Insurance News for Real People

Can You Afford New Advances in Melanoma Treatment?

Can You Afford New Advances in Melanoma Treatment?

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and with over 4,000 people diagnosed with melanoma in New Zealand each year, we have one of the world’s highest rates. Sun exposure is the number one cause of melanoma, with genetics also playing a part. Melanoma is the uncontrolled growth of melanocytes, which are the cells which produce the pigment which colours our hair, skin and eyes. If caught early enough, it is treatable, but once it has spread, the prognosis is not so great.

Read more

I don't need advice on ACC! Don't you?

I don't need advice on ACC! Don't you?

Maybe you should have another look. This opinion piece in the New Zealand Herald is a great example of why you need a good risk adviser, who also works with ACC, as well as your insurance. 

No, you employed people aren't exempt from this either. If you plan on taking a break from employment for any reason you too need advice on your ACC coverage for accident disabilities and weekly compensation.

Read more

Anxiety and it's impact on your life and lifestyle

Anxiety and it's impact on your life and lifestyle

If you are looking for the '13% level of funding in New Zealand' Article, it's moved here due to some changes with our web software, if not, read on ;)

An estimated one in four New Zealanders will at some point suffer from anxiety during their life according to the Mental Health Foundation. As the most commonly diagnosed mental health condition in our country, anxiety is also a condition many people do not seek medical assistance with. Yet excessive anxiety can cause significant disruptions to the life of an individual, making early recognition and treatment essential.

Read more

Start up business, new year, new risks

Start up business, new year, new risks

I’ve said for many years Kiwi’s love being self-employed, and we seem to switch between employed and self-employed a lot. Some succeed, some have a change of direction, some it’s about a change of situation. The point is, change is inevitable.

What will surprise you; typically, there are over 45,000 start-up businesses each year in New Zealand. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that a large number of these businesses are registered with the Companies Office early in the new year. Unfortunately, a lot of these businesses will simply fail due to cash-flow constraints. Some will be because the business isn’t sustainable, but the more likely reason is someone got injured or was prevented from working due to a disability.

Read more

Income Protection Insurance NZ

Income Protection Insurance NZ

In basic terms, income protection insurance in New Zealand replaces a percentage of your income when you cannot work in your own occupation for a medical or injury reason. 

It is designed to provide 75-80% of your in the hand earnings to you when disabled at claim time.

Most policies today have a range of options and different flavours. Fundamentally there are two types, those you pay tax on at claim time and those you do not. 

Read more

Does your current adviser really understand income protection?

Does your current adviser really understand income protection?

Having spent 15 years in the industry and during that time I've worked on a significant number of difficult income protection claims. I still don't understand why the indemnity first approach for income protection still prevails with the majority of advisers in today's environment.

Well I do; it's not the client first approach we'd all like to expect, advisers have to do less and get paid more, but that's another story here.

Read more

Home executives and unpaid workers - income protection

Home executives and unpaid workers - income protection

I work but don't get paid; the insurance company won't insure me.

This is probably right for disability related benefits. Not to take away from what you do, lots of people valuable to our community do essential things but don't get paid for it, mothers and volunteers tend to top that list.

One of the factors with this is that insurance companies insure for financial loss; with unpaid occupations this is hard to quantify.

Read more

Home Based Worker - Protecting your income

Home Based Worker - Protecting your income

As a home based worker, insuring your income can be a bit of a challenge in some situations.

The question is what do you do and how mobile do you have to be to do it? 

To be clear, I'm talking about those people who earn an income rather than those who are in unpaid occupations. The later is another article.

I'll be exploring a few situations and the insurance approach for paid home based workers, to give you a bit of an idea about how you can protect your income if you work from home.

Read more

Insurance literacy, are you overstating it?

Insurance literacy, are you overstating it?

Interesting research out of Australia, yes I know Aussie. However, as our closest neighbour, most research has some value for insight or application in our market too.

What is interesting with this, is the insurance uptake across all products is generally better in Australia, with house car and contents being the most similar to us.

This research was specifically about insurance literacy, most of the time these reports are on investment or financial literacy or subject matter and insurance is treated as a by-line. Which for those relying on it, it is far from a by-line.

Read more

New to business and new to ACC?

New to business and new to ACC?

You've got a fairly steep learning curve going on and ACC has just thrown a spanner in the works. It's a spanner in the works because ACC isn't intuitive and you're short on time and don't have time to figure this crap out right now.

If this resonates with you, you need to read this, it will short cut this for you.

Let's start with the simple things you need to understand first.

Read more

Why should I restructure my ACC?

Why should I restructure my ACC?

If you are self-employed the answer is you should! We don't joke about this, restructuring your ACC will give you more certainty if you are disabled through an accident and if you have talked to a financial adviser and arranged income protection, you will have more certainty for non-accident disabilities as well.

Let me start at the beginning. You started your own business and you have been doing your thing for a few years, you have no income protection because you have got by this long without it.

Read more

Income Protection Offsets and why Mortgage Repayment Protection is mixed in to your income protection planning

Income Protection Offsets and why Mortgage Repayment Protection is mixed in to your income protection planning

Offsets are one of the most contentious and least understood provisions of an Income Protection contract with policy holders.

Why?

Simply it's not a selling point so it's glossed over in the advice discussion.

Keep in mind, having some cover is better than no cover, but having the right cover is even better.

I'm going to explore offsets in this article so you have a better understanding of what this may mean to you.

Read more

Hybrid insurance products

Hybrid insurance products

I wrote recently about a new approach Asteron was taking to income protection.

In the right client situation quite appropriate, in others it would potentially be a disaster. As the options in insurance advice expand and hybrid or niche products develop, the need to have an adviser involved is even more apparent. One that really understands the application of insurance benefits to your risks.

Read more

Does income protection pay redundancy?

Does income protection pay redundancy?

A good question and one that is often misunderstood when it comes to income protection.

It’s also been coming up in conversations more recently, suggesting there’s some job security sentiment developing.

In New Zealand there are five situations that impact your ability to earn an income.

Read more