Writer: STEPH BESTER, CEO at AllLife
Fear often comes from uncertainty and misunderstanding. And if there is any industry where fear plays a big role in holding people back – it’s life insurance.
We get it, the idea of sharing personal information, the use of complicated terms, mandatory medical tests, costs, and uncertainty about whether a claim will be paid can be paralysing.
But it’s time to remove some of these fears and provide solutions to ensure you are confident when taking this important step. Because it really is an important decision you need to consider for yourself and your loved ones.
We have put together a quick checklist for you to help you face these fears armed with facts and we hope that we can help you define the perception versus the reality and help you on your way to taking back your right to be insured.
Getting Personal: A Necessary Step
When applying for life insurance you are required to share sensitive personal and medical information. We know that discussing your weight, medical issues you may have, or a family history of illness can be uncomfortable and when it comes with the possibility of rejection after sharing these details it can discourage any one of us.
In many cases, many of us don’t believe we even qualify because we may have gained some weight in recent years or are suffering from a chronic disease like HIV, Diabetes, Cancer, hypertension, heart condition, anxiety, and depression.
At the same time, being asked about our family history can open old wounds, and no one wants to relive the loss of a loved one that was already difficult to deal with.
Solution: Find a private, comfortable spot when going through the insurance application process. While honesty is essential as it ensures accurate coverage, you probably don’t want to go through this process over the phone where others may hear your conversation.
Many of us don’t know that alternatives exist where we don’t need to have to go through exhaustive questionnaires. For example, we personally offer an AllLives cover option that offers up to R3m life cover regardless of your health conditions and without lengthy questions and medical tests.
Jargon Jungle: Simplifying the Terminology
Insurance is known for its intimidating big words and complex phrases such as ‘whole of life,’ ‘cessions,’ ‘insurable interest,’ ‘elimination period,’ the list is endless.
This can be overwhelming and confusing, and not everyone has a lawyer, actuary, or financial expert in the family we can call on to help cut through this confusion.
My suggestion is that whenever you don’t understand a term, ask the consultant to explain it to you. You’re not alone in the jargon jungle, we don’t all get insurance terminology, and it is the insurer’s responsibility to help you understand what these words mean.
Remember, YOU are the customer; you do not have to rush through this process – take your time.
Also always look for an insurer that supports you through the application stage and whose partners are experienced in handling sensitive issues. For example, all our policy documents are already written in simple language, and we include a definitions table to help understand complex terms.
This support shouldn’t end when you’ve signed a policy, a good partner will continue providing support, answering any lingering questions, and providing reminders to regularly check up on your health.
Underwriting: Redefining the Process
Mandatory medical tests and procedures is another fear that can discourage us from getting insurance. I don’t know anyone who enjoys having bloods taken, hospitals, or needles – but these should not stop you from securing your family’s financial future.
Solution: In the insurance world we use a process called “Simplified Underwriting”. Without adding to the jargon headache, this means that you can answer questions about your health and lifestyle. Depending on your health, there may not be a need for further medical tests, and you can still get life insurance up to a certain level.
Affordability: Get the Right Coverage
It’s very tempting to add all the bells and whistles to your life insurance – but it can make it expensive. Think of it like customising a new car where costs increase when you add extras like mag wheels, a bulbar, sunroof, or a metallic colour.
The same applies to life insurance – the options sound amazing but they are going to inflate the cost.
Solution: Ask for options that will suit your needs and your budget – remember you have the power here (you are the client) and there is never only one option! If you’re on a tight budget, consider a lower cover amount, or alternatives such as Accidental Death Cover and Funeral cover as a bare minimum. If your premium is getting too high, call your insurer and ask them to adjust your policy based on what you can afford.
Will My Claim Be Paid Out: Breaking Through Doubts
None of us want to pay for life insurance only to have a claim rejected. It is a very real and valid fear, but it can be addressed with transparency and open communications.
Solution: Here you need to be bold and ask your insurer upfront for a list of reasons that a claim may be rejected. For your information, some common causes are unpaid monthly premiums, failure to disclose full health information or pre-existing conditions, waiting periods, not fulfilling your health monitoring commitments, or claiming for coverage you don’t have, such as a disability.
Take Back Control
We want you to take back control of your financial destiny and it starts by helping you address the fears we all face when applying for life insurance. It is important to know that you have a lot more control and choice than you may believe.
To me, life insurance is not a luxury, it’s a gift you give your loved ones, offering financial security, affording them the future you have in mind and access to the important things in life. And it’s our role as an industry to help you get it in place with minimal stress.
[Featured Image Credit]