How life insurance works

When you are covered by a life insurance policy, your provider will pay a lump-sum benefit to your loved ones in the event of your passing, or to you if you were to become terminally ill.

This money can be used to help your family cover things such as everyday living costs, any outstanding debt, or final costs such as funeral or estate fees.

Each policy has different terms of cover, so always make sure you read the relevant Policy Document to ensure the product suits your needs. Before purchasing life insurance, learn about:

  • What's covered and what's excluded under the policy
  • What information is needed by your potential insurer
  • Information on your premiums and how they may change over time
  • Any waiting periods before you can make a claim
  • How to make a claim

Life insurance for seniors generally works just like any other age group, but there can be benefits to choosing a policy that is designed specifically for older Kiwis. Seniors Term Life Insurance is available to New Zealanders aged 45 - 79, and you don’t need to take a blood test or fill out any complicated paperwork to apply. Just answer eight questions about your health over the phone and – once approved – you can rest assured knowing that you and your loved ones are protected for a term of up to 20 years.

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Everything you need to know about life insurance

What type of life insurance is best for you?

While some life insurance products offer lifetime cover, many seniors may find this type of insurance can be difficult or even impossible to obtain once in your 60s due to low entry age requirements and substantial health and lifestyle requirements required to be met. Before choosing a life insurance policy, it’s important to understand the differences between the types of policies that are available, so you can make the best decision for your individual situation.

Lifetime insurance

Also known as ‘all of life insurance’, this type of policy covers you for as long as you’re alive, or until you make a claim or decide to cancel your cover. This type of life insurance can offer protection over the course of your entire life, however cover may be subject to certain restrictions as you get older which can make it difficult to take out a policy after you reach a certain age.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is a policy that covers you for a set period of time or until you reach a certain age, and can be a great way to make sure you and your loved ones are protected during the stages of your life, when you need cover most.

Seniors Term Life insurance was designed with the over 50s in mind:

  • You can apply over the phone by answering eight questions about your health, and there’s no need for blood tests, medicals or paperwork.
  • You can choose a benefit amount that suits you and your family’s needs, between $10,000 and $100,000 and once approved, rest easy knowing you and your family are covered for the next 20 years or until you turn 85, whichever comes first.
  • When your family claims, Seniors Term Life insurance offers a 20% advance payout to cover funeral costs so your loved ones have fast access to money for your funeral
  • Your family’s benefit amount will be tripled if you pass away due to an accident.
  • We’ll even assign you your own personal claims specialist to look after everything, so there’ll be no need for your loved ones to explain things to multiple people.

How much do you want to be insured for?

It’s hard to predict how much cover you or your family will need, but looking at your finances can help you decide on a benefit amount to meet your needs. Your benefit amount should take into account:

  • Your family’s living costs
  • Your future plans
  • Your assets and personal savings
  • Your debts (mortgage, loans, credit cards, etc)
  • Any other income your family will have access to when you pass away (superannuation, etc)

At New Zealand Seniors, we believe insurance should meet your needs, not someone else’s. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing cover for Kiwis over the age of 50. To work out how much life insurance you and your loved ones might need, read about the things you should consider.

Everyone is unique, that’s why it’s important to speak to a New Zealand Seniors specialist. To help you with your cover, one of our friendly team members will walk you through all available options and tailor a personalised quote for you.

What should you check before getting life insurance?

Before you apply for a new life insurance policy, you should always:

  • Check if you already have cover – you may have taken out a policy in the past and forgotten about it, or a loved one may have taken out a policy for you, so it makes sense to confirm this so you’re not paying for the same thing twice. 
  • Read the Policy Document – this explains a policy’s terms and conditions, including all inclusions and exclusions, so review carefully to make sure any new cover meets your specific needs.
  • Review other policies – while it’s possible to take out multiple life insurance policies, there are likely to be limits on how much you can claim on more than one life insurance policy when they are held with the same insurer, so check all terms and conditions carefully.
  • Consult your loved ones – whether it’s just as a courtesy or if you want to involve your loved ones in a process that will ultimately benefit them, it makes sense to include your family in any discussion around your plans for a time when you won’t be around any longer.

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What’s the claims process for life insurance?

When you first set up your policy, you’ll be able to nominate your beneficiaries, who are the people you authorise to receive your benefit if you pass away while the policy is active. If you don’t nominate anyone to be a beneficiary, the insurer will usually pay an approved death claim to the surviving policyowner, or your estate.

Here is a brief explanation of how to make a claim with New Zealand Seniors:

Notify – You (if diagnosed with a terminal illness) or your loved ones (if you pass away) will need to let us know that a claim will be lodged. At this stage, a dedicated claims agent will contact you to discuss the claims process and provide further instructions.

Forms – You or your loved ones will need to complete the required claim forms, depending on whether the claim is for death or terminal illness.

Mail – Send the completed forms back to us, along with your policy details and current proof of identification. You or your loved ones will then receive a notification that your claim has been lodged, and we will keep you updated on the outcome.

Considering life insurance?

When should seniors buy life insurance?

This is up to the individuals needs however usually the sooner you take out life insurance the better, because it can become harder to get approved for cover as you get older if your health changes.

The likelihood increases that an insurer may apply a loading or special exclusion to your policy, or may even decline to offer you cover. Applying for cover while you’re still healthy can be a lot easier, since life insurance providers may ask you a series of health questions, or ask you to take a medical, before they approve you for cover. Also, most policies have an upper age limit for applications, as your age impacts your insurability.

How can New Zealand Seniors help?

With New Zealand Seniors, you can tailor your policy to suit your individual needs and budget. Choose the level of cover you need, and rest assured knowing you’re backed by a respected and award-winning insurer.

Benefits of choosing Seniors Term Life Insurance

Flexible cover amount that suits you

Choose how much you or your family will receive if you pass away or become terminally ill. You can set a benefit amount from $10,000 up to $100,000.

Easy to apply with no medicals

Simply answer eight questions about your medical history over the phone. Once approved, you can get covered in minutes.

Immediate cover

Once your policy is set up, you’ll be covered straight away for death by any cause, and for terminal illness1 (excluding suicide for the first 13 months).

20% advance payout to cover funeral costs

When your family makes a claim, we’ll give them 20% of the benefit amount in advance, so they won’t have to worry about the cost of your funeral or other immediate expenses.

Triple payout for accidental death

Your family’s benefit amount will be tripled if you pass away from an accident, helping with any last-minute expenses they might face.

Your own personal claims specialist

If you or your family need to make a claim, we’ll assign you a dedicated claims specialist to look after everything. No need to explain things to multiple people.

We’ll keep your premiums manageable

Unlike some life insurance policies, your annual premium increase won’t be based on your age which will help with budgeting later in life. Plus, we offer lower starting premiums for non-smokers.

Cover for when you need it most

We know that the older you get, the more you have to protect. That’s why our cover is designed for people aged 45 to 79, protecting you and your family for the next 20 years or until you turn 85 – whichever comes first.

How to get life insurance

If you’re a New Zealand resident aged 45 to 79, the process is quite simple:

  1. 1 Request a quote

    Answer eight questions about your health and we’ll get you a quote in minutes.

  2. 2 Choose your cover

    Tailor your policy and choose the level of cover you need.

  3. 3 Get covered

    Rest easy knowing the people you care about most are in safe hands.

Need more help deciding?

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Everything you need to know about life insurance

        1. Terminal illness with diagnosis of 12 months or less to live.

How can we help?

To find out more about New Zealand Seniors,
speak to one of our friendly insurance specialists now