09
May

If you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford a home.

Comments Off on If you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford a home.

I’m not talking about house and contents insurance. I’m referring to the insurance that protects your ability to earn a living.

Health and income protection insurance should be the priority if you’re providing for your family or taking on a big financial commitment such as a mortgage. All too often, clients take out pet insurance to cover vet bills but forget about the most important person in the household.

Winter, with its colds and illness, is a gentle reminder that no one is immune from poor health. And you don’t have to be in your sunset years to suffer a cancer diagnosis or heart attack.

Accidents happen as well. A slip-up on a wet path or a mishap on the ski field could take you out of the workforce for months (or forever). Every week I hear of clients who have been struck by something out of the blue. When it happens, the last thing they want is financial stress.

The good news is that cover can be easily arranged. With some smart advice, it can even be highly cost-effective.

Have you reviewed your insurance recently?  If not, make an appointment

09
Apr

Short term pain for long term gain

Comments Off on Short term pain for long term gain

It can be tempting to make life insurance choices based on price. Who wants to pay a bigger premium, especially when you’re young and money is tight? That’s why many tick the option that costs less in the early years but is re-adjusted every year.

However these stepped or ‘rate for age’ policies can become seriously expensive. Many people in their 50s and 60s see their annual life insurance bills climbing year after year. This is the flipside of cheap premiums in their youth.

The alternative is level cover. This sets a flat premium, which may be more costly early on but generally only goes up by the CPI rate. After 30 or 40 years your annual premium will seem like an absolute bargain. It’s like choosing a three-year fix for your mortgage instead of the cheaper six-month rate that could jump several times in subsequent years. You pay more initially but save over the longer term.

There are many life insurance options so get in touch to find the best one for your stage of life. It may not be the policy with the cheapest initial premium!

Have you reviewed your insurance recently?  If not, make an appointment

09
Mar

10-foot tall and bulletproof..

Comments Off on 10-foot tall and bulletproof..

If you’ve raised teenagers you know what I’m referring to. They emerge ready to take on the world and gloriously ignorant of life’s pitfalls. As a priority, insurance comes in about 88th place, below learning Esperanto and studying actuarial tables.

This is a risky time – but also a moment of opportunity.

If your young family members have had the benefit of insurance throughout their young lives, consider extending it. They will never be healthier than they are at this time, so now’s the time to lock in cover with no exclusions or loadings.

Maybe you could gift them a 21st birthday present of three to five years’ premiums on life and health insurance. It may not be the coolest birthday present but it could provide continuity of cover before they start chipping in from their own resources.

It can be seriously good value too. A 21 year-old male non-smoker could get $250,000 of life cover for just $28.50 a month. His 21 year-old female equivalent gets an even better deal – just $20.10 per month. Comprehensive health cover would cost $53 per month for a male or $59 for a female.

That might seem a bit steep for someone in their first job but I have seen clients in their 20s and 30s faced with bills over $20K for operations not funded by the public health system. If that happens, say goodbye to your house deposit.

At the other, cuter end of the scale, a newborn baby can be added to your health insurance very easlly. The cost is minimal and the benefits could be considerable.

Have you reviewed your insurance recently?  If not, make an appointment

09
Feb

A painful reminder that insurance matters.

Comments Off on A painful reminder that insurance matters.

A few weeks ago I was enjoying a video chat with an old friend. I laughingly mentioned the mosquito bite I had somehow received on my forehead.

She took a closer look, and told me it might not be a mosquito bite. The conversation turned serious and she asked me to send some pictures to show to her doctor friend. Within 15 minutes I was booking a same-day appointment with my own doctor. The diagnosis: shingles.

This painful viral condition is not uncommon in people who have had chicken pox in childhood. The virus re-emerges after decades and can wreak havoc. A friend of mine spent two months in hospital with shingles. Others have been known to lose their sight from a facial flare-up – which is what I had.

What’s the lesson here? I lead an active life and have a healthy diet. Some people might say I work too hard – I respectfully disagree! But despite my healthy lifestyle, I found myself on the verge of a serious problem. Only an early diagnosis saved me from a lot of trouble. If my friend hadn’t alerted me to the seriousness of my ‘mosquito bite’ I might have been facing months off work.

The unexpected can strike at any time. You don’t want find yourself battling a health issue or losing vital income at a critical time. For peace of mind, you need to have health, disability and income protection insurance tailored to your circumstances and ready when you need it.

If you procrastinate with insurance, the result may be even more painful than a case of shingles.
.

Have you reviewed your insurance recently? If not, make an appointment

10
Jan

A spring clean can turn up insurance savings.

Comments Off on A spring clean can turn up insurance savings.

Insurance isn’t something you should skimp on. That said, we find many people are over-paying for policies, or even paying for cover they don’t need. In this era of rising interest rates, a ‘spring clean’ of your insurance policies could uncover some useful savings.

It’s not chicken feed, either. Just $10 per month spent on unneeded cover could be applied to your mortgage to save more than $18,000 over the life of your loan. In this era of rising interest rates, that’s a bonus well worth having.

Here are some smart ways to trim your insurance bill:

  • Reduce life cover as your mortgage reduces. Why over-pay for the assurance of a lump sum when the need for it reduces?
  • Cancel cover at age 65, not 70.
  • Change Trauma cover from ‘stand alone’ – this could save you a tidy sum without reducing your overall cover.

I can sit down with you and explain how this all works. It’s not about selling new policies – instead it’s about making sure your insurance matches your real requirements.

Don’t be shy! I can see you hiding, so come on in and we’ll get your insurance sorted for 2017.

10
Dec

YOUR BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT COULD BE AN INSURANCE REVIEW

Comments Off on YOUR BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT COULD BE AN INSURANCE REVIEW

It’s not what you hope to find under the Christmas tree, but a thorough review of your insurance could be a very good idea right now.

We’re approaching that time of year when people relax and let their hair down. There’s fun in the sun, boating, barbecues and inevitably, some alcohol. It’s not unknown for this to lead to a nasty accident or even a bereavement.

Please take care during the festive season – and make sure you’re well protected from the unexpected. Think how awful it would be if you or someone close to you were facing disability, a loss of income or worse. On top of that, the happy time of Christmas would be spoiled for years to come.

I know this is a busy time of year but I strongly encourage you to get in touch with your insurance broker for a review of any health, income protection or life policies you have. Do it now.

The right cover could be life changing. Think of it as a Christmas present to yourself and your family, and please, stay safe at this time of year.

Have you reviewed your insurance in the last few years?
If not make an appointment!

10
Nov

How an insurance review can save you money?

Comments Off on How an insurance review can save you money?

Many people are a bit wary of checking in with their insurance advisor. They fear they’re going to be sold new policies.

However, a good advisor knows that your needs change over the years. The insurance you took out five years ago was for a previous version of you. Since then, you may have started a family, changed careers or made all sorts of decisions that increase or decrease your need for insurance.

That’s right – sometimes your need may decrease cover. In that case, you can safely downgrade your sum assured or even cancel a policy. I see this all the time.

Recently, a couple I know asked me whether they should keep their income protection policy, as they were moving to Australia. They had avoided calls from their insurance broker so had not received up-to-date advice for several years.

In the meantime they had retired – but they were still paying premiums for income protection. They were forking out for cover they couldn’t claim on.

This is just one example of how an insurance review can save you money. There are many more, and I’d be happy to share them with you.

10
Oct

When did banks become insurance specialists?

Comments Off on When did banks become insurance specialists?

Trick question.  They’re not.

However if you’ve spent any time in a bank recently, you may have encountered friendly staff who recommend the bank’s house, contents or life insurance.  Here are some reasons to hesitate before signing on the dotted line.

While banks are great at lending money, providing credit cards and many other financial services, they are not insurance specialists.  Their policies may not be suited to your requirements and they are generally not sold with personalised advice.

Insurance policy wording can be quite detailed and it may require some expertise to understand what benefits you’ll receive.  You may think you’re covered but you won’t know until its time to claim.  And then you’re on your own.

If your bank suggests you buy its insurance, by all means take a look at the policy they offer.  Then get a second opinion.  It costs you nothing to ask for our feedback.  We’ll be happy to provide it at no cost to you.

10
Sep

Do you really need life insurance?

Comments Off on Do you really need life insurance?

You would be amazed at the number of clients I talk to who have taken out life cover and have only the vaguest idea of what they’re paying for.

In many cases they were sold life insurance by their bank.  They were chatting to the bank manager about a mortgage or business loan and lo and behold, a life policy was suggested.  It only cost a few dollars a week and so they signed on the dotted line.

But when I dig a little deeper it’s clear that they have the wrong policy.  Perhaps they’d be better off with a mix of trauma cover and income protection.  And it’s not uncommon to find their life insurance policy is a bit of a dud, riddled with exclusions.  One client remarked sadly “I can only die of a small number of conditions”.

Not understanding the fine print is a common error.  Another is buying on cost.  The important thing with insurance is not so much what you pay each month but what you’ll be paid in the event of a claim.

However there is one group who can benefit from life insurance and that’s your teenage children. Pay for cover until they’re established in their careers and then they can take over the premiums.  By starting them young you’ll lock in a good level of cover with the fewest exclusions.

We’re very happy to look at any policies you have and give a considered opinion.  All you have to do is ask.

Have you reviewed your insurance in the last few years?  If not,  make an appointment

10
Aug

Having no trauma cover could be traumatic?

Comments Off on Having no trauma cover could be traumatic?

Do you plan to never get ill?  That’s a great ambition and I hope you can pull it off.  But if, through no fault of your own, you develop a health condition that prevents you from working while you receive treatment, you’re going to need trauma insurance.

This type of cover pays a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a serious health problem such as a heart attack or cancer.  The exact details will depend on your policy wording but the idea is to relieve financial stress while you focus on getting well.  You can use it to cover your mortgage, get rid of debt, take a holiday or even fund treatments the health system won’t pay for.   It’s your money to spend how you like.

Even if you’re not in paid employment this is cover you should have.  Don’t undervalue yourself.  You may be a caregiver so why not give yourself the ability  to pay for outside help while you concentrate on your own wellbeing?

Have you reviewed your insurance in the last few years?  If not make an appointment