More than a policy
An act of love
Life insurance protects what matters to you. LifeCovered can help compare NZ life insurers and suggest cover that’s right for you and your loved ones.
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What is Life Insurance?
Life insurance is a contract between an insurer and a policyholder. A life insurance policy guarantees the insurer pays a tax-free death benefit to named beneficiaries when the insured dies or becomes terminally ill in exchange for regular premium payments made by the policyholder.
The death benefit is income tax exempt in New Zealand and is paid as a lump sum and helps give your family financial protection should you pass away – helping your loved ones maintain their living standard or pay the mortgage.
And if you are diagnosed terminally ill with less than 12 months of life expectancy, the tax-free death benefit is paid to you.
Our financial advisors can help you figure out how much you need. The cost of a life cover policy you buy as an individual depends on your age, gender, health, medical history and lifestyle.
How much life cover do I need?
The best way to figure out how much life cover you need is as part of a larger financial plan.
Our financial advisors can help you see gaps and strengths in your current financial situation and where you are headed.
We use a tool that helps you visualise and organise your financial life, so you can see and understand your financial picture like never before.
As we create your financial picture, you will have clarity and confidence about how much life cover you need. Because we look at your cash flow, debt management, retirements savings, potential property investment opportunities and what is acceptable risk to you.
Your thoughts on the best policy amount and type of policy could change considerably after seeing where life insurance will fit into the big picture for you and your family.
Compare life insurance types?
There are two types of life insurance policies available to meet all sorts of needs and preferences.
Depending on the short- or long-term needs of the person to be insured, the choice of whether to select Rate for Age or Level life insurance is important to consider.
Rate for Age
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.
Pros: Rate for age policies are the cheapest type of policy.
Cons: Premiums increase because of your age.
Level - Fixed Life Insurance
Level (fixed) term life insurance 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.
Pros: Premiums stay the same no matter your age.
Cons: Premiums start higher compared to Rate for Age.
Stepped vs level premiums
Rate for Age life insurance differs from level premium life insurance in several ways but tends to best meet the needs of most people.
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 cover payout could improve your family cash flow significantly and help 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
Get Life Insurance advice
Is it time to review your life insurance?
What does life insurance cover
Tax-free one-off paymentThere is no tax in New Zealand on Life insurance and therefore any benefit payout is tax-free.
Top Financial Strength
We only compare New Zealand’s leading life insurers with the highest financial credit strength, which speaks about the ability to pay claims now and in the future.
Worldwide CoverPolicies provide you with worldwide cover, 24 hours a day.
Guarantee Policy UpgradeYour 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 does life insurance not cover?
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 PursuitsSome hazardous activities and pursuits are uninsurable.
Key Life Cover Features
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.
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.
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.
How to find the best life insurance policy
We exclusively compare and recommend the leading life insurers in New Zealand, based on the following criteria:
- the highest credit rating: speaks about the financial abilities and liquidity to pay your claims.
- Claims culture and underwriting:
- Increasing premiums and fixed premiums:
- Automatic Policy Upgrading:
- Riders or optional extras:
Life insurance can be a long-term purchase and you’d want a company that has the strongest financial rating to pay claims.
During 2019, the best life insurance companies in NZ paid out more than $800M in claims combined.
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:
- Your hobbies/lifestyle
The type of cover (rate for age vs level), as well as term length and the 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.
Similar Life Insurance Benefits
Helps protect you if you become critically ill during the policy term and pays out a tax-free lump sum that you can use however you like.
Overnight care, outpatient treatment, diagnostic tests, scans or aftercare, you get specialist private treatment you need, in comfortable surroundings, when you need it
Help support you with a monthly payment if you’re ill or injured and can’t work and pays a proportion of your lost earnings. So you’re able to focus more on getting better and back to work.
Helps support you with a monthly payment if can’t work due to illness or injury and pays an agreed amount related to your mortgage, rent or income. So you can have peace of mind.
Life Insurance FAQ's
Who gets my life insurance when I die?
If you have died, the claim will be paid to the policy owner (often your partner or children) or beneficiary and if no policy owner or beneficiary is nominated, the funds will be paid to your estate.
How long does the application process take?
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.
Can I buy life insurance with a medical condition?
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.
Am I eligible to apply for life insurance?
- 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.
Can migrants on work visa buy life insurance?
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.
Can I claim if I have been diagnosed with a terminal illness?
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.
How soon is funeral support paid out?
AIA, Asteron Life and Fidelity Life all have an inbuilt policy feature that pays 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.
Do I need life insurance when taking out a mortgage?
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).
How does coronavirus affect my life insurance policy?
Current policyholders are not affected by the pandemic outbreak, since the life insurance companies LifeCovered has partnered with do not contain exclusions for pandemics.
Applications for new policies will be assessed as any other life insurance application. And depending on your medical history, the covid-19 virus might have an effect on your policy.
Key Documents - please read
Please read before you apply.
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.