What Can A Risk Adviser Do For You?

 

I think by now we are all familiar or becoming familiar with the term ‘risk insurance’.

We are constantly being reminded through the media about the importance of financially protecting our income or our family.

You may feel that these messages are becoming a little repetitive, however unfortunately it’s in our best interest if we are serious about tackling Australia’s underinsurance problem.

There seems to be a lack of urgency in relation to implementing personal risk insurance.  Unfortunately this does not assist you when an insurable event occurs!

In order to take the first step in the right direction proper advice needs to be sought from a financial adviser.

Sure, you can quickly organise your cover online or over the phone through a direct insurance provider, however you won’t experience or have access to the benefits listed below let alone the quality of the cover!

So what do I actually do as a risk adviser?

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The True Value Of Trauma Insurance!

 

If you haven’t caught on by now through some of my previous articles, this blog should highlight the fact that I am a true advocate of trauma insurance.

Apart from it’s simplicity, my main motivation to promote and recommend the cover unfortunately stems from the high likelihood of a traumatic event occurring.

Let’s face it, nobody likes to think about serious illness or injury let alone experience it however it can happen to anyone of us at anytime!

I try to educate my own clients stressing the fact that if a heart attack or cancer has been booked in for you over the next year or so, there is nothing you can do about it.

Obviously you would rather avoid a traumatic event than benefit from it financially, however if it’s going to happen anyway you may as well be compensated for your troubles!

I’d like to share a real life experience with one of my own clients that will highlight the value of trauma insurance.

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Insurance Options – Industry Superannuation Funds.

 

Superannuation has definitely come a long way since it was first introduced by Paul Keating & the Labor government back in 1992.

Back in those days the average person on the street didn’t know the meaning of the word.  Today it has become the primary investment vehicle used to save for retirement.

There are several different types of super funds available including industry funds, retail funds and self managed super funds (SMSF’s).  Most people are familiar with industry super funds as it is common to be a member of one if you are an employee.

Currently your employer needs to be contributing 9.5% of your salary into a default fund or super fund of your choice.  This is known as the superannuation guarantee (SG) and is expected to increase to 12% by 2020.

As mentioned above, the main purpose of super is to provide a lump sum payment on retirement.  Industry super funds have evolved over the years and now also offer risk insurance to their members.

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Would You Rather Lose Your Home Or Your Mortgage After A Serious Illness?

 

I know it’s a powerful statement however unfortunately for many of us, we don’t get to choose.

This is because we fail to envisage a scenario of a serious illness occurring or prefer not to think about it.  Either way it’s too late once the event has occurred leading to a number of issues, both personal and financial.

If you elect to avoid the topic or the possibility that you yourself may be affected, then chances are you have not properly prepared yourself against a serious illness.

By preparation I mean financially as a serious illness not only impacts the individual but the whole family as well!

As I’ve mentioned before a serious illness or injury first affects you emotionally and then financially.  Cancer and heart disease unfortunately account for the bulk of all serious illnesses in Australia.

Even though diagnosis rates are as high as they have ever been, so too are survival rates.  In fact survival rates after diagnosis are constantly increasing due to advances in medical technology.

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What Is Medical Underwriting?

 

You have just applied for some life or income protection insurance and you have been advised that your application will undergo an underwriting assessment.

What does that mean in plain English?

Every risk insurance application needs to go through an underwriting process.  Medical underwriting is basically an assessment of your overall health.

Personal risk insurance is all about financial protection against serious illness, injury or premature death.  Seeing that you are insuring yourself against these events the life insurers need to assess your medical risks.

There are three possible outcomes when applying for personal risk insurance.

You can be accepted instantly at standard rates, you can be referred to underwriting for further assessment or you can be declined for cover for medical reasons.

There are different steps involved in the process depending on your medical disclosures or overall health.

In the first instance the underwriter will try to make direct contact with the applicant to further elaborate on the medical information disclosed.

If the underwriter is unable to gather sufficient information from the applicant a brief medical report will be requested from the applicants regular GP or Doctor.

If further information is still needed then additional tests will be required to assist the underwriters with their decision.

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Make Financial Protection Your New Years Resolution!

 

Believe it or not, 2012 is nearly over!  A challenging year for many industries including the financial services industry.

Now is the time to start looking ahead to the new year with the intention of implementing the things that should have been organised in 2012!

Most people have at least one new years resolution that they hope to fulfil.  Personal goals such as lose weight or quit smoking are always up there along with many financial goals.

Improving your finances or saving for something special are common financial goals that make up many people’s new years resolutions.

As a risk adviser I would like to see a couple of other financial goals appear on a few new years resolution lists.

Two vital areas that are often forgotten or set aside include personal risk insurance and estate planning.

Even though both of these topics are dealt with separately, they are both closely linked.

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Australia’s Health Risk!

 

There is no doubt that Australia is the lucky country!  We really have very little to complain about in comparison to many other countries in the world.

As with most western societies our lifestyle can be envied however caution needs to be exercised as our society is changing.  Changes are occurring that are directly affecting our overall health.

There are a number of factors that are contributing to these health issues including a decline in physical activities, poor diet and increased working hours.

A combination of one or more of the above factors has lead to an obesity issue in this country.  As mentioned in one of my previous articles ‘How does your body mass index (BMI) affect your personal insurance?‘ obesity leads to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes!

Australian health studies have been undertaken to try and highlight the trends that have lead to this serious health problem.  The only real positive that came from the studies was that smoking rates among Australians have declined, so people are slowly starting to get the message.

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Seven Ways To Save Money On Your Personal Insurance!

 

2016 has definitely been a challenging year for many people!

A combination of an increase in the cost of living together with financial global uncertainty has lead to a re-thinking of our financial situations.

A number of Australians have changed their habits from spending to saving which is great, however this has obviously had an impact on the retail environment.

Household budgets tend to be reviewed during such times to see if there are areas where spending can be reduced.

Unfortunately most people view personal insurance as a discretionary spend so therefore it tends to be the first expense that gets the chop.

Cancelling your income protection or trauma cover only exposes you to greater risks on top of your current financial worries.

If times are tight at the moment can you imagine the uphill financial struggle of temporarily or permanently losing your ability to earn an income!

For this reason I strongly recommend that you do what you can to try and reduce your costs associated with your personal insurance, rather than cancel your cover.

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Key Person Insurance ….. Financial Protection For Your Business!

 

Did you know that every week a business is forced to close it’s doors due to the temporary or permanent loss of a key employee?

One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is that they fail to insure the people who contribute towards the profitability of the business.

Business owners wouldn’t think twice about not insuring their physical assets or not having liability insurance in place, so why are the key employees of the business any less important?

Key person insurance is mostly suited to small to medium sized businesses however usually excludes sole traders.  This is because the loss of a sole trader would result in the business failing to exist.

Key person insurance is therefore personal insurance that is taken out by a business on the life or lives of it’s key people.

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Life Insurance ….. Don’t Forget The Homemaker!

 

Whenever the topic of personal insurance is raised it’s natural to automatically think of the main income earner of the house.  Did you know however that it can cost up to $70,000 per year for assistance relating to your children and your home?

This is what it can cost for full time childcare or after school care, including holiday care for two children and a part time house keeper!  Looking after your children and your home is a full time job as most parents would already know.

These duties are obviously performed without pay however have you considered what would happen if an insurable event were to occur?

If a serious illness, injury or premature death were to occur, the primary income earner would have two options.

They could reduce their working hours to assist with the household and the children or they could pay someone else to do it.  Both options however come at a cost which can lead to financial stress.

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