Canstar’s Direct Life Insurance Star Ratings uses a sophisticated and unique ratings methodology that compares both cost and features across direct life insurance products. Canstar star-rated products represent a shortlist of products, enabling consumers to narrow their search to products that have been assessed and ranked.
The star ratings for direct life insurance are assessed across 20 consumer profiles based on age group, gender and smoking status. For more information about the consumer profiles, view the methodology report.
Direct Life Insurance Outstanding Value Winners – 2018
Each product reviewed for Canstar’s Direct Life Insurance Star Ratings was awarded points for its comparative pricing and positive features. A product’s total score is equal to its price score plus its features score.
After crunching the numbers, Canstar has announced the three standouts who are the recipients of the 2018 Direct Insurance Outstanding Value Award:
- Insure Me Now
Canstar Research found Allianz performed strongly across both price and features for its Life Plan product. It was found to be competitive in a range of age groups, particularly for insured amounts of $500,000 with premiums consistently below market average. When it came to features, Allianz performed well including the transparency it offered customers in providing an immediate decision regarding whether cover of up to $1.5 million would be granted or declined in all circumstances. The person insured also wasn’t required to be the owner of the policy.
Other standout features for Allianz include 24-hour worldwide cover, meaning you are still covered when travelling overseas and a terminal illness benefit of up to $1.5 million offered if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. This can assist with costs such as paying medical bills, pre-paying funeral costs, and paying off a mortgage or other debts.
The table below displays Allianz’s direct life insurance product Life Plan. The star rating shown is based on a non-smoking male aged 30-39.
Insure Me Now
Insure Me Now’s Superior Life product received eleven 5-star ratings across a range of profiles and the company also received this award in 2016. Canstar Research found Insure Me Now performed well in both price and features. It was particularly competitive in the twenties, early fifties and late fifties age groups and was a price leader for male profiles for people aged in their late fifties. In terms of features, Insure Me Now stood out when it came to exclusions as typical exclusions did not apply, such as death as a result of being under the influence of alcohol/drugs, working at heights or underground, or participating in dangerous pursuits such as motorsport, mountaineering or hang gliding.
A premium freeze is also offered, meaning your premiums can be ‘frozen’ upon request, so they do not increase each year. However, be aware that when a premium freeze is applied, your sum insured decreases each year as you age.
The table below displays Insure Me Now’s direct life insurance product Superior Life. The star rating shown is based on a non-smoking male aged 30-39.
NobleOak has received this award for a third consecutive year for its Premium Life Direct product. This product received 5-Stars in all profiles considered and Canstar Research found the primary driver of this strong performance was low premiums, which reduced by 5% for all insurable amounts compared to last year.
NobleOak offers a number of features such as guaranteed future insurability, so a person can increase the sum insured when their circumstances change, e.g. when they marry or start a family. In addition, suicide is only excluded in the first 13 months of the policy, and other typical general exclusions do not apply, such as death as a result of being under the influence of drugs/alcohol, working at heights or underground, or participating in dangerous pursuits such as motorsports, mountaineering or hang-gliding.
Other standout features include optional additional coverage including total permanent disability (TPD) cover of up to $5 million and trauma cover of up to $2 million. This can be added without the requirement for the consumer to obtain advice.
The table below displays NobleOak’s direct life insurance product Premium Life Direct. The star rating is based on a non-smoking male aged 30-39.
How does Canstar compare direct life insurance?
Canstar weighted products’ price and features scores to arrive at a total score – price was given a 70% weighting while features occupied the remaining 30%.
These weightings were assessed against the 20 consumer profiles based on age, gender and smoking status, with a star rating assigned for each profile. A non-smoker was defined as a person who hadn’t smoked for 12 months.
The price score was based on the total premiums paid for policies over three levels of cover: $250K, $500K and $750K.
Canstar considered the following features when allocating a feature score:
- Standard company terms:
- General exclusions
- Pre-existing conditions
- Other company terms
- Application and claims process
- Claims process
- Applications process
- Interim cover
- Policy benefits and options
- Terminal illness
- Funeral benefit
- Riders (trauma and TPD)
- Guaranteed future insurability
- Other benefits and options
- Financial advice
- Policy terms
- Sum insured
To be eligible for Canstar’s Direct Life Insurance Star Ratings and Award, a policy must:
- Provide cover for sickness and accidents
- Not be restricted solely to members of a specific organisation
- Be available directly to the consumer without an intermediary (e.g. financial planner)
- Have quotes available:
- Online, from the rates in the product disclosure statement (PDs) or via information the provider supplies directly
- At all coverage amounts considered for comparison purposes
- To Canstar Research without the need for a medical
For more information about eligibility, view the methodology report.