Life insurance, what is your experience?

Did you know you might have life insurance (death cover, income protection, total and permanent disability) through your superannuation? What does it cover you for? Industry research shows 4 out of 5 people have never checked to see if their life insurance meets their needs.

After a string of scandals, like Comminsure, the Government wants to know what you think needs to be done.

CHOICE is going to make a submission, but we need your help. Have you been sold a dud product? How easy was it to make a claim? If you could improve one thing what would it be?

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4 out of 5 never checked there insurance because those same 4 out of 5 are apathetic towards their superannuation full stop.

We realised that as non-citizens (Kiwis) with a SMSF, we were not covered for a multitude of things which Australians are. So we took out insurance, through our Super Fund. A year later it escalated by $1000.00 per year. We looked at the terms again, as our circumstances had changed.
The insured (my husband) is 63, but cutting hours to retirement. He, in effect, no longer works enough hours to be considered eligible. We contacted the broker that sold us the insurance, and were advised that surely we could add hours to make up the difference - paperwork or similar. We said we are not prepared to lie.
Then it took nearly 2 months to cancel the insurance. First, the cancellation documents were not sent, then proof of identity was required. They didn’t require any proof of who we were to set up the insurance, but to get out of it, suddenly 100 points were required and original documents needed to be mailed to them. This isncluded my details, as I am a trustee of the SMSF. PDF emails suitable for set up, but not for cancellation. We are happy to get out of the rort and will instead look at other options.

Yes; through my SMSF.

A few years ago I wanted to review my policies. I specifically sought out a fee-for-service adviser through my accountants at the time. I was very clear about wanting advice which would not be influenced by payment of commissions.(I wanted any advice to be in my best interests, not the interests of the insurance company or their agent/s.)

I received a voluminous appraisal and recommendations, for which I paid a fee of $3,850. I thought that was quite high at the time, but figured that as I had not done a detailed review for about 10 years, and had not shopped around for other advisers, I would not comment unduly.

My circumstances have changed a little over the past two years, so I contacted the adviser to ask him if he would review my life insurance policies. I felt I no longer needed as much cover…

I was referred on to another adviser in the same firm as the original adviser no longer worked in my geographic area. (I am not sure why that should be an obstacle with today’s technology.)

I was quoted $3 300 for this review. On querying this I was told: “Our fee for tailored advice and facilitation of all implementation actions was $3,850 (invoiced) + $8,877 insurance commission = $12,727 total remuneration.” (This refers to the amount I paid two years ago.)

I had no knowledge of the commission, and the original adviser knew I had issues with the concept of commission-based advice. (There was very good coverage of the problem on “The Check-out” programme on the ABC a few years ago.)

I am now seeking a truly independent financial adviser whose recommendations are not influenced by financial rewards from insurance companies, but I have no idea where to start looking, particularly as I would prefer a face-to-face meeting in the first instance.

Unfortunately neither Financial Advisers nor Insurance Brokers (there may be difficulty distinguishing the two if substantial commissions are paid) feature favorably in the Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey.

It would also be useful if Choice could provide some clarification about the implications of not having Trauma and/or TPD cover in lay persons terms. (I fail to understand how cancer and a heart attack have come to be classified as trauma.)

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Life insurance, like any other form of insurance, is only good when you die (or your house burns down or your car is in an accident). Unlike other forms of insurance, though, the sooner you die, the better it is.

I have just been refused insurance and my annual fee refunded! I took out Income Protection in 1996 or thereabouts and have faithfully paid my fees each year. I paid my annual fee in February this year and my money was refunded soon after. Unable to get an answer as to why either by ‘phone or e-mail i made an official complaint against ASTERON. They replied that they don’t insure people over 65!!! So, I have shown them the documents and my original policy showing that they will insure me until I’;m 99. They deny this and refuse to do anything. There is no Workers’ Compensation for over 65s and now no insurance. I have made a complaint to the Ombudsman for age discrimination. My Income protection also gives me Life Insurance. I have an accident and life insurance with the NRMA who are happy to keep me on. What do I do in this ever increasing disciminatory society?

I wanted to get life insurance but because I was at the time just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it was nearly impossible or extremely expensive.

Thanks for the comments all. Keep them coming :+1:

Income Protection Insurance is a joke. My partner submitted the claim August 2016 because she was not able to work due double lung transplant in May 2016. 90 days waiting period is already over. There were some follow up and submitted all paper work last September 2016. It’s December now - so been waiting over 3 months now without their decision if her claim was successful… Stressful times since she doesn’t have salary since May 2016.

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Both my wife and I had insurance cover when we were younger bu dropped it about 10 years ago. I have a small amount of death and income protection cover with my (industry) super fund. I had Prostate cancer 8 years ago which was successfully treated so my fund’s underwriter has refused additional cover. I have not pursued this as I am 61 now and will not work much longer, and I have a significant super fund balance, most of which will go to my wife if anything happens to me. She is in the same boat with a defined benefit (public service) pension which I get 70% of if anything happens to her. In short the super cover we have is sufficient security in case of an unexpected event.

Insurance is essential for those who haven’t had the time or opportunity to amass a large super balance i.e. younger families, self employed etc. The generous commissions paid by insurance companies are an additional cost to all those with insurance and do not encourage fair and impartial advice, so should be banned.

Life and income insurance can leave you cold . My father was the operations manager of a large insurance company so I thought I knew the ropes pretty well . I had insured my income , as I was self employed , and payed the policy for 16 years . It was to cover my wages for 2 years . I had an accident which lead to an illness , from which I still suffer . I put in a claim , the doctors put in all the relevant forms etc . One of the medications I had prescribed to me had a terrible reaction on me . I was rushed to hospital and naturally other medication was prescribed which I took with no side effects in place of it.
The insurance company then with held my payments on my claim stating that I had refused to take the prescribed medication , remembering the side effects of it had put me in hospital . The insurance institute got involved in the case , on my side , it dragged on for nearly 18 months . In that time I received 1 payment of $1500 . We ended up going to court , I had the backing of the insurance industry against the company involved . Outcome . I was offered 10 cents in the Dollar by the insurance company . That was the finding of the tribunal . I won’t tell you where I told them to put their 10cents . 16 years of paying a policy on time only to be treated like dirt . I could have appealed the decision but by that time my health was shot and really I just could not be bothered . Where was the justice in that .
Oh and just as an after thought , 6 months later the ATO sent me a letter demanding tax on money I had never received .Another 2 years and 2 court appearances before I won that one . It broke me because of legal fees etc . I suppose sh… happens as they say .

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The saga continues - well done Choice

Yet another insult by government apparently siding with voluntary industry self-regulation that is anything but.


Life insurance industry is rife with misconduct, parliamentary inquiry finds:


Many Australians are still stuck in insurance processing hell:

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