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Cheap life insurance

Cheap life insurance does exist, you just have to look around and compare.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to give your family a financial safety net. There are options for cheap life insurance, so we did the hard work for you and have found some of the cheapest life insurance policies in New Zealand.

What impacts the price you pay for life insurance?

The following are some of the factors that impact the price of your life insurance premiums:

  • Your age. Premiums go up as we get older.
  • Your health. Healthy people pay less than those with medical problems.
  • Your lifestyle. Gym-goers may be able to claim premium reductions.
  • If you smoke. Smokers typically pay almost twice as much as nonsmokers.
  • Level of cover. The higher the benefit payout, the higher the premiums.
  • Added cover. Premiums are higher if you add trauma, income protection and total permanent disability cover to your standard life insurance policy.
  • Payment type. You can generally choose to pay your premiums in one of three ways:
    – Yearly stepped. Your premiums start out lower but increase each year as you get older.
    – Stepped. Your premium increases by a specific amount after a set period, for example 5% after 10 years.
    – Level. You pay the same price for the term of the policy.
  • Combining cover. Some insurers offer discounts to customers with multiple policies.

Different options for life insurance

You can get life insurance directly, or you could get it through a financial advisor.

TypeHow to buyProsCons
Through an advisorBuy after seeking advice from a life insurance broker or adviser.
  • Premiums may be cheaper
  • Reassurance of dealing with an expert
  • Must speak with an adviser
DirectBuy directly from an insurer without the aid of a broker or adviser.
  • Guaranteed renewable
  • Can buy online or over the phone
  • Little to no medical underwriting process
  • Cover could be more expensive
  • More effort to understand cover

Are there any downsides to cheap life insurance?

For some people, yes. That’s why you should never buy life insurance based on price alone. Always make sure you read the product disclosure statement (PDS) carefully. Risks associated with cheap life insurance include the following:

Getting a policy which doesn’t suit your lifestyle
You can get cheaper life insurance by telling your insurer you don’t smoke, but if it’s not true, your policy might not payout when you make a claim. Always be truthful, even if it’s going to cost you more money upfront.

Not being covered for health conditions
Buying life insurance without a medical questionnaire may be quicker and sometimes cheaper, but it automatically excludes any pre-existing medical conditions. If you have any health issues, expect to pay more for your life insurance.

Accidental underinsurance
If the price of your life insurance premiums seems too good to be true, it probably is. Lots of Kiwis don’t take out enough insurance for genuine financial security. While $200,000 worth of life insurance sounds great, that wouldn’t even cover half of the average mortgage in New Zealand.

Can you get cheap life insurance without a medical exam?

You can get life insurance without taking a medical exam, and while there are some decent benefits to going down this path, there are also some major pitfalls.


  • Straightforward application process
  • Little to no medical underwriting required
  • Convenient for people who know exactly what they need in a policy
  • Convenient for people who understand how specific policies work
  • Good for people who don’t need the help of an adviser


  • Insurers make assumptions on your health and the level of risk you carry
  • Premium rates may be higher compared to life insurance that has a more stringent medical underwriting process
  • May find you’re not covered for any pre-existing medical conditions you might have

Frequently asked questions

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