How much life cover do you need?
Elsewhere, you can expect your spouse to receive about one to three times your final salary should you die while working for an organisation.
Also, if you take steps to improve your health, this might bring your premium down. The premium you are charged is determined by factors such as your age, whether or not you’re a smoker, your gender (females tend to live longer) and the size of the cover required.
Another way of looking to reduce the cost is to opt for a dual or joint policy if two people are applying for cover, as this can help bring down the cost. For example, two smokers looking for term cover of €160,000 over 15 years can expect to pay €138 a month for a joint policy with Caledonian Life, or €147 for a dual policy, as opposed to €154 if they were to pay it individually. A joint policy ends upon the death of one of the insured people – a dual policy on the other hand pays out upon each death.
Are there any exclusions?
While in years past it might have been impossible to get life insurance for someone who previously had a heart attack, insurance companies have moved in tandem with modern medicine. However, if you have a health issue which can limit your life expectancy, insurers will likely apply a loading.
According to Geraghty, this typically starts at about 50 per cent and goes upwards from there. So, if a typical monthly policy cost €50, if you have a health issue that is loaded, your policy will cost upwards of €75 a month.
If your health issues are “pending investigation”, then Geraghty advises that an insurer typically won’t underwrite a policy, which can become problematic if you’re in the market to buy a house. Lenders usually require you to take out a policy to protect the loan, although he notes that in some cases the lender might allow you to waive your right to the property in lieu of life insurance.
If you have a medical condition that you’re worried about, he recommends getting a broker to discuss your case with several life insurance companies before you make a formal application.
Otherwise, if you make one with an insurer which is likely to turn you down, you will have to disclose this refusal on subsequent applications.