So you are considering taking out a life protection plan. Your Financial Broker can talk you through your options but let’s see if we can answer some of your questions here.
Please bear in mind that on all of our life protection policies, eligibility criteria and terms & conditions apply
What types of life protection can I get from Friends First?
What is Life Assurance?
- Whole of life cover lasts until you die or for as long as you decide to make your monthly payments. Your payments can be increased throughout the life of your plan to make sure you get the lump sum you want.
- Term life cover is a policy you pay for over a specified period. You can also use it to provide life cover during the term of your mortgage.
- Mortgage protection is a lump sum paid on your death, or that of your spouse, to help your loved ones pay off the outstanding balance on your mortgage. Mortgage lenders usually require you to have mortgage protection in place for the length of your mortgage. We offer mortgage protection plans that cover just you, or that include both you and your partner/spouse.
What is Income Protection?
You get regular payments that begin after you have been on sick leave for a certain period of time. This is called a deferred period and you choose whether you want to set it to 13, 26 or 52 weeks when you are setting up your policy.
What is Specified Illness Cover?
You can take out specified illness cover alone, or combine it with life assurance to increase your protection.
What is accelerated Specified Illness Cover?
This is life assurance and specified illness cover in a single policy.
If you make a specified illness claim under this type of policy, the amount of money paid out on your death will be reduced by the amount you have already claimed.
Protection plans in action
How does Life Assurance work?
You make a monthly payment (known as a premium) to us. This is decided by your age, health status, whether you are a smoker, and the amount of cover you want.
In return, we make sure that you and your family receive payments when you need them most in the event of an illness, injury, accident or death.
How much cover do I need?
You need to consider your own circumstances such as how much personal debt you have, the number and age of your children/dependants and your lifestyle. Your Financial Broker can help you decide the amount of cover you will need.
If you are taking out mortgage protection, the amount of cover you get will depend on how much you have left to pay on your mortgage.
How long should my cover last?
If you are taking out term life assurance, you decide. The most common policy length is 20 to 25 years, or until you retire.
If you opt for a whole of life plan, the term lasts until you die.
You will need mortgage protection for the length of time remaining on your mortgage.
Can my Life Assurance policy cover my partner/spouse as well as myself?
Yes. There are three options for you to choose from:
- Single life policy: Covers one person, and pays out on the death of that person.
- Dual life policy: Covers two people and continues after the first person dies. This policy pays out after each death and can potentially pay out twice during its term.
- Joint life policy: Covers two people and pays out on the death of the first person only. This policy is a bit cheaper than dual life cover and pays out once during its term.
With Friends First, you also get free life assurance for your children under 21 for the duration of your policy.
What is a convertible term policy?
This is a term life cover policy that gives you the option to convert into a new term life plan with a different term, or a whole of life plan, without having to give any further medical information.
What is indexation?
This means your life protection plan payments and benefits will increase in line with inflation (the rate at which the cost of living rises).
When will I get my policy documents from Friends First?
As soon as we get your application form from your Financial Broker, we review your details. If we need more information, such as medical reports or examinations, we will send your broker a written request.
When we have all of the information we need, we will contact your financial broker to say whether you have been accepted or declined.
Once we have accepted your application and have confirmed the start date of your policy, we will post your cooling off letter and disclosure to you and your policy documents with your schedule and conditions directly to your Financial Broker.
We can also post them to your bank or solicitor, if requested. This might be necessary if your policy relates to your mortgage.
Can I cancel my policy?
Yes, at any time. You (or your Financial Broker acting on your instructions) just need to write to us to say you want to cancel your policy.
If you choose to cancel after the 30-day cooling-off period, we will not refund your premiums. Once we cancel your policy, you will no longer be entitled to make a claim on your policy.
What automatic benefits are included in my protection from Friends First?
- Automatic terminal illness benefit: If you are diagnosed with an illness from which your doctors expect you to die within a year, you will receive your life assurance amount immediately and at no extra cost.
- Overseas surgery benefit: If you or one of your children needs an immediate and necessary surgical procedure that cannot be performed in Ireland, €7,000 will be paid towards the cost of your surgery. This benefit is automatic if you chose specified illness cover as part of your policy.
- Children’s life cover: This benefit is automatic if you take out a life assurance policy with us. We will automatically cover any children you have under the age of 21 for €5,000 life assurance for as long as your plan remains in place.
- Children’s specified illness benefit: This benefit is automatic if you take out specified illness cover with us. We will automatically cover any children you have under the age of 21 for €20,000 specified illness cover for as long as you are covered.
Are there any additional benefits available?
These benefits are optional and you should be aware that if you choose them, they will increase the cost of your monthly payments.
- Hospital cash benefit: If you have to spend time in hospital, we pay you a sum of money per day. When you are setting up your policy, you can decide how long you spend in hospital before you get this benefit (3 or 7 days) and how much your daily benefit should be (€60 or €120 per day).
- Guaranteed increase option: Every 3 years, we will contact you to ask if you want to increase your cover by 20% of your original amount. We will not ask you to give us any further medical information. We will make this offer 5 times over the life of your policy. If you do not take up the option more than once when we offer it, we will not offer it again.
- Waiver of premium benefit: We can waive your policy payments after 6 months of your disability. Your policy will let you know what is defined as a disability. If you have a joint or dual life policy, this benefit will only apply to one person and you must decide which of you that will be when you are setting up your policy.
The health status
How does my health status affect the premiums I pay for Life Assurance?
The premiums you pay for your life assurance policy is partly decided by your current health status. Knowing your medical history helps us to work out how much you should pay for your cover.
It also lets us give a fairer price to all our customers. So it is essential that you do not leave out any essential information, such as a pre-existing condition, that might have an impact on this.
We realise that your health information is personal and sensitive and we keep all details confidential. We only share them with the people who manage your plan.
Should I still apply for Life Assurance if I have an existing medical condition?
Yes. We might refuse you cover depending on your condition but we will still review your medical history and personal details.
Then we may offer you life assurance at an increased price or with a medical exclusion. This means that we give you cover on the understanding that you cannot make any claim about your existing condition.
Why are you concerned with my medical condition when my doctor may not be?
If you have a medical problem that does not need immediate attention, your doctors may not take any action. They will only act if and when your condition gets more serious or if there are any complications. In that case, they will start treatment or carry out tests.
However, when we are assessing your health, we have only a narrow window of time to consider your condition and predict how it may change in the future.
Do I need to take a medical examination or get a report from my GP and if so, will I have to pay for it?
Medicals reports, examinations and tests help us to make an informed decision about whether we can offer you cover.
If we need you to take a medical exam, a registered nurse can carry it out at your home or business. You could also go to your own doctor to be examined. You don’t have to pay for any medical reports, examinations, or other tests we may ask for.