We understand that despite best efforts, life doesn't always go to plan.
If something happened to you, your loss could affect those you love both emotionally and financially. Would your family cope with paying the monthly bills or making mortgage repayments without your salary? Would your business survive without your expertise?
If you have a family, business, or other financial commitments, the impact of a sickness (where you are unable to work) or an unexpected death, can be large.
Having certainty of cover can help your loved ones to survive financially should the worst happen, making all the difference at a time when support can be at its most needed.
We want you to feel confident in the cover you have, so it is really important you understand your policy. This will help you know what to expect should the unexpected happen.
Many policies are unique, so in the first instance we encourage you to read through your policy document. If you have questions or aren’t sure about your policy, contact your financial adviser or us to help you understand what insurance you have and what it covers.
Each year, it’s necessary for us to review the cost of providing insurance protection to our customers. In all cases, we try to keep premiums balanced, while remaining competitive and affordable, and we always do our best to keep any increases to a minimum.
Over the lifetime of your policy, a few key reasons for changes in premium include:
- your premium is structured to change (for example, annually, or every few years, depending on what you signed up for at the start of your policy)
- there is a change to the amount you are covered for due to inflation, or
- we change our premium rates.
Factors that can affect our premium rates include:
- the cost of medical technology and consultant fees – as medical treatments and procedures become more sophisticated, due to technological and medical advancements, the costs to insurers and patients increase
- tax changes – for example, government or legislative taxes
- increases in reinsurance costs - all insurance companies have reinsurers who can provide additional security and protection. Changes in their price are likely to affect premiums.
- increases in the number of people who claim
- your policy – such as your benefit type, smoking status, policy payment structure(s), and claims
Over time, this can mean some premiums reduce, stay the same, or increase. Some policies have different payment structure options as well, so it is important to talk to your financial Adviser to understand what your policy means, and what to expect over the life of your policy.
If affordability is ever a concern for you, there may be ways to reduce premiums, such as:
- Change your benefit payment structure – for example, some policies have level premium options (which means the premiums could remain the same for a set amount of time), or rate for age, which means the premiums can change depending on age throughout the life of the policy.
- Increase your excess amount – similar to general insurance, this is the amount you would elect to pay as part of a claim under a product such as health insurance.
- Extend the wait period – which is the amount of time you would wait between the claim being accepted and the first claim payment being made.
- Reduce the benefit period – this is the amount of time you would receive a payment under a claim for insurance like disability income protection for example.
- Change the payment frequency – some policy payment frequency options may include fortnightly, monthly, or yearly.
- Review your current level or type of cover – for example, reduce the amount you are covered for, or change the benefits you have, while keeping the priority on ensuring the cover is adequate for your needs.
Not all options are available under every policy, and these should be considered in combination with what your current and future needs are. Talk to your Adviser before making any changes, as they can help confirm what options you may have available to you, and make sure that you, your family and your lifestyle stay adequately protected. If you don’t have an Adviser, we will be happy to put you in touch with one.
Everyone goes through different stages in life. You may be starting your career, or getting married − or perhaps you're contemplating retirement. Wherever you are in your life, it makes good sense to review your cover on a regular basis with help from your Adviser to make sure you have enough protection and it continues to fit your lifestyle and needs.
There are many options available to customers when it comes to choosing insurance products – be it online, or through a bank, or through a financial Adviser. Regardless of what option is preferred, it is really important to seek the right kind of advice before making important insurance decisions, to help you determine what type of protection is for you now, as well as for the future. A registered financial Adviser can help you understand what different policies cover, ultimately helping you feel confident in the protection you have.
After taking care of New Zealanders for the past 25 years, Sovereign is turning insurance on its head by dedicating ourselves to helping you take charge of your health. From now on we’ll be doing our bit to help you keep healthy, and encouraging you to do yours.
Insurance can be like an ‘invisible’ asset, as the peace of mind that comes with it can be just as valuable as the financial security it can provide should you ever need it. And at Sovereign, we take our role in providing this to you very seriously.
As a values-based company, we believe in putting people first. That means not only our customers but also our staff and the wider community.
Sovereign has an A.M. Best financial strength rating of A+ (Superior)*.
*Given by A.M. Best Inc., an approved insurance rating agency. A copy of the scale, of which this rating forms part, is available from Sovereign.
Please contact us on 0800 500 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding your insurance with Sovereign. Alternatively, we encourage you to speak with your financial adviser, who can provide guidance on what protection is most appropriate for you and your needs, both now and for the future.