Category Archive: Uncategorized

Should I buy insurance online?

More and more, people are using the internet to buy what they need. In many respects it’s become a very useful and cost effective way of doing business. I personally make use of new technologies to meet with clients online rather than face to face. This way I can meet with more people, even those who don’t live close to where I am.

When it comes to insurance there are plenty of ways people to get insurance online. These sites claim that they make the process much easier and less time consuming for clients. But I’m of the view that if you understand why it is important to have insurance in the first place, to protect those things that are most important to you, you want to make sure that the cover that you pay for will do exactly that.

Here are some key learnings I want to share with you.

Cost

Contrary to popular consumer belief, pricing is actually similar between purchasing online and buying through an adviser. Sometimes advisers even have better prices. If a client buys a policy through an adviser, the risk is lower for the insurance company as advisers are professionally trained to choose the right policy for their customers, and not to under insure, avoiding unnecessary claims.

You should also keep an eye out for deals offering discounts on premiums as the discount usually only applies for the first years of the premium.

Most insurance advisers don’t charge fees, so you are accessing all their knowledge at no cost to you other than your time. In my opinion, this makes the process more cost effective for you.

Ease

It’s true, buying online means you can do it at a time and place that suits you. A financial adviser on the other hand, will ask to have a meeting with you, which can take up to an hour. However, as I mention before I do a lot of meetings online so my clients don’t have to spend time travelling to the meeting and we have more flexibility in terms of times to meet.

That said, an adviser is more pro-active and will be available to answer queries. This is particularly important when you want to make sure the cover you get suits your needs and you will be able to claim on it if the time comes.

Peace of mind

No big surprise with this one. Advisers are far more efficient at cross-checking policies than consumers. Advisers can also explain why you would need a certain policy and what the different options are, they deal with insurance day in and day out so they can walk you through the process.

When buying online you do all the work yourself. Though you might save time through the application process, what is really important is to have the peace of mind of knowing that should something happen you can actually claim on that insurance that you pay for every month.

So… in conclusion

We all know that insurance is not something most people get excited about buying. But if you are going to pay for it, you want to know you are paying for the right thing. Yes, my opinion might be biased, but insurance is of an incredibly complex nature and you might have a hard time doing all the work yourself.  Or even understanding what cover you should get to make the best decision for your loved ones or your business. So my recommendation is to spend a bit of time upfront to make sure you don’t end up trying to claim on a policy that doesn’t suit – a policy which you have been paying for years.

 

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Start-Up Business Insurance

tax
It’s hard work getting a new business off the ground, but the rewards of self-employment are well worth the effort. One way to ensure the long-term success of your business is to protect it in case you become sick or injured. Start-up business income protection is designed specifically for newly-opened businesses and businesses less than three years old to help their owners plan for the unexpected.

 

Start-Up Business Income Protection

You’ve put a lot of time, money and other resources into starting and building your new business. So it makes smart business sense to protect that investment if you’re unable to work. While new business owners take a chance that a serious illness or injury won’t happen to them to save on insurance costs, the statistics show the consequences of that risky decision. According to New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), an estimated 1,880 businesses ceased operation because of an injury to the owner or a key staff member.

TIP!: If you want to save on your ACC Levies click here

Start-up business income protection will ensure your business isn’t added to those statistics. With this cover, you receive a monthly benefit payment to keep your business going if you are unable to work because of an illness or injury. The amount of your monthly payment is based on the amount of coverage you selected and continues until you are well enough to return to work full time.

How to Insure Your New Business

Because start-up business income protection is designed for new businesses there’s no financial proof of income or profitability required. Simply choose a policy and your acceptance is assured – subject to medical underwriting. As your business grows, you have the option to upgrade your business income protection insurance. The cover period is stepped and depends on the length of time you have been in business for.

The sum assured varies between $2,000m and $8,000pm.

The benefit payment period will vary between 6 and 24 months depending on the length of time you have been in business. Once you pass the 24 month period you can revert to standard cover which gives you better provisions such as cover to age 65.

TIP! If you want to know more about Income Protection and how it works then click the blue html link and you will be directed to a small 3 min animation.

Since start-up business income protection differs among insurance companies, the best place to start is with a coverage and rate comparison. You can get a free, no-obligation comparison here, which includes options and rates from up to seven different insurance companies. You’ll be able to do a side-by-side comparison of benefits, benefit payment period options, waiver of waiting period options and coverage costs so you can decide what’s best for you and your business.

Or contact our help line today O8OO INCOME – help@ipinz.co.nz

Now that you’re newly self-employed, it’s time to get the protection you need to ensure your business gets off the ground and on its way to success.

 

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Farmers Income Protection

sheep shearingFarmers Income Protection Keeps Your Farm Running

For farmers, there’s no calling in sick or taking time off without planning ahead. Your livestock or crops need attention 24/7/365 so you can make a living. Another key component to growing a successful farm business is farmers income protection. It gives you the financial security you need when you’re unable to work the land.

Keep Your Farm Running

Illness and injuries are a part of life. But when you’re tending a farm, they can get in the way of making a living. Just one serious illness or injury could impact your finances significantly, unless you are properly insured.

Many farmers protect themselves with farmers income protection insurance. It pays you a monthly benefit whenever you need to take time away from your farm due to illness or an injury.

With the monthly benefit, you can hire a contractor to perform your farming duties until you are able to return to work. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your farm is still operating while you recuperate.

Farmers Insurance Options

Farmers income protection policies vary among insurance companies. For example, some insurers determine your monthly benefit based on your farm’s turnover, while others may have a maximum benefit amount based on your income. Some policies include additional coverage, such as a recurring disability benefit, an overseas disability benefit and a business security benefit.

A good way to learn more about your farmers income protection choices is to do a coverage and premium comparison. Such a comparison allows you to compare the different policies side-by-side, including their benefits and rates. Then you can choose the best one that meets your coverage needs and your budget.

You can get a free, no-obligation rate comparison here that includes up to seven different companies, contact john@ipinz.co.nz or call 08ooINCOME

With farmers income protection, your farm will keep producing while you recover from your injury or illness. It’s a good farming tool for growing your financial security now and in the future, no sunlight, watering, or feeding required!

 

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Business Insurance Protects Your Company

Business-Man-300x200

Have you ever given thought to how your business would continue to function if you are unable to be there long term because of an injury or illness?

How would business expenses get paid?

What happens to your employees?

These are important questions that business owners need to resolve to protect the enterprise they worked very hard over the years to make successful.

 

Ensure Business Success

Business insurance is a must for any business owner, no matter the size or type of business. Not only does it give you peace of mind when you’re facing a personal situation, but it also pays business expenses for up to 12 months whenever illness or injury prevents you from working.

Business insurance payouts are cut and dry, providing you with a simple, hassle-free process. When you are out of work due to an injury or illness, you receive a monthly payment to keep your business going without you. The amount of this payment is based on the monthly benefit listed in your business insurance policy or the total allowable business expenses incurred during the month, as noted in your policy. If you suffer the same problem within 12 months of being back to work, your monthly business insurance payments start up again.

Key Reasons Why Having Business Insurance Is Essential

1. It pays for fixed business expenses. All business have fixed expenses, such as rent, insurance, taxes, property repairs and maintenance costs, utility and phone service bills, equipment leasing or financing payments, equipment repairs and maintenance costs, cleaning services costs, security expenses, etc. Business insurance pays these expenses when you are unable to work.

2. It ensures your workers are paid. Business insurance pays the salaries of your employees, independent contractors, payroll taxes and other payroll-related expenses so your business can continue operating at full staff while you’re out with an injury or illness.

3. It covers your ongoing business costs. Business insurance pays for other expenses, like advertising, banking fees, business insurance, interest on loans, postage and other costs needed to operate your business as usual.

Choosing Business Insurance

Business insurance policies differ somewhat between the various insurance companies. For example, some offer policies with a wide selection of stand-down periods (the wait time before your monthly payments begin) that can lower your premium, or added coverages, like a pregnancy premium benefit that pays your business insurance premiums for six months if you are pregnant.

The best route when choosing business insurance is to compare policy benefits and rates from several insurance companies. Get your quote comparison here and keep your business running smoothly when you need to take a personal leave.

Business insurance is best done fact to face as it does take some time to get right. Please contact us via this email address for advice on what to do john@ipinz.co.nz or call 0800INCOME

 

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Tips For Saving Money on Income Protection

cash saveThere are always ways to be money wise, and being smart about what you pay for with your insurance is one of them. Here are some tips to help you save on your Income Protection insurance.

  1. When comparing prices, check rates for wait periods. When you are unable to work, there is a wait period before your income benefits begin. If you can wait a bit before receiving benefits, you will save considerably on the cost of your premium. The length of time you can afford to wait will depend on whether you qualify for benefits from your employer or have sufficient savings to cover a length of time with no income coming in.
  1. Compare the premiums of the various benefit period options available. The cost of having your insurance pay out for a period of 2 years versus till you turn 65 will vary significantly. Some insurers base calculations on a length of time, while others base it on age. In either case, you can save money by choosing a shorter period.
  1. Look to see if the income protection provider offers age-related, guaranteed, or reviewable types of policies. Review the pricing on the different types of policies and select the one that best meets your particular situation.
  1. If your premium is high because of your medical history, consider reducing the amount of coverage to meet your budget. Having income protection that provides a smaller payout is better than none at all.
  1. You don’t have to insure yourself for the full value of your earnings. If you earn $50,000 you can still insure yourself for less, say around $30,000, as you may have some savings that you can draw upon. Again having a smaller payout is better than none at all.

HOT TIP: Make sure you look at splitting you Income Protection cover with Mortgage Repayment Insurance as this can allow you to claim on ACC and collect a second benifit! Read here for more details.

 

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How Does ACC Work With Private Insurance?

1As a New Zealand resident, the government’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) insurance covers you in the event of a non-fault, comprehensive injury, no matter where it happens or how. However, ACC is limited in what it covers and what it pays for, which is why you also should have mortgage repayment or income protection insurance to pay for bills not covered by ACC while you are out of work.

 

 

 

ACC Overview

ACC pays for injuries only. However, data from Statistics New Zealand shows that New Zealanders are more likely to have a serious illness (stroke, heart disease, cancer) than an injury. And ACC does not provide benefits for these illnesses.

Here is a list of situations that could put you out of work, but are not covered by ACC:

  • Illnesses;
  • Injuries related to aging;
  • Non-occupational injuries that come on gradually;
  • Stress or other emotional issues that are not a result of a physical injury or sexual abuse;
  • Non-traumatic hernias;
  • Death not caused by a physical injury.

Financial support provided by ACC benefits is also limited. Although it contributes to medical costs, ACC may not pay 100% of all treatment costs. In addition, you are usually responsible for paying surcharges. ACC is also limited in home care costs, such as equipment, attendant care and child care needed for your rehabilitation.

In terms of your weekly pay, ACC pays for your loss of earnings while you are recovering from your injury, but only at 80% of your weekly earnings. Plus, ACC benefits max out at about $96,000 a year. The ACC expects you to have insurance coverage that covers you for situations it does not cover and to supplement its benefits.

How ACC Works with Mortgage Repayment Insurance

ACC does not provide any funds towards your mortgage loan payment, regardless of whether you are out of work from an injury or illness. Mortgage protection insurance with mortgage repayment is designed to fill in the gaps left by ACC. By receiving only 80% of your weekly income on ACC and having to pay for other expenses related to your injury, you might not have enough funds to cover your monthly mortgage payment.

In addition, ACC is capped at a specified maximum amount that it will pay out in a given year. If an injury keeps you out of work for longer than a year, or if you’re medical expenses go over the ACC maximum amount for the year, you could be left with no funds to pay your mortgage. On the other hand, mortgage repayment insurance pays your monthly mortgage loan payments for as long as you are unable to work.

How ACC Works with Income Protection Insurance (Very Important)

Since ACC only pays for injuries and not illnesses, income protection is an extremely important coverage to have if you are unable to work due to a serious illness. With income protection insurance, you will continue to receive your weekly compensation until you can return to work.

In addition to paying a certain percentage of your income in the event of an illness, an income protection policy also supplements any ACC benefits you are receiving for an injury that put you out of work. Income protection policies differ in how they offset or reduce their benefits based on what you are receiving from ACC. Typically, income protection insurers subtract the income you receive from ACC from the amount their policy pays out and in most cases you don’t receive any of your IP Cover – however, you can claim Mortgage Repayments Cover on top of your ACC payments that’s why we recommend you always split off your Mortgage Repayments from your Income Protection (it does not cost you any more to do this) but can save you a lot when claiming under ACC.

Income protection also comes into play if you stop working in New Zealand and travel overseas for temporary work. ACC may not pay for lost earnings if you are injured during your travels because you are no longer contributing to New Zealand’s income tax.

How ACC Can Save You Money

Although you cannot rely entirely on ACC, there are opportunities to evaluate your mortgage repayment or income protection insurance to reduce your insurance premiums while still maintaining adequate coverage. For a policy review, contact IncomeProtectionInsuranceNZ.co.nz. We are well versed in ACC and how it works with other insurance policies and can help you save money on your premiums.

 

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What Type of Redundancy Insurance Can I Get?

The BIG R ! Redundant

Have you lost your job?

Redundancy insurance, also known as unemployment insurance, is available as a stand-alone policy or as part of an optional benefit to mortgage insurance policies. It replaces a portion of the income you would have earned if you were working, providing you with funds to help pay the rent or mortgage.

Redundancy Stand-Alone Policy

As a stand-alone policy, redundancy protection provides monthly payments to help pay for financial obligations if you lose your job through no fault of your own. Redundancy insurance is not available to anyone who works at a seasonal business or project, or who has not been employed full time over the last 12 months.

A stand-alone policy can be designed to meet your individual financial situation. The policy premium is based on the benefits level selected. For example, the higher the monthly payment option you select, the higher your premium for the coverage.

Redundancy Life Insurance

Some life insurance companies in New Zealand offer redundancy coverage as part of its stop-gap insurance. While it does not replace your full income, stop-gap coverage pays a monthly benefit for a set amount of time, for example 120 days, to augment your savings. It also provides monthly benefits if you are forced to declare bankruptcy. However, certain stop-gap policies have age limitations and they may not pay benefits if unemployment occurs within the first 180 days of the policy being issued.

Redundancy Income Insurance

Coverage for unemployment is sometimes available as an optional benefit under mortgage insurance protection. Mortgage insurance protection provides payouts to replace your income when you become sick or injured and are unable to work. By adding redunancy coverage, you will receive benefits if you are laid off from your current job. The benefits continue until you find new employment based on the coverage guidelines of the policy, which for redundancy is a 26 week stand down period from the time the policy is issued.

Redundancy Mortgage Repayment Insurance

Most mortgage protection insurance policies offer unemployment insurance as an optional coverage for an additional premium. A mortgage is required to purchase this optional coverage. In addition, the optional redundancy coverage is only available if you selected mortgage repayment insurance with your mortgage repayment coverage and you were a salary and wage earner at the time the policy went into effect. The redundancy optional benefit provides benefits after a waiting period and typically is available for up to six months.

Feb 2013 NB: recent changes to some insurance companies now allow you to use your gross rental in the same way you have a mortgage.

Why Redundancy Insurance Is Important

No one plans to lose their job. It could be from a slowdown in work, a company going out of business, the elimination of your position, or a company relocation. Often times, we’re not even aware that a job loss is about to occur. With this type of uncertaintly surrounding your employment, it makes sense to have a plan in place to provide financial relief to you and your family if you lose your job.

Redundancy insurance can make certain that the monthly mortgage payments or rent are made and that you are able to provide the life’s essentials to you and your dependents who rely on your care. It’s stressful enough losing a job, redundancy insurance removes the stress of figuring out how to make ends meet financially.

Be Proactive, Your Livelihood Depends on It

It’s important to get redundancy insurance now while you are working because once you lose your job, you no longer qualify for the coverage. If you need help in deciding which type of redundancy insurance to purchase, IncomeProtectionInsuranceNZ.co.nz can help you make sense of it all. We help ensure that you remain financially stable as you look for new employment opportunities. Talk with John McCarthy at Income Protection Insurance NZ john@incomeprotectioninsurancenz.co.nz.  Please Note: The stand down period for redundancy insurance is 6 months.

 

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Difference between Stand Down and Benefit Periods

There are two types of income protection policies: indemnity and agreed value. For the purpose of this article, we’re referring to stand down and benefit periods that apply to indemnity policies. An indemnity policy pays 75% of your total gross income. Within indemnity income protection insurance are two very important coverage periods that affect when you begin receiving your benefits and for how long. They also affect the cost of your insurance premium. Let’s take a look at each one more in-depth.

Income Protection Stand Down Period

Also called the income protection waiting period, it refers to the length of time you choose to wait before the policy begins paying your monthly benefits when you are unable to work. Stand down period options range from 14 days to 180 days.

Here’s how the stand down period works:

For example purposes only, let’s say you select a 30-day waiting period. Next, let’s say you have an extended illness and are unable to work, so you file an income protection claim. Since you selected a 30-day stand down period, when your claim is accepted you will begin receiving benefit payments 31 days after the date you filed your claim.

There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding which stand down period to choose. Think about how quickly you would need money coming in if you were unable to work for some time.

Consider all your workplace benefits, such as sick pay, paid holiday time, paid personal days and annual leave pay. If you have ample accumulated time from your employer, you can select a longer stand down period because your employee benefits will kick in first. The longer you can wait, the more you save on your insurance premium.

Income Protection Benefit Period 

This describes the length of time you will be paid benefits in the event you need to use your income protection coverage. A benefits period can be either a time span, such as 2 years, 5 years, or a certain age, such as payable to age 65.

Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding which benefit period to choose:

A longer benefit period typically has higher premiums because it is covering the expense of providing a long-term claim, meaning the insurance company will be paying you for a longer time. If your budget allows, you may want to consider a long benefit period so you are covered in the event of long-term disability.

Both the stand down and benefit periods can be tailored to your specific circumstances to create an income protection policy that meets your needs. When taking out an income protection policy it is best to discuss with a financial adviser so you can get a policy that works for you and you are not paying for things you don’t need.