What is ‘serious illness’ or ‘specified illness’ cover

Serious illness (sometimes also called specified illness) is a  type of cover that pays out in the event of the life assured experiencing serious ill health. Life assurance policies may offer serious illness cover with life cover or on a stand alone basis separate from the life policy.

Serious Illness cover is also know as Specified Serious Illness, Critical Illness, Living Insurance, Dread Disease Cover. Serious Illness cover provides a tax free capital sum in the event of the insured being diagnosed as suffering from or contracting any of the serious illnesses specified by the particular policy.

The life assured must satisfy the life company that he or she has been medically diagnosed as suffering from or have contracted an illness covered by the policy, before the life company will pay out. Therefore, medical proof must be provided that such an event has happened. Typically you must also survive 14 days from the event occurring.

The serious illnesses specified by the policy will vary from life company to life company and some illnesses may be subject to “specific exclusions”.  Serious …

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Group Mortgage Protection Cover

The housing loan lender is obliged under the Consumer Credit Act 1995, section 126(1) to arrange at least one group or block policy with a life company to cover those borrowers who do not have their own protection cover.

The lender is the legal owner of the policy however the cost of each borrowers cover is passed on to them by means of increasing their loan repayments accordingly. While the lender is obliged to attempt to cover all its housing loan borrowers there are  some exceptions allowed under section 126(2) of the Consumer Credit Act 1995. a: when the house under loan is not intended to be the principle residence of the borrower or their dependants. b: borrowers who are not acceptable to the insurer or would only be acceptable at significantly higher premium rate than normal (i.e. high risk individuals or are in bad health). c: borrowers who are over 50 years of age at time of loan approval. d: borrowers who at the time the loan is made have sufficient life assurance cover that can be assigned to …

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Mortgage Protection explained

Housing loan lenders will usually insist on borrower’s  having a Mortgage Protection assurance policy as a form of collateral security.

A mortgage protection is a life assurance policy that will repay the balance of a loan on death during the loan term. This is to ensure that if a borrower dies then his/her dependants will not be forced out of their home because they are unable to continue making the loan repayments. Mortgage protection cover comes in two forms, a: where the borrower is covered by a Group or Block mortgage protection policy effected by the lender. b: where the borrower has an individual mortgage protection policy and this is assigned to the lender.

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What is Permanent Health Insurance (PHI)

Permanent Health Insurance is an insurance which may be optional or (rarely) required in relation to a housing loan.

PHI can be arranged as an individual or as part of a group scheme organised by their employer or a trade union. PHI is to provide an alternate income in the event that the individual suffers a loss of income by being unable to work due to sickness or disability lasting longer than the “deferred period”.

This period is typically 26 weeks, so the policy does not pay out until the 26 weeks have passed. The payments are liable for income tax, under the PAYE system, however the policy premiums qualify for income tax relief at the individuals marginal rate, up to a limit of 10% of total income.

The payments could continue until the individual returns to works or the policy cease date is reached, which might be at the age of 60 or 65. An optional extra usually offer with PHI policies is a “waiver of premium” (wop), this allows the premium on the policy to be waived in …

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Types of life cover, term assurance and whole of life

Temporary Assurances

Temporary assurances (term assurance) provides life assurance and /or serious illness cover for a fixed period (called the term) usually for a fixed premium. These policies are called temporary because they provide life and serious illness protection cover, when the policy term ends there is no cash pay out and the policy ceases.

The policy pays out a capital sum if the insured event happens, that is death or serious illness. Of course should the policy holder stop paying the premiums the cover will cease. The policy term is from 1 year upwards, typically 30 – 40 years, some life companies have an upper age limit on temporary assurances of 75 – 80 years.

There are five types of temporary Assurance Policies. a: Term Assurance b:  Convertible Term Assurance (CTA) c: Section 785 Assurance d: Family Income benefit (FIB) e: Mortgage Protection (MPP)

Whole of Life Assurances

Whole of life assurance policies have no fixed term, they do not cease at a fixed point in time, they provide cover throughout life. However this cover might not be guaranteed. …

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TV3 The Morning Show: Health Insurance, Car Insurance, Credit Unions

We were talking about health insurance, car insurance and credit unions this month on TV3’s personal finance slot. On health insurance in particular we highlighted that you don’t have to go from ‘having cover’ to having zero cover, instead you could opt for the likes of the Hospital Saturday Fund which is a cash plan (pays out on health related spending but isn’t like regular insurance).

Car insurance was also a topic – the new EU ruling will make it illegal to rate men and women differently based on their sex alone from 21st December this year.

Credit Unions were (and are) in the news because of problems they are having. We’ll be back with TV3 next month for more!

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Landlord statistics are wrong…. depending on how you read them!

I had a wonderful debate today on Newstalk where we discussed the rental market, Threshold sent in their Chairperson Aideen Hayden. The debate was very informed, in particular Aideen was very sharp in the area of tenancy laws, I learned a lot during this interview.

Naturally there are always a few corrections – she corrected me twice; once on sub-letting and again on a statistic that I took from the PRTB annual report (going so far as to mention that she is on the board of the PRTB and that therefore I was wrong).

Alas, I have to offer a correction in return to a PRTB board member & chairperson of Threshold who is currently undergoing her PhD in Housing and who has a degree in Economics (all of these things were mentioned to me in backing up her argument [on and off air]); see the graph below – taken from page 33 …

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Credit Default Swaps

Credit Default Swaps (CDS’s) are an over the counter (not bought or sold through an exchange) product which gives the buyer insurance in the case of a credit event (default) of the underlying (reference entity: often a bond). Effectively this brings together a long and short. The video below does a good job of explaining much of this, well worth watching.

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