Life & Health

Life & Health

We never know what lies around the corner, so it pays to be covered. It's important to be aware of the many different life and health cover options available, as premiums, flexibility and levels of cover can vary greatly.

If something serious affects your health, you shouldn't have to worry about your finances. Knowing you and your family are protected will provide peace of mind, easing some of the stress and uncertainty when dealing with a serious illness or accident.

We will identify your needs, and deliver information in clear, simple terms, taking you through what can otherwise be a daunting, and frustrating process. We provide cover and advice for all eventualities, and we will help you make an informed decision, ensuring you find the most suitable policy, at the best price.

We have provided an overview of the areas where we can assist you, along with a detailed FAQ covering the most common questions people ask about life and health cover.


Mortgage Protection will pay off your homeloan if you die during the mortgage term. Mortgage protection is the cheapest form of life assurance and the premium will remain the same during the term of the policy.

Do I need Mortgage Protection?

If you have a mortgage on your principal private residence, you must have it covered with a life insurance policy. For other property investments, lenders may require some form of life cover, this will usually depend on how much you may be borrowing, your current financial status and your relationship with the lender.

Did you know?

  • Many people automatically signed up to the life cover provided by their mortgage lender without giving a second thought to the cost of the policy, this may not be the best value available.
  • If you were a smoker when you took out your policy and have now given up for at least 12 months – you may qualify for cheaper rates – try our mortgage quote calculator below.
  • If you have dependants you should also have life cover in addition to your mortgage cover
  • Mortgage protection does not cover your repayments if you cannot work because you are made redundant, or cannot work because of sickness or disability.
Why do I need business protection?

As a business owner, you protect your property, your vehicles and equipment. But have you considered what would happen to your business if you died prematurely and the financial impact that it could have on your family?

Ask yourself:

  • Would your family stay in the business or would they sell the business?
  • Would the remaining shareholders have the funds needed to buy your share from your family?
  • Has this plan been formalised?

    You may also need to consider the impact on your business of the death of a key employee or business partner.

    Ask yourself:

  • Would you have the funds available to buy your co-owner’s share of the business from their family?
  • Would the business be able to sustain the financial loss on the death of a key employee?
  • Has this plan been formalised?

    It won’t happen to our business

    Many business owners believe that it simply won’t happen to them. The chances of one partner / director, in a two or three man business dying or becoming seriously ill before retirement, are probably a lot higher that you might think.

    Many problems can arise for a business when a partner or key employee dies prematurely or becomes seriously ill. The lack of credit to small businesses could result in some surviving business owners having insufficient funds to purchase a deceased owner’s share of the business or in some incidences getting into financial difficulty because of a key employee’s death.

    The Solution

    Business protection can assist in ensuring the continued survival of a business and provide for a deceased business owner’s family in the event of premature death.

    Shareholder/Partnership Insurance (Business Owner’s Insurance)

    This provides funds to the surviving business owners to purchase the share of a deceased’s shareholding from their personal representatives. Depending on the structure of the business the cover can be set up on a personal or corporate basis. This cover ensures the deceased’s legal representatives/ next of kin are provided for and the surviving business owners retain control of the business.

    Keyperson Insurance

    This type of cover is designed to protect the human assets of the business in the same way as fire insurance protects a company’s physical assets. Protection is taken out by a Company on the life of a key employee to protect the Company as a result of the death or serious illness of the key employee.

    Gift or Inheritance Tax Planning

    As a business owner, you should also take a close look at the implications of Capital Acquisitions Tax if you are thinking about passing on your business to your family when you die. Inheritance tax can become a real burden where financial resources are tied up in a business. If you do not plan ahead, your family could be faced with a difficult decision between having to sell the business or borrowing the money to pay the tax liability. There are a number of solutions to this and Gift or Inheritance tax planning allows you to plan for the tax liabilities which could arise, thus ensuring that the business won’t have to be sold off to pay the tax bill.
  • How would you finance your lifestyle if you were unable to work for an extended period of time due to illness?

    Income protection pays out a regular cash payment that replaces part of your lost income if you have a medium to long term illness or disability and cannot work.

    As your income is probably your most valuable asset, it is important that this is protected just as you would protect any other of your assets. To qualify for Income Protection you must be in full time paid work or be self employed.

    You should consider income protection if you:

    • are self employed and have no alternative sources of income.
    • have little or no sick pay from your employer.
    • have dependants who rely on your income.
    • have no other source of income or money.

    • Did you know?

      • The current social welfare disability benefit is €10,286 for an individual rising to €19,610 for a family of two adults and two children.
      • Self employed people are not entitled to any disability benefit.
      • Income protection only covers illness or disability. It does not provide protection against redundancy.
      • Premiums are tax deductible at your marginal rate of tax.

    Term Assurance is a policy taken out for a specific period of time and will provide a single cash payment to your dependants if you die during the term of the plan. Your family can use this lump sum to cover any expenses they might have - for example, funeral expenses or other debts. It can also be invested to provide a regular income.

    What are the Benefits of Term Assurance?

    Life Cover

    A tax-free lump sum payable in the event of death within the policy term to help your family maintain the same standard of living that they enjoy today.

    Terminal Illness Cover

    This provides for the payment of the death benefit upon diagnosis of a terminal illness.

    Peace of Mind

    The knowledge that if you die, that your family will receive a lump sum to assist them financially for the difficult times ahead.

    Guaranteed Premiums

    You pay the same premium at the start of the policy as at the end. Premiums and benefits may however be indexed to keep in line with inflation – it is recommended that you take this option on longer term policies.

    Did you know?

    • The vast majority of life cover is used to protect mortgage loans – if you die the proceeds of the policy goes to your bank to pay off your mortgage – most Irish families are not adequately protected should the main provider die.
    • On average, smokers pay double the rate for cover as non smokers – if you have quit recently you should consider reviewing your policies.
    • The beneficiary of your life assurance policy may have a tax liability in the event of the policy paying out. This will depend on their relationship with you. You should therefore consult an adviser before purchasing life cover.
    • Life assurance is not only for domestic situations. Businesses can and should take out life policies on directors, key employees and on partners.

    Whole of Life policies insure you for the duration of your life or for as long as you are willing to pay premiums. They are primarily used today in estate planning as a way of paying capital acquisitions tax.

    Since Whole of Life policies provide cover for the full duration of your life, they are more expensive than term assurance policies. In most cases, the insurer will review the policies after a specified period of time, usually every 10 years.

    Do I need Whole of Life cover?

    People normally take out a Whole of Life policy for very specific reasons:

    • To cover outstanding debts.
    • To pay for funeral expenses.
    • Tax and Estate Planning.

    • Avoid Inheritance Tax

      Whole of Life policies written under certain conditions can also be used to protect your family against a large inheritance tax bill when you die. This tax is known as Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT). CAT bills can mean that a beneficiary of an inheritance might be forced to sell the asset they have inherited in order to pay the tax bill due. Whole of Life Policies can help avoid this situation. The current rate of CAT is 25% payable on inheritances received by children on amounts over €434,000.

    Critical Illness Cover is a policy which will pay out a lump sum to the policyholder if they are diagnosed with one of the specified illnesses that the policy covers. Having a critical illness policy itself will not cure you, but it will help financially and that can make a huge difference. You may be unable to work or you might have to pay for expensive medical treatment and the lump sum payable in these cases will help ease your worries.

    You are 4 times more likely to suffer from a critical illness before age 65 than to die, yet the majority of people do not take out critical illness cover. Cost is often cited as a reason but it is possible to tailor the cover to suit both you and your budget.

    Did you know?

    • 1 in 3 Irish people will develop cancer by the age of 75 and 10,000 suffer from stroke annually
    • Critical Illness policies do come with many restrictions and different life companies cover different illnesses, so it is important to contact an adviser before purchasing a critical illness policy.
    • Critical Illness can be purchased as part of a life assurance policy or it can be taken out as a standalone policy.

    We are agents for Aviva Health. Private Health Insurance provides important benefits for individuals and families.

    It reduces dependency on the overstretched public health service and gives you the peace of mind that should you require hospital treatment, you will have quick access to it.

    Benefits of Health Insurance

    Approximately 50% of the population currently hold private health insurance and see benefits such as:

    • Avoiding long and time consuming public system waiting lists.
    • Cover for private and semi private hospital accommodation.
    • Cover for in hospital consultant services as a private patient.
    • Cover for maternity costs including a private room.
    • Cover for overseas procedures not available in Ireland.
    • Immediate cover for procedures not viewed as emergency by the public system such as colonoscopy.

    Benefits of Aviva Health Insurance

    • They have the most hospital and treatment and scan centres.
    • 24 hour access to nurse on call service.
    • Full cover for out patient MRI and CT scans at approved treatment centres.
    • Excellent maternity cover paying up to €4,000 for a stay in a private hospital.
    • The most competitive rates in the market.

    • Did you know?

      • All Health Insurance Companies have a waiting period before you will be covered. This is to ensure that you do not wait until you are ill before you take out insurance.
      • The waiting period only applies to the system in total and usually does not apply when you are swtiching from one company to another for the same level of cover.
      • Ireland has a community rating system for Health insurance - this means that people of different ages pay the same for their health cover

    Life & Health FAQs

    How much life assurance do I require?

    This will depend on many factors such as your lifestyle and general and personal circumstances, salary, number of dependants etc. Most life assurance sold in Ireland is to cover mortgages, leaving the vast majority of people under insured. You should review your life cover regularly to ensure that you have adequate protection. We will be happy to help you determine a suitable level of cover.

    Why am I getting different quotes for what appears to be the same level of cover from the same provider?

    One of the quotes maybe for mortgage protection. The level of cover will decrease throughout as you repay your mortgage, which means lower premiums from the outset. Ordinary term assurance will maintain the same cover throughout the term of the policy, which means the premiums will be higher.

    Will I have to do a medical examination?

    This depends on your age and the level of cover you require. Generally speaking the younger you are the less cover you require means no medical exam will be necessary.

    Can I extend the duration of my policy?

    If you take out a convertible/continuation option at the outset of the policy, it is possible to extend the policy for a further period, without any medical underwriting requirements.

    I used to be a smoker, but I haven’t smoked now for three years. Should I review my policies?

    Absolutely! Smoker rates can be twice the price of non smoker rates, given the risks involved with smoking. Even though you may be older, it is worth checking this out.

    If I am topping up my mortgage, should I get a new mortgage protection policy for the total amount of debt, or just for the top-up amount?

    Compare the costs and benefits of both options. It may be cheaper to keep your original mortgage protection policy going, and buy another policy for the top-up amount. But do check what it would cost you to take out a policy for the whole debt. Because rates on mortgage protection policies can vary from time to time you may be able to get cheaper rates now than when you originally took out the policy. Or you may wish to cancel the original policy, and replace it with a policy for the full amount of the loan. Our life insurance quotation will give you the cheapest rates possible.

    The premiums on my life policy doubled recently, how is this so?

    If your policy is a whole-of-life policy, your premiums can increase periodically. There are various types of whole-of-life policies, but the most common is a unit-linked whole-of-life policy. With this type of policy, the life assurance company invests your premium in a fund. They manage the fund so that it is expected to grow at a certain rate and to increase in value over time. The fund value is not guaranteed. It may grow by enough to pay for your life insurance throughout your life. Or, in some cases, it may fall short of what's needed to pay for your life insurance. In certain cases it is possible for premiums to double. You really need to determine if you need a Whole Of Life policy or if a term policy would be more suitable for you.

    What is the difference between 'single', 'joint' and 'dual' life cover?

    Single Life Cover is when you take out a policy on your life only and the claim is payable if you die or contract a listed illness on a critical illness policy. Joint Life Cover covers two lives but pays out only on one life, on the first death or the second, depending on the type of policy taken out. Many mortgage protection policies are taken out on a joint life basis and are paid on the first death. It iss essential to remember there is only one payout with a joint life policy. Dual Life policies also cover two lives but will pay a claim on both deaths so it's like having two single lives covered on the one policy. Under a dual life policy each life can be covered for different amounts so it's possible to keep premiums lower if cost is an issue.

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