5 occasions to re-assess your life insurance coverage

Life insurance is something which you ought to invest in. However, once you lock into a policy, it doesn’t mean that the same policy will serve you for the rest of your life. Here are 5 instances when should reassess your life insurance policy.

1. You’re buying a house

It’s necessary to look at home insurance if you are building your dream home, or you want to renovate your house. Proper home insurance will provide coverage for the actual house, its belongings and all its occupants.

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2. You’re expecting a baby

Bringing a child into this world is a big responsibility. Expect a significant rise in your household expenses (ie: baby food, clothes, toys etc). This means that there is a lot more at stake for your new family. As a parent, having enough life insurance coverage will give you peace of mind knowing that your family can maintain their standard of living and secure your child’s future. For more information, check out our article about the importance of having child insurance.

Photo credits: HNB Assurance. All rights reserved. This picture may not be duplicated on other websites.

3. You’re getting married

Congratulations! Wedding planning aside, one of the more important considerations for soon-to-be-newlyweds is taking out a life insurance policy. This will secure your spouse’s ability to pay living expenses, medical bills, vehicle payments etc. What better way to kickstart your marriage knowing that your future is well assured!

4. You’re getting a promotion/new job

This one applies for a lot of people, especially young people. We’ve already mentioned why getting a life insurance policy at a young age is beneficial. However, its worth taking a look at that policy as you change jobs or get promoted.

For example, a promotion would mean that you could invest in a decent vehicle, home or purchase other goods and services as you accumulate wealth. In order to keep up with your bills and maintain your lifestyle, you should consider buying more insurance, now that you have the extra money to do so.

Photo credits: HNB Assurance. All rights reserved. This picture may not be duplicated on other websites.

5. Retirees with an Empty Nest

This may be tough for some parents to hear, but you should be ready when the kids leave home. The big advantage is that your life insurance needs are likely to drop as you only need to depend on yourselves. That being said, you need to be aware that your financial & health concerns are managed appropriately. Thus, make it a point to speak to your life insurance advisor.

Even if none of these 5 reasons apply to you, its still smart to review your insurance at least once a year. The advantage is that you can speak to your advisor and find out about new products/covers which will benefit you, which you may not know about if you didn’t take the initiative.

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

Under 30? Here are 5 Reasons Why You Need Life Insurance

Ahh youth.. Its time of life in which you have so many options and the world is your oyster. For most young people, they feel invincible. Besides, life insurance is only for older folks right?

Nope.  

You like your odds: only a handful of adults will have their lives shattered in an instant. However, are you willing to bet that it wont be you? What could happen to you if are diagnosed with a serious illness or disability? How will you be able to pay for your medical costs, your transport or even your daily expenses? Here are 5 ways to protect yourself via life insurance:

1) Lower Premiums

As mentioned earlier, being young is the ideal time to get health insurance; you are seen as low risk and thus, become more likely to pay a lower premium. Fixing the premium early means it wont change as you get older. As time goes on, your income will rise as you advance in your career, meaning that the premium is a much smaller expense than before. Fixing a lower premium now ensures your payments will be cheaper in the long run-meaning more money for you!

2) Cover debts

If you are like many of the youth in Sri Lanka, chances are you may have some form of debt: this may be in the form of an educational loan, a vehicle loan or credit card debt. Should something happen to you, the debts are not written off. Surely, the last thing you want to do is to leave your family with a large financial burden? Didn’t think so. Life insurance provides you with a lump sum in the event of death/critical illness. This will cover your expenses, and leave a little extra for your family if you are lucky!

Just like a Lannister, you need to pay your debts. Image Credit: Dailymail UK

3) Protection for life

If there is one good reason to buy life insurance when you’re in the peak of your health its this: you may not always be that way.

Although you are healthy today, you can get severely injured/fall dangerously ill tomorrow. If your circumstance change, then your eligibility for life insurance changes accordingly. When you are young, there is a better likelihood of acquiring cover without the need for medical tests (unlike when you are older), which is less of a hassle for you. In addition, it provides you peace of mind knowing that you are protected for life.

4) Income protection

If you’re young, there is a good chance that you’re quite bold. You could be a thrill seeker who wants to try out skydiving or other daring activities. On the other hand, you may prefer to hang out with your friends, but you are still susceptible to get injured or sick. Ask yourself right now, “What would happen to my income if I was too sick/injured to work?” You’d have a ton of medical bills and various other expenses to pay. Life insurance comes to the rescue by providing you with a lump sum, or cover a part of your income while you are injured.

wheelie
Just ensure that you have life insurance if you wanna try this. Image Credit: Gettyimages

5) Flexibility and Support

A lot of individuals feel that when you are ‘locked in’ a life insurance policy, you will be with the same policy for life. This is simply untrue. When you go through milestones such as marriage, your first child or buying a house, your cover can be increased. In fact, depending on the policy, you may be able to withdraw a percentage of your sum assured in order to support yourself financially.

The main point is: being a little more prepared will allow you to enjoy your youth since you know you are covered if something were to happen. Besides, being an adult means that its time for you to shoulder responsibility; purchasing life insurance shows that you are being responsible about your own life.

If you feel like making a smarter choice for your future: book an appointment on our 24/7 hotline 0114-384-384 and ask about My Life, a flexible life insurance plan made for smart youngsters like yourself.

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

What is ‘My Pension’? Mr. Manjula de Silva Answers your FAQ’s

A guaranteed monthly lifetime pension from HNB Assurance, for everyone over 55 years

HNB Assurance has identified a primary need of the elderly citizens of our country and has introduced a Guaranteed Monthly Pension Plan named ‘my pension’ for those who seek a peaceful and contented retirement, becoming the first insurance company in the country to do so. This unique product is being offered in collaboration with its parent company, Hatton National Bank, which will market this product islandwide through its branch network.

We interviewed Manjula de Silva, Managing Director of HNB Assurance on the importance of retirement plans and their latest product ‘my pension’.

       1. Can you tell us about the current situation of the insurance industry and what is your reaction to that?

Yes, the insurance industry is highly competitive, similar products are being launched with similar pricing strategies; there is a high level of new entrants entering the Industry making it more and more competitive. We look at this in a positive manner and we encourage such competition as that enables us to be innovative with new products that cater to the needs of our customers. We have managed to have a high growth and improve our market share of Life insurance because we cater to their needs and continuously do research on what the consumer wants. HNB Assurance PLC has recorded an impressive growth as per the latest interim results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange. The Company was successful in strengthening its topline over the first half of the Financial Year of 2014, where the combined turnover, expressed as Gross Written Premium (GWP), of both Life and Non-Life Insurance businesses escalated by 24% over the same period of the previous financial year. This achievement was driven by an impressive 27% growth in Life Insurance GWP while Non-Life Insurance GWP also contributed with a growth of 21%.

      2. Can you tell us about ‘mypension’? Is it an insurance plan or a pension plan?

It is a combination of a pension plan and an insurance plan. my pension’ gives you a guaranteed monthly pension for life. In addition, a life cover will be in effect in the event of demise of the policyholder within the first 10 years. At the point of entry, the Company guarantees a  pension value which you will continue to receive throughout your life irrespective of interest rate fluctuations. My pension is a single premium policy where you can pay the premium at once and enjoy monthly pensions for the rest of your life, regardless of how long you live.

my pension brochure (2)

    3. Can you illustrate through an example?

For instance if you are 55 years of age and have invested 5 million rupees you will receive a monthly pension of Rs. 41,750 (Annual pension will be Rs. 501,000) plus a life cover of Rs. 5,500,000 less total monthly pensions paid up to death. This monthly pension will be paid for as long as you live. The monthly pension will vary depending on the initial investment that you have paid. The other remarkable feature of this pension plan is that if you buy it at an older age, the pension you will receive will be more. For instance, a person aged 65 investing Rs. 5 Million will receive a monthly pension of Rs. 43,750 (Annual Pension of Rs. 525,000) with the same life cover for 10 years.

     4. What will happen if the policyholder dies within the first 10 years? Will the family get anything back?

Yes, that is what we are addressing through the life cover attached to the policy. If a policyholder dies within 10 years of taking the policy, his nominated beneficiaries will receive 110% of the investment less the pensions received by the policyholder up to his death. This effectively ensures that the initial investment is protected in the event of an early death. For instance if someone aged 55 invest one million Rupees and dies after two years of receiving the pension, his beneficiaries will receive approximately Rs. 900,000/-. This is in addition to the monthly pension of approximately Rs. 200,000/- already received by the policy holder.

     5. Normally a pension is given to government employees, what qualifications do you need to possess in order to  attain this product?

In order to obtain a My pension retirement plan you need to be within the entry age 55 to 80 & pay an initial investment for the single premium in the value range of Rs. 1 Million to 25 Million.

Out of all the retirement products in the market and considering the market interest rates, my pension is the best product available offering the highest pension for a given investment. The specialty about this product is that even though the interest rates fluctuate in the market, you will get the same fixed amount that was calculated at the time of committing. You will get a monthly pension from the day that you bought this product till the last day that you live. Even if you have been a government employee or a private employee same applies to all who obtain this pension plan.

Manjula De Silva, MD HNB Assurance

     6. From where can you get a ‘mypension’ plan?

My pension’ can easily be obtained from any of the 51 HNB Assurance branches that are located Island wide or from any of the 175 HNB branches where Bancassurance counters of HNB Assurance are located. Customers can also call the dedicated 24 hour hotline on 0114-384-384 to get more details or visit the Customer Service Center located at 51A, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 3.

     7. It is clear that ‘mypension’ is an attractive pension plan, Can you say something about the company that offers it?

HNB Assurance is a trusted company with a Fitch rating of ‘A (lka)’ which implies the strong financial stability of the company. We are a proud subsidiary of HNB which is one of the largest private sector commercial banks in Sri Lanka with a heritage of more than 125 years. Our hope is that our customers have a safe, independent retirement where they can enjoy their retirement with no stress, with an abundance of confidence that we will look after their financial needs.

Manjula de Silva – Managing Director of HNB Assurance

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

Road Rage in Sri Lanka: Are You at Risk?

Road accidents in Sri Lanka are a daily occurrence, with numerous cases being highlighted in the news. In large cities such as Colombo and Kandy, accidents are far more common due to the large numbers of varied transportation options (three wheelers, trucks, automobiles, buses etc) and due to more narrower, sometimes overcrowded roads.

Breakdown of Motor vehicles in Sri Lanka: 2013The Ministry of Transport estimated the total vehicle population to be at 5million (see above) as of 2013. The most recent case of an accident highlighted in the news (at the time of writing) involves two buses colliding on the Southern expressway.

In the HNB Assurance call centre alone, this year we have been at our busiest on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, with an average of 60 motor claims per day, an increase from 2013 where the corresponding number was 50. Furthermore, our data reveals that in the last two years an overwhelming majority of these claims (98%) are road accidents, with theft of parts and flooding a distant second.

Attempts have been made to identify the causes of these accidents. Dr. Godakumbura singles out young drivers suggesting that they are more likely to drive faster, use their mobile phones when driving, more likely to drive late at night and are more likely to feel the effects of alcohol than older drivers. He adds that motorcyclists and three wheel drivers are highly involved in road accidents. This view is supported by Dissanayake  and the Ministry of Transport.  Dissanayake reveals that a large number of motorcyclists  travel without using a helmet, which is a leading cause of injury. Fazlulhaq reports that upto 60% of grievous injuries and fatal accidents are caused by a combination of high speed and driver fatigue.

driver fatigue

The economic impact of road accidents has been documented by Nithershini, P et al (2012) who report that families suffer heavily as their primary breadwinner (often a male) is badly injured or even killed due to road accidents, and just 14% of these families possess life insurance in order to protect themselves from such tragedies. Wijesiri (2012) reported that road accidents cost Sri Lanka over Rs 9.3billion annually.

Which brings us to you, dear reader. Are you at risk? Take a moment to consider about how you drive; do you exceed the speeding limit? Do you race other cars on the roads and overtake dangerously? Chances are some of you who are reading this article have had first or second hand experience with an automobile accident. We kindly request you, whether motorist or pedestrian, to follow these tips the next time you travel:

  • Don’t drive if you are tired. Rest or have someone else drive you.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings, all it takes is for someone to make one small mistake which can have a large impact on your life.
  • Drive slower. Its better to get there late than not get there at all. If you must be somewhere on time, leave earlier to beat the traffic.
  • Do not use your phones while you drive/cross, your attention must on the road at all times.
  • Wear your seatbelt. Not only is it the law, but it could save your life in case the unexpected happens.
  • Don’t drink and drive.  Ever. If you take the wheel under the influence of alcohol you are taking your life, and the life of others into your own, unsteady hands.
  • If you haven’t already, look into motor insurance and life insurance to safeguard you and your family against the unexpected.

Do you have any more tips on road safety? Tell us in the comments and subscribe for more road safety tips.

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.


Sources

14 persons injured in Southern Expressway accident, The Nation, 31 August 2014. [Accessed 2nd September 2014].

Dr. Godakumbura, VW, 2013, Accidents are Preventable: Road Accidents, part 1, The Island, 26 June. [Accessed 29th August 2014].

Dissanayake, C, 2014, Road accidents in top gear, The Sunday Times, 27 April. [Accessed 1st September 2014].

Fazlulhaq, N, 2013, Road accidents still No.1 killer with 500 fatalities in 2013, The Sunday Times, 5 May. [Accessed 31st September 2014].

Nithershini, P, Dharmaratne, SD, Nugegoda, DB, Ostbye, T & Lynch, CA, 2012, The economic impact of road traffic injuries on households in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Injury Prevention, vol. 18, no. 1. pp. 33. Available from: Injuryprevention website. [Accessed 30th August 2014].

The Ministry of Transport Sri Lanka, Statistics, Department of Motor Traffic: Vehicle Population.

The Ministry of Transport Sri Lanka, Statistics, National Council for Road Safety: Vehicle Accidents.

Wijesiri, L 2012, The Swedish approach: Adopting a zero target for road accidents, The Sunday Observer, 20 May. [Accessed 2nd September 2014].

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raises $88million, creates awareness about Motor Neuron Diseases

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS has been the major topic which has gained considerable news in the last few days due to the Ice Bucket challenge. What is ALS you ask? This is a disease which gradually destroys nerve cells. These nerve cells are important as they affect our ability to move our muscles in order to eat, speak, move and breathe . Although the disease is incurable, medication and therapy is effective at slowing down its progression of ALS.

About the challenge: The Ice bucket challenge is a unique way to gain awareness and raise funds to a worthwhile cause, the ALS society in America. The challenge starts when a nominated person is given 24 hours to either donate $100 to the ALS Society or to douse themselves with ice water and then nominate 3 or more people to continue the challenge. This creates  a snowball effect where the message is passed on to enough people and funds are generated along the way. So far, the challenge has brought in a staggering $88million** so far compared to $2million it raised during the same time last year.

This challenge has been popular enough for big celebrities like Mark Zuckerberg, Nina Dobrev, Jessica Alba, Richard Branson, Bill Gates and David Beckham to get involved in. Most recently, our very own Iraj Weereratne was reportedly the first to take the challenge in Sri Lanka and the likes of Randhir, Bathiya and Santhush, Otara Gunewardene, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara (see below) have followed suit. Needless to say, the ice bucket challenge has become a hit in Sri Lanka, a country where the dare did not even originate.

Our boys Sanga and Mahela get soaked for a good cause. Image credit: http://www.24newslanka.com

As a life  insurance provider, motor neuron diseases are covered by some of our policies*. We wish to take this opportunity, to request those who may have early signs and symptoms of ALS to get checked as soon as possible.

Have you been nominated to take part in the challenge? If so, we want to know about it. Send your videos to our Facebook page and  tell us in the comments who YOU wish to nominate.

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

* Terms and conditions apply. Please check your individual policy for further information

** The total number collected by donations is correct as of the date of publication