If you buy a house or need a will, you go to a lawyer. If your car breaks down, you take it to a mechanic. If you’re not feeling well you may Google your symptoms but you’ll head to the doctor for a proper diagnosis. In these scenarios, the benefit of going to a specialist outweighs the money you might save doing it yourself. Life insurance is no different. It’s an incredibly personal product and if you don’t know the ins and outs of what’s required when you apply you could be horribly disappointed when it’s time to make a claim and you get turned down. The job of your insurance broker is to steer you through what can be a complicated process. This will secure the financial future for you and your loved ones should something unexpected happen.
Buying personal insurance online doesn’t make it cheaper
There are websites out there which allow you to compare the cost of personal insurance cover from different companies. While this may be the quick and easy way to lock in your life cover – you’re playing with fire. When it comes to life insurance you must tell the insurance company everything about your medical, criminal and family background. If you get faced with a tick box in an application form that says, ‘Does your family have a history of cancer?’ and you select ‘no’ – even though you know there is a family history – you face the possibility of not being paid out if you need to make a claim. It’s too easy to be tempted to select the options you think will make your insurance cheaper when you’re doing it yourself online. While those options may make your premiums lower – the cost of not being paid out when you need it is far greater.
You don’t pay extra for a broker
The main role of your broker is to explain the importance of disclosure, present the best insurance options for your personal circumstances and most importantly – help you at claims time!
They know what policies will cover your needs – for example, some policies won’t cover natural disasters, accidents or illness overseas and there are life cover policies that expire when you reach 65-years-old. When it comes to applying for insurance you need to understand the fine print. Without any additional cost to your premiums, having a broker can save you the heartache of being turned down at claim time.
Having a broker makes the claim process faster and hassle-free
Making a claim is when you get the full benefit of having a personal broker. If your partner or a parent passes away, your broker will help you with the paperwork needed to lodge a claim as quickly as possible. They may even go to the GP with you to make sure you have all the information you need so your claim isn’t held up. If there are any issues with the claim your broker will handle these and negotiate the best outcome for you.
If your main objective is to secure life insurance at a cheap price you are taking an unnecessary risk. Having a broker doesn’t cost anymore. They will save you time and money when it comes to making a claim. For peace of mind – find an experienced, trustworthy insurance broker who you’re comfortable with.
Mike Broadbent is the director of Evergreen Life www.evergreenlife.nz.
Get in touch with him on 0800 577 366.
Read more of Mike’s columns here.