When you work with an adviser to get the right insurance in place, we want it to be as easy and accessible as possible. This might mean we come to your place after hours, or that you come to our office – part of what makes working with an adviser so great is our flexibility. If you want to know how to prepare for meeting an insurance adviser there are a few things you can do to get the most out of the meeting, whether you are looking for life insurance, income insurance, trauma protection or just some good insurance advice.
If you know exactly what you want, half an hour may be okay. However if you are using an adviser because you want to draw on their expertise and experience, you need to allow enough time to for them to get a good understanding of your current situation and how you see your life changing in the future. It is best if neither party feels rushed.
Disclosure is a key part of making sure we choose the right policy and making sure you really are covered when you come to claim.
Don’t hold back because you are concerned you won’t get cover – chances are it would come out when you try to make a claim and it could be denied. There are lots of different providers and policies available, and when we know the full picture we can choose the best provider, policy or combination of policies to get the most comprehensive cover for your circumstances.
Life is busy – and it can be hard to fit everything in. However, if we have a meeting together you need to be able to give us your full attention. You may find insurance boring, but it is important!
This means make sure the kids are in bed, turn the TV off, and put your phone on silent. This is a professional meeting, and even if it is at your kitchen table it needs to be treated as such – otherwise you may miss key information or forget to tell us something critical.
There are a few things you can have ready before we arrive. If you have existing policies, have those details ready for us. Having your personal income details or business accounts ready is good, as is a clear idea of your own medical history and that of your family.
We absolutely love it when you ask questions and are open to learning more! This gives us a great idea of what you already know and what is important to you. We know our stuff inside and out, but we don’t expect you to, so there really are no dumb questions.
Whether you are getting insurance along with your partner in life or your partner in business, it makes sense for you both to be available, especially for our initial meeting. We need to know what is important to both of you, and we need to know about you as individuals.
After we have met with you, we may need more information or official documentation. Following up on this promptly and partnering with us to chase up third parties, such as your doctor, makes a big difference to how quickly we can get your cover in place.
Lastly, remember that your adviser is on your side.
We are not there to sell you something you don’t want or need, we are there to work with you to put together a plan for your future. It is not about a particular insurance product, it is about the outcome for you if something goes wrong, and insurance is just one of the tools we use to get the best outcome for you. That is why we will likely talk to you about wills, trusts and enduring power of attorney as well.
Are you ready to get an insurance adviser on your team? Get in touch with one of our advisers today.
When you set up your business insurance, the focus can be on the here and now – how many employees you have and their level of skill, the business income, level of debt and so on. However, thinking about the business’ future insurability is also worth considering.
This allows you to look forward and consider your needs in the coming years as the business grows and changes. By reserving the additional cover now, you won’t have to apply for a new policy, or repeat the pre-approval process down the track.
A client bought a farm and needed to get business insurance. It was agreed that $2 million would be enough for their current needs, however they knew the farm next door would be coming up for sale in the next ten years and they wanted to be able to buy it, and be able to insure it even if circumstances had changed in that time.
In anticipation of this future plan, they took out $2 million of cover right away, but also set their future insurance for $3 million. When they bought the second farm, increasing the insurance premium was straightforward.
While exact details can vary between providers, the key limits to using the increase usually relate to the increase in value of a key person to the business over three years, an increase in financial interest in the business averaged over three years, and an increase in the loan guarantee.
You need to be taking out the original sum at the time to be able to set up the future insurability option, and the maximum amount insurable is five times the original sum assured, up to $5 million.
The extra premium is relatively low, but varies depending on your original sum insured and how much you have reserved for the future. The premiums will also increase as the cover does. This is where your adviser can help with tailored advice for your current and future circumstances.
Most life insurance policies have a built-in ‘special events’ increase which means you can increase your existing cover, without further underwriting, in circumstances such as having a child (by birth or legal adoption), marriage or civil union, divorce or the dissolution of a civil union. The specifics can change between providers but they may also include financially supporting a dependent child through a first course of full-time tertiary education, taking out or increasing a home loan, becoming responsible for the full-time care of a close relative, or the death of a spouse or de facto partner.
The increase available is different for each event, and what is offered can vary between providers, so it is always good to talk with your adviser about your plans for the future as well as your life stage right now.
Want to discuss your future insurability or talk about a special events increase? Contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable advisers.
If you are a small business owner, you need to think about Key Person Insurance. In fact, it may well be a better and more useful insurance option for you than income protection insurance.
Key Person Insurance is ideal for small businesses who have one or two staff who are key revenue generators, or whose work is vital to fulfilling contracts and keeping the business running.
Their absence, whether by serious illness or injury, could have a devastating impact on a company’s financial wellbeing. Key Person Insurance ensures you are well protected, should this situation occur.
While income insurance is vital for those in paid employment, if you are a business owner, key person insurance may well be a better option.
Key Person Insurance, also known as locum replacement cover, pays the sum insured to the business to cover the cost of a replacement staff member, while income protection insurance is designed to cover your personal income.
Key Person Insurance is an agreed value, whereas income protection has an offset clause – meaning if you claim ACC, you cannot also claim income insurance.
With some income insurance policies, you also need to prove your current income to the insurer at claim time. This can be a challenge for business owners and those self-employed who, on paper, can appear to have a relatively low income. Key Person Insurance pays an agreed value.
To decide if Key Person Insurance could be appropriate for you, you must identify the vulnerabilities in your business.
Imagine you are suddenly unable to work because of an illness. You need to take four months off running your company to recover. Will your business survive without you and still be there when you are ready to get back to work?
Key Person Insurance would allow you to hire someone to replace you while you are incapacitated. This means your business would be kept running, and you, as the business owner, will still have an income.
Key people tend to be business owners, specialists, or personnel responsible for critical customer relationships. A business can take out Key Person Insurance on any employee they consider to be a key person, within certain parameters.
ACC has a table showing replacement cost for a wide range of professionals, updated yearly, here. This can be a good tool to use to make a case to an insurer for the level of coverage you need for a key person.
Deciding which insurance cover to get can be complex, and if you are paying fixed premiums you need to know exactly what you are getting at claim time. The best way to take care of this is to talk to a professional adviser. We can work through different scenarios and we know the products available inside and out, and can work with you to get the best cover. Call one of our advisers today.
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