Life insurance locks heath

Critical IllnessPeople must consider taking out cover earlier in life as around one in four claims for critical illness (CI) occurs before the age of 40, research has found.

According to data from RGA, which looked at the percentage of life and CI claims in the UK by age group, 8% of people aged 25-40 had a life insurance claim.

This figure rose to a quarter (24%) for CI claims in the same age group.

Kevin Carr, chief executive at the Protection Review warned that putting off buying cover until later in life can be “counterproductive.”

Meanwhile two-thirds (61%) of people aged 40-60 claimed on life insurance, while seven in ten (70%) claimed on CI.

Finally, while just 5% of those over 60 claimed on critical illness, a third claimed on life cover.

Carr added: “Based on this new data around one in every 12 claims for life cover in the UK occurs before the age of 40, which is probably higher than most people would expect. For critical illness the number rises to 1 in 4 which shows that putting off buying cover until we are older can be counterproductive.”

Phil Jeynes, head of account development at PruProtect said: “This data shows us the importance of putting cover in place as early in life as possible. Policies such as Serious Illness Cover pay out on diagnosis of even early stage cancers or less severe heart attacks.

“Conditions such as these can affect people of any age and cover is usually cheaper for younger people, so it makes sense to look at protecting yourself at the earliest opportunity.”

E-cigaretteWhat are e-cigarettes?

In June 2013, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) estimated there are 1.3 million current users of e- cigarettes in the UK.

Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes don’t contain any tobacco, however almost all contain nicotine.

With smoking being the largest preventable cause of premature death in the UK, e-cigarettes are promoted as a cheaper and safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, to those who are unable, or unwilling to stop using nicotine.

The majority of e-cigarettes contain a battery, an atomizer and a replaceable or refillable cartridge. The cartridge contains the nicotine along with other substances and often flavorings.

What are the health effects of e-cigarettes?

Although cutting out tobacco and moving to nicotine replacement products is a positive step for your health, the majority of e-cigarettes still contain nicotine.

Nicotine is often considered as the most addictive psychoactive drug – equivalent to, if not more so than, alcohol, cocaine and even heroin. It comes with its own health effects which include increasing your heart rate, increasing your blood pressure and slowing down your body’s ability to heal itself, by making your skin dehydrated. Nicotine users are therefore at a higher risk of heart or circulatory related problems, for example heart attack and stroke, than those who use no nicotine products. Currently, there’s limited scientific evidence on the health effects of the other chemicals in e-cigarettes.

 How do e-cigarettes affect your insurance?

Most insurance companies have separate charges (or ‘rates’ as they’re known in the industry) for ‘smokers’ and ‘non-smokers’ – with smoker rates being more expensive.

Due to the health effects of nicotine, and the high risk of using tobacco products again in the future, non- smoker rates are only available for applicants who haven’t used any nicotine products in the last 12 months – including regular cigarettes and all nicotine products including e-cigarettes, patches and gum etc. When you apply for non-smoker rates, we may ask for a simple medical test (saliva sample) to confirm that nicotine hasn’t been used.

If you don’t currently meet the criteria for non-smoker rates, this shouldn’t put you off applying for the insurance you need now. The good news is we can look into changing your policy to non-smoker rates – once you’ve been nicotine-free for at least 12 months. To be able to change your policy, you may be asked for a signed statement along with a saliva sample.

To find out more about Life Insurance and for a personal illustration, please give one of our qualified advisers a call or email us via “Contact Us”  page with your requirements.

 

The top three reasons why people don’t buy life insurance have stayed the same. People don’t think they need it, they think it is too expensive and they don’t trust companies to pay claims.

It won’t happen to me

Isn’t it amazing that despite a one in 14 million chance of winning the lottery jackpot, people still believe it could be them and religiously buy a ticket every week. And yet, if those same people were told they had a one in 14 million chance of getting cancer, they would immediately think it couldn’t possibly happen to them.

But as we know, the odds of being diagnosed with a serious illness are much higher than those statistics. According to figures from Cancer Research UK, more than one in three people in the UK will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. While the British Heart Foundation reports that around 146,000 people have a heart attack every year and it is estimated that nearly 1.2 million people in the UK have suffered a stroke.

Of course, we all hope no-one in our family dies or becomes fatally ill, but it makes sense to be prepared.Thanks to better diagnosis, improved treatments and the development of nationwide screening programmes for breast, bowel and cervical cancers, more people than ever before are surviving cancer. But many people don’t appreciate the lasting effects of a serious illness and the impact that can have on the family finances.

The pay out from a critical illness or life insurance policy won’t make the emotional aspect of the death of a loved one or a critical illness easier to deal with. It will, however, mean that a family can keep up with their regular outgoings and ensure their lifestyle isn’t compromised.

I can’t afford it

The perception that life insurance is expensive has always been an issue. Economic conditions mean that consumers now have more reasons to make savings in their everyday expenditure and so it is not surprising that people will not want to add an extra outgoing to their bank statement. But this should not mean that people ignore their long-term financial responsibilities. In particular, how they would cope in the face of a serious illness or death.

In the past life insurance marketing messages concentrated on providing a large lump sum to clear the mortgage or to replace the breadwinner’s income in its entirety. In the current climate, smaller amounts of cover that are affordable and protect the very basic elements of an individual or family’s lifestyle can still make a difference.

Reducing the sum assured will make the product more affordable and clients can always add more cover when they are in a better position financially. £20,000 worth of critical illness cover will make a difference to people and is certainly preferable to none at all. And with the cost of life insurance cover cheaper than it has ever been, a 30 year old could get around £200,000 worth of cover for just £10 a month.

The life insurance company won’t pay out

The published news is often the bad news and unfortunately this has led consumers to believe that life insurance companies will do anything not to pay a claim.

This is a total myth. Where a claim has been declined, it is usually due to a claim made for a condition that isn’t covered on the policy or a case of deliberate non-disclosure.

Providers are in the business to pay clams and it’s vital that clients understand the importance of disclosing their full medical history when applying for protection insurance.

It is equally important that clients are made aware of the key features and any restrictions around the policy at the point of sale, with their adviser. Only then can consumers make an informed decision that what they are buying is right for them.

Most providers are now paying out well over 90 per cent of claims for both critical illness and life cover and less and less claims are declined for non-disclosure. During the last half of 2011 Bright Grey paid 91 per cent of critical illness claims and 97 per cent of life claims. Only 2 per cent of critical illness claims were declined for non-disclosure, which amounted to just 3 people.

In an industry like ours claims statistics are important. They provide reassurance that if your clients ever have to make a claim, they will be paid.

– Roger Edwards is managing director of Bright Grey & Scottish Provident

For a competitive life insurance quotation call us now on 01489 580020 or email info@parkgate.net with your requirements and we will contact you at a convenient time to discuss further.

 

Whole of life policies are ongoing policies that pay out when you die, whenever that is. Because it is guaranteed that you’ll die at some point and therefore the policy will pay out sometime in the future, these policies are more expensive than term assurance policies, which only pay out if you die within a certain timeframe.

Whole-of-life policies can be a useful way to cover funeral costs or a possible inheritance tax bill.

Family income benefit life insurance is a type of decreasing term policy. Instead of a lump sum, though, it pays out a regular income to your beneficiaries until the policy’s expiry date if you die.

With a decreasing term policy, the amount you are covered for decreases over the term of the policy. This type of policy is often used to cover a debt that reduces over time, such as a repayment mortgages.

Premiums are usually significantly cheaper than for level term cover as the amount insured reduces as time goes on. The monthly or annual premiums you pay can be guaranteed or reviewable.

A level term policy pays out a lump sum if you die within the specified term. The amount you are covered for remains level throughout the term. The monthly or annual premiums you pay can be guaranteed or reviewable.

Level term insurance can provide cover for interest only mortgages, not covered by an endowment or family protection providing a lump sum for the surviving partner to provide for the family.

Term Assurance is the most basic type of life insurance. With term insurance you can choose the amount of cover you want and the term you want it for. If you die within the term, the policy pays out to your beneficiaries. If you do not die during the term, the policy expires and the cover ends. There is no surrender value with this type of policy.

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We offer whole of market advice for all types of customers, whether you are a first time buyer, home mover or looking to purchase a buy to let property. Being independent we are able to offer impartial advice from the whole of the market to ensure you get the product that suits your financial needs.

Whether you are looking to protect your mortgage payments or your family, we provide independent advice for life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection from a wide range of providers.

Buildings Insurance is a requirement when you complete on a mortgage the cover is to provide security to the lender, the insurance covers the main structure of your home. It will cover you for subsidence, storm, flood, fire or smoke damage and cover the costs of rebuilding or repair.

Equity release is a way of releasing cash from your property, either through selling a percentage to the reversion company or taking a mortgage on it, while allowing you, the homeowner to continue living there as long as you wish.