Why do I need life insurance?
Life Insurance provides for those you leave behind and helps them after you are gone. Having life insurance means that those you care about can have some peace of mind around making sure the mortgage and the bills are paid at a time when everything else can seem tough. A life insurance policy helps your family maintain their lifestyle if you become terminally ill or if you die unexpectedly.
Why do I need critical illness cover?
If you are diagnosed with a critical illness, this cover will pay you a tax-free lump sum. Some people use it to pay bills while they aren’t able to work, help fund their treatment, or to get some extra help at home. It helps make your life easier while you are dealing with an illness.
Critical Illness covers you the first time you are diagnosed with any one of 24 different conditions. We also offer Serious Illness Cover which protects you the first time you are diagnosed with one of four serious conditions.
Why do I need income protection insurance?
If you are unable to work due to illness or injury, our income protection cover can help replace your lost income, so that the bills can still be paid, and stress on the family is reduced while you recover. In NZ we are lucky to have ACC, however, ACC doesn’t cover you when you can’t work due to sickness and statistics show the most likely reason that you may not be able to work for an extended period of time is an illness. ACC will only pay a maximum of up to 80% of your income as weekly compensation if you’re unable to work.
Does it matter if I have other Income Protection policies?
If you have an income protection product elsewhere already, we suggest you talk to us before taking out another policy, as you may not be able to claim on both policies. If it comes time to claim, and you receive income from other sources eg ACC or another government agency, this will be offset against your income protection payments.
How much cover do I need?
We have a range of tools to help you work out the right amount of cover for your needs. Use our calculator to get an estimate, or find out what level of cover others of your age and gender have asked for. You can also see what other people planning for a similar future to you have looked at. To find out more about our products, and what needs they meet, please contact us and we’d be happy to talk this through with you.
Does it matter if I have other life cover policies?
No. You can have as many policies as you like with as many companies as you like. If you have life insurance elsewhere, you may wish to look at switching it to Pinnacle Life and saving 20% on your premiums.
Can I get cover for my parent/partner?
Yes, they simply need to apply. Note that the person who is being insured must provide the answers to the health questions on the application form. When the policy is issued the insured person will also be the policy owner. If they want to change that, they will need to request an update using the 'change of ownership' form included in the policy.
What’s the difference between mortgage cover and life cover?
Life and mortgage cover both pay out a lump sum amount in the event of death or diagnosis of terminal illness of the person insured. A terminal illness claim will be paid out if we accept medical evidence that the insured person has 12 months or less to live.
For a life cover policy we’ll pay the owner of the policy, for a mortgage cover policy we’ll pay the lending institution you nominated.
With a mortgage cover policy you will also be eligible for a 5% discount if you are taking out the policy within 3 months of getting your mortgage approved.
What if I have a health problem? / Why do you want to know all of my medical history?
We assess your health at the time of your application to ensure that the price we charge you reflects the risks associated with your health. Doing this assessment at the time of application means there should be no hiccups or delays if you need to make a claim.
Having a health issue shouldn’t stop you from applying.
Your health conditions might affect your application, as depending on the condition, we may:
- accept your application at standard premiums, or
- we may ask you to pay a higher premium than the standard (called a loading), or
- we may defer your application for up to 12 months.
If, after you’ve answered our questions, we need more details about your health we may ask for your permission to get notes from your doctor.
What if I’m not sure whether I should declare something?
How long does it take to assess an application?
It really depends on your answers. For many people we’ll assess your information online and you have your life insurance cover in less than 10 minutes. If you aren’t accepted online we’ll be in touch on the next working day and will let you know the next steps.
If we need further information from you it could take a day or two, while if we need information from your GP, it will depend on how quickly your GP responds to our request. Some doctors respond within a week, others can take two or three weeks or sometimes longer.
What if I use more than one name?
Some people use a name that’s different from their legal name, while some people will have two legal names; your medical records might use one name and your driver’s licence something different. Getting things set up right at the start of your policy is going to make things easier for you or your family come claim time as there won’t be any hassles over identification.
If you use more than one name then when applying enter the name that you expect will appear on official documents like your passport (and your death certificate).
If you think that your medical records or death certificate might be in a different name then the one you’ve entered then contact us after you submit your application. Our team will talk you through the next steps, (eg we might need copies of your ID) and we’ll make sure you are using whatever name you prefer in correspondence.
When will I be covered?
If you apply for a policy online, are approved and accept the declaration you are covered straight away. We will send you a copy of your policy document for your files immediately. We then need to receive your first payment within 14 days. If we don't receive a premium payment from you, then your policy will be suspended until we do. If you need to claim within the first 14 days, we must receive the premium first.
Do I have to visit the doctor to apply for a life insurance policy or any other kind of policy?
Probably not – in fact less than 2% of customers who apply for cover need to visit a GP. Depending on your answers on the application form, we may require additional information from you or from your GP but this does not mean you have to visit them, we simply ask them to send us the relevant information from your medical file.
Occasionally we may require you to see your GP to have a medical exam or to have a blood test done, but if this is the case we will discuss it with you first.
How can I pay?
You can pay your Pinnacle Life premiums monthly, six-monthly or yearly. We prefer it if you pay by direct debit, however we also accept internet banking/automatic payment, cheque (for six monthly or annual premiums only), or credit card. When paying via credit card, a charge of 3.95% is added to your premiums.
We do not accept weekly or fortnightly payments.
Who gets the money?
For life insurance policies, claim payments are made to the policy owner or, if the policy owner has died, to their estate. For a mortgage, income protection or funeral cover policy, the beneficiary nominated in the policy document will receive any claim payments.
What are your age limits?
We offer life insurance cover to people aged between 18 and 75. You can apply online if you are aged 20 to 69, otherwise you’ll need to contact our office. For funeral cover you need to be aged 50 to 75 and live in NZ.
For income protection, we offer cover to people aged between 20 and 59 who are living and working in NZ.
What are your cover limits?
You can apply online for life cover from $100,000 to $1,500,000. If you’d like to apply for cover of under $100,000 or up to $2 million contact our office (there will be some extra medical check requirements for the higher cover levels).
For funeral cover we offer cover between $10,000 and $25,000.
You can apply online for income protection cover of up to a maximum of $12k per month (before tax income), although this may be lower depending on your age.