Goodreturns on Southern Cross Changes to 65+ rates
Dr Michael Naylor on the Future of the Insurance Industry

Sorted: Highlighting the Cost of Rate-for-Age Cover

Sorted has a blog and on it Tom Hartmann has written a thoughtful post about the cost of rate-for-age cover. The powerful image of a steep set of stairs brings it home (he lives in Wellington, so it is an easy image to identify with). I'm a bit biased about the article because it quotes me, but more importantly, it does nail the issue of rising costs.

Let me illustrate: Use a fairly ordinary package of benefits to construct the 'ideal': repay debt, life cover of 5x income, plus IP at 75% of income, to 65 on a four week wait. I've only allowed a typical, but very low, $50,000 of Trauma and TPD. I did not select the best options in IP. I left out health insurance completely. 

  • At age 35 the package costs just under 4% of income
  • At age 40 it will have risen to over 5% of income
  • At age 55 it will be over 15% of income
  • At age 60 it will cost about 24% of income

Those scenarios allowed for increasing income and reducing debt levels. Combine that with the 'ideal' package of home, contents, and car, and 'ideal' health insurance, plus, of course, the 'ideal' contribution to KiwiSaver... I don't know if there would be much income left. It is easy to see why people aged 50+ are shopping their cover around and cancelling chunks of it. That's because there is nothing 'ideal' about spending a quarter of your income on insurance. 

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