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Life cover pays out a tax-free lump sum if you die during the term of the policy. It’s possible to have single life cover, where only one person is insured, or joint life cover and dual life cover, where two people are insured under the one policy.
Joint life cover insures two people under the one policy but only one claim is paid out - usually on the death of the first person. The policy then ends when the first person dies.
Dual life cover also insures two people under the same policy but a claim can be paid out on both deaths. If one person dies, a claim is paid out and the policy continues in the name of the survivor. If the second person dies during the term of the policy, a second payout is made. For this reason dual life cover is more expensive than joint life cover.
With whole-of-life insurance you select the sum to be insured for a fixed monthly or annual premium. The sum insured is maintained throughout your life so long as you continue paying the premiums and will pay out upon your death. This type of insurance is often associated with estate planning, by providing a payment to meet inheritance costs and to ensure the well being of your family. This type of cover is not associated with mortgage lending.
The cost of your policy will depend on several things such as the amount of cover you choose, how long you want the policy to run for, your age, your health status, and whether you want single life cover or joint/dual life cover. Smokers will also pay more for cover than non-smokers. Use our life insurance comparison service to find out the price of cover for you.
Not everyone needs life insurance cover and whether you need it will depend on your personal circumstances. You may need cover if have a family or others who rely on you for financial support or if you have no life insurance benefits through your job or pension plan. If you have a young family, you will need more life cover than if your children are older, because the benefit will have to last longer.
On the other hand, you may not need any cover if you have no dependants or anyone who relies on your income or if you already have life insurance cover through your pension plan or through work.
Before taking out life insurance it’s always a good idea to speak with a qualified financial advisor who will conduct a full financial review with you.
Indexation allows your benefits to increase by a certain percentage every year to keep up with inflation. It’s an optional extra that comes at an additional cost.
For example, if you take out life insurance over 10 years for €100,000, you might choose an indexation option of 5%. This means that your level of cover (but also your premium) will increase by 5% each year to help keep up with inflation.
This means if you were to die in year five of your policy, almost €130,000 would be paid out, not the original €100,000.
It depends. If you’re in fairly good health then the answer is usually no.
However if you have a history of illness, are over a certain age, or are applying for a large amount of cover then you may need to undergo a medical examination or complete an over-the-phone medical questionnaire, which will be organised and paid for by the life insurance company.
Your life insurance company may also have a medical questionnaire sent to your doctor for him or her to complete.
Convertible term cover, also referred to as a conversion option, allows you to extend the term of your cover at any point over the course of your policy without having to take a medical examination or answer any questions about your health, regardless of your age or health status. Convertible premiums are usually more expensive than non-convertible premiums.