Product focus – Section 72 Insurance

May 5, 2020

We have recently noticed an increase in the number of queries from some of our existing clients who are entering their estate planning phase. The average age seems to be c. age 55. Perhaps it’s because their children have reached college age or they have more time to dwell on mortality during these strange Covid 19 times!

You can set up a Section 72 insurance policy up to the age of 74.

To this end, we have set up a product specific website, that looks at everything involved with setting up a Section 72 Insurance policy in Ireland.

Please take a look at

If you ever have any questions about any type of insurance that involves life assurance or illness insurance, please feel free to get in touch with us on 01 668 6136 or complete our contact form here.

We would welcome any feedback you have!

Remuneration – How do we get paid?

March 30, 2020

Our Remuneration / How we get paid.

We, Ltd. t/a MedProtect, act as intermediary (Broker) between you, the consumer, and the product provider with whom we place your business.


We receive a financial commission from life assurance companies when we place your business with them.  The amount of commission that we receive is a percentage of the premium that you pay, so the larger the premium, the higher the financial payment that we receive.  We receive a considerably higher % in the first year (initial commission) than we do in any subsequent years (renewal commission) of your policy remaining in force.  We may, or may not, receive this first year’s amount in full at the start of your policy (known as indemnity commission).  This is a choice that we make on an individual policy basis.

We hold agency agreements with the following life assurance companies in Ireland;

Aviva Life & Pensions / Irish Life / New Ireland / Royal London / Standard Life / Zurich

We only arrange 3 forms of protection insurance policies;

  • Income protection.  We would usually place this type of business with Aviva Life & Pensions because of the quality and price of the product.  They have a great claims payment history, particularly following their acquisition of Friends First in 2019.  We would usually take 100% of the first year’s premium in the form of indemnity commission and 15% of the premium every year thereafter for as long as your policy remains active.
  • Life assurance. We would usually place this type of business with Royal London because of the price of their policies, their engaging underwriting considerations and their quality service –  prior to setting up the policy, during the policy lifetime and when claiming.  We would usually take 100% of the first year’s premium in the form of indemnity commission and 10% renewal commission thereafter for as long as your policy remains active.  Royal London also offer us the option of taking an additional 25% commission OR to reduce your premium by either 12.50% or 15%, depending on which product you are taking.  9 times out of 10, we will pass the reduction in premium on to the client instead of taking the additional commission.
  • Specified Serious Illness Cover.  We do not arrange much of this type of insurance, but when we do, we place this type of policy with whichever company has the most comprehensive cover on offer at the time of applying.  So far, this has been either Royal London or Zurich.  Commission payments for this policy type are the same as for life assurance – see above.

The Background

Pursuant to provision 4.58A of  the Central Bank of Ireland’s September 2019 Addendum to the Consumer Protection Code, all intermediaries, must make available in their public offices, or on their website if they have one, a summary of the details of all arrangements for any fee, commission, other reward or remuneration provided to the intermediary which it has agreed with its product producers. 

What is Remuneration?

Remuneration is the payment earned by the intermediary for work undertaken on behalf of both the provider and the consumer.   The amount of remuneration is generally directly related to the value of the products sold.

What is Commission?

Commission is payment that may be earned by an intermediary for work undertaken for both provider and consumer.

There are different types of remuneration and different commission models:

Single commission model: where payment is made to the intermediary shortly after the sale is completed and is based on a percentage of the premium paid/amount invested/amount borrowed.

Trail/Renewal commission model:  Further payments at intervals are paid throughout the life span of the product.

Indemnity Commission

Indemnity commission is the term used to describe a commission payment made before the commission is deemed to be ‘earned’. Indemnity commission may be subject to a clawback (see below) if the consumer lapses or cancels the product before the commission is deemed to be earned.

Other forms of indemnity commission are advances of commission for future sales granted to intermediaries in order to assist with set up costs or business development.

Life Assurance/Investments/Pension Products Ltd. t/a Med Protect do not currently offer advice on any pension or investment products and as such, we do not receive any commission for these policy types from any product provider.  We provide advice on protection products only.

For Life Assurance products commission is divided into initial commission and renewal commission (related to premium), fund based or trail (relating to accumulated fund).

Trail commission, bullet commission, fund based, flat commission or renewal commission are all terms used for ongoing payments. Where an investment fund is being built up though an insurance-based investment product or a pension product, the increments may be based on a percentage of the value of the fund or the annual premium. For a single premium/lump sum product, the increment is generally based on the value of the fund.

Life Assurance products fall into either individual or group protection policies and Investment/Pension products would be either single or regular contribution policies.  Examples of products include Life Protection, Regular Premium Life Assurance Investments, Single Premium (lump sum) Insurance-based Investments, and Single Premium Pensions.


Investment firms, which fall within the scope of the European Communities (Markets in Financial Instruments) Regulations 2007 (the MiFID Regulations), offer both standard commission and commission models involving initial and trail commission. Increments may be based on a percentage of the investment management fees, or on the value of the fund.


Clawback is an obligation on the intermediary to repay unearned commission. Commission can be paid directly after a contract is concluded but is not deemed to be ‘earned’ until after a specified period of time. If the consumer cancels or withdraws from the financial product within the specified time, the intermediary must return commission to the product producer.


The firm may also be remunerated by fee by the product producer such as policy fee, admin fee, or in the case of investment firms, advisory fees.  We do not currently have any arrangements of this sort in place with any product provider (insurance company).

Preferred Provider Rate

We do not currently have any arrangements of this sort in place with any product provider (insurance company).

Other Fees, Administrative Costs/ Non-Monetary Benefits

The firm may also be in receipt of other fees, administrative costs, or non-monetary benefits such as:

  • Attendance at product provider seminars
  • Assistance with Advertising/Branding

This is not currently the case for Med Protect. We primarily attend the life assurance companies’ online webinars to keep us abreast of any relevant changes in the industry to ensure we remain sufficiently advised to provide you with the best advice.  We do not pay to attend these webinars.  We do occasionally attend physical industry related seminars which are usually held in hotels and we do not pay to attend these events.  We do not receive any other form of financial assistance from any life assurance companies.

Why Choose Income Protection From Aviva?

July 29, 2015

Aviva Logo

Why choose an income protection policy from Aviva?

Other than the obvious main benefits of having an income protection plan to ensure you will continue to have a source of income when you are unable to work, Aviva have recently highlighted some of the reasons why you should choose their product over another life assurance company’s;

1. They cover the greatest number of occupations out of all the life companies.

2. They will provide you with access to Best Doctors as a standard feature of their policy.  Only Aviva provides access to this unique high value benefit at no extra cost.

3. The widest range of deferred periods – They offer deferred periods of 4,8,13,26 & 52 weeks.

4. Highest benefits in the market.  Up to €250,000 p.a. income protection benefit is available.  In addition to this, with Executive Income Protection, a pension premium protection benefit of €50,000 p.a. can also be provided.

5. Continued cover during unemployment.  If a customer becomes unemployed, they will continue to cover them on a reduced benefit of €12,000 p.a. on a ‘work tasks’ basis.  If they resume work within a year, they will reinstate their benefits.

6. Free Personal Accident Cover (Personal Income Protection ONLY). Cover is provided from the date of signing the proposal form to the date of underwriting decision or up to 90 days if earlier.  Further details available.

There are many reasons why you would need and benefit from an income protection plan and likewise, there are also many more reasons why you should pick an Aviva Income Protection Plan over their competitors, not least for the fact that they have just reduced their rates by up to 20%, so if you would like to explore your options further, please contact Brian Whelan on 01 668 6136.

Underwriting… revisited.

March 23, 2015

I was recently asked by a client whether a particular level of underwriting was absolutely necessary, so I thought it would be a good idea to re-visit this topic, which I originally posted in 2013.

What happens once you fill in a proposal form for life assurance, income protection or specified serious illness?

A proposal form for any of these types of insurance involves answering a number of health related questions with yes or no.  If you answer yes to any of the questions, you should provide as much information as possible to allow an underwriter to make a decision based on the information you have provided.

The main purpose of answering questions and providing information, is so the underwriter can assess whether you are at a higher risk of claiming from your policy than any other person of your age. 

For instance, a smoker is, statistically, more likely to have a claim on a health related insurance policy than a non-smoker, so the price is higher.  The questions on the form are broken down into groups, some of which ask ‘have you EVER suffered from X’ and some ask ‘have you suffered from X within the LAST 5 YEARS’.

Depending on the information you provide and / or the level of cover you are applying for and your age, you may be asked to provide some more information on a particular illness or to complete a separate form specific to that illness.  Likewise, the life assurance company may request a report from your GP that provides them with more specific information called a PMA report – A Private Medical Attendant’s report.  They may also ask that you attend for an independent medical examination, which may also involve a stress ECG and blood tests.  The cost of any additional investigations such as the report from your GP or the medical exam is paid for by the life assurance company.

Even if you have never been sick in your life (other than colds and flus etc.), if your level of cover is very high and you are a slightly older applicant, there will be some additional medical evidence required.  For instance, a 48 year old person looking to take out income protection benefit of €150,000 per annum would have to attend for an independent medical exam, blood tests and a stress ECG.  They would also look for a report from your GP.  This allows them to have a full picture of your current health condition and subsequently, offer you a policy either with normal acceptance terms or with altered terms, which may involve a higher premium.

It IS possible to get some form of life assurance or income protection cover without having to provide any additional medical evidence, but you will sacrifice on the level of cover that you are looking for.  If your proposal form is ‘clean’ (You have very little, if any, medical history) and you are looking for a small amount of cover, the life assurance company may just accept what you have written down as your answers and issue your policy.

If all of the above sounds daunting, don’t be put off.  Our job is to guide you through this process and advise you of any requirements as you complete the form.  Make 2015 the year when you finally organise your protection cover.  Call an independent advisor today on 01 668 6136.

Friends First Income Protection Campaign

February 26, 2014

You may have heard the recent ads on the radio for Income Protection from Friends First.  Below is some additional information.  If you would like to learn more, just get in touch – 01 668 6136.



  • Income Protection from Friends First provides you with an alternative Income if an accident or illness prevented you from working and earning a living
  • It helps take care of your financial needs at a time when money worries should be the last thing on your mind as you focus on recovery



Income Protection from Friends First

  • Income Protection can give you up to 75% of your usual income when you’re off work due to illness or injury.
  • Income Protection covers any illness, any injury and any disability. This gives you the complete peace of mind of knowing that no matter what happens, you and your loved ones are protected.
  • This money is guaranteed until your selected retirement date if you’re not fit to return to work.
  • Your premium won’t increase if you make a claim.
  • If you do make a claim, we’ll give you all the support and training you need to return to work while paying your claim.
  • We are proud of the fact that we have been paying some of our customers a replacement income for the last 35 years.


But don’t just take our word for it: 

  • Our satisfied customers have made us market leaders in Income Protection.
  • Our recent independently run claimants’ survey resulted in:
    • 87% Overall Claimants Satisfaction level and
    • 88% of our customers telling us they would recommend us to friends and family
  • We were voted ‘Best Income Protection Product’ by the Irish Brokers Association in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013


If you need some advice on taking out your income protection plan, call us – we’re very good at it.  01 668 6136.

Dual income households

November 19, 2013

Some interesting reading below from Friends First.

If dual incomes are needed to sustain the household – why aren’t people protecting both incomes?

There are around 975,000 women currently active in Ireland’s labour market and according to statistics from the ESRI, women are increasingly likely to have the advantage. The woman has higher educational qualifications than the man in 34% of couples of mean age 26-40 years, compared to just 18% where the opposite holds. Even more strikingly, in 42% of these younger couples the woman has the higher occupational classification – making it crucial for women to take steps to protect their income as well as that of their male partner.

Many households need joint incomes to manage their current standard of living and following the EU Gender Directive in December 2012, the cost of Income Protection for working women has dropped considerably, making this a great time for women to consider Income Protection.

More Women are claiming on Income Protection than ever before.

Friends First claimant research has shown that more women are claiming now than ever before. (59% female vs. 41%male) and even more surprisingly between the ages of 35-45.

Mental health disorders are the most common cause of Income Protection claims at Friends First. Depression is the most prevalent women’s mental health problem and could be more persistent in women than men.

In Ireland, an average of**30,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year. The number is expected to rise to over 40,000 per year by 2020. More women are surviving breast cancer than ever before, but could be faced with prolonged periods off work for treatment or recovery.

Women have unique health issues. And some of the health issues that affect both men and women can affect women differently. For example,

  • *Women are more likely to die following a heart attack than men
  • *Women are more likely to show signs of depression and anxiety than men
  • *Osteoarthritis affects more women than men


*Source: NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
**Source Nov. 2013


Changes to HSE sick pay terms – January 2014.

The new Public Service Sick Leave Scheme is due to come into operation on 1st January 2014.

What does this mean for you?

Currently, as a HSE employee, you may receive up to 6 months full pay, followed by 6 months half pay, subject to an overall maximum of 365 days’ sick pay leave, in any 4 year period.  This is not the case for all staff, but for medical staff, it is a useful rule of thumb to refer to.  Your individual circumstances may differ from this.  With effect from 1st January next, this will reduce to 3 months full pay followed by 3 months half pay and then nothing.  These new provisions will apply to all health service employees.

This means that if you suffer from some form of illness or disability that results in you not being able to work, your employers will pay you your full salary for the first 3 months of your illness and then half pay for the following 3 months.  After 6 months of being unable to work, you will not receive any pay from your employers.  This means no new money coming into your household every month.



Our question to you is – How will you pay for everything in your life if this happens to you?  Mortgage repayments, electricity bills, grocery costs, children’s education costs and car insurance costs will not go away.

Our answer is an income protection plan.  A simple insurance policy that provides you with the peace of mind that you will continue to receive an income when you cannot earn and your employers are no longer giving you any sick pay.  The Revenue Commissioners have approved this plan, providing you with tax relief on the premiums at the marginal rate of 41%.  This is not a luxury product – it is vital.  The simple fact is that sometimes people suffer from illnesses, accidents, disabilities or injuries that prevent them from earning.  They don’t want these illnesses, plan for them or ask for them – they just happen.  Make sure that you and your family don’t add to the trauma of these events by suffering from additional financial worries.

Request a quote for an income protection plan today.  We will email you some quotes, meet with you, guide you through the process and get your plan started for you.  Alternatively, phone an advisor now for a confidential chat about your own circumstances – 01 668 6136.



Income Protection Plan = Peace of mind.


Financial Journey

July 18, 2013

One of the most effective things that we do when we first meet with a client is to take them through a quick financial journey – This journey is designed to highlight what would happen, financially, if a major life event were to happen.  As morose as it may sound, it is an important journey to take.  What would happen to your family’s finances and ability to pay for anything if you were to suffer from a serious illness or injury or even die?  If you died, they wouldn’t have any more mortgage repayments as your mortgage protection policy on your home-loan will clear off the outstanding balance.  But how would they continue to pay for everything else – school fees, shopping, household bills etc?  Is the income of the surviving partner sufficient to meet all bills?  What if they aren’t employed?

What if you suffered from an illness that kept you out of work for a number of months or even years?  How long will your savings last paying all of the regular bills in addition to the new medical bills?  Your mortgage repayments still need to be paid.  In as much as a bank may be sympathetic to your situation, they will still want money from you every month. A mortgage protection policy does NOT cover mortgage repayments if you become ill.

Our journey involves asking you these questions, seeing what cover you currently have and matching that against one of these major life events.  In far too many cases, the people we meet believe that they already have adequate cover in place to ensure there will continue to be a regular stream of money available to them, when the reality is that they don’t.  We check your existing cover for suitability and to see if we can get a better price and quality of cover elsewhere.  We also highlight any areas where we feel you may not have enough cover or have too much cover.  We then make our recommendations to you , which you can either accept or reject.  If you accept them or would like to tweak them slightly, we then move on to the next step of organising the cover for you, guiding you through the forms and any questions.

The ultimate result being that having highlighted some problems that you may not have thought of, we organise protection cover for you to make sure your family would be covered if you were to die or suffer from a serious illness during your working life, which would have an impact on the financial health of those you leave behind.  It doesn’t need to take alot of time (we do pretty much most of the work) or cost very much (we work to your budget).

Make it your Summer resolution to put aside one hour to get this potential problem resolved once and for all – Phone Brian Whelan today on 01 668 6136 or contact Brian by email on

Clarification of what we do for you.

June 19, 2013

I sometimes notice that there is some confusion out there as to what Med Protect do for clients and what we actually offer advice on.

To clarify – We do not offer professional indemnity insurance for medical professionals – We deal with the financial issues that would arise for the individual and their family should they suffer from an illness, disability or injury that would prevent them from working and earning an income.  We also ensure that money would be made available to their family should they die during or after their working years.  We do this for the individual rather than the occupation.

One of our jobs is to make sure that you, as a person who happens to be employed or working as a medical professional, would continue to be financially stable if something medical were to happen to you which would jeopardise you being able to pay for everything in your daily life such as car insurance, groceries, electricity for your home, school fees for your children etc.

Our advice comes in the form of recommending a) how much of what type of cover and b) which company’s product should you pick.  They all claim to have the best and the cheapest, but their small print and quotes might suggest otherwise.

We also provide advice and act as a sound-board to GP’s who have entered into or are entering into a partnership with others.  What would happen if X happened?  What would happen if one of the partners dies and the surviving partners don’t have enough money to buy out the deceased partner’s share from their estate?

Call me on 01 668 6136 or email me on with any questions or concerns that you may have.  We have the answers and the reassurance. A one hour evening or day time consultation could sort everything out for you.

MedProtect quoted in IMN article.

June 17, 2013

We were quoted in an article on the importance of income protection policies in this week’s issue of the Irish Medical News – I think it makes for a thought provoking read.  Many thanks to the editorial staff at for providing us with the opportunity to provide a quote for the article.

Read article here – Irish Medical News article 17062013

If you have any concerns or questions about how to protect your income, please feel free  to contact a qualified advisor on 01 668 6136 or by email at



Why do I need to protect my income?

This is a question that I get asked surprisingly frequently.  I hope to make this answer as simple and effective as possible as it is genuinely important that as many people as possible realise that if they didn’t have an income, for whatever reason, it would cause a very real financial problem.

In Ireland, there is no legal obligation on your employer to provide you with any pay when you are unable to work due to an illness or disability –  FACT.  Some employers, such as the HSE, provide some sick pay, which is great, but it is quite limited and it looks like it is set to become even more limited over the next 12 months.  What happens if your illness lasts longer than your sick pay benefit?

If you are self-employed, yes, you can do what you like and provide full pay to yourself if you want, but the reality is that if you are not working, you are not earning, hence there may be nothing there to pay yourself with.  A self-employed person, such as a G.P. or a private consultant, will not even receive the €188.00 per week State Disability Benefit.

Your income pays for everything from car insurance premiums to groceries, mortgage repayments etc.  If you don’t have an income, you need savings to pay for these things.  The lucky few with savings will find that they last for a very limited time.

Taking out an income protection plan makes great sense.  In addition to the peace of mind that it provides you and your family, it will ensure that you continue to have a regular income (up to 75% of your gross annual income) if you are unable to work due to an accident, illness, disability or injury.  As a Revenue approved policy, the premiums qualify for tax relief, which makes it significantly more affordable than most people think.

Fill in this quick form here – and we will organise your quotes for you.  Anyone who has ever claimed from their income protection plan understands their true value.

Life assurance cover

January 14, 2013

If you don’t have any life assurance cover, other than your mortgage protection policy to cover the mortgage on your home, it may be time to set up a simple policy that provides a lump sum of money to your estate in the event of your death.  Everyone has their own reasons for needing life assurance cover, from ensuring there is enough money available for your children to receive a full third level education, to making sure your partner has enough money to live off if your income is no longer coming into your home.  But how much does it cost?  The following are a couple of quotes for a very simple life assurance policy that would cover you up to your 65th birthday.  The policies below can be continued after this date if needs be.

1. A 35 year old, non-smoking person insured for €150,000 up to age 65.

Monthly premium: €16.65 or if you are self-employed, this could cost as little as €9.82 per month.

2. A 35 year old, non-smoking person insured for €350,000 up to age 65.

Monthly premium: €34.52 or if you are self-employed, this could cost as little as €20.37 per month.

It needn’t break the bank every month and it could make all the difference to those you leave behind.  It is very easy and quick to set up.  Contact Brian Whelan of Med Protect NOW on 1890 254 000 or fill in the simple quote request form at



Medical underwriting. What is involved?

December 17, 2012

What happens once you fill in a proposal form for life assurance, income protection or specified serious illness?

A proposal form for any of these types of insurance involves answering a number of health related questions with yes or no.  If you answer yes to any of the questions, you should provide as much information as possible to allow an underwriter to make a decision based on the information you have provided.  The main purpose of answering questions and providing information, is so the underwriter can assess whether you are at a higher risk of claiming from your policy than any other person of your age.  For instance, a smoker is, statistically, more likely to have a claim on a health related insurance policy than a non-smoker, so the price is higher.  The questions on the form are broken down into groups, some of which ask ‘have you EVER suffered from X’ and some ask ‘have you suffered from X within the LAST 5 YEARS’.

Depending on the information you provide and / or the level of cover you are applying for and your age, you may be asked to provide some more information on a particular illness or to complete a separate form specific to that illness.  Likewise, the life assurance company may request a report from your GP that provides them with more specific information called a PMA report – A Private Medical Attendant’s report.  They may also ask that you attend for an independent medical examination, which may also involve a stress ECG and blood tests.  The cost of any additional investigations such as the report from your GP or the medical exam is paid for by the life assurance company.

Even if you have never been sick in your life (other than colds and flus etc.), if your level of cover is very high and you are a slightly older applicant, there will be some additional medical evidence required.  For instance, a 48 year old person looking to take out income protection benefit of €150,000 per annum would have to attend for an independent medical exam, blood tests and a stress ECG.  They would also look for a report from your GP.  This allows them to have a full picture of your current health condition and subsequently, offer you a policy either with normal acceptance terms or with altered terms, which may involve a higher premium.

If all of the above sounds daunting, don’t be put off.  Our job is to guide you through this process and advise you of any requirements as you complete the form.  Make 2013 the year when you finally organise your protection cover.  Call an independent advisor today on 1890 254 000.

What happens after the EU Gender Directive comes into effect?

December 11, 2012

Once the EU Gender Directive has taken effect on 21st December, what can you expect?  Well, if you have an existing life assurance, income protection or specified serious illness plan in place, nothing will happen.  Your premiums will continue to be deducted as normal, for the usual amount.  If however, you go to take out a new policy, your premiums will differ.  All premiums quoted for after 21st December 2012 will be done on a unisex basis.  The expected changes are as follows;

1. Income protection premiums for men will be higher, but marginally lower for women.

2. Life assurance premiums for women will be higher, but marginally lower for men.

3. Premiums for specified serious illness policies will change depending on which age bracket you fall into.  For instance, males under 45 will see a small increase, but males over 45 will see a small decrease.

So what can you do to benefit from the changes?

First step should be to organise a review of your existing cover to see if any of the price changes provide you with an opportunity to improve on the price of your existing cover.  Men should consider reviewing their life assurance and women should consider reviewing their income protection.  The terms and conditions or the benefits on the policies are not changing, just the pricing structures, so if you can get the same level and quality of cover for cheaper, take it.

We are available to provide a quick and free review of all your policies.  Just call 1890 254 000 or contact us through the site here.



Personal financial protection and Budget 2013

December 4, 2012

As is largely expected from Budget 2013 to be released tomorrow, Wednesday 5th December 2012, people can expect to have less money to spend on whatever they usually spend their money on – mortgage or loan repayments, holidays, food, insurances, children’s school fees, savings or even luxuries.  This normally causes people to just get fed up and results in many people enduring genuine financial hardship… More money going out than there is coming in.  Never mind luxuries, many people end up not being able to even meet their basic living requirements.   When this starts to happen in a household, people normally sit down and try to figure out a way to survive as comfortably as they can until such a time as things turn around and become easier for them.  This can happen when the amount you have to pay out reduces and the amount of money you have coming in increases.  There are 2 things I would like to comment on with this.

1. When reducing the amount of money you need to spend every month, do you include a review of the cost of your insurances? You might be surprised by how much you can save doing this.  A life assurance review can be very quick, easy and rewarding.

2. If a household struggles financially on a reduced wage from pay cuts or higher tax deductions etc., how would they fare with no income at all if the main income earner suffers an accident or illness that stops them from earning?  No income bracket or occupation is exempt from this.


If you were to make one useful New Year’s resolution for January 2013, I suggest a brief and free phone call to discuss your financial protection – The aim being to ensure you have the right cover to suit your needs and try to pay as little as possible for it.  We can do this for you – very simply.  Just call 1890 254 000.

EU Gender Directive. Just one month to go.

November 21, 2012

Tick tock, tick tock… 1 month to go!

As dramatic as the title may seem, there is just one month to go before the EU Gender Directive comes into effect.  This means that if you are male and looking for an income protection plan, you have just one month left to apply, go through the underwriting requirements and get your policy issued.  If your policy starts from 21st December 2012 onwards, you will pay up to 50% extra for no additional benefits.  If your policy starts before this date, you will remain on the current, lower, premiums for the duration of your policy.  If you are female and looking for a life assurance policy, then the same rules apply – you have just one month to get your policy up and running or face the prospect of paying up to 25% extra for the duration of your policy.

Setting up an income protection plan does not happen overnight.  There are some medical underwriting requirements that must be met with before your plan can start.  It is imperative that you leave enough time for these requirements to be met.


If you wait any longer, there may not be enough time to get your plan started on time.  We strongly urge you to contact us with your details – – to organise the quotes and get your application in.  “I’ll look into this in the New Year” is not the approach to take as this will be too late.

Your income is what pays for absolutely everything.  Without it, you will have to survive on State disability benefit, which is €188 per week for an individual, and your savings, which may not be sufficient to keep you going for very long.


Partnership in the Healthcare Sector – Best Practice for General Practitioners

November 12, 2012

Following my recent articles in the Irish Medical News, a number of G.P.s have been in touch with me enquiring about putting partnership insurance in place.  This also brought out many questions about how to effect a partnership agreement.  The following article has been provided to me by Alan Wallace of Mangan O’Beirne Solicitors.  Please contact Alan directly with any queries or if you would like him to organise an agreement for your own partnership.



The legal definition of a Partnership is to be found in Section 1 (1) of the 1890 Partnership Act whereby it states as follows:-

“Partnership is the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view of profit”

A written Partnership agreement is essential to the carrying on of any business in the format of a Partnership. The necessity for a written Partnership agreement is highlighted by the fact that the Partnership Act, 1890 introduces terms which apply to every Partnership if they are not expressly excluded with a written partnership agreement. Importantly, for General Practitioners (GPs), lack of knowledge regarding the implications of the Partnership Act, 1890 is no defence.

All GPs conducting their business as a Partnership should be aware of the terms which are implied by the Partnership Act 1890 and to determine which are appropriate or require modification by a written Partnership agreement.

The following are some examples of terms that apply in the absence of a written Partnership agreement under the terms of the Partnership Act, 1890 to demonstrate the above:-

  • There is no right to expel a Partner.
  • Any Partner may dissolve the Partnership by simply calling a meeting and giving notice orally that the Partnership is dissolved
  • Upon the death of a Partner the Partnership will automatically dissolve under the terms of Section 33 of the 1890 Partnership Act and may be wound up at the wish of any one Partner.
  • There is no general power to retire.


It is essential that detailed legal and expert advice is sought prior to entering a Partnership, creating a Partnership or modifying a Partnership.

An examination of all aspects of the Partnership arrangement is required and should be committed to writing with careful consideration of all possible future consequences. A carefully drafted Partnership agreement with legal advice will ensure a medical practice and its Partners can evolve and adapt, as and when the need arises.

Typical areas requiring consideration are: income, profit sharing, leave, serious illness, retirement, goodwill, termination, property, taxation, management, decision making processes, insurance, drawings, patient allocation and death provisions inclusive of buy / sell provisions for existing partners at market value utilising agreed formulae.

If you have any queries in respect of this article please do not hesitate to contact Alan Wallace, a partner whom practices exclusively in the Healthcare sector at


Mangan O’Beirne Solicitors

31, Morehampton Road,

Dublin 4.

T: 01-6684333



Matching HSE sick pay benefits with an income protection plan.

November 9, 2012

On a typical HSE employment contract, an employee is entitled to 6 months full pay followed by 6 months half pay and then nothing, in the event of a long term illness or disability.  This is due to change to 3 months full pay followed by 3 months half pay over the next few months.  For the purpose of this article, I am assuming that the current sick pay provisions stand.

Your income protection plan should be put in place to ensure that the loss of income you experience in this event is minimised.  Assuming you earn all of your income through public work and there is no private income involved, this would usually mean taking out 2 separate income protection plans – one that will begin some payment of benefit after a 6 month period when the HSE halve your income and a second income protection plan that will pay the balance of your benefit to you after a 12 month period, when the HSE have stopped paying you altogether.  This structure ensures that instead of your income going from 100% to 50% to nil after a year of absence, that it goes from 100% to 75% and remains at 75% of your previous income thereafter, until you return to work, reach the age of 65 or die.

There are a number of other options and benefits to an income protection plan.  Some are payable benefits and some are included automatically in your plan.  The best way for you to make sure that you have a good plan and a monthly premium that you are happy to commit to is to have a quick chat with a protection specialist from Med Protect.  We can guide you through every aspect of your plan and as we provide protection to medical professional only, we are well versed with your existing sick pay benefits from the HSE.  If you have some additional private practice income, we can guide you through protecting this also.

I cannot stress enough how important it is that if you are male and looking for income protection that you start your plan before 21st December 2012 when the EU Gender Directive comes into force.  After this date, you will have to pay up to 50% extra for the exact same thing.  No one has discretion on this – neither me nor the life assurance company.  It is the law.  Make sure you don’t overpay by contacting Brian Whelan now on 01 668 6136 / 087 923 8879 or by email at

EU Gender Directive : 21st December 2012

October 25, 2012

From the 21st December 2012, insurance companies will no longer be able to use gender to determine the price of a product.  Whilst in principle this should be a good thing, the practical effect of this EU Gender Directive where life assurance companies are concerned is that women will start to pay up to 25% more for life assurance to bring their cost more in line with current premiums for men and men could have to pay up to a staggering 50% extra for their income protection premiums to bring them more in line with what women currently pay.

Unlike car insurance, where you effectively stop and re-start or re-price your policy every year, a protection or life assurance policy is assessed and priced just once – at the start of your policy.  This premium then remains in place for the duration of your policy.

It is important to note that if you have an existing life assurance or protection policy and you fall within either of the above brackets, there will be no change to your premiums.  Premiums for policies already in place before the 21st December will not change going forward.  However, this does mean that if you start a policy after this date, you will be subject to the new, higher premiums for the duration of your policy.

The sensible thing to do would be to act now.  If you are female and were considering taking out some life assurance over the next while, the best advice would be for you to start looking for your policy now to ensure it is in place before 21st December.  If you are male and you were considering taking out an income protection plan or reviewing the amount of cover on your existing plan, then now is the time to do it.  Realistically, you have until the end of November to get your application processed as the medical underwriting requirements for protection products, and in particular income protection, can take some time.  As we all know, trying to get anything done in December can be quite a challenge!

From the 21st of December onwards, all life assurance companies in Ireland will issue us with new pricing arrangements from which to quote.  The expectation is then, that they will all monitor each other to see who is charging what for which product and they will then position themselves according to their own competitive desires, which will result in further price changes, whether up or down.  Different life companies want different segments of the market, which is currently clearly visible in a simple life assurance quote where one company can charge 50% extra than another company for the exact same type of policy.




Females – If you think you might have the need for any form of life assurance over the next while, including G.P. partnership insurance or a simple type of life assurance that just pays out a lump sum to your family on your death, then now is the time to look into it.  Remember – if you are self-employed, you could qualify for a type of life assurance where the premiums qualify for tax relief at 41%. On a plus side, you may find that income protection becomes moderately cheaper for you after 21st December.


Males – Protecting your income is vital.  Very simply, it is what pays for everything.  If you have cover in place already, make sure it is sufficient.  If you do not have any cover, now is the time to organise it.  What might cost you €100 per month now, could very easily become €150 overnight, without any additional benefits being offered to you.  Remember – premiums for income protection policies qualify for tax relief at 41%. On a plus side, you may find that life assurance becomes moderately cheaper for you after 21st December.


Starting to look into your cover from the second week of December onwards might be too late. You are on official warning to act now!


Med Protect offer a qualified, independent and advice driven professional service to medical professionals in Ireland.  We have a very simple quote request facility on our website, which we would strongly urge you to use over the next few weeks.

Mortgage protection / PPI / Income protection / Payment protection ~ Recent confusion.

July 11, 2012

With the recent scandals of mis-selling of a variety of protection type policies by banks and others throughout the UK and Ireland, I feel it is time to provide a quick glossary or FAQ about the type of products that the media is largely talking about and the differences between them.

1. Mortgage protection – Good policy 🙂

This is quite simply a life assurance product that you must start when you take out a mortgage on your family home.  It’s sole purpose is to clear the outstanding mortgage balance in the event of the death of one of the policy holders during the mortgage term.  As your mortgage balance decreases over the years, so too will the amount payable by a mortgage protection policy.  This policy type should not be confused with a ‘Mortgage repayment protection / protector’ policy.  Mortgage protection DOES NOT cover your mortgage repayments if you are sick or lose your job.  It just provides a lump sum on death.  Some people have added in some specified illness cover to their mortgage protection policies, but this is not the norm.

2. Income protection – Good policy 🙂

Possibly the most frustrating confusion for me, as I know the true value of a proper income protection plan.  An income protection plan or PHI / Permanent Health Insurance as it used to be known, is very different to a payment protection policy.  A true income protection policy is not linked to any particular loan or mortgage… it quite simply provides you with a salary during a period of illness.  It is an insurance policy that pays out a monthly benefit if someone is unable to do their job due to an illness, accident or injury.  It DOES NOT cover redundancy and it has never claimed that it will.  An income protection policy is a very useful insurance policy to have as it will ensure you will continue to have an income stream if you cannot work due to illness.

To confuse an income protection policy with the heavily mis-sold payment protection policies is actually causing quite an amount of damage, as people associate the recent scandals about mis-selling payment protection plans with income protection plans and subsequently decide not to take out what is a very useful policy.  This is because the media have frequently referred to the problem policies as being income protection plans.  They are not.

3. PPI or Payment Protection Insurance – The bad one 🙁

THESE ARE THE PROBLEM POLICIES.  They were sold on the basis that if you ever got into a situation where you wouldn’t be able to make a monthly repayment to a personal loan or a mortgage, the policy would pay it for you.  In some cases they did, but in many cases they didn’t, due to a vast amount of get-out clauses and insurance small print.  Apparently, many people were sold the policies on the basis that their loan application might not be looked upon favourably if they didn’t take out a policy to cover the loan or they were sold one when their own circumstances, such as employment type, meant they would never have been able to make a claim.

Any insurance policy should always be justified and tailored to meet with the actual needs of the client.  It should exist to help the person if something happens that would affect them or their family financially.

If you are in any way confused about the type of cover that you have or what you feel you should have, please contact me and I will do my level best to explain each policy type to you and ensure that you have the correct type and level of cover appropriate to your own needs.  1890 254 000.

Income protection V Specified illness

July 4, 2012

Assuming you have covered any debts that you may have with life assurance – A mortgage protection policy covering the mortgage on your home and a separate life assurance policy covering any other debts, what should you consider as a secondary level of cover?  Most people will have some additional life assurance on their lives to provide for their family if they were to die during their working or earning years.  This should ensure the financial well being of your family should you die, but what would you do if you were to suffer a major illness or an accident?  Your life assurance policy won’t pay out any benefit.  The next major set of options are to choose an income protection policy (aka PHI / permanent health insurance / income continuance) or a specified illness policy (aka serious illness / critical illness).  But how do you know which one to pick or which one would be better for your own circumstances?  The best way to approach this is to be absolutely sure of the differences between the two policies.

1.  Specified illness policy.

This policy will pay out a one off lump sum if you were to suffer from one of the illnesses as defined in the list of illnesses covered in the policy conditions for your policy.  Generally speaking, life assurance companies all cover the same main illnesses or conditions, but some cover more than others and their definitions of what a particular illness is can differ.  Normally, a policy will cover around 42 to 45 illnesses.  They are very specific illnesses though, so don’t necessarily think your ship has come in if you suffer from a heart attack, which as far as you’re concerned, is pretty serious.  This is one of the reasons why the name for this policy type has changed over the years… who considers what to be serious or critical – this leads to far too many arguements and disappointment on the part of the policy holder.  A specified illness policy is a more ‘specific’ term (sorry about that!).  It shows that a detailed list and severity of illnesses are covered under your policy’s termd and conditions.

Assuming you will receive a payout from your specified illness policy if you suffer from a major incident, you could use this lump sum to pay down part or all of your mortgage or remodel your home to make it more wheelchair friendly if required.  Alternatively, you could use the money as a lump sum to feed into your current account on a monthly basis, to make sure you can cover all of your bills.  A major drawback of thsi policy type is that it can be quite expensive to cover yourself for any meaningful amoutn of money.

2.  Income protection plan.

An income protection plan is an insurance policy that will provide you with a monthly income until you return to work, reach retirement age or die.

I must admit to being biased about my preference for an income protection plan above a specified illness policy.  I feel they are more reasonably priced, thanks largely to the tax relief available on the premiums, which is not available with the premiums for a specified illness policy, but they are also far more open in terms of what types of illnesses or injuries are covered…. there is no list.  If you suffer from any accident, illness, injury or disability that prevents you from doing YOUR OWN job, then you have a valid reason to make a claim.  Interestingly, approximately 50% of all income protection claims would NOT have been covered by a specified illness policy.

As equally useful as the terms of payout is the fact that the benefit is paid to you monthly, so you will continue to have a salary to pay your bills with every month.  Sadly, if you cannot earn your regular income due to an illness or injury, your bills do not stop.  If anything, they increase.  Your children still need to eat and go to school.  Your mortgage still needs to be paid as do all of your other household bills such as electricity, gas, bins etc.

Premiums for an income protection plan qualify for tax relief at the marginal rate of 41%.  This makes this type of policy far more affordable.  You can cover a maximum of 75% of your gross annual income, less any Social Welfare Benefit.  This is NIL for a self-employed person.

In an ideal world, people would have life assurance, income protection and specified illness cover.  But no world is ideal, so you have to choose as wisely as you can based on your own circumstances, budget and what you feel to be most important.  This is a conversation that we can have with you and help you to figure out what level and type of cover you and your family need.  Call us today on 1890 254 000.

Income protection – Interesting claims statistics

June 27, 2012
When you are organising any type of insurance for yourself or your family, you need to know that if you need your policy, it will be there to help you.  The following are some interesting claims statistics from Friends First on their income protection claims in 2011.

In 2011, Friends First paid out a total of €28.1 Million in income protection claims to 1,218 people claiming from their income protection policy.  26% of these claims were as a result of orthopedic / back injury claims and 22% were for psychriatric claims.  This shows that nearly HALF of all income protection claims paid out by Friends First in 2011 were as a result of back problems and stress related issues – both very common conditions in Ireland.  The next 2 biggest reasons to claim were cancer at 14% and cardiac issues at 8%.

35% of the claims in payment have been receiving benefit from their income protection plan for over 5 years.

One of these claims is being paid to a 55 year old pilot who, at the age of 45, suffered heart problems.  He had only started his income protection plan 3 years earlier.  By the end of 2011, Friends First had paid a total of €563,000 to this individual.  Imagine how this person would have survived financially without an income protection plan.  How would you survive financially if your income stopped due to an illness, accident, disability or injury?

Did you know that you do not pay the premiums for your income protection plan whilst you are claiming from it?

Contact a professional Med Protect advisor today on 1890 254 000 or fill in the quote request form here and we can guide you through securing you and your family’s income.

Time / Convenience, Advice & Price

April 20, 2012

When determining what it is that Medical Professionals in Ireland look for from a protection or life assurance advisor, three basic requirements consistently turned up.

1. Time / Convenience – “I cannot take a full morning off to go for a medical examination.”

2. Advice – “I need to make sure that I am getting the right advice as I don’t want to have to revisit this every year.”

3. Price – “I won’t pay any more than I have to for my protection cover.”


When looking at how I could deliver on each of these requirements, I realised that I already deliver on numbers 2 and 3.  Having been in the life assurance industry in Ireland since 1993, I understand each and every protection product inside out, which I believe allows me to properly assess and advise on a client’s unique circumstances.  Med Protect also deal with every major life assurance company in Ireland, which means that I can recommend the best products, but equally as important, the best price.

So how to I make sure that a client doesn’t have to waste too much time going through forms and travelling across towns to meet an independent doctor for a lengthy medical examination?  Med Protect can now organise for a qualified nurse to call to a clients’ home or place of work to carry out a medical examination, if required by the life assurance company.  Given that higher sum assured cases tend to carry higher medical underwriting requirements, a stress and exercise ECG may also be required.  Whilst this must usually be from a completely independent source, we have agreed with some life assurance companies that for higher levels of cover cases from Med Protect clients, they will accept a stress and exercise ECG from the client’s own hospital.  The result being that our clients spend less time moving around and more time attending to their patients and their business.

Med Protect want to make this easy for our clients.  We want to advise you accurately, make sure you have the right level of the right type of cover and that you pay as little as possible for your protection requirements.  Contact us through our quick form here or phone me now on 1890 254 000.

What is a life assurance review?

February 23, 2012

A life assurance review is a simple process that involves looking at what life assurance policies you currently have, what level of life assurance you should have, based on your current circumstances and seeing if they match up.  It also involves doing a price check on your existing policies to make sure you are not paying too much every month.

There are a number of reasons why someone should carry out a review – your family may have gotten bigger, which results in a need for more cover or your children may have grown up, which will normally result in your financial responsibilities reducing. You may have given up smoking, which will result in considerably lower life assurance premiums once you have been a non smoker for at least 12 months or it could even be something as simple as life assurance premiums reducing across the board.

The simple steps involved in a life assurance review with Med Protect are as follows;

1.  Contact us HERE to organise a call or a meeting.  We can do this over the phone and email or else we can call to you.  We will ask you some questions to determine how much cover you should have based on your income, family situation etc.

2.  You sign a letter authorising us to get up to date information on your existing cover from the various life assurance companies to make sure we are dealing with fact and we are aware of all the benefits that your policies offer you.

3.  We compare your existing cover with the cover that you should have or that is available to you at a better price with either the same life assurance company or another life assurance company.

4.  We meet with you to talk you through our findings and any recommendations that we might have.  It is then up to you to determine whether or not you would like to proceed with our recommendations.  Either way, there is no cost to you for this service.


A life assurance review is always worth while.  Worst case, we find that the level of cover that you have and the price that you are paying for it is fine and you end up with a simple sheet or booklet detailing exactly which policies you have, why you have them, which life assurance company the policiy is with, what you are paying for them and when they are due to expire.  In the vast majority of cases, there is always a way to save money.

We strongly advise you to take the next easy step and contact a Med Protect advisor on 1890 254 000 or through the contact form HERE.  It’s very quick, easy and there is no cost.

Why do people take out income protection policies?

December 13, 2011

Any client that I have met with over the last 15 years in dealing with income protection policies has enquired about income protection or started an income protection policy because they are aware that if something happened to them that resulted in them being unable to work or earn their usual income, they would be in financial trouble. 

Whilst it is an issue being discussed at the moment, there is currently no legal obligation on an employer in Ireland to pay a member of staff if they are out sick.  Of course, some employer’s do, but that will always be limited to a certain amount of time, unless your employer has organised a group income protection plan.  A typical HSE contract for instance, allows for an employee, of whatever level, to receive full pay for 6 months, then half pay for the second 6 months and then nothing after the first year.  What if you had an illness or injury that resulted in you being out of work for 3 years?  Generally, people do not have enough savings to maintain all of their bills and their lifestyle for that amount of time.  Just because you are unable to work does not mean that your bills stop.  The average length of an income protection claim is for 5 ½ years.

An income protection plan is a very simple insurance policy that ensures you continue to have a regular income if you cannot work due to an accident, illness, injury or disability.  The premiums that you pay qualify for tax relief at the marginal rate (currently 41%), which also makes it a very affordable policy.

You decide how long after being out of work that you would like to start receiving your benefit – 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 13 weeks, 26 weeks or 52 weeks.  The longer you leave it, the lower the monthly premiums.  You should also match this time, known as the deferred period, up to how long you think you could survive financially using your savings or against how long your employers will pay you when out sick.  For instance, a HSE employee shouldn’t ever take out a policy that will pay them a benefit after 13 weeks if their employer is going to be paying them their full pay for the first 26 weeks of illness.  They would only be wasting their money.

To answer the initial question, people take out income protection policies for peace of mind.  They know that if something unforeseen happens to them that they will still have a regular income, which means they can still pay their bills.  It doesn’t have to cost too much.  There is always a balanced approach to structuring any insurance policy. 

Why not get a quote for your income protection policy today.  You can request your obligation free quote here or call an advisor on 1890 254 000.

We are Ireland’s leading individual income protection advisors for medical professionals. 

Budget 2012 Summary from Aviva Life & Pensions

December 7, 2011

Please see the following Budget summaries from Aviva Life & Pensions.

Both of these documents were compiled and written by Aviva Life & Pensions.


Aviva Budget Summary – 5th December 2011

Aviva Budget Summary – 6th December 2012


If you have any specific questions about how any of the budget changes will affect you with regards to your life assurance, savings, investments or pensions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1890 254 000.

Budget 2012 – Summary

Please find below a useful summary of the major relevant changes from Budget 2012 delivered Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th December 2011.  This summary was compiled and written by New Ireland Assurance.

1. Pensions.

In his speech the Minister for Finance recognised the “sizeable contribution” made by the pension sector in the last year and which will continue in the coming years as a result of changes in last year’s budget, the Finance Act 2011 and the subsequent temporary Pension Fund Levy. As a result there has been only a relatively small number of pension changes announced in the budget which we outline below. Tax relief in respect of pension contributions at an individual’s marginal rate has been maintained but the Minister has flagged that the current incentive regime for supplementary pension provision will have to be reformed”.

With this in mind the Department of Finance and the Revenue will work with the various stakeholders during 2012 to develop workable solutions. Interestingly one suggestion put forward as part of this consultation is the possibility of Pension Funds investing more in Ireland than abroad.

New Ireland welcomes the Minister’s comments and looks forward to participating in this review through the industry representative bodies.

Employer PRSI Relief on employee pension contributions

As you are aware an employer could as a consequence of the net pay arrangement, potentially save paying employer PRSI of 5.375% on employee pension/PRSA contributions. This relief has been removed with effect from 1 January 2012.

ARFs greater than €2M

The deemed annual distribution of 5% of the value of the fund as at 31 December each year has been increased to 6% for an individual whose aggregate value of assets in an ARF (or combination of ARFs) exceeds €2m. This increase will start to take effect for deemed distributions based on asset values as at 31 December 2012. We await clarification (in the Finance Bill) as to whether the value of an individual’s AMRF (currently a maximum of €119,800) will be taken into account when calculating the €2m ARF limit.

Vested PRSAs

The deemed annual distribution provisions that apply to ARFs will be extended to vested PRSAs. We expect this change to take effect from 31 December 2012. The new provision above in relation to ARFs in excess of €2m will also apply to vested PRSAs and will apply to the aggregate value of all PRSAs an individual holds once any one of them is vested.

ARF distribution on death to a Child aged 21 or over

To date the transfer of ARF assets on death to a child aged 21 or over has been subject to a final liability tax at the standard rate of income tax in force at the time (currently 20%). It is proposed to apply a higher final liability tax rate of 30% to such transfers. Further details on this provision will be set out in the Finance Bill.


2. Exit Tax

At present exit tax on life assurance policies effected on or after 1 January 2001 (which are also called gross roll-up policies) amounts to 30% and applies to any gains on the policy. This rate is being increased by 3% and will therefore be charged at a rate of 33%. The increased rates will apply to payments, including deemed payments, made on or after 1 January 2012.



Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) on bank and building society accounts will also increase by 3% to 30% where interest is credited at least annually and increase to 33% where interest is not credited at least annually. These changes will take effect from 1 January 2012.


4. Universal Social Charge (USC)

The exemption level for USC will be raised from €4,004 to €10,036 with effect from 1 January 2012. Income tax rates, tax bands and tax credits are unchanged.


5. Capital Acquisitions Tax

With effect from midnight on 6 December 2011 the capital acquisitions tax rate will increase from 25% to 30% and the tax free thresholds which are available in respect of gifts or inheritances are being reduced as follows:

Group A: Son / Daughter  Group threshold in 2011: €332,084  Group threshold in 2012: €250,000

6. Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

CGT is to increase from 25% to 30% for all disposals made from midnight on 6 December 2011.


7. VAT

The standard rate of VAT is increasing from 21% to 23% with effect from 1 January 2012.


8. Mortgage interest relief

Mortgage interest relief is increased to 30% for first time buyers who purchased their property between 2004 and 2008. Mortgage interest relief of 25% for first time buyers and 15% for non first time buyers will apply for properties purchased in 2012. No relief will be available for any purchases from 2013 onwards.


9. Stamp Duty

A single rate of stamp duty of 2% on non-residential property transactions will apply from midnight 6 December 2011.


10. State Pension (Contributory)

The personal rate of the State Pension (Contributory) remains at €230.30 per week. Therefore the ARF/taxable cash options on retirement remain dependent on having a minimum guaranteed lifetime income of €18,000 p.a., or using €119,800 to invest in an AMRF or to purchase an annuity. However the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform announced, for new claimants, new payment rates of State Pensions where the yearly average number of contributions and credits is less than 48 contributions (from September 2012). He also announced an increase in the minimum number of contributions required to qualify for a Widow/er’s Contributory Pension from 156 to 520 in July 2013.




The Finance and Social Welfare Bills are expected to be published in the New Year and we wait to see if they contain further changes not specifically announced in the Budget.

This publication is intended only as a general guide and not as a detailed analysis. In the interests of brevity and clarity, detailed information may have been omitted which may be directly relevant to an individual’s or an organisation’s circumstances. It should not be used as a substitute for appropriate professional advice. The information is provided “as is” without warranties of any kind, express or implied, including accuracy, timeliness and completeness. In no event shall New Ireland or its employees be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever (including but not limited to, liability for loss of income and/or profits), arising out of or in connection with the information provided in this publication.


© New Ireland Assurance 2011. New Ireland Assurance Company plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. A Member of Bank of Ireland Group. 7th December 2011.

Life assurance advice roadshow for G.P.s

December 5, 2011

We’re taking to the streets!

In December and January, our advisors are visiting various cities across the county, with a view to introducing ourselves to G.P.s around the country.  We will be calling in advance to make appointments, but if you would like organise something directly yourself, please complete our contact form here.

Next week, we are in Kilkenny again – Monday 12th December to Wednesday 14th December.  The following week, we are in Wexford, from Monday 19th December to Wednesday 21st December.

Specific dates for January will be updated here at the start of the month.  We plan on visiting Wicklow, Kildare and Waterford in January 2012.  We are always available around Dublin.

This is a great opportunity to spend a few minutes going through any questions that you may have about life assurance, income protection or specified illness cover.  Perhaps you would like to find out if you have the right level of cover or if it can be improved on.  Maybe you just want to see if you can get the same cover for less.  It is a free service and always very worthwhile.

We look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible.

How much does an income protection plan cost?

This depends on a number of factors, including your age, gender, occupation, whether you smoke or not and what level of benefit you are looking to insure and how quickly you would like to receive it.

An individual can cover a maximum of 75% of your gross annual income, less any State disability benefit, which is currently €9,776 per annum for an individual, although this is likely to reduce following this afternoon’s budget!

An example of this calculation is as follows;

Assume the case of an employed G.P. earning €90,000 per annum.

€90,000 X 75% = €67,500 Less the State benefit of €9,776 = €57,724.

This means that the maximum income protection benefit that they could apply for is €57,724 per annum. They will also receive the State benefit of €9,776, bring their total gross annual income with an income protection plan to €67,500, 75% of what they previously earned.  Without an income protection plan, they will only have the State benefit of €9,776 or 10.86% of their previous salary.  This is normally not enough for someone to live on, taking into account their usual monthly expenses.

Assume that this G.P. is a male, non-smoker and 40 years of age.  He has some savings, but only enough to keep him and his family going for up to 3 months.  He would like to make sure that his cover will continue until his planned retirement age of 65.

The monthly cost for a policy that will provide all of the benefits that are being looked for here is €137.25.  This is for a policy with all the bells and whistles.  It includes full cover and all
the optional extras such as an increasing benefit, so the amount paid during a claim will increase every year.  The cost quoted is after tax relief has been availed of.

So, what will this €137.25 per month get for him?  It will ensure that he continues to receive a generous salary every single month if he is unable to work as a G.P. due to any accident, illness, injury or disability. The insurance company will continue to pay him an increasing salary until he is 65, returns to work or dies.

Ways to reduce this premium are to reduce the amount of benefit you get every month – for instance, would you survive on €50,000 per annum?  Maybe you have sufficient savings
or family support to keep you financially secure for 6 months instead of 3, in which case the life assurance company will only have to pay out benefit once you are out of work for 6 months or longer, thus reducing the risk to them, thus reducing the premium for you.

Each case is different. 

We tailor plans to meet your own specific needs.  Call us today on 1890 254 000 to organise an obligation free appointment to discuss your needs.

Picking income protection based on price alone.

November 29, 2011

Every now and then I get a call or an email from a prospective client saying that they have received a cheaper quote for an income protection policy elsewhere.

There are only 5 life assurance companies in Ireland that offer income protection cover to an individual. Each of these companies have their own charging structures based on their own risk assessment policies.  They set their own prices.  However, the people that sell their income protection product for them, be it a broker, adviser, bank or a direct sales person from that company, must all charge the same price.  It costs the same to get an income protection policy from Med Protect as it would through a bank or from the life assurance directly.

So why the difference in price?

Basically, the lower price means that you are taking a lower quality policy or lower level of cover.  This does not however mean that a higher price is a better policy.  When selecting which income protection policy to go with, you must first decide on what it is you want from your policy and how you would like your policy structured.  You then look at which of the 5 companies offer what you are looking for and then you select the provider that will give it to you least expensively.

A major factor in selecting an income protection policy is how likely it is you will receive a payout in the event of a claim. Some companies have a better history in this than others!  It is not the more expensive ones that pay out more either.  We would generally pick from a list of 4 life assurance companies as 1 of the 5 life assurance company’s income protection policies is not a very good policy and it has severe limits on what it covers.  Each of the remaining 4 life assurance companies has it’s own pros and cons.  For instance, Aviva provide access to Best Doctors, which is a second opinion service from World leading medical experts – none of the others offer this.  Likewise, New Ireland have a ‘Confirmed Income Option’, which means that you confirm your income when you take out your policy, so your level of cover is set in stone.  If you are earning less when it comes to a claim, it doesn’t matter, you will still receive the benefit that you were applying for.  Again, none of the others
offer this.  Friends First have a very strong history of paying claims in the individual income protection market.  Both Aviva and New Ireland are quite new to the individual income protection market.

In summary, each company has it’s own strength and prices their product accordingly.  You can get an income protection policy from as low as €15 per month if you like, but you will get what you pay for.  €15 per month from Broker A gets you the exact same as €15 from Broker B.

The difference is the correct advice.

Our job is to ensure that your policy gives you exactly what it is that you are looking for from your income protection policy.  We make sure that the policy meets with your monthly budget and that when your policy starts, you are on cover for what you expected, so there will be no nasty small print problems if it comes to a claim.

Call an advisor today on 1890 254 000 or fill in our quote request form here.