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 Article on: IRISH LIFE UK Insurance ~ Broker Help 2020


Irish Life Assurance

IRISH LIFE ASSURANCE UK

The UK operating arm of The Irish Life Group was established in 1969 as a branch of the Irish operations. City of Westminster Assurance (CWA) was originally incorporated in January 1968. The Irish Life Group bought CWA in December 1993 from AGF (Assurances Generales de France). CWA had closed to new business prior to 1993.

Irish Life Insurance UK was sold mainly via brokers but its book was closed to new business in 1995. Most of the business sold by Irish Life Group in the UK was then integrated into CWA in 1996.

In 1998 The Irish Life Group merged with Irish Permanent to form Irish Life & Permanent plc. Note in 2002 some old Irish Life home service plans were then transferred to Royal Liver Assurance. Chesnara plc purchased CWA from Irish Life & Permanent plc in 2005 [who also owns another life assurance company, Countrywide Assured plc]. 

As part of a group restructuring Chesnara transferred all City of Westminster Assurance policies into Countrywide Assured. Any old policy queries should be referred to their head office in Luton.

Established in 1988 & based in Preston Lancs, Countrywide Assured is a Uk life company providing it's customers with long term financial protection for their home and family. Countrywide Assured's parent company is Chesnara plc.
   
Old Irish Life Assurance product range included Life cover, mortgage protection, level term assurance and Income benefit Protection. Countrywide Insurance Company in the 2000's sells via Independant brokers, Direct Sales & Marketing and sales through the web. 

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Irish Life Insurance Uk

Irish Life Assurance

IRISH LIFE INSURANCE UK - Frequently Asked Broker Questions

Can you make changes to your Irish Life insurance UK policy ?

In terms of changing your life insurance policy, often you can request some of the following via their Countrywide customer services.

  • reduce or perhaps extend the period of cover
  • decrease or increase the amount of lifecover
  • remove indexation option or any specific paid for policy features
  • change the collection date of your usual premiums
  • remove a life assured from a joint policy
  • joint life policy separation, allowing a joint policy to be split into 2 new single policies if a couple divorce, split up or say change a joint mortgage into a sole name. 

The changes could be subject to medical underwriting based on your circumstances at the time & may well affect your premiums.

What if my health or lifestyle changes after I have taken the policy out ?

Life Insurance cover is based on full disclosure at the time you took the policy out ie; being 100% as honest & accurate as possible. So any health or lifestyle changes since usually does not void your existing policy, as it wasn't relevant at that time of initial application. Please check your original T&C's 

How do I make a Death Claim ?

Check firstly if premiums are still being paid or alternatively is the policy perhaps "paid up" meaning no further premiums were needed. 

Then contact the Insurers claims line to inform them. They will provide you with their claim form for completion. You will need to send in a number of documents, most importantly being the death certificate proving the cause of death.

Insurers ( as well as other Providers ) will need the original death certificate, so ideally ask for several certified copies. Enclose your policy document, if you can find it and then send by recorded delivery or registered post to Insurers. 

Once received, the Insurers usually cross check all information before processing and settling a valid claim ie; was the medical & lifestyle information correct at the time of original application

If everything is hopefully in order, the Insurer may pay out a claim & usually in a matter of days or weeks.

irish Life Uk | Countrywide Life Insurance - Free Insurance Quotes

Death Claims, Life Insurance Trusts & Life of Another

Who the life insurance maybe actually then paid out to can be more complicated & many people wrongly assume it is a simple process.

If it is a joint life 1'st death policy or if it single life policy owned by another person " life of another"  then it will just be paid to the survivor. 

However, if it is a single life policy it can be more complex. Check if the policy was setup & written into a trust. If so the Insurer will pay the life insurance via the trustees named to the nominated beneficiaries directly. Sometimes there are a named beneficiary & others times a list of potential beneficiaries. The life insurance paid out doesn’t have to be included in the legal documents sent for probate and potentially it won’t be liable for inheritance tax either.

Should I put my Irish Life Insurance policy into Trust ?

If the life insurance wasn’t written into trust, it will be paid to the executors of the deceased’s estate. They will handle the administration, known as probate in N Ireland, England, Wales and confirmation in Scotland. If not, the benefits will fall into your estate if you died prematurely. If you have not made a will this can then cause further complications with the life insurance monies.

Until probate is fully granted, no monies can be paid out to those named in the will. On average, this can take upto 6 months. By not placing the plan into trust may also swell up the total estate values, leading to potentially Inheritance Tax IHT issues

So placing a policy in trust can help to ensure that the policy proceeds go to the correct beneficiaries you decide to nominate at that stage & help avoid possible probate delays & IHT costs. Ask the Insurers if they provide any standard trust form wordings & seek legal advice if unsure.

If I started smoking after taking out Irish Life Insurance - Do I need to tell Countrywide Assured ?

If you had legitimately stopped smoking for over 12 months at that time of original application, you may wish to advise the Insurers you have started smoking again - but this should not affect the original policy terms which should still stand - you were being honest. Also maybe suggest letting your GP know if this is the case. 

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Irish Life | Countrywide Assured

Article on: Irish Life Insurance ~ for more information visit www.countrywideassured.co.uk *

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