Is there a claim time limit?

Here's another question that our LifeDirect advisers get often asked: is there a time limit for making a claim on personal insurance (life or health cover)? Here are some key things to know.

There's no time limit on personal insurance claims

Generally speaking, here in New Zealand, there's usually no time limit on personal insurance claims. As long as your policy is still in force, the conditions are met and the event is covered by the policy, you should be able to file a claim months, or even years after the event.

Of course, that's not to say that you should wait indefinitely. In fact, filing your claim quickly can be important, because everything is still ‘fresh’ and easy for your insurer to check. But even if a long time has passed, there can always be ways to put a claim in.

Be aware of other benefit limits

While there's no ‘expiry date’ on claims, there could be other benefit limits, particularly with health insurance. These can be:

  • Annual limits – The total amount that your health insurance will pay on a particular service within a year. Coming back to the ‘claim time limit’ question, you may not be able to claim on a medical condition that happened in the past – let's say, in 2016 – if the amount exceeds the benefit limits set for the year 2016.
  • Per claim – This is the maximum amount that your insurers will pay if you were to claim on a surgery or treatment. As we explained here, most surgical limits are reasonably high, and some insurers update those limits periodically to account for rising medical treatment costs.
  • Per lifetime – Maximum lifetime benefits is the total amount that your insurer will pay over your individual lifetime (provided you keep the policy in force, of course).

It's a good idea to know and understand the benefit limits on your cover. And that's where the fine print of your policy comes in: if you have any questions about it, or would like us to walk through it with you, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Have you had a claimable event?

Sometimes, we talk with people that had a claimable event in their life, but didn't file a claim – often because they didn't think that event was claimable.

Here are a couple of tips to avoid missing out:

  • Not sure? Make sure you ask. It’s easy to overlook the details in your insurance policy. But even a seemingly irrelevant event may actually be claimable, depending on the fine print. So, whenever something happens to you, give our LifeDirect advisers a call: we can help you check.
  • Regularly review your cover. Come review time, ideally once a year, a conversation with a LifeDirect adviser can spark an ‘aha moment’ for you. We can help you check that you haven't missed out on a claim and discuss benefits that are worth taking advantage of.

Always in your corner

If you'd like to review the cover you have in place and ensure that it's still appropriate for your needs, goals and budget, get in touch. Our friendly LifeDirect advisers are here to answer your questions: give us a call on  0800 800 400 or message us here.

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 developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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