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How to get the best terms for your insurance policy

Health Insurance Hawke's Bay

How to get the best terms for your insurance policy

Most New Zealanders know that an insurance adviser can tailor an insurance plan that suits their requirements and budget. But what makes a good adviser great is their ability to negotiate the best possible terms for their client.

The coverage of a policy is not only determined by the wording of the policy, but also by any limitations placed on it by the insurance company.

In the case of the builder who has had recurring lower back issues for the last five years, it’s unlikely any insurer would cover this area (lumbosacral spine) under any form of Income Protection – in short – this means the insurer would not pay a claim if the builder were unable to work due to his lower back issues.

One of our advisers had a recent case where the insurer was going to apply a 100% loading to a client’s Life and Trauma Insurance premium due to a series of high cholesterol tests. This meant that their monthly premiums would increase from $164.00 to a whopping $328.00.

Rather than accepting the premium loading, we contacted other companies to see if we could secure better terms for the client. One particular insurer’s Chief Medical Officer preferred calcium scoring over the standard method of testing cholesterol levels. The client had already undergone calcium scoring as well as an echocardiogram, so we emailed through the all of the info as well a copy of the application form. They quickly confirmed they were happy with the results, and based on the information provided, no loading would apply.

Points to consider:

  • Policy exclusions and loadings are reviewable
  • If there has been a significant amount of time since you took out your policy and you’ve had no issues with – or treatment for – the excluded condition, ask your adviser to review the restrictions noted on your policy
  • Don’t settle for cover if you think another insurer can offer you better policy terms
  • Different insurers have different sets of underwriting rules to adhere to, so it never hurts to explore other options
  • Ask the insurance company to be more specific with what they’re looking to exclude

For example, if you’ve had right shoulder issues, and the insurer is looking to exclude the entire right arm from your policy, ask them to be more specific with the exclusion. If they’re not willing to budge, ask for an explanation as to why the exclusion is so broad.

This article contains general information and does not take into account your individual requirements. Before making any changes to your insurance portfolio, please seek advice from a professional insurance adviser.