The Top 5 Myths of Life Insurance (and how not to get caught up in the hype…)

5 myths of life insurance

When it comes to protecting yourself and your family the most important thing is to get the facts and take the mystery out of your financial protection once and for all. Most people are surprised at how financially exposed they are and the right life insurance policy at the right price can be critical at the right time. When it comes to life insurance there are many misconceptions that ultimately stop people from considering it as an option. So here are our top 5  life insurance myths…


Myth 1 – Life Insurance companies do not pay claims.

This is probably the biggest life insurance myth and is not based on any evidence. Life insurance companies pay in excess of 99.2% of all claims made in Ireland. According to Aviva’s latest statistics, the leading causes of such claims continue to be cancer, cardiac and respiratory issues. So what about the other 0.08%? Most of the claims not paid were due to major non-disclosure of medical history in the application. To ensure that your life insurance claim gets paid, make sure you disclose your medical history properly.


Myth 2 – If I’ve ever had an illness I cannot get cover!

It is true that life insurance companies underwrite medical (and in some cases occupational) history. This is not to find a reason to decline people cover, but rather to get the information required to offer cover! The life insurance industry has moved on in leaps and bounds in the last decade and many pre-existing illnesses that once made a person unable to obtain cover are now not considered as serious by an insurer.


Myth 3 – I don’t need life insurance!

If only we were all in that situation, but the reality is normally quite different. Life Insurance provides a capital amount on death, it can be used to pay off debts, pay for funerals and provide an income for the family left behind. It’s your financial safety net to protect your partner and children if anything should happen to you. Could your family source the funds needed immediately for a funeral? Could they continue to pay the bills? What about childcare?


Myth 4 – Life insurance is expensive!

The myth that life insurance is expensive is more an individual notion as its value is different for everyone.  But let’s compare the cost of life insurance to other types of insurance. A typical car insurance quote for a 40-year-old male to insure a car valued at €30,000 (comprehensive car insurance) costs around €650 p.a.*  That same premium will get the same 40-year-old male (non-smoker) around €750k life insurance cover over a 10-year term!

*O’Leary Insurances


Myth 5 – I can just put money away in the bank instead!

If you can save enough for your family, for them to be financially secure on death then you most likely do not need life insurance. However, let’s look at the life insurance v car insurance example above. If you save €650 a year it would take 1153 years to save €750K. What about saving enough in 20 years? You would have to save €37,500 a year! Life insurance is a cost, but a much lower cost to obtain financial protection than other means.

Family Protection


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