What is the Zurich Futura Life Policy?

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

Life is often not what you expect and neither is the Zurich Futura, which stacks up as a Swiss Army knife of  life insurance policies. Unlike many life policies that come as one-size fits all, the Zurich Futura includes a variety of tools that can be configured to meet a range of different personal circumstances.

The main benefit is life cover that pays out on the death of the lives assured – unless terminal illness cover is in place. The company specialises in property, health and life insurance for individuals, businesses and multinational corporations.

Zurich is a big name to trust in financial services, with 55,000 staff serving customers in almost every country in the world.

What is Zurich Futura?

Technically, Futura is a whole-of-life insurance with a prime purpose of paying a cash lump sum to nominated beneficiaries on the death of the life or lives assured.

The add-ons will trigger a cash payment if the person or persons insured suffer one of several listed accidents, disabilities or serious illnesses.

Futura was designed with flexibility in mind and will allow you to adjust payments, protection levels and benefits.

Need a break from paying in? The Futura can do that. Contribution holidays for up to two years are built in after the policy has run for 24 months.

Need to change your monthly payment? The Futura allows savers to raise or lower their premiums to meet their current financial circumstances or future goals.

Topping up the policy with a lump sum. Not a problem with Zurich Futura.

Want extra cover? Stretch your cover as your family changes to reflect marriage or when you have children.

And the list goes on.

Cover for all the family

Many savers want to build in terminal illness cover to give their families and loved ones a financial boost if the worst should happen to their health.

The Zurich Futura pays out on diagnosis of a wide number of conditions, but not on joint life, last death terms. If you recover, you keep any cash paid.

Other benefits include aircraft cover and medical second opinions.

Aircraft cover pays up to US$1 million if the named life on the policy is killed as a fare-paying passenger on a commercial airline.

The second opinion service looks after your health as well as your wealth. Covering everyone in your family, Zurich offers independent expert medical advice if you are unsure what to do if a doctor has  raised important health issues or a difficult diagnosis.

For instance, if your child is seriously ill, a second doctor is on hand to help with advice, which is something every parent who strives to provide the best wants for their family.

Which leads on to another add-on benefit – child critical illness cover. Up to three children can be included and the policy pays out the lower of $10,000 or 10% of the critical illness benefit sum assured.

Other health add-on benefits include waiver of premium if the named life can no longer work due to accident or illness, while other benefits pay for dismemberment, hospitalisation and family income benefit.

Funds and performance

How much these benefits pay depend on the level of contribution and how underlying funds perform and add value to the policy.

A loyalty bonus is paid on the 10thanniversary of the start of the policy and then every year at a rate of 0.5% of fund value.

Premiums depend on factors such as age, gender, health, your job and if you smoke.

For investment , Zurich Futura offers several funds that are categorized low-risk, managed or mirrors.

Mirror funds are agreed between Zurich and third-party fund managers to reflect the performance of their investments. However, the charging structures may not be the same as the fund that is being mirrored, so investment results may differ.

Flexibility and costs

Charges and fees follow market norms for this kind of product – a whole-of-life insurance policy with unit allocation.

In the first two years, no units are allocated and Zurich takes no premium charge.

After that, expect to pay charges for managing the policy and the funds you invest in.

Zurich Futura is intended as a whole-of-life product, not a short or medium term investment.

Besides life cover, this type of policy is put in place for inheritance tax planning.

As a flexible investment, Zurich Futura is a secondary product that comes behind tax-incentivised savings and investments.

But flexibility can come with a cost – so beware decreasing premiums, taking policy holidays or cashing in early as these events will impact the value of the policy and reduce benefits.

For expats, the flexibility of a contribution holiday can offer peace of mind for the family by maintaining  irreplaceable life cover should they run short of money between assignments.

Zurich Futura Review

To find out more read the iExpats Zurich Futura Review here.

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