Definition of Life Assurance
Life Assurance provides a cash lump sum in the event of the death of the life assured. It is a coverage of an event that is certain to happen.
Note that Assurance is similar to insurance (and sometimes the terms are interchangeable) except that insurance protects policy holders from events that might happen.
Why Have Life Assurance?
How would your family cope financially if you were to die? How would they afford the mortgage, loans, credit cards payments? Would they have sufficient income to pay usual monthly costs e.g. food bills, phone bills, council tax, utility, petrol, insurance, car up-keep, holidays, presents for the kids! If not, what sacrifices do you think they should make? The last thing a grieving family needs is financial hardship.
Life Assurance aims to give you peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after in the tragic event of your death. None of us like to think about it, but understanding how this type of insurance works help you choose the policy that’s right for you.
Brief history of life assurance
Did you know that life insurance has been around since the days of ancient Rome? Or that Lloyd’s of London got its start as a coffee spot for sailors?
Here is a compilation of a few pivotal moments in life insurance history to give you a better idea of the product’s storied past.
The origins of the concept of life insurance, as we know it, can be traced to ancient Rome. Caius Marius, a Roman military leader, created a burial club among his troops, so in the event of the unexpected death of a club member, other members would pay for the funeral expenses.
Many similar clubs originated in this era. Romans believed anyone who was improperly buried would become an unhappy ghost, so the clubs were embraced by the government and military because of the deep conviction that it was absolutely essential for each person, regardless of social standing, to be buried in the correct manner. The clubs later evolved to also provide a stipend to the survivors of the deceased.
The concept disappeared for a long period of time, however, after the Roman Empire fell around 450 A.D.
Edward Lloyd’s Coffee House, a small shop on London’ Tower Street and a popular gathering place for ship captains, ship owners and merchants, becomes the go-to place for shipping news and, eventually, marine insurance. It was there that the modern concept of an insurance company came into being.
A group of professional underwriters broke off to establish New Lloyd’s Coffee House, which would eventually grow up into Lloyd’s of London.
Life insurance sales rose dramatically after World War I, peaking at $117 billion of insurance in force in 1930. By the eve of the Great Depression, there were more than 120 million life insurance policies — equivalent to one policy for every man, woman and child living in the United States at the time.
The end of World War II and the economic boom that followed boosted sales of life insurance in the United States. By the mid-1970s, 72 percent of the adult population of the United States and more than 90 percent of all husband and wife families owned some form of life insurance.
Types of Life Assurance
Here’s a summary of the basic types of life assurance policy. Within each type, there are usually plenty of options to consider, e.g. cover for critical illness, hospital cash etc.
This is a very common form of life assurance policy, as it’s a requirement for anyone obtaining a mortgage to buy a home for themselves. A simple Mortgage Protection policy will pay off the balance of your mortgage in the event of your death, or in the event of the first death where a couple take out a joint policy. Cover reduces as time passes, as you’re paying off the principal of your mortgage.
Mortgage Protection Life Assurance shouldn’t be confused with Mortgage Repayment Protection, an optional form of cover that offers to continue your mortgage repayments for a period, usually a year, if you are out of work due to illness or redundancy.
This type of policy is taken out for an agreed term, e.g. twenty years. It will pay a fixed lump sum in the event of your death within the term of the policy, or on the first death on a joint policy. Typically, a family will hold this form of cover until retirement age, or until the youngest child is old enough to fend for themselves without parental financial support.
Income on Death
This is a newer type of life assurance policy that pays out an income in the event of death, until the expiry date of the policy. The income can then be used, for example, to pay for childcare while the breadwinner goes out to work, or to replace the income if it’s the breadwinner that has died.
Pension Term Assurance
This is a form of Term Assurance that pays out a lump sum in the event of death before the policy expiry date. But you can claim tax relief on the premiums at your highest rate, which can reduce the cost significantly. It is only available to someone who is self-employed or in employment but not in a company pension scheme. You can’t have a joint policy and you can’t assign this type of policy to a bank or other lender as cover for a loan.
Guaranteed Whole of Life
This type of policy will pay a lump sum in the event of your death at any time. You continue paying the premiums for the rest of your life. The cost is fixed from the start. This type of cover will be a lot more expensive than Term Assurance as the insurance company knows it will have to pay out a claim at some point.
Reviewable Whole of Life
This type of policy can also cover you for the rest of your life, but the cost is not fixed. At regular intervals, the insurance company will review the premium and can charge you extra to continue your cover until the next review. The reviews will typically be after ten years, each subsequent five years and when you reach age seventy, annually. Personally, I don’t recommend this type of policy as the reviews can make cover unreasonably expensive as you get older.
List of Registered Life Assurance Companies in Lagos, Nigeria
GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC
CEO: MR. TOSIN RUNSEWE
ADDRESS: HERITAGE PLAZA PLOT 928A, BISHOP ABOYADE COLE STR, VICTORIA ISLAND. LAGOS, NIGERIA.
Company Website: www.gtalimited.com
GUARDIAN EXPRESS ASSURANCE LIMITED
CEO: MRS. ADETAYO A. AKINTUDE
ADDRESS: 2B GBAGADA, EXPRESSWAY, GBAGADA PHASE I, LAGOS, NIGERIA
Company Website: www.guardianexpressassuranceng.com
INVESTMENT & ALLIED ASSURANCE PLC
CEO: MR OLUSEGUN AKINYEMI
ADDRESS: 248 MURI OKUNOLA STREET, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS, NIGERIA
Company Website: www.iaaplc.com
LASACO ASSURANCE CO. LIMITED
CEO: MR. OLUSOLA OLATAYO LADIPO-AJAYI
ADDRESS: IVORY MUSIC HOUSE, 13 ALHAJA ASHABI COLE STR, IKEJA, LAGOS, NIGERIA
Company Website: www.lasacoassurance.com
LEADWAY ASSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED
CEO: MR. OYE HASSAN ODUKALE
ADDRESS: 121/123 FUNSHO WILLIAMS AVENUE, IPONRI. MARINA, LAGOS, NIGERIA
Company Website: www.leadway.com
LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC
CEO: MR. GUS. WIGGLE
ADDRESS: LINKAGE PLAZA, PLOT 94 BLOCK 20, LEKKI EPE EXPRESSWAY, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS, NIGERIA
Company Website: www.linkageassurance.com
MUTUAL BENEFIT LIFE ASSURANCE PLC
CEO: MR AKIN OGUNBIYI
ADDRESS: ARET ADAMS HOUSE 233 IKORODU ROAD, ILUPEJU, LAGOS, NIGERIA
Company Website: www.mutualbenefitsassurance.com