We’ve paid 98.7%* of the claims made on our policies. That’s because everything we do, from the moment you first take out a policy, is about making sure we can pay your claim when the time comes. The point of life insurance is that if the worst happens, you or your loved ones have what you need financially. That’s why we do what we do.
*as at 1 February 2019
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To make a claim, the policy owner or someone acting for them simply needs to contact us by phone or email, we’ll then take a few details and advise all the information required for your claim.
Here is some of the information we may ask for, but we recommend talking to our claims team early on, as they’ll be able to determine exactly what will be needed, and we might be able to help gather some of the required information. They’ll put everything in writing to you as well.
For a death claim we’ll need a copy of the insured person’s death certificate, and a coroner’s report if one has been issued.
For an illness or disability claim (like a terminal illness, critical or serious illness claim or a cancer cover claim) we’ll need a written opinion from a medical specialist confirming that the insured person meets the criteria outlined in the policy document. We may then need further information, including information from the insured person’s doctor.
For an income protection claim, if you become unable to work, we’ll need details of the illness or injury, details of medical practitioners who have been involved in your case, and evidence of any income you’ve been receiving from either your employer or accountant. We will need to complete an initial claim form, and there will be ongoing requirements while you are unable to work.
If you are making a claim for accidental death cover we’ll need the items required for a death claim and a copy of the coroner’s report.
We’ll always need proof of identity, like a birth certificate or passport, and a form signed by the person receiving the payout.
In all cases if we need further details we may go back to your doctor.
If your name on the policy document doesn’t match the name on the claim documentation supplied (which does happen sometimes) we may need to make some further enquiries. If you use more than one name it’ll be easiest if you call us now and we can get your other names verified and recorded on our system.
What happens if I (or my family) want to make a claim?
Call us on 0800 22 22 23. The circumstances of every claim are slightly different so our team will take a few details from you, give you some information over the phone, and then put it in writing to you.
Once you send the details back to us we’ll assess the claim. We aim to keep in touch with you throughout the process so that you’ll always know what’s going on and what the timeframes are.
When can I claim?
This varies from policy to policy, but if you have life insurance with us you’ll be able to claim if you are diagnosed with a terminal Illness (definitions in the policy document), and in the event of your death.
If you have Income Protection insurance with us, you’ll be able to claim if you are unable to work for a longer period than your waiting period (the period you nominated when you applied for the policy).
Other policies can be quite varied, so if you want details please call the Pinnacle team and we can go through your policy with you.
Who gets paid?
For most policies the claim payment will be made to the policy owner, or if the policy owner has died to their estate. For a mortgage, income protection or funeral cover policy any payment will be made to the nominated beneficiary.
Mike Roxburgh, a Pinnacle Life Policy holder, talked to Patricia Thompson (a freelance writer) about his experience when he had a brain haemorrhage and how income protection helped him and his family.
Monthly payments and no pressure – income protection helps Mike’s road to recovery
Two years after taking out an income protection policy with Pinnacle Life, Mike Roxburgh suffered a brain haemorrhage, which has required a long period off work to recover.
“Making the claim for income protection with Pinnacle couldn’t have been simpler,” says Mike. “I made contact with Pinnacle and they rang me back and said, ‘This is what your policy is for.’”
As GM Sales and Marketing for an IT company, Mike, 56, from Wellington, was originally attracted to Pinnacle by the ease of accessing insurance online.
“I wanted to try that experience and it was very quick and simple. I set up life insurance for myself and my wife and income protection for me. I didn’t even have to speak to anyone.”
Income protection cover provides a regular monthly payment to help replace your income if you are unable to work due to illness or injury. In March 2018, Mike was cycling home from work when he developed a “huge headache”. When it didn’t abate he went to his local after hours surgery, where staff called an ambulance.
“I was in hospital for a week and was fortunate that I didn’t need surgery, as the bleed had stopped, but healing is all a matter of time. The injury affects everything you do. I can’t concentrate for very long and can only read, watch TV, work on the computer or even walk for short periods.
“I let work know that I would be away for an extended period and I’m on medical leave without pay. The Pinnacle income protection policy covers 70 per cent of my income for up to two years, and that’s been a life-saver. Without it we would have been in financial trouble.
“After this happened to me, lots of people at my work were rushing to get income protection cover. It’s like fire insurance. You don’t think you’ll have a house fire but you want to be covered for it.
“I’ve been off work for six months now. I’ve heard of people in similar situations who have had to go back to work sooner than they should as they don’t have income protection, and that doesn’t help with their recovery.”
Mike’s GP and his rehabilitation therapist assess his fitness to work and he just needs to update Pinnacle on the situation each month.
“I always deal with the same person at Pinnacle, Emma, so I feel there’s a relationship and she really understands my case. She gives me a call each month for a chat and I fill in the standard forms. It’s just really easy, there’s never any pressure on me.