Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But CANSTAR has done the digging to investigate Direct Life Insurance again this year and found some policies offering impressive levels of coverage for very reasonable annual premiums.
What life insurance features are on offer?
For the 31 products we assessed in 2016, some providers have introduced new features into their policies. Some of the features worth mentioning are:
- Funeral benefit: Offered by 29 out of 31 products considered.
- Guaranteed future insurability: Offered by 12 products out of 31 considered.
- Children’s Insurance: Only 2 products pay out a lump sum on the death of the insured’s child (Budget Direct – Life Insurance, and NRMA Fast Track). However, 9 products considered allow for this to be added as an “Optional” cover.
- Grief support counselling: 3 products out of 31 offer additional payments for grief support or counselling for family members (NAB – Essential Life, NobleOak – Premium Life Direct, and Woolworths – Life Insurance).
- Total and Permanent Disability Cover (TPD): 15 products out of 31 offer TPD cover as a rider (optional extras cover).
- Trauma Cover: 17 products out of 31 offer trauma cover as a rider.
- Premium waiver: Only one product waives the premiums if the insured person becomes disabled (GIO – Life Protect). 4 products allow for premiums to be waived if the insured person is experiencing financial hardship (AAMI – Life Insurance, GIO – Life Protect, Lets Insure – Life Cover, and Suncorp Insurance – Life Protect).
- Level premiums: Offered by 3 products out of 31 (Coles – Life Insurance, Lets Insure – Life Cover, ANZ – Life Insurance).
- Frozen premiums: 11 out of 31 products considered offer a premium freeze, which means that .
What’s on offer has certainly increased over the years. Compared to 2011, the average maximum allowable cover has increased from $980,000 to $1.2 million. What’s more, the number of providers we have assessed offering Guaranteed Future Insurability has increased from 14% to 39%. For more information about these features, read ” What features should you look for in a direct life policy?”
Are premiums getting cheaper?
How does the cost of life insurance compare this year compared to last year?
|Average Premiums 2015 vs. 2016|
|Figures based on $500,000 sum insured amount.||
As premiums are getting cheaper for some customer profiles, there’s never been a better time to compare what’s on offer and see if you can’t get an outstanding value policy for yourself. The future of you and your family may one day depend on the choice of policy you make, so you want to find the best fit for your situation, with as much cover as you can afford.
Does “community advice” stack up?
Many Aussies now prefer to obtain financial advice from friends and family instead of a financial planner. A survey by NobleOak in March 2016 showed that nearly 1 in 3 respondents (31.5%) primarily seek financial advice from family and another 1 in 5 (21.2%) ask their friends. This is followed closely by Googling financial topics on the internet (30%).
Less than 1 in 4 (24.5%) chose to seek financial advice from a qualified professional. 1 in 5 (20.3%) asked their accountant for advice.
There used to be a saying that “Life insurance is sold, not bought”, but in the era of Direct Life Insurance this is no longer true. Australians can now initiate their own research, find a policy they like, and apply directly to the insurer.
Almost 1 in 4 life insurance customers now take the Direct route, according to a survey by 2016 award winner, NobleOak Life Insurance. The worrying thing is that when it comes to life insurance:
51% of respondents said they do not seek any financial advice before making a decision.
This means that 1 in 2 life insurance customers may not be getting the right product fit for their situation. When comparing products, we advise that you obtain financial advice or at the very least, consider and do your homework before making your choice.This may sound like a stressful process until you remember that CANSTAR has already done the hard yards for you in comparing many policies available on the market. In 2016, we’ve compared 31 Direct Life Insurance policies from 28 different providers, to give 5-star ratings and an award to the policies that offer outstanding value.
Make a great choice for your future and “Be Canstar Sure”.