Ronan’s Monthly Blog – Protecting your Biggest Asset – Family
Back in 2010 I did an article (blog now) on our old website highlighting the need to keep your serious illness contracts up to date in terms of the illnesses covered. At the time support from Microsoft on the windows office 7 was to be discontinued and we tried to make comparisons with the need to switch from the old to the new in most situations. Most people will agree that the Microsoft packages are great software, but we all want and need the new versions with all the essential supports. Similarly, your 2010 serious illness contract will not have the same benefits or supports as the new contracts in the market place today. We all know the importance of updating your systems and not withstanding some specific factors (age / smoker/ non- smoker) the same could be said in assessing your families need for life and serious illness cover.
Research has identified real issues that come to the fore that in some shape or form hinder people from considering switching providers of a practical service or product. Issues such as:
A. Not knowing such options to change is available
B. Blind loyalty
C. Believing that they may be at a loss
D. Risk aversion
All the above come to the fore (consciously or unconsciously) when you may be thinking of switching a product or service. However, if these issues can be satisfied and your concerns assessed, looking at a new contract to cover your need for serious illness protection has to be ‘seriously’ considered.
Claims and the facts:
We constantly advise our clients that serious illness cover will NOT cover every ailment under the sun. Indeed, claims and payments will only be made on the listed and documented illnesses in the contract and policy document. However, the cover has become more expansive over the years and provides realistic cover and provision if/when such an untimely event happens in a family.
If you do suffer a serious illness – what could you rely on?
Firstly, you should check with your employer to see what sick-pay arrangements they have in place. You could be surprised at how generous (or how poor!) some sick-pay arrangements are. You should also review what cover you already have in place –are you familiar with the terms of your existing policies? Check with a financial broker or advisor if you are unsure.
Consider the savings you have. Ask yourself how much you need to spend every month and work out how long your savings could last. Unfortunately for many Irish people, their savings may not last as long as they hoped.
Providers in the market place now can cover up to 70 serious illnesses (your old policy with cover less than 30 were covered in the initial contracts brought to the market place) including the three most common: Cancer, Heart Attack and Stroke. In fact, in 2017 these three illnesses accounted for over 80% of all claims. *Also, insurers have altered their Cancer, Heart Attack and Stroke definitions. What this means is that they expect to pay out on more of these claims once no non- disclosures apply and the definitions of cover apply.
So, What’s new:
We feel that this review of your cover is best practice in order to ensure that your priorities are been meet in terms of providing cover for your family. More importantly we feel that’s it’s imperative that you’re aware of any changes that may be coming down the line regarding the above. With this in mind we are informing clients that there is likely to be an increase in Serious Illness premiums for new contracts in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of this year. Our providers have informed us that this is due to their Re-Insurers increasing their costs. It’s not that more people are becoming seriously ill and making more claims, but in reality people are living through these illnesses and living longer. Therefore, please do review your current contract as the older policies will not have the same level of cover as the newer market leaders. If you have no such cover in place, now is the time to act. If these increases happen in the coming month, why pay up to 25%/30% more in a few months for the same policy.