Sunday, September 22, 2013

Trauma Insurance Part Two: Add Ons

Following on from our earlier post dealing with what you need to know about Trauma Insurance in the wake of its growing popularity among New Zealanders, this post will deal with the different types of Trauma Cover, and the optional add-ons to your cover that can help you get the most out of your insurance.

Most providers trauma insurance comes in two distinct types; Comprehensive and Essential (these names will sometimes vary between insurance companies). Comprehensive provides you with insurance cover for a large number of defined medical conditions, with the full payment of your sum assured if you suffer any of these conditions. Essential provides you with insurance cover for the same amount of conditions, however, you will only get paid out the full sum assured for small group of those conditions. For the others, you will only receive a partial payment. Think of 'comprehensive' as exactly what it says. It covers almost everything, but it comes with a higher cost. Think of 'essential' like 'the bare essentials', less cover but at a lower cost.

Cheaper with partial payments? Or more comprehensive with higher premiums? The choice is yours.
Now let's explore the add-ons to your insurance that can be arranged for either comprehensive or essential trauma insurance.

Specialist and Diagnostic Testing

This add-on benefit is designed to pay for your consultations and appointments with a specialist, which gives you the freedom to avoid the public health wait, get immediate treatment and have it paid for by your insurance. With a Sovereign policy for instance, each person covered by the policy get your specialists and diagnostics covered by $3,000 per policy year.

Children or Maternity Benefit

If you have children and you would like them to be protected under your trauma insurance policy, this is the option for you. If you purchase this add-on and your child suffers one of the defined conditions, it will provide a financial buffer to support you, which generally means that if you have to stop work or your child required specialised care, you are financially covered.

Buyback Benefit

This benefit allows your policy to be reinstated once again after you have claimed on it for one of the defined medical conditions. This is an option for those who wish their policy to continue or if there is more than one person covered to ensure that the others still have protection after one member has to make a claim.

Business Safeguard

This is an option that you can purchase if you are attempting to insure a growing business. Basically, it allows you to increase your sum assured as your business grows or your own personal value to your business increases.

Waiver of Premium Benefit

Perhaps one of the most important add-ons and the one that we certainly recommend the most. Waiver of Premium means that if you are injured or ill, but not with one of the conditions that will trigger your insurance claim, waiver of premium will pay your trauma insurance premiums for you, so that you can keep your insurance cover going.

Total and Permanent Disablement Benefit

If you suffer an illness or an accident that is not covered by your policy, but is serious enough to render you unable to work ever again, then this benefit will kick in and you will receive a full payment of your trauma cover.

That covers most of the add-ons that are offered in the NZ insurance market for your Trauma Insurance. If you have any further questions about trauma or any other forms of insurance cover, don't hesitate to ask.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fidelity Acquires Tower Life Insurance - What You Should Know

Recently, Fidelity Life has acquired Tower Life, which means that all of the risk policies currently under Tower (Life Insurance, Total Permanent Disability, Trauma Insurance and Income Protection) will now be managed by Fidelity and be dealt with under the Fidelity name. If you have Health Insurance with Tower however, these policies will now be provided by NIB Health Cover.

The good news is that for clients with existing Tower policies, not a great deal is going to change. All of the terms and conditions on your current policies will remain the same and nothing will be renegotiated or changed. Sums assured will remain, as will any exemptions, add-ons to your policy, and no existing premiums will be altered in any way.

The changes will really only affect clients looking to take out policies in the future. With the change, the range of Tower insurance products will no longer be sold and will be replaced by the Fidelity range. If your Tower policy was acquired through us, we will remain on hand to help manage your insurance in the same ways as before and nothing will change.

For more information about the changeover or if you have any questions, feel free to call us anytime on (09) 307 8200 or by email at

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Trauma Insurance - What You Need To Know

A recent article on Good Returns details recent changes by Insurance provider OnePath to their trauma cover.

The article also makes the statement that Trauma Insurance is becoming more popular among New Zealand consumers as a knowledge spreads through the populace that it is more likely to be claimed upon than life insurance.

"General manger of adviser distribution Jeremy Nicoll said it was a product that advisers should be discussing with their clients. “It does provide a good amount of money to help customers when they do have one of these conditions… Customers understand they are more likely to claim. Everyone has a friend who has contracted some form of cancer.”"

In short, for those who don't know, trauma insurance is a form of cover that pays out a lump sum to you if you suffer a critical illness. With the advances in medical technology, it is now highly likely that you will survive these conditions but will then be forced to undergo a period of recovery and rehabilitation where you will be unable to continue work and earn a living. Trauma insurance is thus designed to help you cope with illness and its effects on your family and your lifestyle.

Most providers will give you a full list of the conditions covered. Sovereign for instance, has 44 conditions that are covered, from the most common such as cancers, heart attacks or strokes to more rare conditions such as liver failure, lung disease, paralysis and neurological disorders. For a full list of Sovereign's covered illnesses and the conditions upon each, check out their Living Assurance PDF here.

There is a long list of conditions covered by trauma insurance. Make sure you know which ones are covered before you start and read all policy documents given thoroughly.

Trauma insurance is becoming more popular as the knowledge begins to sink in through first and second hand experience that in this day and age a quick death due to a sudden illness is more and more unlikely. The more likely scenario is a long period of recovery, but if you only have life insurance it will not pay out, leaving you in the lurch at your most stressful time.

With the statistics on critical illness in New Zealand the way they are, it's heartening to see Trauma cover becoming more popular, as it is important, perhaps these days equally as important as life cover (once considered the crucial form of insurance to have). Stay tuned for a future post on extra add on benefits you can add to your trauma cover to get even more out of it, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!