Zurich International Vista is the second most expensive regular savings plan in the market.
Zurich International Life Vista range of savings plans are called - ‘Vista – our simple, regular savings policy’, by Zurich. I can tell you right now, there is nothing simple about this product.
The charges are difficult to understand, and the product has very high surrender charges, even for the 5-year term.
Minimum Contributions & Investment Terms
Minimum Contributions - USD 300 per month / USD 3,600 per year
The Zurich International Life Vista Savings Plan offers the following terms - 5 years and above.
The Zurich International Life Vista Savings Plan is not ‘Capital Protected’ regardless of the term selected.
If you are looking for ‘Capital Protected’ Savings Plans, read this review - Investors Trust S&P500 Index Review.
Investment Options (Where the money can be invested)
The Zurich International Life Vista Savings Plan offers around 300 mutual funds to choose from.
The funds offered are from some of the top fund managers in the world, but all the funds offered in this savings plan are mirror funds.
Zurich International Life levies their own mirror fund charge over and above the fund manager's charges.
Expense Recoupment Charge - 4% each year of the value of the initial units (typically 18 months premiums)
Bid/Offer Spread - Nil
Policy Charge - USD 8.25 per month
Yearly Management Charge - 1% per annum - this charge is based on the policy value and will be deducted on a monthly basis.
Zurich International Life Vista savings plan offers bonuses and enhanced allocations, based on the total amount of annual premium paid.
The simplest way to understand charges is to see what you would end up with - at a certain level of monthly contribution, and assumed growth rate, and net of all product charges. See the section below.
What you would end up with if:
You save - USD 1,000 per month, for 5 years,
You paid - USD 60,000 in 5 years,
You get at the end of the term - USD 67,577 with an assumed growth rate of 8% (net of charges).
What an actual quote looks like:
Click on the images below to magnify them.
Jurisdiction - (Where your money is held)
Zurich International Life Limited provides life assurance, investment and protection products and is authorised by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.
For life assurance companies, the Isle of Man's Life Assurance (Compensation of Policyholders) Regulations 1991 ensure that, in the event of a life assurance company being unable to meet its liabilities to its policyholders, and subject to the Regulations, the scheme manager shall pay to the policyholder out of the Policyholders' Compensation Fund a sum equal to 90% of the amount of any liability of the insurer under the contract.
The Island's scheme operates globally, providing protection to policyholders no matter where they reside.
The scheme would be funded by a levy on the funds of the other life assurance companies.
The Financial Services Ombudsman
The role of the Authority does not extend to acting as arbitrator for individual policyholder complaints. However, it should be noted that the Isle of Man has a Financial Services Ombudsman scheme which has a broader remit. This service is free and designed to handle consumer disputes in the areas of Insurance, Banking, Investment and Pensions from consumers of Isle of Man regulated businesses from around the World.
To pursue a complaint, the complainant must first have formally taken the matter up with the institution concerned, and must contact the Ombudsman within 6 years of the act or omission taking place, or within 2 years of the date at which the act or omission came to the notice of the complainant.
Complaints where the act or omission occurred prior to April 20th 1999 do not fall under the scheme.
The scheme's adjudicator has the power to impose directions to remedy the position, and can make monetary awards of up to £100,000 in respect of an act or omission which occurred before 1st April 2012 or £150,000 if that act or omission occurrred on or after 1st April 2012.
Would I buy this savings plan myself, and recommend to others?
Disclaimer: This article is assumed to be accurate at the time of publishing, and represents the personal opinion of the author. If you wish to correct/contest any of the following, please do so in the comments below. I am open to correcting errors if any.
All opinions are welcome.