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Protection

Mortgage Protection

WHY USE US FOR YOUR MORTGAGE PROTECTION?
We are an independent brokerage in Cork City with access to all of the main life insurance companies. If you have or are applying for a mortgage on your family home, investment property or a holiday home you are legally required (with some exceptions) to have life insurance/ mortgage protection to pay off the mortgage should you die before the end of the mortgage term. There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when applying for your mortgage protection.
Is the cost of mortgage protection the same across all of the life insurance companies?
No, the cost will vary from company to company and will depend on you age, smoker status and your medical history. We will provide a quotation which shows the cost per month from all of the insurance companies.
Can I save money by reviewing the cost of my Mortgage Protection Policy?
Generally speaking, the older you get the more expensive life cover becomes. However, if you took out your mortgage protection originally through your mortgage lender, it is highly likely that your mortgage protection policy was placed with the life assurance company to whom the lender was tied, therefore they would not have been allowed to shop around for the best price for you.
If I pay a lump sum off my mortgage, can I save on my mortgage protection policy?
Yes, as the amount of cover required has reduced it may be possible to reduce your protection premium.
If either of the policy holder dies, does the money automatically go to the lender?
Generally speaking, the policy is assigned to the lender and in the event of a death, the proceeds go to the lender, however in certain circumstances the proceeds may go to the policy holder, subject to lender agreeing.
What is involved in obtaining mortgage protection cover?
You will have to answer a set of medical and lifestyle questions which the insurance company will assess. In some cases, particularly   in the case of existing or pre-existing medical conditions the insurance company may look for further medical information.
What are the implications of not answering all of the life companies medical and lifestyle questions truthfully?
This can have very serious consequences and may render your policy to be void. In all circumstances you should be honest and truthful in answering the questions and always err on the side of caution.
Can I be charged a higher premium if I have a medical condition?
Yes, at the outset if you have no medical condition you will be offered ordinary rates, however if you have a medical condition, there may be an extra cost (called a loading). Also people with serious medical conditions may be declined cover entirely.
Does the amount of the mortgage and term impact the cost of my mortgage protection?
Yes, the larger the mortgage amount, the larger the amount of mortgage protection that will be required. The term of your mortgage also impacts the cost of mortgage protection, as the longer the term, the older you are at maturity. We will give you a clear and concise quote showing the cost of cover with all insurance companies, ensuring the best premium price.
We will assist you with all the form filling, and liaise with the insurance company’s on your behalf, ensuring the policy is set up correctly.

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Term Assurance

Why use us for your Term Assurance?
We have access to all of the main insurance companies in Ireland and we are not biased towards or against any particular provider and will therefore pick the best option for you.  At Financial Innovations we take into account all aspects of the client’s circumstances when choosing the most suitable Protection Product, as in some cases it may not simply just come down to cost.
What is Term Assurance?
Term Assurance is a protection policy that can pay your dependants a predetermined amount of money (lump sum or regular payments) if you die during the term of the policy. It is designed to provide you with the reassurance that your dependents will be looked after if you are no longer there to provide financially.  For example, you might take out a term life insurance policy on your own life for €100,000 over 10 years. This means if you die within 10 years, the policy pays €100,000 to your dependants.
What are the different types of term life insurance policies?
Level Term – For this type of cover, the borrower will choose a set level and a specific term of cover. Your cover will remain at the same level throughout the chosen term of the life assurance policy and premiums will also remain unchanged.

Convertible Term – The conversion option can be included in your term assurance policy at inception allowing you to continue your policy after the initial policy term for another specific term or to change it to a whole of life policy without providing medical evidence.

Single, Joint or Dual Cover –  Single life only insures one person. Dual Life covers both lives for either the same amount or different amounts, with the sum insured paid out on both lives in the event of death (Life Cover) or upon diagnosis of a Serious Illness (covered by the policy), almost as if both parties had separate policies.  Joint Life covers both lives, for one particular amount & is paid on the event of the First Life Insured (ie Death or Serious Illness, covered by the policy)

  • Whole of life

Some insurers offer life policies that insure you for your whole life, so long as the premiums are maintained. However, these policies are often more expensive than Term Assurance and the premiums are subject to review, meaning the amount you pay each month can be increased or the cover reduced.

  • Pension Term Assurance

Pension Term Assurance is a type of Term Assurance designed to provide Life Cover to people in non-pensionable employment. It is the most cost effective form of Term Assurance and tax relief is available at the marginal rate of tax on the premiums you pay.

We will advise you on the most suitable term assurance policy for your circumstance.

Do I need Term Assurance?
Simply put, if someone would suffer financially on your death then, yes you do. For example – If you have a young family, have any loans or other debt that your family could not pay if you died, if your partner relies on your income to cover normal living expenses or other expenses that may arise in the future, e.g. college expenses.
How much cover do I need?
This differs from person to person. It usually depends on your age, income, family circumstances, lifestyle and if you have any debts or loans to be cleared. We will assess your needs and advise you on any deficit of cover you may have.
What is involved in obtaining Term Assurance?
You will have to answer a set of medical and lifestyle questions which the insurance company will assess. In some cases, particularly in the case of existing or pre-existing medical conditions the insurance company may look for further medical information. In any case, we will assist you with the application from start to finish, ensuring the correct policy is put in place as efficiently as possible.
What are the implications of not answering all of the life companies medical and lifestyle questions truthfully?
This can have very serious consequences and may render your policy to be void. In all circumstances you should be honest and truthful in answering the questions and always err on the side of caution.
Can I be charged a higher premium if I have a medical condition?
Yes, at the outset if you have no medical condition you will be offered ordinary rates. However, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, there may be an extra cost (called a loading). Also people with serious medical conditions may be declined cover entirely.
What factors will affect the price of your Term Assurance policy?
The amount of your premium usually depends on the amount and term of your insurance. However, there are other factors that could affect the price such as age, smoker status, current and past health, work and lifestyle.
What happens if I stop paying premiums?
If you stop paying premiums, your policy will lapse after 30 days. Once the policy has lapsed you are no longer covered.
Can I cancel a life insurance policy?
You can cancel your life insurance within 30 days of the policy being issued and get a full refund of any premiums you have already paid. This is called a ‘cooling off’ period. You can cancel a policy at any time in writing, but you would not be entitled to a refund of the premiums paid once the cooling off period is over.
Do my dependants have to pay tax on my insurance policy?
There will no tax liability if the lump sum is paid to a spouse however, if you are co- habituating with your partner there may be tax implications. There are also different tax thresholds for children, we would also consider the way the policy is structured and the way in which the premiums are made. We will advise you in all cases and ensure you are informed of any tax implications that may occur in your circumstance.

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Serious Illness Cover

Why use us for your Serious Illness Cover?
There are many different forms of protection against the financial impact of serious illness. Only some policies may be suitable for your needs. Different insurers may charge different premiums for the same level of serious illness cover over the same term and in other cases the cheapest premium may not always be the best plan. That is why it’s so important to shop around when arranging serious illness cover in order to get the best combination of cover and cost, suited to your needs and circumstances. We have comparison software that enables us to show you exactly what each insurance company covers, partially covers and what’s not covered, allowing you to make an informed decision. We can guide you on the level of cover you need and the best type of cover for you based on your personal and financial circumstances.
What is Serious Illness Insurance?
Serious Illness Insurance is an extra benefit you can attach to a basic term policy (Term Assurance/Mortgage Protection) for an extra cost or as an insurance policy on its own. The policy will pay you a predetermined tax – free lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of the specific illnesses that your policy covers.
What is the difference between Accelerated Serious Illness cover and Standalone Serious Illness cover?
There are two options to consider when taking out Serious Illness Cover.

Accelerated Serious Illness – The policy will pay out if you are diagnosed with one of the listed illnesses or die within the term of the policy, in which case the policy will then end. However, if there is a serious illness claim, the life cover on the policy will be reduced by the amount of the serious illness claim paid.

Standalone Serious Illness – This runs alongside your life insurance cover, and is treated as a separate policy. For example, if you have a life insurance policy for €150,000, with additional serious illness cover for €100,000, the policy would pay out €100,000 if you were diagnosed with a serious illness covered by the policy within the term. If you died later on, within the term of the policy, it would also pay out the €150,000 life cover.

Single /Joint/Dual Life – Single life only insures yourself. Dual Life covers yourself and your partner for either the same amount or different amounts and Joint Life covers yourself and the partner for the amount on the first person insured.

How much does it cost?
Serious Illness cover is more expensive than life insurance because the risk of you getting a serious illness during the term is higher than the risk of you dying during the same period. However, the cost can vary depending on the following:

  • Whether it is Standalone or Accelerated: –  Standalone Serious Illness insurance is more expensive as it is a separate policy, while Accelerated Insurance is an add on benefit that will pay out the policy if a claim is made, thereby reducing the life cover on the policy by the same amount.
  • The amount of cover you take out and the term
  • Smoking Status (Smokers will pay a higher premium, as the risk of them becoming Ill is higher than a non- smoker)
  • Current and past health (if you have no medical condition you will be offered ordinary rates. However if you have a medical condition, there may be an extra cost called a loading.)
  • Who the insurance will cover :- (It could be single cover for yourself or joint/dual cover for yourself and your partner.
  • How old you are when you take out the cover
  • Whether you want the serious illness cover on its own or added to a life insurance policy.

We will advise you on the best serious illness cover based on your needs and financial circumstances.

Do I need Serious Illness Cover?
If you are diagnosed with a serious illness, it will affect your ability to work, leading to a substantial drop in income. This drop in income could in turn impact on your ability to continue meeting your day to day expenses and overheads, such as mortgage and other loan repayments

If you are an employee and pay PRSI, the social welfare Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension may replace part of this lost income, however, the benefits are low and if you are self-employed you are not covered by these benefits at all.

A serious illness policy could offer you financial stability and peace of mind if you are diagnosed with a serious illness in the future.

Do all Insurance companies cover the same Illnesses?
Every insurance company is different and will cover different illnesses. The precise definitions of each illness that qualifies for a pay-out will also likely differ, as will decisions on whether the full or partial sum insured is payable on a confirmed medical diagnosis of that illness.

We have software that enables us to compare the precise differences is each company with whom we have an agency with, allowing us to advise you on the most suitable serious illness plan for your unique circumstance.

Can the monthly cost increase?
If you can buy stand-alone serious illness cover for a fixed term or you add serious illness cover to a fixed term life insurance or mortgage protection insurance policy, the premium is fixed for the term of the policy. However, if you choose an index-linked policy, the premium usually increases once a year to allow for inflation, unless you ask your insurer to stop index linking. If you buy serious illness cover as part of a whole of life policy, your premium is not fixed and may increase from time to time.

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Business Protection

Why use us for your Business Protection?
We understand the importance of ensuring yourself, your employee’s and your business is protected against unforeseen circumstances. As a business owner you may not know what insurance you need or how much of it you need. We are here to help you put together a customised insurance package tailored specifically for you ensuring the safety of your business.
What is Business Protection?
Business protection is a way of helping to protect against possible financial losses in the event of the death or critical illness of a business owner or key individual, during the length of the policy. It is designed to protect the profitability and the survival of the business in the event of the death of a key individual.
Are there different types of Business Protection?
Yes, depending on the nature of the business there are three main types of business protection:  Corporate Co-directors Insurance, Partnership Insurance and Key Person Insurance.

Corporate Co- directors Insurance – In the event of the death of one of the directors, it allows the surviving directors to buy the deceased’s shares from their next-of-kin.

Partnership Insurance – This protects your business partnership by compensating a deceased partner’s estate for their share of the partnership

Keyperson Insurance – This protects your business in the event of a death of a key member of staff, whom the policy is assigned to. The policy will pay out a predetermined lump sum of the employee dies or suffers a specified illness.

How do I know what is right for my business?
Setting up the right Business Protection Plan can be tricky as every business is different, therefore the polices need to be set up in the most effective and suitable way for the business.
What is Corporate Co-director Insurance and how will it protect my business?
This is a business-specific life insurance that can provide compensation to a company if one of the directors of the firm dies. It will provide funds to allow for the purchase of the shares from next-of-kin, in the event of the death of one of the corporate co-directors.
How does it work?
There are both legislative and taxation issues that need to be examined to ensure that a Corporate Co-Director Insurance arrangement is appropriate. So, any company seeking to acquire this kind of business protection will require the assistance of professional advisors.
What are the benefits to the company of Corporate Co- Director Insurance?
Corporate Co-Director Insurance gives the company the security that there will be funds available to buy back the shares of a director in certain cases such as when the Director becomes seriously ill or dies. This gives a sense of security to your company knowing you will not be obliged to relinquish a majority shareholding. We can also customise the plan to include serious illness cover.
What is the main benefit to the family of the insured Corporate Co-director?
The family of a Co-director who becomes seriously ill or dies will get an insurance lump sum to the value of the shares the family member had in the company.
How is the level of premium decided?
The premium that is paid on a regular basis during the terms of the policy will be dependent on a number of different factors, such as the value of the shares that the director holds, the company’s turnover etc.
What is Partnership Insurance?
This is a specific kind of life insurance that can provide compensation to a business partnership. If one of the partners dies a lump sum will be released, allowing the deceased person’s share of the partnership to be bought from their next-of-kin.
What does it do?
If the unexpected happens and a partner dies, the policy will provide a lump sum to compensate for this event.
How does it work?
Before taking out Partnership Insurance we will advise you on the length of time you need it for, the amount of cover you need and, as we are an independent brokerage we can also provide you with the most competitive premium.

Once the above have been decided on you will pay a regular basis during the term of the policy. The premium will be dependent on a number of different factors, such as the value of partnership etc.

What are the benefits to the company of Partnership Insurance?
The partnership may be under financial pressure to provide the deceased partner’s next of kin what is owed to them. Partnership Insurance will provide the necessary funds to pay the deceased partner’s estate for their share of the partnership. It provides security to the remaining partner, knowing they can retain control of their affairs. We can also customise the plan to include Serious Illness cover, depending on the needs of our clients.
What is the benefit to the family of the company Partner?
Partnership Insurance will provide the necessary funds to pay the deceased partner’s estate for their share of the partnership.

Any cover taken out should only be taken out if there is a partnership agreement in place.

What is Key Person Insurance?
Keyperson cover is life assurance that is put in place by an employer on the life of a key employee, to protect the company against the financial consequences of that individual’s sudden death or serious illness.
Who is “Key Person”?
A Key person can be any member of staff that the company depends on for continued profitable trading.
What does it do?
If the person insured under the policy dies, or becomes seriously ill, the policy will provide a lump sum to compensate for this event.
How does it work?
You can take out Key Person Insurance at any stage of your company’s lifetime. You will pay a premium on a regular basis, based on the cover that is required. The cover required is the estimated financial loss that the business would suffer plus the costs of replacing the key individual.
What are the benefits to the company of Key Person Insurance?
It protects against the loss of an extremely valued employee of high financial or strategic importance to the business. The company can use the insurance proceeds for expenses until it can find a replacement person, or, if necessary, pay off debts. As an employer, it can bring you peace of mind in the knowledge that you are protected from the financial fall-out due from the death or incapacity of a very important member of your staff.
Can Key person insurance benefit the employee?
Key person insurance is designed to protect the business. However, benefits such as death in service, Serious illness Cover and Income Protection can be taken out by the employer or the employee for the benefit of the employee.

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Income Protection

Why use us for your Income Protection?
There are many forms of protection against the financial impact of long – term sickness and disability. Depending on your own unique circumstance, Income Protection may be more suitable for your needs than other protection policies such as Serious Illness Cover, in other instances, it may be a combination of the two. In all cases we will explain the choices available to you allowing you to make an informed decision and help you understand the restrictions and limitations that may apply. Different insurers may charge different premiums for the same protection cover and the terms and conditions on payment of benefit can vary from one insurer to the other. We have access to all the main insurance companies in Ireland and therefore we will provide you with an unbiased service, ensuring you chose the cover and product best suited to your needs.
What is Income Protection?
Income protection provides you with a regular income, which is paid out if you cannot work due to medium or long-term illness or injury. It is designed to supplement some of your earned income if, due to illness or injury, you cannot earn an income yourself.
Can everyone take out Income Protection?
Income Protection is available to those in full – time employment or if you are self-employed. You must typically work at least 16 hours per week, however, some occupations are not covered and some may pay a higher premium. Income Protection can be paid for by a company or by an individual.
How much will Income Protection cost?
We will always shop around to find you the most competitive price, however, the cost will depend on the following factors

  • How old you are when you take out the cover
  • How long you want the cover for
  • The deferred period (the shorter the deferred period, the higher the cost)
  • Your general health
  • Smoker status
  • Your occupation
Why are some occupations charged a higher rate?
Your job can affect your premium because some jobs are riskier than others. Insurance companies put jobs into classes, and charge different premiums for each class. For example, an Accountant would be considered ‘low risk’ and would be charged a lower premium to an electrician, who would be considered ‘high risk’.

If you are unsure what class your occupation is, we will ensure to get you the most competitive premium by researching every insurance company, with whom we have an agency with, as not all insurance companies rate occupations the same.

Do I need Income Protection?
We take into consideration many factors when advising you on Income Protection such as your occupation, your income and your partners income, any benefits you may be eligible through your employer, if you are entitled to social welfare disability benefit and any existing protection policies you already have. However, you may need income protection if –

  • You are self-employed and would have no source of income if you couldn’t work due to illness or disability
  • You have little or no sick pay from your employer
  • You have no ill – health pension protection
  • You have dependants who rely on your income
  • You have no other source of income
  • Benefits you may be entitled to would not be sufficient to replace your income to maintain your lifestyle and/or cover any loans or debts
How much income will I get?
We will discuss the benefit value with you before taking out the policy. However, the maximum benefit you can apply for is 75% of your current income less any social welfare payment you may be eligible for. We will also take into consideration any sick pay benefits you may be entitled to through your employer, any debts or mortgages that you are repaying, when deciding on a benefit value.
Tax relief
The contributions you pay to your income protection plan are deductible for income tax against your marginal rate. For example, if your marginal tax rate is 40% we will deduct this from the gross premium to give you a net premium. The net premium is the payment you will be making after tax relief. This makes premiums more affordable, however, if you make a claim, your benefit is taxable.
What Deferred Period should I choose?
The deferred period is the amount of time you have to be out of work due to sickness or disability before a claim becomes payable. When you take out your policy, you can choose what deferred period would suit your needs best. Typically, this could be 4,13,26 or 52 weeks. When choosing a deferred period, we will advise you to check if your employer offers any sick pay, and for how long to avoid over over-insurance. It will also depend on what you can afford as the shorter the deferred period is, the more expensive it will be.
How long can I be paid a claim for?
Income Protection payments last until you are certified to work again, or up until retirement age if necessary.
How many times can I claim on my policy?
You can make as many claims on your income protection as you need until your policy ends.
What is not covered by Income Protection?
Income protection covers you for any illness, injury or disability that stops you working, unlike Serious Illness cover that only pays out for an illness covered by the policy. However, if you have a medical condition that you were aware of when you first applied for cover and did not disclose this information this may make your policy void.

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Health Insurance

Why use us for your Health Insurance?
There are 4 health insurance providers in Ireland, we have a direct agency with Irish Life Health. Whether you are new to health insurance or your existing cover is up for renewal, we can advise you on health insurance with Irish Life Health (formerly Aviva Health) & can show you how your existing cover compares with the health insurance plans from Irish Life Health.
What is involved in Switching Health Insurance Provider?
It’s quite simple to switch. All we need is details of your existing plan, a simple application form & the plan can be set up in our office with Irish Life Health. We will assist you cancelling your existing plan & ensuring that there is no lapse in cover from one insurer to the next.
Will I have to Re-Serve Waiting Periods if I move from one Insurer to another
Generally, no, once you’ve served your waiting periods with your current plan provider, these will follow through to your new plan, unless you are upgrading cover. See Irish Life Health Membership Handbook August 2016.
Do all the Health Insurance Providers Offer the Same Plans
No, each provider offers different plans & often the sheer amount of plan options can be quite confusing to distinguish unless you know the type of cover you want & the premium you are willing to pay. Once we have established with you the type of plan you want (Semi Private or Full Private, Excesses, Day to Day Cover & List of Hospitals covered) we can use this information to narrow down the range of policies that would be suitable to you & any current offers available at the time from Irish Life Health.
I’m Over 34 Years & New to Health Insurance
Since 30th April 2015, under the Lifetime Community Rating system, if you are over 34 years old & new to health insurance, a loading of 2% of the gross premium will apply for every year of age higher than age 34 at the time of taking out health insurance. All insurers have to apply this loading on their private health insurance plans. Switching insurers does not affect your loading – it will continue to apply from your previous insurer to the next.
Will I Be Covered Immediately?
This will depend on the Waiting Period you may have to serve, which is the amount of time that must pass before you will be covered under your plan. There are 3 types of waiting periods: Initial, Pre-Existing & Upgrade. See Irish Life Health Membership Handbook August 2016.

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