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Life Insurance Checklist

Life Insurance Checklist

Life Insurance can seem daunting. There are so many factors to consider when making the decision that it’s understandable that people put it off for a long time. We know that NZers need help understanding and getting their life insurance sorted. That’s why we’ve created a checklist for you to follow when you decide it’s time to tick life insurance off the list.

Here’s what you need to think about when sorting your life insurance in NZ.

Step 1: Understand who you are protecting

All insurance starts at the same place: understanding what/who you are protecting. Contents insurance is about protecting household assets, car insurance is about protecting your car, house insurance protects your home, medical insurance is your health, income protection is your income, and life insurance is about protecting your loved ones and dependents.

So, who are you protecting, and what are you protecting them from? Are you safeguarding your lifestyle if your income were to stop? Or, are you protecting your family if you were to pass away unexpectedly, become critically ill, or disabled?

Step 2: What cover do you need, and how much?

Once you understand who and what you’re protecting, it’s easy to understand the type of cover you should get.

The key to this is thinking about what worries you.
The key to this is thinking about what worries you.

Dying or leaving my family enough to pay my bills → Life Insurance.

Having an accident → Life Insurance + Disability Cover

Getting sick or getting a serious disease → Life Insurance + Critical Illness cover

Not working again → Income protection

The next step is to understand how much cover you need. Pinnacle Life’s lifecover ranges from $50,000 to $2 million, so it can be hard to understand where you fit. When choosing your cover amount, you’ll need to think about how much cover you want if the worst were to happen - do you need the minimum amount, enough to cover your essential bills or enough to maintain your current lifestyle? And, most importantly, how does the premium cost fit into your budget?

Working out how much cover you need is often the most overwhelming part, so if you’re unsure, we can help. Our online digital advice tool asks you about your current financial position and provides suggestions for the right cover amount. Alternatively, you can give our team a call on 0800 22 22 23.

Step 3: Research and compare policies

Finding the best policy for you can be the most time-consuming part. All insurance companies in New Zealand have slightly different policies. Most companies will have a draft policy available for download from their website - you can read ours here. When doing your research, you should look out for any extra benefits that might be included with your policy that would benefit you or your family. These may be things such as a terminal illness benefit or an early payout for your funeral., It’s important to note that these usually are reflected in the premium cost, so you may pay more for a policy with more ‘extra benefits’. We think we provide the best value cover in the market, but make sure to find this out for yourself.

Understanding when and what you can claim is especially important for critical illness, disability cover, and income protection. Most New Zealand life insurance companies have this information easily accessible on their website—it’s handy to understand the claims process before getting a policy. You can view our claims page here.

Finally, we highly recommend reading reviews on Life Insurance companies. Most New Zealand Life Insurance companies have a section where you can read customer reviews from trusted customers who have taken the time to write a review based on their experience. You can take a moment to read all our customer reviews here.

Step 4: Evaluate your health and lifestyle

Hopefully, by the time you get to this stage, you feel confident in the policy and company that you’ve chosen. Before you start the application process, you should prepare yourself for some questions that might come your way. Life insurance is based on age, health, pre-existing medical conditions and some lifestyle factors. So be ready for a health assessment and questions about your health, family history and high-risk hobbies.

Step 5: Application process

Now that you’re ready and prepared, you can complete your application. At Pinnacle, you can apply either over the phone (call 0800 22 22 23) or online. You’ll be provided a quote in 30 seconds and can continue the application to be covered in around 10 minutes. We’re the only life insurance company in New Zealand that allows a complete online application process for life insurance and income protection. This means you can do your application whenever and wherever suits you, and save it as you go if you need to hunt out any information.

In your application process, you must be completely truthful and disclose anything you are asked about. This makes things much more likely to go smoothly at claim time, as anything untruthful or not disclosed may result in voiding your policy.

Step 6: Review your draft policy

Before you click the green button, we’ll provide a draft policy - a preview of your policy. This will be what your final insurance policy looks like and should be carefully reviewed one final time before committing, ensuring all the details you’ve entered are correct and you have disclosed everything you have been asked about.

Step 7: Finalise

You’ve done the hard work - you can complete your application! At Pinnacle Life, the life insured is automatically the policy owner. Once your policy has been issued (made active), you can request that be changed to someone else. For an Income Protection policy, the person who will receive the claim money is called the beneficiary, you can change the beneficiary of your Income Protection policy anytime too.

Step 8: Maintain the policy

While the hard part of obtaining life insurance is over, it's important to remember that it's not a ‘set and forget’ thing. Regular checks, at least annually, are crucial to ensure that the amount of cover you have is still suitable for your needs. Keeping your provider updated with your latest contact details and communicating with your family about your policy are proactive steps that can provide peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones could contact us to make a claim if something were to happen to you.

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Life Insurance

Life Insurance provides for those you leave behind

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