5 Things You Need To Watch Out For When Getting Mortgage Protection

If you’re looking into whether it would be a good idea to get mortgage protection insurance then knowing all the pros and cons of such a decision is the first, and most important step in doing so. While the recession may already have been officially declared over, the reality on the ground has forced many homeowners to seriously consider mortgage protection as a safeguard against redundancy or illness.

What is mortgage payment protection?

Mortgage protection guarantees cover for your mortgage payments in the event that you are unable to work due to redundancy, illness, or an accident. Mortgage protection is not compulsory, but some policies may require it, and it is one of the most popular options for mortgage cover in Ireland although there are also other options available.

5 Things You Need To Watch Out For When Getting Mortgage Protection

Property owners with a mortgage should seriously consider taking out protection on their payments. In these days of austerity it is even more important to be covered in case of any unforeseen periods of unemployment. To this end, here are five things you will need to watch out for when getting a mortgage protection policy:

Make Sure You Get the Best Deal

As most mortgage protection policies are taken up at the same time as the mortgage, most property owners will usually opt to simply use the one offered by their mortgage lender. However, since there is no obligation to take up a deal offered by any lender, shopping around is beneficial. Particular attention should also be paid to the excess period each policy has. This is the period of time you will have to wait before your mortgage lender can begin receiving their payments through your cover so choosing one that is comfortable for your finances is also crucial.

How selective are your chosen mortgage protection underwriters?

The more selective your chosen mortgage protection providers are, the more likely you are to get the best deals that offer the lowest premiums. These are worked out according to your age with policies getting more expensive the older you are and as in the first tip, independent providers are usually able to offer better deals than household names.

What does your mortgage protection policy cover?

An unplanned drop in your income will not only impact your mortgage repayments, it may also affect your livelihood. As one of the biggest investments most people are ever going to make, it makes sense to get mortgage cover, but so does investigating the available life insurance or income protection policies available to you if your finances are already stretched.

Understand Your Policy

If any aspects of your policy are particularly hard to understand then it is advisable to get advice and help from specialists in the industry to ensure your peace of mind and full mortgage cover.

Employment History

With conditions still difficult for borrowers, proof of steady employment is a positive factor. Being in a position for over at least six months (ideally more) will reassure lenders that you currently have a guaranteed and stable income which will improve your premium choices.

Conclusion

Mortgage protection should always be an important consideration for both new and existing property owners, as getting a policy not only provides peace of mind, it also provides actual cover in the event of any unplanned disruptions to your livelihood.

The Benefits of Taking Out Income Insurance Protection and What Does It Cover

With most people still feeling the effects of the recession, one area that has now become a significant part of financial planning for those in employment is income insurance protection. Studies have shown that while most households have insurance cover for most common insurance policies such as mortgage or vehicle insurance, most do not have cover for their income in the event that they are unable to work for a period of time.

What is income insurance protection and what are its benefits?

Income insurance protection policies typically provide cover if for some reason you are unable to work and there are many benefits to taking out such a policy. Comprehensive income protection policies will generally provide cover for a percentage of your earnings in the event of accidents, sickness, and unemployment, while simpler plans may cover only one of these. Either way, the benefits of taking cover for your income include a guaranteed tax-free percentage of your salary, and the ability to choose the length of your protection to suit your financial situation.

Other benefits include monthly payments while you are unable to work, peace of mind, and financial security at a time when you are most vulnerable to falling behind your financial obligations and living costs.

What does income insurance protection cover?

Income insurance protection cover varies between policies depending on whether you choose short-term cover or long term. A short-term policy will typically provide cover for anything between six months and a year until you are ready to go back to work. Long term income protection insurance cover is designed to provide cover in the event of long term illness and can last until the age of retirement, or until the time you are able to return to employment.

Income insurance policies with lower premiums will have longer periods before they start paying out, so prospective policy holders have to strike a balance between how long their employer will continue to pay them while they are away, and the beginning of income insurance payments.

How much cover should I take out?

How much cover you will need depends on your financial circumstances. If your finances are already at starching point, or if you have dependants or are self-employed, income protection can be a good investment to help you keep up with your outgoings should you be unable to work for a period of time. However, while searching for the best cover, it may also be worth considering other avenues of ensuring financial stability such as having your own savings to complement your income insurance protection pay outs.

While income protection insurance will not cover redundancies unless specifically stated, getting cover in case you are unable to work and earn your regular salary makes good sense. With due care and research to ensure you know everything you are covered for as well as what you are not insured for, it is time income protection took on the same, if not more, importance as other common insurance types.

Why Your Business Needs Insurance Protection

For most companies, whether they are small to medium sized businesses or large corporations, insurance protection is a vital component of their operations and financial planning. Depending on your product or services, your business operations can be severely affected in the event of an accident, a natural disaster, the death of a senior figure, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Types of Business Insurance Protection

The complicated nature of business insurance can sometimes put off smaller businesses, but the law requires all businesses to have certain types of insurance. Below are some of the types of insurance a business may need to include in their cover, not only to meet legal requirements, but as a safety net to protect the company:

  • Business Protection Insurance

Although a lesser-known part of insuring a business, business protection insurance is nonetheless one that most companies should consider, especially small firms. This type of insurance provides cover to help your business continue trading should a company owner or other key member get seriously ill or pass away. Business protection insurance also covers crucial aspects of a business such as shareholders and loan protection.

  • Liability Insurance

Commonly referred to as ‘employers’ liability insurance, this type of cover is required by law if your business employs staff. Liability insurance provides cover should one of your employees get injured, suffer illness, or death and it is deemed to be a result of their work. Therefore, in addition to being a legal requirement, liability insurance also makes perfect business sense.

  • Public Liability

As above, your business activities may be carried out around members of the public or private property, so cover is advisable. While not legally required, public liability insurance is essential to provide cover for unforeseen incidents that may involve the public and is also a requirement from most public sector clients looking to do business with any company.

  • Vehicle Insurance

Just like we insure our private vehicles, businesses may also need to take out motor insurance that provides cover specifically for business use. The same applies even if employees use their own private cars and have their own insurance policies. If any vehicles are used for business work – no matter how minimal it is – then it is the company’s responsibility to ensure the right cover is in place.

With the added cost that comes from insurance premiums, some business owners may look to forego taking out cover for their company, especially as the prospect of events such as natural disasters affecting them may seem highly unlikely. However, it’s important to remember that any number of factors can come into play in affecting your trade, profitability, and continuation. For example, the impact that fire damage, burglary, or flooding can have on operations can end up being very costly, not to mention being a time consuming inconvenience.

Businesses, both large and small, should therefore get advice on the type of insurance required to provide adequate cover to ensure business continuity and security. In conclusion, your business needs insurance protection not only as a means to get financial cover in the event of any unplanned events, but getting adequate cover is also a great way to enforce continuity planning in the organisation that ensures the company’s stability and longevity.

The Advantages of Over 50’s Life Insurance

For most people who take out life insurance policies, the focus is on help with funeral costs as well as the future financial security of the loved ones who remain after an insured person passes away. The same applies to over 50’s life insurance; these types of policies are designed to provide a lump sum to loved ones after the policy holders death, so even at this later stage in life there are still many advantages to getting life cover.

What are the advantages of over 50’s life insurance?

Guaranteed Acceptance

Most over 50’s life insurance policies cover those between the age of 50 to 80 or even sometimes 85, depending on the policy, and the biggest advantage of this type of cover is that acceptance is always guaranteed. Typically, there are also no health questionnaires to fill out and answer, neither are there any medical checks to undergo.

Tax Free Pay-outs

In the event of the death of the policy holder, an over 50’s life insurance plan will pay out a tax free lump sum to his/her loved ones which may help with funeral costs, outstanding medical expenses, as well as the regular bills they were responsible for. In addition to death benefits being exempt for tax purposes, in certain cases, one life insurance policy can also be exchanged for another without incurring any taxation. With some policies, it is advisable to write the policy ‘in trust’ to avoid your loved ones being liable to pay inheritance tax.

Flexible Terms

Most life insurance policy providers offer flexible terms that can be adjusted to suit the requirements of the policyholder. Depending on your chosen provider, you may also be able to adjust the amount your policy will pay out as well as reduce or increase your premiums to suit your finances.

Financial Planning

With the ability to see an estimation of the pay out your loved ones can expect to receive, an over 50’s life insurance policy can also be used as a tool to help with your financial planning for the future. In addition to healthcare and funeral costs, other outstanding commitments such as mortgages can also be considered when deciding the level of your premiums and resultant pay out.

Simplicity and Affordability

With no health checks to undertake and various options on the amount you pay as your premium, over 50’s life insurance offers a simple and affordable way to provide a form of financial security should you pass away. Insurers will normally consider your age, whether you are a smoker or not, and the amount you’re planning to pay in, but as mentioned above, most applicants will be accepted irrespective of these factors.

Another advantage of over 50’s life insurance is that if you are lucky enough to live up to 90 years of age, you will still be covered but may not have to continue paying your premiums depending on your policy. In conclusion, if you are over 50 and do not currently have life insurance, it is not too late to get coverage. Most reputable providers will still be able to provide you with a policy and, in turn, provide peace of mind and financial certainty for your loved ones.

 

Common Life Insurance Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

 

When it comes to investing in home or car insurance, it’s only natural that you’ll want to do the adequate research that’s involved to get the best company and the best quote. Taking out a life insurance policy should be no different. After all, it’s such a major long-term commitment that choosing the right company and policy is something that you must get right the first time, as making mistakes could have detrimental effects on the ones that you’re try to protect by taking out the policy.

As with most things that involve contracts and deliberation, it’s easy to make mistakes when taking out such a policy. We’re about to delve into this a little further by revealing five of the most common mistakes that people make when getting life insurance:

1.Choosing the wrong policy coverage

When it comes to choosing a life insurance policy, a lot of people underestimate the amount that they will need to properly cover themselves and their family. Consulting with a financial advisor is one of the first steps that you should take when deciding on which policy and how much coverage to take out as they will be able to help you calculate the amount of money that will be needed to help look after your dependents.

2.Forgetting to re-evaluate the policy regularly

A lot of people that have an insurance policy would have sat down with a financial planner and evaluated their insurance needs before signing the contract and although this is definitely necessary, it’s not enough. Just have a think about this for a moment – if you purchased a policy 15 or 20 years ago your benefits might be less than what you and your family require today. As a good practice, it’s always a smart idea to sit down every few months or at least yearly and reassess your policy from start to finish.

3.Choosing a policy based on the premiums alone

When it comes to taking out a life insurance policy for the first time don’t pay attention to the price alone. Be sure to look at the company’s strengths and benefits and ask around for reviews and recommendations both online and from people you know regarding the company services. When comparing the insurance policy that a company offers always be sure to compare apples to apples and evaluate similar policies with other companies. Regardless of which company you choose and policy you take out, it’s always important to read the fine print.

4.Taking out a policy at the wrong time

Your age is extremely important, as it will determine a lot of what your policy will cover. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when choosing their coverage is taking out a policy at the wrong time. For example, providers usually up a person’s age so if you are six months away from being 30 years old when taking out a policy, an insurance company will take that information and give you a price as if you were already 30. Again, this is why it is important to shop around and do your research when it comes to getting the best quote and policy for you.

5.Relying on third party policies

While it’s common nowadays for companies to take out insurance policies for their staff, it’s always best to have your own independent insurance policy. A lot of third parties insurance, which you are covered for from your employer or workplace, doesn’t often include the full amount of coverage that you would expect it to. A lot of these policies also leave you locked in meaning that you’ll be unable to re-evaluate and alter them at a later date. Some policies are also known to expire in the event that you leave that company.

Investing in life insurance and finding a suitable policy is not something that should be rushed, and make sure that you do not fall victim to the five mistakes that are outlined above.

 

Getting Life Insurance if you Work a High Risk Job

 

If you have a family or assets to protect, life insurance is an absolute necessity. Your life insurance premium will be assessed according to a number of different factors – your age, family history, your health, hobbies and the type of work that you do. What does the type of work that you do have to do with life insurance you may ask?

Insurance companies need to know your occupation as it can present a risk factor. For example, an office worker would be considered less high risk than a fireman as a fireman regularly faces danger due to the nature of their role. Many people avoid taking out life insurance if they have a high-risk job, simply because they fear extremely high premiums. However, what most of these people don’t know is that most companies offer affordable, specialised policies for high-risk jobs. If your job puts your safety in danger, it is absolutely necessary that you consider taking out life insurance to prevent your family from more hardship in the event of an accident.

There are a couple of things to check out when shopping for life insurance when you work a high-risk job, some of which include the following:

Check how high risk your job is considered

Generally speaking, each insurance company will have their own list of factors that determine a certain occupation as “high risk”. This list of factors can include things like operating machinery, manual labour, frequent requirement to drive vehicles, working at sea, working at a height, exposure to a high level of stressful situations and regular contact with hazardous substances.

Your role must involve a very frequent level of these types of activities to be considered as high risk. In addition to this list of determining factors, most insurance companies will have “tiers” of high-risk jobs. For example, an oilrig worker might be deemed high risk but a soldier who is involved in military battles or has frequent contact with explosives or gases would be deemed as very high risk. In some cases, an insurance provider may deem such occupations as “uninsurable”.

Protect your income

If you get seriously injured at work, you could face a long period of time where you’ll be out of employment as you recover from your injuries. In cases like this, it is imperative that those in high-risk jobs, at high risk of injury, ensure that their income is protected should they be gravely injured. Income protection may be included as part of a high risk life insurance quote by some companies while others may offer this as an additional extra. While it may seem that your quote is very competitive, if it doesn’t include income protection you may end up costing yourself a lot of money in the long run.

Shop around

The pool of insurance companies offering life insurance for high-risk jobs is massive. And while most of these companies will be prepared to quote for life insurance for those with high-risk jobs, the stipulations and classifications of high-risk jobs vary from provider to provider and, in turn, so does the price of insurance premiums. For this reason, be sure to shop around.

Getting life insurance when you work a high-risk job has never been easier! Take heed of our 3 aforementioned tips to be sure you obtain the most competitive quote possible.

Getting Life Insurance if you are over 50

 

Once the age of 50 hits, it is inevitable that many of us will start to hold concern over what lies ahead. As you enter the golden years of your life, you need to be able to really enjoy them, without any concerns over the financial protection of your family or assets should you pass away. The golden years are when you should be really enjoying life. You should be free to play the occasional round of golf, take those holidays you always wanted to and make the most of time with family and friends without any concerns for the future financial security of your loved ones consistently hanging over your head.

Having said this, without life insurance, those over the age of 50, no matter how good their health is, realise that uncertainty is present regarding the future of their families and assets should they pass away.

Who will insure me and what will it cover?

Think life insurance is for young couples getting their first mortgage? Wrong! Life insurance is ever so important for those over 50 and virtually every insurance company out there will be willing to provide you with a quote. In fact, most insurance companies offer special life insurance packages for over 50’s. You may be able to avail of an option to stop payments once you reach a certain age while remaining covered by insurance.

Over 50’s insurance policies will typically include cover for many serious illnesses, meaning that a sickness benefit will be paid to you and your family should you suffer from any of a certain set of illnesses in the future. Should you pass away prematurely, you may also be able to ensure mortgage protection and ease the financial burden on your loved ones. Having life insurance in place will ensure that funeral costs and other outstanding bills will also be covered in the event of your death.

Will getting insurance be a lengthy ordeal?

When dealing with the right company, getting insurance cover will not be a lengthy ordeal. In fact, many insurance companies won’t even ask you to complete a medical and initial applications can usually be made quickly over the phone or online. The application process will depend on your medical history and exact age and, generally speaking, a life insurance policy can be up and running within a few days. Talk to a life insurance broker to ensure that finding the most competitive quote for your needs remains to be just one quick phone call away.

Is life insurance for over 50’s expensive?

Many people shy away from enquiring about life insurance for over 50’s because they think they cannot afford it, especially if their sole income is currently a retirement pension. Premiums can vary from company to company but you can expect to pay roughly €15 – €20 a month for typical life insurance cover of €15000-€20000. Can you spare 50 cent a day? Yes? Then you can definitely afford an over 50’s life insurance policy.

We hope this guide helps you to better understand life insurance policies for over 50’s and hopefully it addresses some of your previously held concerns.

Choosing the right insurance for your business

As the owner of your own company, protecting your business by getting proper insurance is one of the smartest things that you can ever do. In doing so, you are protecting your livelihood and your future financial stature. And while making the decision to insure your business is smart, choosing the right cover and policy for your business can be a tedious task. With so many insurance companies in the market offering varying packages, it is very easy to get confused and put off pursuing insuring your business.

We know how important it is for you to have your business insured so we have broken down the many cover options available to you, which will help make insuring your business a whole lot easier. The type of insurance policy you require from the following will largely depend on the size and nature of your business.

Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance protects you against claims for compensation from customers or business suppliers who have suffered an injury or property damage due to the product or services offered by your business or have suffered an injury on your business premises. For example, a customer falls and injures themselves on your business premises due to a puddle of water that is not indicated by a wet floor sign and they sue your business for compensation for the injuries sustained on your business premises. In this instance, public liability insurance will provide cover.

Another example would be a roofing contractor who goes on a call out. During this call out, he lets a ladder fall down and injures the customer. Public liability insurance would provide cover here in the event of a claim for injury compensation by the customer.

Employers’ liability insurance 

If you have employees, even hired on a part-time, ad hoc or temporary basis, employers’ liability insurance is a must. Should you be sued by your employees for personal injury sustained during the course of conducting their job or for wrongful dismissal, employers’ liability insurance will provide cover against any claims for compensation. In the case of employee law suits, compensation payments and legal expenses due to successful plaintiffs can often be quite large. In such cases, insurance cover can often be the difference between the ability to move on and drive your business forward or suffering financial ruin.

Property and business interruption insurance 

Fire, theft, or other damage to your business property, equipment or goods are everyday threats to the future of your business. A fire could wipe your business out for good, as could the theft of the equipment required for you to conduct your business services. Property and business interruption insurance cover can ensure that you get back on your feet as quickly as possible should the worst threats become a reality.

Professional indemnity insurance 

Any professional who offers advice, expertise or knowledge to their customers can be susceptible to a professional indemnity claim. If a client suffers financially because of a mistake you’ve made or due to any negligence on your part, you may be liable for a claim. Anyone from accountants and architects to business consultants and financial advisors can be liable for a professional indemnity suit. Professional indemnity insurance protects your business by covering what may be quite extensive legal fees and compensation.

We hope this guide helps you to better understand how to choose the right insurance for your business. Be sure to talk to an experienced financial advisor or broker for the best quote for your business insurance needs.

5 Life Insurance Mistakes To Avoid

 

We are all guilty of making mistakes in life from time to time – hey, we’re only human, right? When it comes to life insurance policies, mistakes are a lot more frequent than you would think. After all, all it takes is a slight miscommunication or misunderstanding when completing a form. Those applying for life insurance for the first time should always have an insurance advisor read over their policy before they sign, to ensure that all details are correct and that they have correctly understood each area of the form.

Mistakes can be made both directly and indirectly, and these mistakes can end up making your life insurance policy null and void, with your family left without a pretty penny. For this very reason, it is important to ensure that you do not commit any critical mistakes.

The following are the top 5 life insurance mistakes to avoid:

Choosing the Wrong Type of Policy

Choosing the right life insurance policy to begin with is ever so important. If you are set to retire in the next few years and will be living on a depleted income, you’ll need to ensure that your life insurance policy rates aren’t reviewable. The last thing you want is for your income to deplete and your life insurance premium to increase. Unless you compare your goals to the terms of the life insurance, it is likely that you will end up picking the wrong policy. For example, you may only really want to be covered for the 15 years remaining on your mortgage, but not do your research correctly and up with whole life insurance!

Not Shopping Around

One of the key mistakes that people make when purchasing a life insurance policy is that they do not shop around. They are merely impressed by the salesman who calls them or knocks on the front door and before they know it, the document is signed on the dotted line! Like any form of insurance, life insurance is a very competitive market so it can really pay both in the short and long term to shop around, not only for the best price, but the best conditions too.

Allowing Price to be the Primary Deciding Factor

While it pays to shop around, the price of the insurance policy should not be the primary deciding factor. Why could this lead to a huge mistake? Well, while you may be swayed by a low premium, you may commit to that same policy to realise that some key conditions that you require are not included and your life insurance policy could very well end up being a huge waste of money.

Not Enlisting a Financial Advisor

Unless you have an insurance background, it is very difficult to wholly compare your life insurance options and decipher the best policy for you. Enlisting the help of a financial advisor can ensure that you don’t sign a policy based on false assumptions, as they will explain every single step for you in layman’s terms. After all, it is their job to find the best policy for you!

Not Reviewing a Policy

Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, the biggest mistake to avoid is to not regularly review your life insurance. Premiums can go up and down and personal circumstances can change so while a policy or premium may have best suited you 12 months ago, it may not be the case today. Review your premium and policy at least every 12 months to ensure you are getting the best deal around.

We hope this guide serves you well in ensuring you get the best life insurance premium and conditions for both you and your family!

 

Getting Life Insurance If You Have Asthma

 

Did you know that approximately 470,000 people in Ireland suffer from asthma? To put it into context, that’s more than 10% of the entire population! There are varying levels of asthma and depending on how it is managed, it is possible to live a normal life, despite suffering from the condition. However, when it comes down to calculating life insurance premiums, asthma is one of the biggest health problems that can impact a premium.

Some life insurance companies may refuse to offer a premium to someone who suffers from asthma but this is very rare, as most insurance companies will quote for life insurance for asthma sufferers. However, the difference in quotes from provider to provider can be phenomenal. The premium quoted by an insurance company will likely depend on the severity of your asthma – best case (childhood asthma), mild, moderate or severe.

Categories of Asthma

Life insurance companies tend to categorise asthma sufferers for insurance purposes as follows:

  • Best case: Only a past history of childhood asthma or only suffers asthma symptoms after exercising.
  • Mild asthma: Suffers only very minimal symptoms that are easily controlled on regular prescription medication. Does not require hospitalisation or need to take oral steroids.
  • Moderate: Experiences asthma symptoms quite regularly where oral steroids and/or hospital admission are needed.
  • Severe: Frequently suffering from asthma attacks requiring hospital admissions and almost on-going use of oral steroids.

Will I pay a bigger premium?

If between yourself and your doctor, you have your asthma well managed, it is unlikely that the potential price of your life insurance cover will be higher than a non-asthmatic sufferer. However, if you’re not keeping your asthma under control and regularly find yourself in the hospital with respiratory issues and requiring heavy prescription medication, life insurance companies will see you as “high risk” and your premium will likely be higher.

Those considered as “best case” or “mild” asthma sufferers should really pay no more for life insurance than those without asthma, so they shouldn’t accept a higher premium too lightly. However, know that premiums can increase by up to 100% depending on the severity of your asthma. If you have any level of asthma and you smoke, premiums can also increase considerably as smoking has been proven to aggravate the condition.

How do I find the best insurer?

You need to find an insurer that is sympathetic towards asthma sufferers, who thoroughly understands the condition and one who isn’t going to hike premiums up by 150% because of your condition. One you’ve put in the time that’s required to find such a company, you should be able to get a reasonable life insurance quote without any hassle or risk of being hit with an outrageously high premium.

For your information, an asthma sufferer should only have to answer a questionnaire before being offered a life insurance quote, unless they have been hospitalised several times, in which case the insurer will request to write to their GP for more info.