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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s about Insurance

What age should I start buying life insurance?

It depends on your situation. Once people leave school, they go on a variety of different paths through life. Some go to university, some go straight into the workforce and others start their own businesses or a family. There is always a need for insurance at some level, it just depends on what your situation is.

The five big life events that trigger a need for insurance are:
  • Getting married
  • Starting a family
  • Buying a property
  • New job or promotion (increase in income)
  • Buying a business

If you’ve been through one (or more) of these big five in the last year, then getting insurance is a smart move. For less than 3 percent of your income, it’s a no brainer to protect the remaining 97 percent.

Why do I need to protect my income?

If you think of yourself as a bank ATM, you might generate between $1,500 to $2,000 each week. The question is, if you could protect your ATM from breaking down with some form of insurance so it would continue to spit out $1,500 a week, then how much would you pay each year?

Would you pay $5,000, even $10,000 each year to secure $78,000 (52 weeks x $1,500) in income from your ATM?

That’s why income protection is one of the most important insurance products you can protect yourself with. You protect your ‘ATM’ from ever breaking down (because machines do break down due to wear and tear, just like human beings). The good news is, income protection is much less than $5,000 a year to protect an income like $78,000. More like $1,200 a year, $24 a week, or even less depending on your situation.

Why do I need an insurance advisor?

There’s several reasons why using an insurance advisor is a better idea compared to the other ways of buying insurance. The three most common other ways are buying insurance online, buying from a major bank or self-insurance. Self Insurance is where you insure yourself. If something happens you use your own assets to protect yourself.

The real value of a advisor comes at claim time. Buying a policy directly from a bank or online means that you now have to go through the claim process yourself, up against an insurer who will only payout if the claim meets what is covered by your policy. An advisor is on your side and will have your best interests at heart.

Having the correct insurance is important. Having the wrong types of cover or incorrect amount of cover could lead to disastrous consequences. Having the right advice and cover that best suits your situation would be provided and prevents costly mistakes. Insurance brokers are specialize in insurance, independent and have an in depth knowledge of the insurance market and are able to provide professional, objective advice on identifying risks and exposures and recommend the most cost effective solutions.

At the time of claim people can often claim for things they are not entitled to. Having a broker can:

  • Work as a first point of contact reduce embarrassment or cost
  • Be the first point of call with any change of condition or health they can let you know potential changes to your insurance
  • Get in touch with insurer to make sure the claim is claimable
  • Help pre complete form and ask for certain items to be ready when needed

Why not just buy insurance online?

The do it yourself approach is becoming more common, especially with younger New Zealanders, particularly those under the age of 40. Young people are less likely to have health problems so can be insured for simple life insurance policies with minimal underwriting. The advantage with having an insurance advisor is:
  • Product Knowledge: You have a specialist on your side, someone who has an intimate understanding of the myriad of ever changing insurance products available.
  • Claim Time: If you need to make a claim, you have a professional advisor who has a personal relationship with the insurers to minimise any obstacles to your claim being processed.
  • Experience: An Assetwise advisor will work with hundreds of clients each year, many of which will be in a similar situation to you. They can give you proven advice, often saving you money on your monthly premiums.
  • Peace of Mind: At the time of claim, you have someone who will go to bat for you, working through all the details to leave you to recover or take care of your family.
Insurance advisors are often cited as being more expensive than online insurance companies. This may be true in some cases, but often an advisor is no more expensive than the quotes you can get online. Once your factor in the service when making a claim, you tend to get better value from using an advisor, especially an Assetwise advisor. The DIY approach can be a dangerous approach for more complicated insurance plans. Once you start adding multiple layers of policies on top of each other, for example, a health, life and income protection policy, you start bolting on policies that will cover you in 8 claim situations, but not the 38 claim situations that an Assetwise advisor can help you navigate through. Buying insurance from an advisor is a bit like buying a plane ticket. For a simple return flight to Wellington, you probably don’t need a travel agent. But for a trip around Australia with multiple people, a travel agent can sort out all the complex timetables, arrange hotels, travel insurance and be a port of call should anything go wrong. And if they’re good at their job, they can often save you money (not to mention time) as well.

Why not just buy insurance from a bank?

Buying insurance from a bank can be a good idea in some cases. There are some downsides though. Bank insurance products are not rated, which means they aren’t evaluated against the 15 or more insurance providers when it comes to price, value for money, payout of claims, number of conditions covered and much more. This means that even though a bank insurance product may have lower monthly premiums, the value of that policy when it comes to making a claim can be very different. The value of any insurance policy, whether it is from a bank or not, comes at the time you make a claim. That’s what you pay the insurance premiums for. The likelihood of claim acceptance, speed of payout, service and peace of mind becomes very evident at the time of claim, but is hard to imagine at the time of buying insurance. An Assetwise advisor offers you more options than a single product that bank sells off the shelf. Your advisor surveys all the available insurance products to get the best cover at the best value. If you go to a bank you’re only going to be offered one product, one that often isn’t as comprehensive as what the specialist insurance companies offer. An Assetwise advisor will also make sure your policy is ‘fit for purpose’ in that it fits your current situation and future goals. Your Assetwise advisor will then review your policy annually to ensure that it is still fits your current situation and goals… because a lot can change in a year.

What information do I provide to get an independent insurance review?

To get an initial review underway, we need to know your age, annual income, any previous medical conditions and whether you are a smoker or non-smoker.

What if I don’t know what policies I have? How can I find out?

Contact Assetwise, we will then contact your insurance provider. Assetwise will come up with all of the details that you need to know so that you don't have to do a thing which saves you time, hassle and the stress.

What Information do I receive?

You will receive a policy document on completion of your proposal. This will include a memorandum of transfer (to change ownership should you wish at any time in the future).

What is my future service?

Each year prior to the anniversary of your policy, your insurance broker would contact you with the option of a review of your policy. You will also receive a policy update from your provider. Your insurance broker would also keep you updated from time to time with electronic newsletters or letters on special offers and updates and launch of new products.

How often do I need an insurance review?

  • Annually would be the best option rather than every 3 years etc. A lot could happen in one year. It is good to get an update of where your policy is at, also considering if you need to change anything, i.e. cancel a product or add a product
  • When married
  • When a having a baby
  • When buying a home/business
  • When starting a business

Who owns my policy?

If its your insurance policy, then you own it. If you have a paper copy of the policy it should state who the owner is. The owner would decide the beneficiary, and the amount of insurance, or cancel it when they want. It is also possible that a spouse member could own a policy on your life. They would control the policy, but your life is insured.

Business partners may sometimes own policies on each other’s lives to protect against the catastrophic effect of losing one partner. If you have a life insurance policy at work, the employer probably owns the policy on your life, but you may have certain rights such as naming the beneficiary or paying for additional coverage.

Can I change the owner of my policy at a later date?

Yes. You may change the beneficial owner at any time after the policy document has been issued by contacting your insurance broker or insurance provider.

What happens if I change my mind?

If you decide you do not want the plan you can cancel it within 14 days of receiving your policy document - (known as the free-look period). You will need to contact your nominated provider or insurance broker in writing to let them know that you no longer require the policy so that it could be cancelled. Any premiums paid during the free-look period are fully refundable from the nominated provider.

What happens at claim time?

    Claims Process  
  1. As soon as you think you may need to make a claim, contact your insurance adviser to let them know what the situation is. This may be before you have a procedure or once you your treatment is completed.
  2. Your adviser will advise you on whether your circumstances will warrant a claim application
  3. Necessary paperwork will be sent to you to complete, specialist reports, doctors referrals, invoices, quotes, receipts etc will also need to be included with your claim
  4. Your advisor will check your claim form and pass onto the admin team at Assetwise who will send it through to your Insurer
  5. Any other information needed may be asked for by either your adviser or the insurance provider.
  6. A Claims Officer will assess your claim and may request additional information directly from your Doctor and /or specialist.
  7. Once your claim has been assess your insurer and the admin team will be in touch with an update.
  8. Once the claims application has been approved, you will receive a refund less your annual excess and this will be explained to you in writing from the insurer

When does my cover end?

Your cover would end when you inform your provider in writing, you stop paying premiums or the policy expires. In any of these cases your policy would be cancelled and no money is refundable or payable.

What’s the difference between ACC CoverPlus and ACC CoverPlus Extra?

ACC CoverPlus Extra is an optional product that lets self-employed people and non PAYE shareholder employees negotiate a pre-agreed level of lost earnings compensation. This way you know exactly how much you’ll receive each week if you are injured and can’t work – whether the injury is work-related or not. If you choose ACC CoverPlus Extra, this will replace your standard ACC CoverPlus product.

The key difference is the amount of lost earnings compensation you receive. With ACC CoverPlus Extra you get 100% of the amount you negotiate. Because you have agreed cover, you may begin receiving compensation more quickly. Whichever option you choose, ACC will provide assistance with treatment and rehabilitation costs.

Do I need to provide evidence of my health?

Yes. Due to the processing of your application, the underwriter will be based on the answers to your questions. It is important that you disclose all relevant medical information that you are aware of on the application form. The underwriter may ask for further information or contact your doctor for a medical history just to be sure what your medical history is like.

Do I need to see my doctor?

In most circumstances underwriters are able to make an assessment from your submitted electronic proposal based on the information you have provided. However, if there are some health issues the underwriter may contact your doctor for further information, send a health screen nurse to complete an assessment or ask you to attend a full medical with your doctor usually at no cost to yourself.

Are my health assessments free?

Yes. If an underwriter requires further information i.e. writes directly to your doctor, sends a Health Screen Nurse for a consultation or asks you to have a full medical these visits are usually paid for by your selected provider.

Does my policy have a cash value?

No. Your insurance policy is not a savings plan; it is for insurance cover purposes only, therefore there is no cash value to it.

What is indexation?

Indexation is a way of keeping the amount of cover relevant to the cost of living. It is linked to the consumer price index (CPI). Most providers give you the opportunity to decline each year.

How does an insurance advisor get paid?

An insurance advisor gets paid through commission from the insurance provider that he/she signs a client with. However, it is free of charge for any Assetwise advisor to review or meet up with anyone that is concerned with getting insurance cover in place.

FAQ’s about Premiums

How much would life insurance cost me?

Life Insurance cost depends on age, your health and the size of the death benefit you desire. I.e. a healthy 40-year-old man who buys a 20-year level term policy, which has a fixed annual premium, might pay $350 a year to secure a $500,000 death benefit. A healthy 50-year-old man who buys the same policy might pay $1,000 a year. If he waits until he's 60, the policy will cost about $3,000 a year. If you are a smoker, your premiums double. I.e. if you are paying $150 per month for your insurance policy, this would automatically double up to $300 per month once you are a smoker.

Will my premiums increase?

Yes, your premiums will go up every year. Most insurance policies go up in line with inflation. Only medical insurance, which has increasing rising costs and investments in new technology, goes up by 12% each year.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that your cover goes up with the increase in premiums, so you don’t see a decline in the real value of your policies.

Your policy will roughly buy tomorrow what it will buy for you today.

When will I make my first premium payment?

Once your insurance provider has processed your application and accepted it, the provider will action either the direct debit or credit card authority you signed at the time of your application. If your application is not successful payment will not be taken. You can choose the date of the month you wish to pay.

What are payment options?

You can pay either by credit card or direct debit.

What if my circumstances change?

If your circumstance was to change, it is crucial that you contact your insurance broker or insurance provider and make them aware of these changes. These changes may regard bank account or credit card changes as well as updating contact phone numbers, physical, postal and email addresses.

What happens if I stop paying my premiums?

If you stop paying your premiums then your cover would also stop. Your premiums are also non refundable as your policy covered you for the time when the premiums were paid. In order for your policy to remain in force, then you need to continue paying your premiums to your insurer.  It's a bit like fuel in your car. If you stop paying for fuel, then eventually you'll run out and will be unable to drive.  And even though you can't drive, you can't get a refund on the fuel you've used to get to your current destination. If you want to change your payment details (e.g. change bank accounts) or your policy, just contact Assetwise 09 580 1111 and we'll sort out the details for you.

Does smoking affect my premium?

Yes, smoker's premium rates are higher than non-smokers. It is possible to change your premium in the future should you quit smoking. Insurance providers require you to have quit smoking for a year in order to alter your premiums to non-smoking rates. You can contact your insurance broker or insurance provider to make these changes.

FAQ’s about Assetwise

Who are Assetwise?

The Assetwise Story

  We’re certainly here for the long haul as we began way back in 1987 and our clients now number in the thousands. Originally founded by Scott Wilson, we traded for over 20 years as Accredited Brokers, but as our adviser numbers increased and the financial services we offered expanded, we felt it was time to re-brand with a more appropriate name… and Assetwise was born. From a team of 4 in 2009, to over 23 in 2013. We’ve developed into a world class insurance and mortgage brokerage dedicated to demystifying insurance, finance, and to ensuring Kiwi’s have the right advice for their current situation and financial goals. We are proud members Of Newpark, New Zealand longest standing and most successful nationwide Insurance & Mortgage Adviser Group. In fact this year we are very pleased to now be their No 1 Insurance Brokerage. Becoming #1 in NZ didn’t happen by accident either. It came about because of our commitment to provide our clients with the best products & services available, giving superb customer service, and by providing our advisers with a superb environment to learn, grow and develop. In fact our Adviser training & development program is second to none and our advisers get more than 115 hrs of product & other training every year. Compare that to the industry average of 10-20 hours and you can understand why your Assetwise adviser REALLY knows their stuff and can give you the best advice for your needs. Heres how you can save money on your insurance or get better benefits With over 11 insurance companies to choose from and the recent launch of a new insurance company into the NZ market this means you benefit from access to the absolute best pricing and products available. And if you’re self employed then we might also be able to greatly reduce the cost of your ACC Levies. .

When requiring business and personal insurance covers, why should I choose Assetwise over all the other insurance advisors?

The Assetwise 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Save You Money or Better Insurance Protection… in 45 Minutes or less, Guaranteed.
  • Here’s how it works: In 45 minutes or less,
  • We’ll review your current insurance policies,
  • Advise you on the pro’s and con’s on your current policies for your current situation and…
  • Give you specific ways to save you money on your insurance, or
  • Show you how to get better protection for you and your family, often at no extra cost.
The entire review service comes with no cost and no obligation.

What if I live outside of Auckland? Can you still help me?

Yes, we can help anyone, including people who live outside of Auckland. Just contact Assertwise 09 580 1111, and we can either SKYPE or Facetime you

Where are your offices?

We are located in New Market, Auckland. Please refer to our Contact Us page for more information.