try Ulster Bank, AIB, KBC, or PTSB, they will sell you an Irish Life policy

By the way have you heard about PTSB turning their staff into “sales soldiers“. Get ready for the hard sell.

  • If you go to Bank of Ireland, you’ll only hear about a BOI policy.

ii) Direct from the insurance company:

Again, this limits your options.

If you go to Zurich Life, they will sell you a Zurich policy.

Approach Aviva and they will sell you an Aviva policy.

Makes sense, right?

iii) From a life insurance broker

An independent life insurance broker can offer policies from all 5 providers in Ireland:

  1. Aviva
  2. Irish Life
  3. New Ireland
  4. Royal London
  5. Zurich Life

And should be able to offer you better discounts than going through a bank or even direct from the insurer.

2 – Calculate how much life insurance cover you need

This is the tricky part.

You can do it yourself using any of the 987 life insurance calculators you can find online.

Or you can take advice from a bank, insurer or broker.

But please, if any of them recommend €250,000 over 25 years, make your excuses and leave…

€250,000 is the same as plucking a figure out of thin air.

You could do that yourself.

How do you figure out the correct amount of life insurance?

3 – Explore plan types

We all face risks such as death, inability to work and serious illness and all of these risks will hit us or our families right in the pocket.

Each type of life insurance policy offer protection from these financial risks.

But you can’t buy a basic life insurance policy and expect a payout if you can’t work or fall ill.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the policies available

  1. Life insurance – essential if you have financial dependents. It leaves them a lump sum on your death to replace your income.
  2. Income protection – for me, this is the most important policy. It pays you 75% of your income if you cannot work for over 4 weeks due to any illness.
  3. Serious illness cover – pays a tax-free lump sum should you contract a specific illness. It gives you the freedom to take time off to get better without having to worry about money.
  4. Mortgage protection – the most basic policy. It clears your mortgage should you die

4 – Get a quote

This is the easy part.

Most banks, insurers and brokers have an online quote system.

The beauty of ours is we don’t ask for contact details.

We know how annoying follow-up sales calls are so we don’t do them – unless you schedule a callback.

We give you time and space to make a decision.

If you choose us to arrange your cover.


Click here to get an instant quote from all five life insurance providers (without providing contact details)

5 – Choose a life insurance provider

Who should you choose?

Your options are bewildering but I can help.

Here are some handy charts that compare what’s on offer at each insurer

Life insurance

Irish life insurance providers compared in 2021

Income protection

Irish income protection providers compared in 2021

Critical illness cover

There are too many illnesses to list but Royal London and Zurich Life are best for serious illness cover.

Mortgage protection

Irish mortgage protection providers compared in 2021

Still with me?

6 – Keep an eye out for discounts

I could say that life insurance discounts are rare…as this used to be the case.

But in the last few months, it’s been a discount fest.

  1. Zurich offer up to 15% off life insurance and mortgage protection. And 10% off serious illness cover.
  2. Aviva offer 15% off mortgage protection.
  3. Royal London offer 10% off life insurance and 15% off mortgage protection and 10% off income protection.
  4. New Ireland offer 10% off life insurance, serious illness cover and mortgage protection.
  5. Irish Life don’t offer any discounts – why would they, they are creaming all that business from the banks!

Make sure your bank, broker or insurer is offering you the full discount.

We have already discounted the prices on our quote system, no shenanigans here, what you see is what you get.

7 – Be very careful if you have any health issues

The initial quotes you get, from a broker, bank or direct from the insurer assume you’re in perfect health.

So if you have any current or previous health conditions, you may end up paying more than you expected.

It’s important to disclose any health issues before you complete an application form.

As you can see on our quote system, we highlight this fact:

declare health issues for life insurance quote

We don’t give you some unrealistic quote just to get you to apply through us, what’s the point?

If you have any health issues and you’d like an accurate quote, please tell us about them upfront.

You can read more about the life insurance medical conditions we specialise in here.

Over to you…

I hope that gives you the basics of how you should choose a life insurance plan.

If it all makes sense and you’re confident you can do it yourself…

But if the thought of arranging your own life cover makes you do this…

confused about life insurance

I’d love to help!

If you’d like me to make a recommendation on the types of cover you should consider based on where you are in life, please complete this questionnaire and I’ll be right back.

Nick McGowan | making life insurance easier.

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Mother's Life Insurance

There's no perfect way to protect yourself from the bad shit in life - just as there's no perfect way to bring up a child or make a margherita.

But there are terrible ways to do all three. And with each, you've got to know the basics before you begin.

Don’t know where to start?

Have a nose through our free life insurance guides

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Life Insurance Quotes - Free and Easy!

As Ireland's leading life insurance broker, we specialise in comparing the rates and policies from the top five Irish life insurance providers and offering the very best value quotes to suit the individual needs of our clients. Our expertise lies in finding a suitable insurance plan for those with specific needs, be it a particular illness, occupation or claim history, we've got you covered in every sense!

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