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What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is an insurance policy that protects your family financial position, your terminal illness or premature death would have on you and your loved ones. The policy guarantees a tax-free payout if you’re diagnosed terminally ill and expected to live less than 12 months, or to your family if you die.

What are the benefits of life insurance?

It helps protect your family’s finances

Life insurance will provide your family with financial resources in the event of your untimely death and will pay your beneficiaries money to ensure they can continue to be financially supported.

 

Premiums that don’t increase with age

Only a handful of companies offer premiums that don’t increase. All the insurers we compare, offer increasing premiums and premiums that don’t increase. And as long as you continue to pay the premiums for your policy, you are protected. 

Increasing Premiums

Increasing premiums are relatively flat during our 20’s and 30’s but start to rise from our 40’s and soon thereafter premiums double up every 5 years. Irrespectively of who your provider is. That is why the average of people cancelling insurance is 47. Paradoxically average age of claim is 50.

We can help you stop premiums from increasing altogether.

Premiums that don’t increase with age

You select how long you want to cover for – often until the mortgage is paid off. Premiums stay fixed for the entire term. You can inflation adjust, typically 2% p.a., the cover which means the premiums increase by 2% as well.

Increasing premiums vs premiums that don’t increase

Tax-free one-time payment

Under New Zealand tax laws, you do not pay any income tax on any life insurance benefits you receive.

This means that, following receipt of the benefit, the policy owner is not required to declare the lump sum payment to Inland Revenue, as no liability for income tax for the payment exists.

This income tax exemption applies to any claims related to loss of life, or illness, so relate to our Life Cover and Mortgage & Rent Cover policies, as well as our Critical Illness cover.

 

Family Protection Insurance pays an ongoing monthly benefit

Family protection insurance, sometimes called survivour’s income cover, pays regular monthly payments to ease the financial burden and keeps a strong monthly cash flow going for a set number of years. . It’s a cover that’s powerful in both alleviating financial pressure, while also showing that you care even if you are not here.

How does life insurance work?

Life insurance can help protect your family financially with a tax-free payout if you die or if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness (expected to live less than 12 months), you’ll get the one-off lump sum.

Your family circumstances are different and unique but a life insurance payout could improve your family lifetime cashflow significantly and could helpful towards:

  • Reduce or pay off the mortgage
  • Finance Secondary school fees
  • Pay funeral expenses
  • Cover your salary
  • Help with health and living costs if you become terminally ill
  • Childcare costs
  • Family holiday

Do you need life insurance?

Take the time to consider how much money your loved ones might need to maintain their living standards if you were to pass away. This might include costs such as bills, mortgage repayments, school fees and any other debts you might need to repay.

How long do I need cover for?

When it comes to how long you need cover for, think about how long your kids will need financial support, or when your other half might retire.

family life insurance

Cover Details

What is covered?

Tax-free one-off payment

There is no tax in New Zealand on Life insurance and therefore any benefit payout is tax-free. 

Top Financial Strength

All our life insurance partners have the highest financial credit strength, which speaks about the ability to pay claims now and in the future.

Worldwide Cover

Policies provide you with worldwide cover, 24 hours a day.

Guarantee Policy Upgrade

Your policy will benefit from future benefit enhancements automatically. And when circumstances change and time to claim, you claim will be assessed on the most favourable policy wording

What is not covered?

Suicide and self-inflicted injuries in the first year

If within the 13 months of the policy being issued you die as a result of suicide or intentional and serious self-injury, you are not covered.

Not paying your premiums

Policies that have lapsed and cancelled have no cover.

Hazardous Activities and Pursuits

Some hazardous activities and pursuits are uninsurable.

Key Life Insurance Features

Terminal Illness Benefit

If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of fewer than 12 months, the Life Cover benefit is paid early in a cash sum.

Special Events Increase Facility

Enables you to increase the sum assured under your cover following a significant event in your life which results in increasing financial responsibilities. These significant events include: having a child, your child starting secondary school, taking out or increasing a residential home loan or receiving a salary increase and other major events covered.

Additional Serious Illness Cover

Sometimes called Critical Illness Cover (includes about 50 different illnesses and treatments), can be added to the life cover at an extra cost when you take out your life insurance policy.

Rate for Age & Level Premium combination

At any time, you can convert all or part of your Life Cover benefit from a Rate for Age premium structure to a Level premium structure without any further medical evidence.

Compare Life Insurance Quote

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The Life Insurance Policy

A Life Insurance policy is a contract between an Insurance Company and you (the policy owner). It’s an agreement that, in the event of your death, the Insurance Company will pay the sum insured to your loved ones (or to you, if you are terminally ill and expected to die within 12 months). Your cover is fully tailored and takes into account your age, medical history and personal lifestyle.

A customised insurance policy is necessary to ensure the financial stability of your loved ones, in the event that a tragedy occurs.

Compare life insurance

Life insurance can be a long-term purchase and in the long run you want a company that actually meets its contractual obligations (i.e. pays claims).

At LifeCovered, we work with the best companies in New Zealand. As a result, we exclusively recommend those with a financial strength rating of A- or higher (as rated by independent ratings agencies such as A.M. Best).

Why? In short, the companies we recommend have the strongest credit ratings and they pay claims. As well as that, they also offer seamless conversion from rate for age to level. During 2019, the best life insurance companies in NZ paid out more than $800M in claims combined.

International Credit Agencies Minimum Credit Rating
A. M. Best a-
Fitch A-
Moody's A3
Standard & Poor's A-

Different types of life insurance

There are mainly two life insurance types you can choose from: Rate for Age and Level – both without any cash value.

Whole of Life and Endowment is not available in New Zealand anymore, although there are many existing contracts in-force.

Annual (or yearly) renewable term is a one-year policy, but the insurance company guarantees it will renew the policy on each anniversary up until an agreed age, regardless of the health of the insured person, and with a premium set for the applicant’s age at that time.

Level (fixed) term life insurance is a multi-year policy, where the premiums are fixed at the start and stay the same for the agreed period. Most commonly fixed premiums until age 65, 70 or 80.

The insurer guarantees the premiums and cover amount don’t increase. You can select to index link a policy. Indexation is an automatic increase to the amount of insurance cover you have, to make sure the value of your cover is not eroded by the impacts of inflation.

When the time period comes to an end, most insurers convert your policy to Rate for Age.

Hybrid: level premiums and rate for age. A combination of both premium structures can sometimes be smart – talk with your broker to structure the best cost-effective insurance policy.

Generally speaking, the level premium cost more to start with compared with the rate for age insurance. At LifeCovered we recommend a rate for age policy mainly for short term cover because of rapidly increases premiums, and especially so during the 40’s, 50’s etc.

Designed to minimise the impact on lifestyle on a family after the death of the life assured through a monthly payment to the family, rather than a lump sum.

Level and Stepped Premiums

life insurance comparison

Compare Life Insurance Quotes

Despite our preconceptions, sorting out life insurance isn’t actually that hard to do (especially when you can do it all online!). Check out this comprehensive benefit life insurance comparison.

InsurerClaims Paid 2018Free LookFuneral GrantFree Kids CoverPremium Holiday
Asteron Life$121.5M17 Days$15.000$50.000Max 6 Months
Fidelity Life$125.7M14 Days$15.000n/an/a
AIA$634.1M15 Days$15.000n/an/a
Partners Life$125.6M30 Days$25.000n/aMax 6 Months
Cignan/a30 Days$25.000

How much does life insurance cost?

There are a number of factors that contribute to the price of your life cover policy. Understanding this can help make the application process smoother and ensure you make the best decision, both in value for money and protection for your family. 

Some of the factors that determine the life insurance policy cost:

  • Gender
  • Health
  • Age
  • Your hobbies/lifestyle 
  • The type of cover (rate for age vs level), as well as term length and coverage amount.

A level premium cover is budget friendly with premiums that don’t increase. See the graph below comparing fixed quotes for a healthy non-smoker male, at age 40 until age 80.

How to buy life insurance?

Your employer might offer you to become part of their group life insurance at discounted rates or as an employee benefit.  This would be a great place to start, because generally you would be accepted without any underwriting.

Otherwise, you can work with a financial professional who can guide you through the options that will fit your immediate needs and long-term goals.

How much do life insurance do you need?

 

Financial modelling reveals your risks and needs

We look into your financial situation and consider your home loan, debts and assets. Kiwisaver, inheritance and possibly any sale of business indicate your short term needs and long term financial needs.

Most Common Mistakes with Life Insurance

A lot can go wrong when buying life insurance. And here are some of the most common mistakes kiwis make when buying life insurance.

Taking the first offer

It’s easy to buy insurance from a bank or at the supermarket. 

Selecting a leading life insurance company

 

Get a life insurance quote

 

Want to know your life insurance options?

Connect with one of our life insurance specialist, who can help you decide.

Life Insurance Questions Answered

  • Be a permanent resident and physically in New Zealand at the time of application.
  • Be aged between 10 and 75 years.
    Parent’s or legal guardians must consent where Life/Child to be Assured is less than 16 years of age and older than 10.

Migrants on work visa, residence visa or business visa valid less than 24 months can in most cases buy life insurance whereas the policy will be cancelled and no benefit paid if the assured is outside the territorial boundaries of New Zealand, Australia, the Cook Islands, Tokelau, or Niue for a continuous period of more than three months.

Other benefits such as trauma cover, disability insurance, total permanent disablement and accidental death cover may be offered on an individual consideration basis.

Yes.

If you have been diagnosed with an incurable disease and expected to live less than 12 months, you may lodge a claim for your life insurance policy to be paid out. 

You may want to spend the money on palliative care to improve the quality of life or travel the world as a last wish. Either or, it’s your money and your decision.

Absolutely.

AIA, Asteron Life and Fidelity Life all have an inbuilt policy feature which pay out $15.000 and Partners Life pays out $25.000 helping your family with funeral costs while the claim is being assessed.

The Bereavement Support is paid out immediately upon notification of death.

If you are alive, the claim will be paid to you.

If you have died, the claim will be paid to the policy owner (often your partner or children) and if no policy owner is nominated, the funds will be paid to your estate.

When taking out a mortgage, most lenders expect you to get life insurance, so that your mortgage will be paid off if you die prematurely.

But it’s worth knowing that you don’t have to get life insurance from your mortgage provider  – our life insurance experts can help you and your family with short- and long-term life insurance cover from any insurer that is right for you.

You’ll need to work out whether you just want your life insurance to cover your mortgage or if you want your dependants to get a payout on top too. 

If you need help to compare the various options and policy details, contact one of the advisers at LifeCovered on 0800 259925 (Mon-Thurs 9am – 7pm, Fri 9am – 5pm, Sat 9am – 1.00pm).

Your life insurance application can be approved within hours or it could take a few weeks.

The approval process depends on the information you provide. If we have complete information and there are no medical issues to consider, the cover may be issued shortly after receipt of your application.

For applications that require more detail to process, such as medical reports, it may take a few weeks, depending on how quickly you or your doctor is able to respond to requests for information.

You will automatically be given 60 days of temporary cover while your application is assessed. Terms and conditions apply and the maximum life, trauma and TPD benefit is $500,000.

You can pay via direct debit, debit or credit card. Premiums can be paid weekly, fortnightly, monthly, 3- monthly, 6-monthly or annually.

Your policy documents will be emailed to you shortly after your application is approved. If you haven’t received them within 24 hours please call 0800 259925 or email your advisor.

 

Yes, you can cancel your life insurance policy at any time – and if cancelled within the “free look” period all premiums paid will be refunded. The “free look” period begins on:

  • The day we tell you when your policy will start.
  • The day you receive your policy documents.

Check your policy for more details.

If you cancel your policy, you won’t be able to make a claim. If you’re thinking about cancelling your policy, please contact us to discuss your options on 0800 259925

You are at the centre of everything we do. We are a people of action and we take ownership of everything we do.

If you have a complaint, we will do our best to resolve the situation with care, fairly and within a reasonable timeframe.

Call us on 0800 000 200 or (+6498698322 if you are overseas), or email careteam@lifecovered.nz

Our care team will look after you and try to resolve your issue straight away.

As Registered Financial Providers, LifeCovered is a member of the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme (IFSO Scheme), a free, independent service which can help settle any dispute you are unable to resolve with LifeCovered.

You must write to the Ombudsman within three months of being notified by us that a deadlock has been reached.

Any dispute or action relating to your policy will be determined in accordance with New Zealand law.

IFSO contact details:
PO Box 10 845
Wellington 6143
Phone 0800 888 202
Email info@ifso.nz
Website www.ifso.nz

Ask yourself a couple of hard-hitting questions and answer truthfully.

Imagine how your family would survive without you. Here are some questions that might help:

  • Would your family’s financial security be at risk if you were to pass away prematurely?
  • How much money will your dependents need in order to live comfortably after you’re gone?
  • What are your monthly expenses, including mortgage payments and utilities? Could your family afford to continue living in your home?
  • How much debt would you be leaving behind that your family will need to be able to pay off?
  • Could your children’s educations be paid for?
  • Does your partner need a nanny?
  • How about any emergency expenses?
  • How much coverage can you afford weekly or monthly?
  • What is the claims‐paying history of the insurance company, and how is the company rated by industry experts?

Life Insurance application has been on the rise since the coronavirus pandemic. LifeCovered partners with New Zealand’s best life insurance companies and there are no exclusions for pandemics.

Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high BMI or even a history of cancer won’t necessarily prevent you from getting life insurance, but you’ll want to shop around to make sure you find the best rates for your health history.

New Zealand law stipulates you must be physically located in New Zealand at the time of advice and application.

An insurer and adviser must comply with the regulations governing the provision of insurance products and advice in the country in which the advice is received, or the product is sold.

In practical terms, this means that a Registered Financial Advisors in New Zealand cannot provide advice or sell a new policy (can increase a current policy) to a client in another country. It also means that an adviser giving advice, for example to a New Zealander who is physically in Australia, would need to be registered and licensed in Australia.

Life Insurance FAQ's

  • Be a permanent resident and physically in New Zealand at time of application.
  • Be aged between 10 and 75 years.
    Parent’s or legal guardians must consent where Life/Child to be Assured is less than 16 years of age and older than 10.

Migrants on work visa, residence visa or business visa valid less than 24 months can in most cases buy life insurance whereas the policy will be cancelled and no benefit paid if the assured is outside the territorial boundaries of New Zealand, Australia, the Cook Islands, Tokelau, or Niue for a continuous period of more than three months.

Other benefits such as trauma cover, disability insurance, total permanent disablement and accidental death cover may be offered on an individual consideration basis.

Yes.

If you have been diagnosed with an incurable disease and expected to live less than 12 months, you may lodge a claim for your life insurance policy to be paid out. 

You may want to spend the money on palliative care to improve the quality of life or travel the world as a last wish. Either or, it’s your money and your decision.

Absolutely.

AIA, Asteron Life and Fidelity Life all have an inbuilt policy feature which pay out $15.000 and Partners Life pays out $25.000 helping your family with funeral costs while the claim is being assessed.

The Bereavement Support is paid out immediately upon notification of death.

If you are alive, the claim will be paid to you.

If you have died, the claim will be paid to the policy owner (often your partner or children) and if no policy owner is nominated, the funds will be paid to your estate.

When taking out a mortgage, most lenders expect you to get life insurance, so that your mortgage will be paid off if you die prematurely.

But it’s worth knowing that you don’t have to get life insurance from your mortgage provider  – our life insurance experts can help you and your family with short- and long-term life insurance cover from any insurer that is right for you.

You’ll need to work out whether you just want your life insurance to cover your mortgage or if you want your dependants to get a payout on top too. 

If you need help to compare the various options and policy details, contact one of the advisers at LifeCovered on 0800 259925 (Mon-Thurs 9am – 7pm, Fri 9am – 5pm, Sat 9am – 1.00pm).

Your life insurance application can be approved within hours or it could take a few weeks.

The approval process depends on the information you provide. If we have complete information and there are no medical issues to consider, the cover may be issued shortly after receipt of your application.

For applications that require more detail to process, such as medical reports, it may take a few weeks, depending on how quickly you or your doctor is able to respond to requests for information.

You will automatically be given 60 days of temporary cover while your application is assessed. Terms and conditions apply and the maximum life, trauma and TPD benefit is $500,000.

You can pay via direct debit, debit or credit card. Premiums can be paid weekly, fortnightly, monthly, 3- monthly, 6-monthly or annually.

Your policy documents will be emailed to you shortly after your application is approved. If you haven’t received them within 24 hours please call 0800 259925 or email your advisor.

 

Yes, you can cancel your life insurance policy at any time – and if cancelled within the “free look” period all premiums paid will be refunded. The “free look” period begins on:

  • The day we tell you when your policy will start.
  • The day you receive your policy documents.

Check your policy for more details.

If you cancel your policy, you won’t be able to make a claim. If you’re thinking about cancelling your policy, please contact us to discuss your options on 0800 259925

You are at the centre of everything we do. We are a people of action and we take ownership of everything we do.

If you have a complaint, we will do our best to resolve the situation with care, fairly and within a reasonable timeframe.

Call us on 0800 000 200 or (+6498698322 if you are overseas), or email careteam@lifecovered.nz

Our care team will look after you and try to resolve your issue straight away.

As Registered Financial Providers, LifeCovered is a member of the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme (IFSO Scheme), a free, independent service which can help settle any dispute you are unable to resolve with LifeCovered.

You must write to the Ombudsman within three months of being notified by us that a deadlock has been reached.

Any dispute or action relating to your policy will be determined in accordance with New Zealand law.

IFSO contact details:
PO Box 10 845
Wellington 6143
Phone 0800 888 202
Email info@ifso.nz
Website www.ifso.nz

Ask yourself a couple of hard-hitting questions and answer truthfully.

Imagine how your family would survive without you. Here are some questions that might help:

  • Would your family’s financial security be at risk if you were to pass away prematurely?
  • How much money will your dependents need in order to live comfortably after you’re gone?
  • What are your monthly expenses, including mortgage payments and utilities? Could your family afford to continue living in your home?
  • How much debt would you be leaving behind that your family will need to be able to pay off?
  • Could your children’s educations be paid for?
  • Does your partner need a nanny?
  • How about any emergency expenses?
  • How much coverage can you afford weekly or monthly?
  • What is the claims‐paying history of the insurance company, and how is the company rated by industry experts?

Life Insurance application has been on the rise since the coronavirus pandemic. LifeCovered partners with New Zealand’s best life insurance companies and there are no exclusions for pandemics.

Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high BMI or even a history of cancer won’t necessarily prevent you from getting life insurance, but you’ll want to shop around to make sure you find the best rates for your health history.

New Zealand law stipulates you must be physically located in New Zealand at the time of advice and application.

An insurer and adviser must comply with the regulations governing the provision of insurance products and advice in the country in which the advice is received, or the product is sold.

In practical terms, this means that a Registered Financial Advisors in New Zealand cannot provide advice or sell a new policy (can increase a current policy) to a client in another country. It also means that an adviser giving advice, for example to a New Zealander who is physically in Australia, would need to be registered and licensed in Australia.

TESTIMONIAL

Family protection paid the mortgage and a legacy

Unexpected events can easily break the bank – it’s best to have a backup plan. 

Life Insurance Policy Wording

The life cover policies for AIA Insurance, Asteron Life, Fidelity Life and Partners Life are included here. 

1) The AIA Living Umbrella wording is common to all AIA Living policies.

2) Asteron Life has all it’s personal insurance policy in one document.

Compare life insurance quotes from New Zealand's leading life insurers