FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1What type of insurance and what amount of cover would be the best for me? There are three basic types of insurance
- Life Cover – suitable for every parent and for partners who share a mortgage; life insurance provides the payment of a specific sum, for example £100,000 in event of the deathof the insured; the money is paid to the “next of kin” (according to rules of intestacy, first the spouse, then the children) or a person specifically named by the trust deed;
- Critical Illness Insurance – insurance that covers serious and critical illnesses; critical illness insurance provides the payment of a specific sum, for example £50,000 in case of diagnosis of specified critical illness such as some forms of cancer, heart attack, stroke;
- Income Protection – this policy provides the payment of monthly income – the payment may be up to approx. 65% of the earned income in the case of incapacity for work due to an accident or illness; the payments may be made for 1 or 2 years or until the insured reaches retirement age; the money is exempt from income tax; it is recommended especially for the self-employed or those working under employment contracts with no sick pay guaranteed by the employer.
2What is the monthly cost of insurance?
The monthly cost of insurance depends on a few factors: the sum insured, the insured person's age, status (smoker/non-smoker) and health. However, the cheapest is not always the best. So you should consult with an impartial advisor who will compare different insurance companies and present you with a comparison of costs and benefits involved in the offers of various insurance providers.
3What are the policy exclusions and exceptions?
Each policy includes certain exclusions. For example, in a Critical Illness policy, you should check which diseases are covered by insurance. It is worth asking your advisor for a list of diseases, and inquire what stages of cancer and other serious diseases are covered by insurance. For instance, some insurance companies pay for each stage of cancer, while other companies only for more advanced stages. You should also pay attention to the Key Features and the section 'When the policy will not pay out'. For instance, in a life insurance policy, you will find the following exceptions: death under the influence of alcohol or drugs, death in the war area, or, in some policies, death as a result of terrorist activities. We suggest that you always ask your advisor to show you this section and present the exclusions in the insurance policy offered.
4Does the policy protect my children as well?
A Critical Illness policy covers also your children.The naturally born as well as the adopted ones. Usually up to the age of 21. Typically, the child’s cover is 50% of the sum insured of the parent, up to the maximum amount of £25,000. This is a free add-on to the policy. Children are insured for the same number of diseases as their parent. In addition, some companies offer additional options to cover typical childhood conditions (diseases that often are diagnosed in young children, such as hydrocephalus or cerebral palsy).
5Will the policy money be paid for events that take place abroad (not in the UK)?
Yes, most insurance policies provide cover for events abroad (such as death, accident or diagnosis of a serious illness). You should check the list of the permitted countries which will be given in each Key Features document. Usually these include all EU countries and countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Before travelling abroad, a policyholder should check whether the country of destination is included on the list. While on holiday, for example during ski trips, you should have an additional travel insurance policy that will cover treatment or hospitalisation costs during your stay in a given country.
6Can I resign from my insurance at any time?
Yes. You can cancel your insurance policy at any time. In this case, you should notify your decision to modify or cancel the policy to your advisor, or write or call the insurance company directly.
7Is insurance a product for everyone? Is insurance also a product for singles?
Yes, insurance is definitely a product for everyone. Given the current system of benefits and allowances in the UK, especially benefits for those incapable for work, everyone should definitely consider buying insurance such as Critical Illness or Income Protection. In the case of incapacity for work due to a serious illness or accident, statutory sick pay is only £89.35/week and paid only for 28 weeks (sourcewww.gov.uk/statutorysickpay). That is enough reason to think about how our family budget will look if we are incapable of working.
8Does insurance really work?
Many people struggle with doubt as to whether insurers actually pay compensations in accordance with the contract. Well, this question may be partially answered by Friends Life statistics, which in 2014 paid 99% of claims under Life Cover policies, 94% of claims under Critical Illness Cover policies and 86% of all claims under Income Protection policies*. This testifies that you can truly rely on the promises made by the UK market insurers. *data source: http://www.futureproofinsurance.co.uk/friends-life-announce-claims-statistics-for-2014