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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Sadly another client died, but we did our job right

Working in this business can be tragic at times, the nature of the industry is that we have seen many businesses and individuals financially ruined, but at least they are alive and well, ‘your health is your wealth’ as the saying goes.

Sometimes however, our customers don’t have that either, and people die. We can’t stop that, and we can’t help make it better in any way for the people affected with the exception of the financial implications.

A client of ours passed away earlier in the month, they had two houses and two mortgages. When we were first dealing with them we stressed the importance of protecting your family from the financial impact death brings, it is the greatest wealth destroyer of all (indeed, the greatest destroyer in general).

Our clients took our advice, covering their mortgages in full and in addition to that a further lump sum on the life of the breadwinner. Taking out this cover was a selfless act, the person who has ultimately …

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Death is a certainty, so why not buy into it?

In 1911 something interesting happened, the US Supreme Court made a ruling in the Grigsby vs Russell that allowed a person to essentially ‘sell their interest’ in their own life assurance policy. The case was over a condition in an insurance policy that it shall be ‘void for non-payment of premiums’ as being only that it shall be voidable at option of the company. In other words, it wasn’t just up to the company’s (issuers) discretion. The second issue was the rule of public policy that forbids the taking out of insurance by one on the life of another in which he has no insurable interest does not apply to the assignment by the insured of a perfectly valid policy to one not having an insurable interest.

The idea of ‘insurable interest’ still stands as a central tenet in insurance, for instance, I can’t take out a life assurance policy on a stranger because I face no loss in the event of their death, in fact, if you were the beneficiary of …

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The day I mis-sold an insurance policy

About five years ago I had a couple in with me who were buying a home, I was helping them to determine their insurance needs and I realised that they had literally no protection if either of them ever fell seriously ill – not via their job/employer schemes or individually. So I suggested that they consider some serious illness cover, it would have cost them about €20 a month but they were insistent that they only wanted what was ‘cheapest and nothing more’.

As an adviser, it isn’t my job to always accept what people say they want because often, with adequate probing and understanding they actually want something entirely different, a skewed but simple way of understanding what I mean is that when saving or investing the majority of people want ‘high growth and high security’ – when in fact, these two features are normally night and day, if there ever was an asset that could deliver high growth with deposit account style security then everybody would pile in and the market would adjust accordingly, therefore you need to …

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