What is fully underwritten Life Insurance?
Before taking out Life or Income Protection insurance, you will naturally want to know how the cover compares to other products available. It can be difficult obtaining objective cost effective advice in relation to Life insurance.
In addition, most online comparison tools only compare price and there isn’t much about product features, let alone claims service.
Fully underwritten = greater certainty
One of the key points of confusion can centre around the difference between “underwritten” cover, which is assessed upfront, versus products that are not fully underwritten, where the assessment is made at the time of claim.
What is the difference with fully-underwritten Life Insurance?
NobleOak provides “fully underwritten” Life, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD), Trauma and Income Protection insurance cover. This means that we ask a number of health, occupation and lifestyle questions upfront and sometimes require medical tests and details of your medical records, to allow us to properly tailor your cover. The costs associated with these requests are usually covered by NobleOak.
This process does take longer than cover that is not underwritten, but results in far greater certainty about the risks we’re taking to insure you, and importantly greater certainty for you at claim time.
Competing policies that are not underwritten and assessed when you apply for cover, usually contain automatic exclusion clauses which apply to pre-existing medical conditions. In short, this means that any medical condition for which you are either currently being treated, or for which you have ever been treated by a doctor in the past, will be excluded from your policy. Death caused by any of these conditions may result in a claim being declined.
Some insurance companies will exclude all pre-existing conditions from coverage, even though you may not have had treatment over the past 20 years. This is what’s known as a total pre-existing exclusion clause (PEC).
These types of policies (that are not underwritten) often result in the Life insurance company performing a more detailed review at the time of a claim arising, and this process will nearly always delay payment of the claim.
Do it right – not just fast
At NobleOak we believe you should have utmost faith and confidence in your Life insurance cover, particularly as you’re paying premiums for the security of being properly insured. By completing the underwriting process prior to the Life insurance or Income Protection policy commencing, you will know exactly what you are covered for under your Life insurance benefits with NobleOak.
In some instances NobleOak’s acceptance may be subject to a medical loading (an increase in premium rates) or possibly an exclusion specific to a client’s particular situation. In these circumstances we always ensure the client understands the basis for the loading or exclusion and that there is agreement to the revised terms before the cover commences.
NobleOak’s award-winning Life Insurance product offers many features and benefits to ensure you can find the right cover for your circumstances. Several features and benefits are outlined below:
Financial Advice benefit
Most of us are not used to receiving large lump-sum payments. Such payments require careful management to provide for you and your family’s immediate and future needs. Financial planning can be even harder to come to grips with during a distressing time of shock or bereavement.
At NobleOak we understand that you or your estate may need some professional assistance to ensure that the proceeds of a Life Cover, TPD Insurance, or Trauma (Recovery) Insurance claim payment are managed appropriately.
If NobleOak pays a benefit of more than $200,000 for one of these claims, we will reimburse the cost, up to $2,000, of engaging a qualified, licensed financial adviser to help you prepare a financial plan for managing the payment.
Financial Advice Benefit is only payable once in respect of the life insured. Evidence that the advice has been received and paid for must be provided to NobleOak within 6 months of the Life, Trauma or TPD benefit payment. Please note that because of superannuation laws, we are typically unable to offer this benefit where the cover is held by an SMSF.
Future Increases benefit
Most people will experience changes in their lives which will impact on their financial responsibilities. As you move through the different stages of your life, you may find that your current insurance doesn’t cover your evolving needs. With NobleOak Life Cover and NobleOak TPD Insurance, you can increase your cover amount by as much as $100,000 (depending on your original cover amount) per year without having to provide further medical evidence, for the following allowable events:
- You take out or increase a mortgage on your primary place of residence
- You marry, officially register a partnership or commence a de facto relationship recognised at law
- You or your partner gives birth to or adopts a child
- Your spouse dies
- You get a divorce
To be eligible for the Future Increases Benefit, you must be less than 60 years of age when the allowable event occurs and you must notify us within 90 days of the event. While you will not have to provide further medical evidence to increase your cover, you will need to provide evidence of the relevant event, e.g. marriage or birth certificate, adoption papers, or mortgage documents. Increases to the cover amount can only be requested once per year and the total value of increases cannot exceed 100% of your original cover amount.
Grief counselling benefit
At NobleOak we understand that your death or diagnosis with a terminal illness can be a very emotional time for you and/or your partner. That is why we will reimburse the cost of services in addition to your NobleOak Life Insurance benefit.
If we pay a benefit for death or terminal illness, we will reimburse the cost of grief counselling for you or your spouse or partner, up to the value of $1,000. Grief Counselling Benefit is only payable once in respect of the life insured.
The service provider you choose must be appropriately qualified and registered for grief counselling and you will need to provide evidence of the services and receipts for payments made. Such evidence must be received within 12 months of the death/terminal illness benefit payment. Please note that because of superannuation laws, we are typically unable to offer this benefit where the cover is held by an SMSF.
NobleOak Life cover products are fully-underwritten Life insurance contracts. As long as your disclosures are complete and accurate when you apply, you can rest assured that any future claim will be paid in accordance with our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
It’s also important to note that once your cover has been accepted your future premiums and cover will not be affected by any subsequent changes in your own health, lifestyle, occupation or pastimes. Life insurance companies can only change rates if they change them for every insured person, not you alone. This is guaranteed for the life of your cover, whether it’s 5 years, 10, 20 or 30 years.
Find out more about NobleOak’s comprehensive Life insurance by speaking to our insurance specialist or go online and request a quote today.