Tag Archives: life insurance

How much are you worth?

26 Jul

I never really think about life insurance. I’m one of those people who likes to believe that Aaron and I will live to be 100 and nothing bad will happen to us. It’s a nice thought. But now that we have kids, we have to think about things like life insurance, no matter how unpleasant that may be. Sigh.

To help with such things, here is a post sponsored by GIO:

In the lead-up to the end of financial year, you may have noticed a few subtle prompts to
encourage you to get health insurance and to remind you about lifetime health cover loading.
Now it’s all over. You managed to get your sensible hat on, and you sorted out suitable cover for
you and your family.

Or maybe not.

It’s not always easy to get round to doing the big things when there are so many small things
to do in day-to-day life. Making breakfast, doing the laundry, making lunches, going to work,
taking the car in for a service, helping with homework, doing the vacuuming, washing the dishes,
making dinner, washing the dog, finding the pet hamster… and sleeping, at some point.

Getting round to the financial stuff not only takes time, it can take significant effort. However,
if you don’t keep on top of it, things can get a bit tricky. One of the big things to get sorted out if
you have a family (or even if you don’t), is life insurance.

Getting life insurance (click here to get started) is something many people put off, for one reason or another. You may be put off
by the time it will take to research all the providers and policies out there. You may be put off
because you don’t think having life insurance is all that necessary. You may be put off because
you don’t like to think that bad things could happen.

Whatever the reason, now is the time to set all that aside. While life insurance may not be
something you want to dwell on, it does provide a service – one that could make a huge
difference to your family, should the worst happen.

Depending on the cover you choose, your life insurance policy could provide a lump sum if
you become terminally ill, or if you die. You could also get funeral cover, which can provide a
payout quickly, to help cover the costs of a funeral.

You could get income protection insurance, that can help out financially if you are unable
to work. You could also get accidental injury or accidental death insurance, which can offer
financial help in the event of an accident.

There are numerous options, each with their own benefits. You will usually find you can tailor
the insurance to suit your own situation, and choose a level of cover that will benefit you and
your family the most.

Shopping online can also make the process of choosing the right policy much easier. You can
use a comparison site to make a quick evaluation, and you can use each provider’s own site to
find out more information, read the small print, and find the most suitable option. It’s much
quicker and much more simple than it used to be, and then when it’s done, it is done.

To make the process even easier, here a few things to look out for:

Find the right level of cover: Some people take their annual income and multiply it by ten to get
their level of life insurance cover. Some people use online calculators. You could also speak
to a life insurance expert, or a financial adviser – just make sure they are independent and not commission-based, so you know that the information they give you is not skewed towards any one product.

Make a short-list: With so many products out there, it can help to take a good look over all the
possibilities and then make a short-list. When you have the short-list, you can then look more
closely at the details, to find the policy that has all the features you need.

Read the PDS (Product Disclosure Statement): Always read the small print. This can be time-
consuming, but with something as important as life insurance, it really pays to make sure all the
details are correct. Check for exclusions, or any reasons you may not be eligible for cover.

Tailor your policy: Life insurance is not once-size-fits-all. Most insurers will allow you to tailor
your policy so that it best suits you. Check for any additional features that can be added on, such
as premium-free child cover (free cover for children added on to the policy).

Take stock: Review your policy every year or so, or when something big happens, like having a
baby. You may need to adjust your current policy, or look for a new one that is more suitable.

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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

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How the Health Rebate Changes Could Affect You

29 Jun

Since June 30th is the last day of the financial year, I thought it might be interesting to get a little more educated about health insurance. Don’t forget, you have to pay lifetime loading if you don’t have hospital cover by the 1st of July after your 31st birthday.

There has been a lot of talk recently about the changes being made in the rebate system for private

health insurance. The government claims it is being rolled out to help those in more impoverished
situations and hindering the amount of help given to those earning over higher thresholds. But are
the changes really representative the needs and situations of all involved?

Photo courtesy of Tax Credits http://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/

A lot of people, married people and families in particular, will not see any effect on their rebate
which will remain at 30% of their total household income is under $168,000 per year, adding $1.500
for each dependent child.

If you a single earner, your threshold is up to $84,000 per year before you see a decrease to 20%
rebate and up to $97,000 before you see a decrease down to just 10% and those earning over
$130,000 will not see any health insurance rebate at all.

With this, it seems that a lot of people are seeing health insurance as a luxury they can no longer
afford, especially if they are just on the wrong side of a threshold. It doesn’t help that the health
insurance industry makes it hard for people to understand exactly what they are signing up for and
how to understand the difference between different policies.

Online companies such as Choosi can make the process a lot simpler and you may find you don’t
have to give up your insurance entirely. It has been shown that up to $1500 could be saved if you
compare health insurance online. By simply having more information on your options, down grading
your policy couldn’t be easier. Cutting down on the premium insurance policies and getting right
down to the bones of health insurance along with choosing a much cheaper company can see your
health insurance bills plummet.

Don’t make the mistake that many people do by renewing with your current company; there
could be so many better deals out there. You should shop around every year to make sure you are
not losing out on money, this is even more important if you are losing out on government rebate
funds. Up to 80% of people would rather renew with their company than shop around, this goes
for everything, from life insurance to car insurance, but can you really afford to be as idle with the
added costs this year?

Review what the extras are that you think you might not need, look at your age and your status in
life, consider your life style and your family history and skim down your policy wherever possible. If
you don’t have private insurance the surcharge for Medicare has now gone up by 0.5% so holding on
to an insurance policy, no matter how skimmed down looks like the best thing to do.

*This post was written and sponsored by Choosi

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