Most Common FAQ
Is there a waiting period before life insurance becomes effective?
No, not when you use our services. While your application is being processed, you are usually covered by a level of interim insurance. You should refer to the individual insurance companies PDS for more details about that option.
If you are using a telemarketer to buy life insurance you may not be covered for the first 5 years so you need to read all the fine print when dealing directly with an insurance company. We believe the safest option is to use a professional non-aligned insurance adviser to look after you rather than risk it.
Frequently asked questions about Life Insurance Essentials
What affects the price of an insurance policy premium?
Insurance premiums are structured to reflect the degree of an individual's risks a life insurance company accepts. eg: Smoking or not smoking.
Your type of employment will affect the policy premium. eg: a typical university-qualified professional working in a predictable environment like an office, would usually cost less to insure than a blue-collar Scaffolding Tradesman working on a high-rise building.
- If you have hazardous hobbies or pastimes, like competitive car racing, skydiving or deep-sea diving on shipwrecks, you would expect the premium to be increased to cover the additional risk.
- If you just go to the gym to keep fit or cycle or go bushwalking on the weekends, you wouldn't expect any premium increase.
- If you wanted a particularly large amount of insurance cover, eg: over $2,000,000 all life companies will request an HIV test, regardless of your age, gender, health or occupation.
What are the main reasons people claim on their Income Protection Insurance?
In 2019 over $33 million dollars in claims were paid out each day by the Australian Life Insurance industry.
- Accidentis the top cause of claims across men (24%) and women (28%)
- Mental Healthwas only number 5 on the list for men (10%) but a clear second for women (22%).
Unfortunately the trend for these figures to continue to rise post COVID19 pandemic.
What are the main reasons people claim on their Life Insurance?
In 2019 over $33 million dollars in claims were paid out each day by the Australian Life Insurance industry.
- Cancer is by far the number one cause of death claims in men (39%) and women (61%)
- Accidental Death is much more prevalent in men (20%) than women (7%)
What does a Life insurance application look like?
A typical application is made up of two sections.
- Part 1 The Basic Questions like who you are, your type of occupation and whether you have special travel or pastimes that have a higher risk eg: do you take regular treks to the Himalayan mountains every year or do you race vintage motorbikes etc.
- Part 2 The Personal Health Questions There are approximately 30 - 40 health-related questions to complete.
Today where possible we use online and over-the-phone options to complete Life insurance applications so the whole process becomes easier and more private.
What does it cost to apply for life insurance?
At the moment, nothing. The cost of applying for life insurance is included in the policy premium.
- You don’t pay for anything until you have a policy in your hands and you're sure it’s what you want to put in force.
- We also have a 30 day cooling-off period for all Life Insurance contracts so that if you change your mind, you are not disadvantaged.
You might be interested to know that it usually takes an insurance company three to seven years before they begin to make a profit from a policy. We use technology to make sure that the only people that start the application process are those with the very best chance of success.
What does it mean when a policy is fully underwritten upfront?
Peace of mind. The degree of risk is assessed and the application completed at the time you make the actual application, not when you need to make a claim. Having a professional policy that's fully underwritten upfront ensures all the assessments by the insurance company are completed so you (or your family) don't have nasty surprises at claim time.
What does the phrase subject to underwriting mean on an insurance quotation?
When we provide an insurance quote, it's a projection, dependent upon the final underwriting process completing successfully.
- When we start the process we try to provide a quote projection based upon the information you have supplied to date on a worst case scenario.
- After we get the opportunity to review your medical situation in detail, we then work back to a best case scenario that is usually cheaper too.
A pre-assessment involves two steps
- Quoting is the first step
- Underwriting is the final step in the assessment and includes a careful review of any medical reports.
After the formal underwriting process is completed, you might receive a revised quote depending upon your medical history.
It might take longer than expected, but the process delivers a fully underwritten policy that provides peace of mind that all assessments decisions have been completed and you know exactly where you stand.
What is an Underwriter and why should I care?
Underwriting is simply the process that an insurance company uses to measure the degree of risk that you might present as a potential client. For example; people who regularly go hang-gliding on weekends might present a higher risk than those that don’t. The person responsible for this assessment is called an Underwriter.
What is Tele-Underwriting?
Telephone Underwriting is a confidential and efficient service where some life insurance companies allow the personal health questions in an application, to be answered by you over the phone with a trained medical underwriter, rather than face to face with your adviser if you wish. Tele Underwriters also work after hours so you can choose a time convenient for you.
What is the phone number for unusualrisks.com.au?
1300 137 403
Unusual Risks Insured AustraliaCall now: 1300 137 403
What’s the possible outcome of an application for insurance?
There are usually 3 outcomes that an application for insurance can have.
- Accepted – this is where an insurance policy is offered on standard terms for you to review and accept. (This is the best-case scenario).
- Loaded or Excluded – where an insurance policy is offered on non-standard terms eg: premiums are increased due to risk or specified conditions are excluded eg: covering all issues except a re-occurrence of a pre-existing back I injury etc. (This is still a good case scenario as it means you can still get cover).
- Declined - a decline decision can also mean that the life company doesn't have enough information at this stage to reach a decision. This might happen if your GP has recommended you see a Specialist about an issue, and you haven’t yet seen the Specialist ( so the usual information is not yet available). In this situation, your medical information is considered 'not yet complete' so a final underwriting decision cannot be made until the information is complete So the application is declined.
Insiders tip: Be aware all Insurance policies that are offered with non-standard or amended terms of cover or conditions usually have to be accepted within 21 days. (This is because a person's health can change over time).
What is the chance of needing to claim on a life insurance policy?
What’s the risk with Telemarketer sold Life Insurance?
The cautionary phrase, 'Let the buyer beware,' perhaps applies more than ever in this space.
- Directly sold life insurance is often explained as a 'watered-down life insurance product' usually sold through telemarketers direct to a consumer, without the assistance or advice of a Financial Adviser, Risk Insurance Adviser or Financial Planner.
Telemarketer directly sold insurance products are typically more expensive when compared to fully underwritten high-quality life insurance products. This is because direct products are designed with limited or no underwriting assessments so the insurance company is taking a greater risk, and charge you to cover it.
So what type of life insurance policies don’t do underwriting upfront?
Usually, those sold by telemarketers and other low grade insurance resellers. Some of the more common life insurance policies sold through telemarketers have the bulk of their underwriting assessment done at claim time. For the uninformed consumer, we say this is dangerous (probably bordering on crazy) because you never really know if you are insured until you have to claim.
- This means that for the first 5 years you may not be covered for what you expect. (Have a look at the fine print of these policies and see for yourself)
- It also means that at claim time, if an insurance company were to decide that you were never really eligible for the policy in the first place, they simply won’t pay out the claim and might simply refund the premiums paid to that date.
- The risk to you of not understanding the fine print is particularly significant.
Where is the peace of mind with this type of policy you ask? Yep, we’re still looking for that ourselves. Without the assistance of a speciality risk adviser from unusualrisks.com.au you’re totally on your own. And who will be there for you and your loved ones at claim time? A
What types of information do you request from my Doctor or Hospital Clinic?
As part of the typical underwriting process, a life insurance company will usually request a medical history report from a person's nominated GP or Medical Specialist when they are applying for life insurance above $1,500,000 or have a current health issue.
- A formal written request for a medical report is made (and paid for) by the assessing life company along with an explanatory letter and a copy of the applicant's signed authority agreeing to exchange information.
- The request is usually in a question and answer form that asks about specific outcomes.
If you would like an editable PDF version of such a form you can ask us for one and take that direct to your GP or clinic too.
What's the difference between Life Insurance and Life Insurance products?
Life insurance is part of the personal insurance industry and life insurance products are similar products like Income Protection insurance, Crisis or Trauma Recovery insurance, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Insurance, Children Crisis insurance and alike.
They are all concerned about protecting people; not things.
What's the difference between Personal Insurance and General Insurance?
Massive - understanding this difference gives you a significant advantage!
Because there isn't a universally recognised name for personal insurance products as a group, many people make the mistake of thinking that its the same as general insurance. It’s not. (The only real similarity we would suggest is the word ‘insurance’).
We like to explain it this way:
- Personal insurance products: usually protects people
- General insurance products: usually protects things
All personal insurance products are usually related to ‘an individual's personal needs’ and the policies are designed to protect ‘people’.
General insurance is usually related to ‘things’ like cars, houses and (gasp) pets.
What's the main difference between TPD and Crisis Trauma insurance?
The main difference between crisis/trauma insurance and total and permanent disability insurance (called TPD) is crisis/trauma insurance will pay you for the specified illnesses listed in the policy, while you are trying to get back to work, while TPD insurance doesn't pay you unless you are disabled and more likely than not may never go back to work.
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