Protecting and helping families since 1985

Life Insurance Policy Ownership – you need to think about it.

The ownership of your Life Insurance policy is a very important consideration.

If you are the sole owner of your Life Insurance policy you will possibly be adding further stress to an already difficult time for your family.

If you’re single then it’s most likely you own your policy solely in your own name. If you were to die, the insurance company is looking for the policy owner to pay the proceeds to, however, you’re now dead so there are laws which come into play to govern how the proceeds are divided.

Firstly, someone will have to be appointed as executor of your estate; if you have a will the executor will have been recorded in it and they will have to go through the probate process to determine who gets the proceeds of the Life Insurance policy. This can take up to 6 months to get the court’s approval.
Meaning your family will most likely have to pay for your funeral out of their own funds and be reimbursed later.

Putting the ownership of the policy in your parents names can avoid this problem. The ownership can be changed to someone else later on when your circumstances change.

If you’re married or in a de-facto relationship you might have already owned a Life Insurance policy before you met that person and never got round to changing the ownership to a jointly held basis.  
You’re wanting the proceeds of the Life Insurance policy to go to your spouse to clear a mortgage, pay for the funeral and look after the children (if any) in which case the same problem arises. The owner is now dead and the court process of probate has to occur before the funds can be released.
Incurring costs and delay!

Changing the ownership of an existing Life Insurance policy is a simple exercise and will ensure the right people/person gets the money according to your wishes.
Changing ownership costs nothing if you still have the original policy document.

If you’re taking out a new Life Insurance policy make sure you consider the ownership issue to save your family unnecessary emotional stress.

A quick call (or email) to Acorn will give you peace of mind that if the worst happens your family won’t miss out or be inconvenienced – Life Insurance is supposed to provide ‘Peace of Mind’ after all.

Mike Bennett

In 1985, after 7 years in the banking industry in NZ & London, Mike Bennett joined the Life Insurance Industry as an adviser. In 2001 he started “Acorn Insurance & Investment Ltd” with the key principle; “to satisfy the insurance and investment needs of New Zealanders with the best products and service possible”. To achieve the guiding principle of “best products and service” the “Acorn” uses various industry research tools to identify the best products and prices to meet our client’s needs. Acorn has agencies with most of New Zealand’s major insurance companies which means we are free to use whichever products best meet our client’s needs. Believing that if we get it right for our clients we will achieve win-win solutions. We also recognise that nearly all insurance solutions are a compromise between the benefits you’d like to have versus the premiums you’re prepared to pay – with this in mind we WON’T be trying to sell you more insurance than you need or want !!


  1. My partner and I stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I may as well check things out.
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  2. Life policies are legal contracts and the terms of the contract describe the limitations of the insured events. Specific exclusions are often written into the contract to limit the liability of the insurer; common examples are claims relating to suicide, fraud, war, riot and civil commotion.`’^.


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