Insurance News for Real People

Do you have medical insurance? Will it really work?

Do you have medical insurance? Will it really work?

Those that have been reading my blog and social posts on a regular basis will have seen I’ve got a particular bee in my bonnet about unfunded medicines. Partly driven from my view insurance advice needs to improve but also ensuring you have access to the best treatment possible when you really need it the most.

This blog article was updated and reposted here on the 3rd of October 2016. I have left this here for comparison purposes to show the impact of Sovereign's announcement on the 30th of September.

As I wrote in this article, unfunded medicines the real risk to you, if you’re a Southern Cross policy holder you have about a 6.3% risk that if you develop cancer you’ll have to find money to pay for your cancer treatment. If you’re with another provider who doesn’t have any contribution to your unfunded treatments, you’ll have a 15% chance you’ll have to contribute to your treatment.

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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.

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The 120,000 Km Electric Vehicle

The 120,000 Km Electric Vehicle

 

There’s been some interesting chatter around the community lately. If you’re tuned into the Electric Vehicle (EV) community, it’s even louder.

What is it? Well Electric Vehicles!

We’ve had the roll out of the rapid chargers, with Charge.Net, kick into gear and we’ve also had a few from Vector too. Z is developing their strategy with a partnership with Charge.Net for rapid chargers and Gull have installed a number of convenience chargers too. Oh and Spark are trailing adding EV charging to phone boxes too! So it’s all starting to move.

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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.

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Your insurance adviser

Your insurance adviser

As an insurance adviser it is interesting watching people's behaviour. Most people are put off talking to an insurance adviser because they might sell them something. I'll talk about that 'something' later.

As an insurance adviser I look at the big picture and sit across a number of disciplines. Insurance is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, providing financial support in time of need and loss. Those times of need and loss can be wide ranging. From your possessions, to something happening to you or your family, to something happening to your business or your employees.

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Managing your Medical Insurance Premiums

Managing your Medical Insurance Premiums

One of the things that is often said, reported in the news, and generally complained about, are the increasing costs of medical insurance.

We've heard about Southern Cross policy holders up in arms because of the premium increases they have seen. To be fair all providers premiums increase, Southern Cross has the biggest pool of clients and the oldest pool of clients, so increases do hit hard in that particular group.

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Kawakawa EV Charging Station

Kawakawa EV Charging Station

 

They are on a ROLL!

Come to Kawakawa this Sunday, February 7th for the markets, local hospitality, and to welcome the newest electric vehicle fast charging station to be switched on in New Zealand.

Cake, test rides in electric cars and a ribbon cutting by mayor John Carter will be commencing from 10:00am.  This station is the continuation of a robust Electric Vehicle loop that will give entry level Electric Vehicles more access to the winterless North.

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Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance

 

Something I get asked about from time to time.

From what I have seen and heard it's needed, as the treatment for your beloved pet is often more expensive than your own medical treatments.

I'm not going to recommend a particular provider, as these policies change from time to time and I'm not on a notification list for changes to keep this up to date. All pet insurance policies are sold directly to you or though vets, it's not something we can provide or sell presently.

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Mobile phone accidents and injuries the NZ stats

Mobile phone accidents and injuries the NZ stats

Mobile phones, those funny devices that used to be the domain of yuppies and annoyed those looking for a quiet dinner out, now we can’t get by in life with out one.

The expectation is you’re now available 24/7 and your smart phone will substitute all manner of thinking requirements.

We’ve heard plenty about mobile phones and driving, yet people still hold their phone while driving. No, holding it in your hand on speaker phone is not hands free ;) ahh, it’s still in your hand!

Though, they are causing all manner of distractions, and my couple of weeks driving an electric vehicle highlighted this, as I nearly mowed down at least 6 or 7 ambling pedestrians.

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Agreed vs Indemnity cover what is better?

Agreed vs Indemnity cover what is better?

In our opinion in all situations Agreed Value is. Yes, there are some clever tricks you can play with tax and claims on indemnity or loss of earnings, but the vast majority of claims just don't work out like that at claim time.

In my experience when it comes to Income Protection claims, indemnity claims cause the most headaches. In my time as a manager looking after advisers and as an adviser myself, the only problematic claims I have had were indemnity claims. Agreed Value never had the drama and hassle.

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What is the significance of over insurance and under insurance?

What is the significance of over insurance and under insurance?

A really good question. Let's tackle over insurance first

With over insurance, in its simplest form, if the risk is not realised, you've paid more for the transfer of risk than you had too. What I'm meaning is if you don't die, don't have a trauma, don't have a loss of income or property, then the risk being covered hasn't been realised.

For example, if you have a $500,000 mortgage and have a $1,000,000 life policy and you make it to retirement having paid off the mortgage. Then you have likely paid double what you needed to, to transfer the risk. Assuming your need was limited to just the mortgage over that time.

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Cost of a life, how much to extend for how long?

Cost of a life, how much to extend for how long?

There's an undercurrent philosophical debate going on just behind the screen. At present, you're unaware of it, unless you're already in the health system as a patient or a doctor. This undercurrent defines what treatment is available to you and how much the government is prepared to spend their budget on you.

It might sound crass to put a number on the value of a life, unfortunately, in the world we live in, money talks, you know the rest.

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How to get your insurance claim paid, every time

How to get your insurance claim paid, every time

A question that is often asked, ‘So will the insurance company actually pay?’ Yes they do, they pay valid claims.

This is the issue, defining valid claims. Valid claims are claims that are both covered by the policy and the policyholders have been complete in their disclosure.

For example a cardiac event, similar to a heart attack, but isn’t severe enough to qualify as a heart attack under the definition of a heart attack on the trauma policy wording. This isn’t a valid claim, as it didn’t meet the definition of the policy document.

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Keytruda - the new wonder drug for melanoma

Keytruda - the new wonder drug for melanoma

Also, for leukaemia too, if the commentary in the media is to be believed. This new medicine on the market, approved for use in New Zealand, is currently not funded. The indications from the commentary, this medicine is one of the only options for melanoma patients to be successfully treated. 

I am not clear on the survival rates, but the results to date appear to be miraculous when standard chemotherapy has been less than useful in treating melanoma to date according to the many articles on the subject. The problem is the cost, somewhere in the region of $300,000 over two years to access this new treatment.

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