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Pro and Cons of Zurich Life Ireland

what are the pros and cons of zurich life ireland

What are the pros of cons of choosing Zurich Life Ireland?

We’re all about honest, unbiased advice here at lion.ie so I might as well give it to you straight before I go into a review of Zurich Life Ireland.

All things being equal, I would recommend Zurich Life over all the other companies selling life insurance products in the Irish market.

Here’s comes the disclosure…

As a company, lion.ie place more customers with Zurich Life Ireland than the competition.

Why?

They offer the best policy at a competitive price and they pay claims.

That, in a nutshell, is all you need to worry about when choosing a life insurance company in Ireland.

Because of this , Zurich sometimes give us discounts on their premium. When available, these discounts are priced into our life insurance quote system and available to everyone.

We don’t like haggling.

We don’t expect you to have to haggle for the best price.

I’d go as far as to say if you like haggling, if you really enjoy “getting a deal” then we’re probably not a good fit.

Right, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details. I’ll break this down into the pros and cons of Zurich Life Ireland so you can then decide for yourself whether they are the right fit for you.

Why you should choose Zurich Life Ireland

They don’t price match the lowest premium in the market

How is this a pro?

I hear you ask. Surely that’s a con?

Well I don’t think so. I admire the fact that Zurich Life Ireland are confident enough to offer their lowest price regardless of what the competition so. The other companies don’t have the balls to stand on their own two feet,  instead they hide behind “price matching”.

Price matching is anti-competitive. Price-matching is lazy.

Imagine if Lidl or Aldi price matched Tesco instead of kicking their ass with lower prices and better service?

90 day reinstatement clause

You can reinstate your policy anytime up to 90 days after you paid your last premium.

In plain English, if you forget to pay your premiums, you can put your policy back in place within 90 days of the last payment even if you have suffered an illness.

This benefit is exclusive to Zurich Life, the other insurers will cancel your policy after 30 days.

"exclusive benefit" you say? Hmmm

Your ears should prick up when you see exclusive benefit.

You see the life insurance industry is based on a “follow the leader” philosophy.

The other insurers could have added this reinstatement clause to their policies. But they didn’t. They must have ran the numbers, figured out this was actually a valuable benefit that could cost them money and decided not to offer it.

Exclusive benefits are valuable benefits.

Free waiver of premium on mortgage protection policies

Another exclusive benefit

This ensures that your premiums are paid in the event of you being unable to work due to illness or injury. Other insurers offer this benefit but charge around 5% extra for it.

Excellent serious illness cover

Zurich Life Ireland are in the top two life insurers for serious illness cover.

In 2014 they were the first insurer to simplify their definition of what it takes to make a successful claim for heart attacks and strokes.

An independent re-insurer predicts this will lead to around 20% more claims being paid.

As of today, only one insurer (Royal London) has copied Zurich Life so although not an exclusive benefit, you can assume it’s a good ‘un if the others insurers have decided not to follow suit and simplify their definitions.

Cancer only cover

Another exclusive benefit.

Cancer makes up around 70% of all serious illness claims. Cancer only cover gives you an option to protect yourself if you can’t get serious illness cover due to any of the following conditions:

  • heart attacks
  • stroke
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • multiple sclerosis
  • kidney problems

Personal accident cover

This will pay you half of your weekly income if you can’t work due to an accident. It will pay out for a maximum of 12 months. It’s a handy safety net if you can’t get income protection due to your occupation.

It’s also offered by New Ireland.

Hospital cash cover

Not a great benefit if you ask me but it’s there if you want it. Hospital cash will pay out if you’re in hospital for more than 72 hours.

Also offered by Irish Life, Friends First and New Ireland.

Conversion option

Although the life insurance conversion option is available at all of the insurers, Zurich Life allow you to use it any age up to age 85. Some other insurers have a cut off date of age 60 or 65.

Life events option

You can automatically increase your cover if you have a baby, get married or buy a new home. You don’t have to answer medical questions.

Also offered by everyone bar Friends First.

Accidental death benefit

You’re insured for a maximum of €150,000 once your fully completed application form is received by the insurer.

Also offered by every insurer except Royal London.

Free children’s cover

Each of your children is insured for €6,000.

Also offered by all other insurers except Aviva

expert underwriters with years of experience

Expert underwriting

Other brokers may disagree but on the whole we find Zurich Life’s underwriting to be very fair.

A large chunk of our business involves more complex health issues and Zurich life Ireland have vast experience underwriting such applications. We have built up a valuable relationship with their expert underwriters so we’re confident we can get you covered even if another insurer has declined you.

Smooth claims process

We find underwriting and claims go hand in hand. Life insurers with expert underwriters process claims well. We’re confident that any genuine claim will be met by Zurich Life Ireland

Technology

Zurich Life offer a convenient, paperless life insurance application process which is great for me, you and the planet. They accept digital signatures and give us the option us to email the original policy documents to you.

Other insurers still insist on signed paper forms and policy documents printed and posted. This slows the process down significantly.

Financial strength

You have peace of mind knowing that Zurich Life in Ireland are part of the Zurich Insurance Group which has an internationally recognised financial strength rating of AA-.

Why you shouldn’t choose Zurich Ireland

But Zurich aren’t perfect. They could improve the following:

Inflation protection

If you add this benefit, Zurich Life will increase your cover by 3% but your premium by 4.5%. This is awful. Only Irish Life offer a worse deal when it comes to indexation.

If you want indexation, avoid Zurich, try New Ireland or Royal London instead. They increase you premium and cover by 3% which is much better value.

Complementary benefits  (?)

I struggled with what to call this section.

These are all free-adds on to your policy. But the insurer can withdraw them at any time.

I’m not comfortable recommending something that may not be available when you need it in the future.

On the other hand all of Zurich Life’s benefits form part of your contract with them and cannot be revoked.

Service

Because they’re the best, they are usually busy so service can be slow. If your policy is urgent, I would recommend looking elsewhere.

So should you buy life insurance from Zurich Ireland?

Whether you buy from Zurich Life or not depends on one thing; how important to you are the benefits they offer. If you’re after the best cover at a fair price then Zurich Life are likely to be a good fit for you.

However if you’re just after the cheapest price, you’re out of luck. Zurich Life don’t deal with discount brokers.

Over to you…

A lot to consider huh?

I hope this article has answered all of your questions but if I missed anything, get in touch and I’ll answer it personally. I’m here to help.

Nick McGowan
lion.ie | making life insurance easier

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