August 2013 - It doesn't pay to be a loyal customer
On the life assurance, mortgage protection and serious illness front we have seen premiums fall.
In normal circumstances a person who took out a policy such as mortgage protection a year or even a few years ago wouldn't be expected to be able to obtain the same level of benefits cheaper today but a number of factors have combined to make this an excellent time to review what you are paying for these types of policies and to save money.
Life Assurance covers a broad spectrum of products such as policies you use to cover your family in the event of your untimely death to another form of life assurance called mortgage protection which is used to clear your loan if you die before the loan has been paid off.
Insurers are caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand they are looking for new business and on the other they want to protect the business they already have.
For this reason you won’t find many insurers going out there to tell you they have cheaper policies so it is up to you to approach the insurer or your bank or broker to see if you are getting the best price.
If you took out your home loan with Bank of Ireland, AIB or Ulster Bank then if you exercise your right by law to shop around for your own mortgage protection policy you can save money.
Here is a round up of the best deals out there:
LABrokers.iewill search for the cheapest insurer and discount the premium further by taking less commission. The lower commission they take means the premium a customer pays is reduced not only in the first year but in most cases for the whole life of the policy.
Caledonian Life are running a Switch and Save promotion. Subject to a few terms and conditions if you provide proof of what you are currently paying, the policy you have is no older than three years, you are under 50 and can answer ‘no’ to four health and alcohol questions on their application form and the policy you currently have is with Aviva, Friends First, Irish Life, New Ireland or Zurich they will endeavour to offer you a cheaper premium on a replacement policy. They do warn applicants not to cancel an existing policy until they have issued a new one and it is a condition of their offer that you cancel your old policy.
Caledonian originally stated this offer did not apply to their own existing customers but they changed this condition this week so even their own customers can avail of it.
Zurich life are running a promotion which is not available to their existing customers but which can give new customers paying on a monthly basis a 5% to 10% discount for the life of the policy depending on which broker you go through. Subject to certain terms and conditions, Zurich are also giving away free cancer cover of €10,000 on their new life assurance policies.
Irish Life will scan the main competitors for the cheapest policy. They will then match a competitor on price. A broker dealing with Irish Life will also have the option of giving up some or all of their commission which will see a further reduction in price. Irish Life offer dual life cover which pays out on each person separately and which is arguably better value than a joint life policy which only pays out on first death. They also have a market leading conversion option which is worth serious consideration.
These offers are only available if you ask.
Here is an example of current best offer on mortgage protection.
Falling premiums example - A couple both age 35 with a repayment mortgage of €250,000 over the next 30 years.
If they took out a policy today the cheapest policy could cost them €29.43 a month but if they were not too careful the dearest policy could be costing them €53.09 a month.
But that is not the only saving. If they went to a good broker they could probably get the same cover with a top insurer for as little as €23.55 a month.