New year, new you? This time of year is traditionally a moment for reflection - new beginnings, new directions, new goals. So if you're thinking about the changes you'd like to make, read on...
Here are some New Year's resolutions that can bring a fresh breeze of renewal into your life, and maybe even reduce the insurance premiums you're paying:
I'd like to... be more fit
Regular exercise and healthy eating are often among the New Year's resolutions for Kiwis, and with good reason - there are countless benefits to being active and eating healthy foods. For example, it can lower your risk of developing certain illnesses, and by making you feel more in control of your life, it can lift your mood.
From an insurance perspective, there's also an added benefit to consider: if you need to, active living may help you reduce your body mass index (BMI).
Your BMI is an important factor when applying for life insurance, as it's one of the things that insurers look at when calculating premiums. If you had a high BMI when you took out your policy, the insurer may have added a loading to your premium to reflect that. So if you can lower it, you may be able to get the loading removed - and save money.
I'd like to... quit smoking
It's common knowledge that smoking can lead to a number of health risks, increasing the likelihood of an insurance claim. And that's why health insurance and life insurance smoker premiums are often twice as much as non-smoker premiums.
If you were a smoker when you took out insurance, and are considering breaking the habit in the new year - we've got good news for you.
Not only would you lead a healthier lifestyle, but if you were tobacco-free for at least 12 months (with no intention to start again!), you could complete a non-smoker declaration and start paying non-smoker premiums. What would you do with all that money saved?
I'd like to... save more
Is saving more one of your goals for the new year and beyond? Good idea - saving more (coupled with reducing debt) is about building financial resilience and achieving that all-important peace of mind.
Of course, building an emergency fund is much easier said than done, but with careful planning and budgeting, you can make every dollar count.
From an insurance standpoint, your emergency fund may allow you to extend your 'wait period' and/or increase the excess in your insurance policy - both of which are ways to reduce your premiums.
For example, you may find that you can afford to wait a bit longer before your income protection policy starts to pay out, or that you can afford to pay more out of your pocket each time you claim on your health insurance.
I'd like to... find a 'less risky' job
Thinking of making a career move? Sometimes insurers will add a premium loading if you have a risky job (like aircraft pilot) or a dangerous hobby (like skydiving or mountain climbing), putting you in the high-risk category.
If you ever decide to change job and find something less 'dangerous', please let us know; you may be able to apply to have that premium loading removed.
I'd like to... protect my most important assets
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Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.