By Dave Kavanagh
When people take out cover, such as life cover or serious illness cover, it is usually for a specific term, such as 10, 20 or 30 years. When these terms expire, the cover usually ends. People can ap-ply for new cover but their health at that time may prevent them from getting cover again or could include a premium rating. This is why having a conversion option is an extremely valuable bene-fit. It allows the person to extend their cover without having to provide any new medical details, so they are guaranteed to be accepted for cover (assuming they were accepted at ordinary rates when they first applied). It’s hard to know what your requirements will be in 10 years, never mind 20 or 30 years, so if you are taking out cover for the first time, it is important to make sure that you will have the flexibility in the future should you require it. For anyone that has cover in place, do you know exactly when it is due to expire? Do you know if it has a conversion option? It is far wiser to check and make sure you know these details now, rather than leave it until it is too late. If your health has deteriorated since you originally took out cover and you do have a conversion op-tion, it may be well worth looking at converting it now, as cover is more expensive the older you are, so you can lock in a lower premium and future proof yourself by getting the best value for your cover. In many cases, a lower level of cover may be sufficient as the financial loss that would have occurred 20 years ago may be reduced, for example, children may have grown up and moved out. Another aspect to consider, is if you were a smoker when you first took out cover. If you have been a non-smoker for over 12 months, you may be entitled to substantially reduced premiums.
Dave Kavanagh QFA has been advising people financially for over 25 years. For quotes or information (with no cost or obligation) he can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on www.financialcompanion.ie or phone 087-6414570, or @Davekav_advice on Twitter and Instagram. Combined with his previous role of gym/nutrition adviser, he regularly gives talks and workshops at seminars and events for groups, companies and government departments on financial wellbeing,