Tips on how to buy life assurance

Investing ensures money grows overtime.
Investing ensures money grows overtime.

What’s best for you: online or adviser?

Your stage of life and circumstances should guide your decision on whether to buy life assurance online or to use a financial adviser.

If you’ve just started working, and your personal finances are simple, you may be more inclined to buy online than someone who is older and has a lot of debt and many dependents.

William Kuhn, the managing executive of direct financial services at Liberty Life, says when you interact with an adviser, you want advice rather than just a transaction.

“For example, if you already have cover and there’s an addition to the family; you just want to increase your cover – that’s where online plays a role. It’s for a consumer who does not want to go through a long process of advice,” Kuhn says.

As you move up the “life cycle”, your needs become more complex, Kuhn says.

Buying online is about doing it yourself and convenience, he says. It offers you the benefit of being able to educate yourself, get free quotes and make comparisons.

“But when it comes to buying online, many people will drop out – because buying life insurance is more complex than buying short-term insurance. And you go through a real-time underwriting process.”

Due to the complexity, Liberty enables – and at times prompts – consumers to link through to the call centre to get advice, Kuhn says.

There is potentially less underwriting when you buy online and people think they can disclose less about their health or lifestyles, but exclusions on pre-existing conditions can prevent you claiming.

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