Insurance News for Real People

Immigrating to New Zealand

Immigrating to New Zealand

 

Congratulations on your choice to move to New Zealand!

We may just about be the farthest country from just about anywhere on the planet, but it is the best country in the world.

If you have just stepped off the boat, or you have been here for a while, you are probably in for a bit of culture shock. Things here, while often looking the same as home, are just a bit different.

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We Got Silver!

We Got Silver!

Wow, 12 months have disappeared really quickly! This time last year I was reeling in the afterglow of being awarded the PAA's New Adviser of the Year. 

At the time I was both a little surprised and very grateful to have received this award, but as I wrote at the time I'd pretty much worn the New Adviser badge out. Having now been in the financial services industry for 15 years and an adviser for nearly five years.

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Travel Insurance; trust the credit card or not?

Travel Insurance; trust the credit card or not?

We say not. While you may have free travel insurance cover on your credit card, we still recommend taking a specific policy for your travel, especially if it is going to be longer than a few weeks.

Booking tickets and planning, sure up until you get on the plane, or boat, use the credit card coverage (Within the constraints of your cover, travel duration could be a trap if it's a long trip). Once you step on the plane have your real cover in place.

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Medical Treatment; Are you a claim stat and don't know it?

Medical Treatment; Are you a claim stat and don't know it?

From time to time I get updates through from insurers with their claim stats. I recently posted a blog on medical coverage for un-funded medicines and had a look at insurance literacy for clients.

I like information, the sort of information that gets away from the typical and very usual FUD. Fear Uncertainty & Doubt that my industry often trades on to get sales. 

I rant a bit in this one; it is an issue we, collectively, don't spend enough time and energy on.

It is been commented in many online forums, that the scaring and very pushy what if? Isn't appreciated. I must admit I do not like it much either. Which is why I try and stay away from it and deal with the facts. 

Part of the reason people take longer to make decisions, but they do make better decisions as a result.

My point, while I do not trade on FUD, I certainly have some disturbing stories and stats. Some may look on the surface as FUD. They are based on the reality of you and me, the average person. 

The person getting on with life, family and business and gets knocked over with something unexpected and often unplanned for.

What’s this post all about?

It is about you, your health and how you can access treatment in a more effective way.

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Electronic or Paper Insurance Applications?

Electronic or Paper Insurance Applications?

I often hear from my colleagues and providers about using electronic applications. Often phrased with the comment, “With what you do with technology, it is surprising you do so much with paper?”

Interestingly clients are also often surprised with the paper too. Maybe there is too much and more digital could be included. We will see.

Frankly of everything I do, the application form is the most difficult part of the whole process for clients. When we are in an environment where things are being simplified, insurance applications have got more difficult.

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Customer service rant

Customer service rant

 

It's interesting that we advisers are under the spotlight for replacement of life insurance business, and to be fair, the area does need a clean up.

On the subject of replacement, a stunning example of screwing the customer has been the approach of the electronic coffee card app, eCoffee Card. You may have noticed it around, and it's been slowly getting traction. 

As a regular cafe goer all over the city, this helps with managing the many coffee reward cards I seem to accumulate.

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Gay, Lesbian & Transgender Insurance

Gay, Lesbian & Transgender Insurance

A bit of a chunky subject this post.

Lately, there has been more noise around the gay community, particularly around transgender rights. Especially so with the recent shooting, with some horrifying treatment being dealt out to those 'who are not like the rest of us’.

I wrote the bulk of this post in April 2016, well before the mass shooting in the US and off the back of media comments and articles in newspapers, TV news and social media chatter. The tension for the shooting in June was brewing, for no other reason than people are different. Something similar is brewing in the US on the subject of abortions and the rulings of the state and supreme courts there.

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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. 

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I want to protect my ability to buy insurance in the future

I want to protect my ability to buy insurance in the future

 

You do not have a need for insurance now, or you have sufficient cover for now, but you expect to need more cover in the future.

You do not want to find you have your future medical conditions affecting your cover when you do apply?

Part of this is why insurance companies want you to buy cover before you develop medical conditions, the insurance companies feel selected against if you only take cover because you have a condition. This is why they apply underwriting at application time.

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Increase your insurance cover without questions

Increase your insurance cover without questions

One thing that people hate when it comes to life insurance is the paperwork.

The application form is a bit of a book, and it can be a bit daunting to complete, even when you are fit and healthy. We advisers do not like them much either, but they need to be done.

What most people do not realise when they have existing insurance cover, that there are features built into many policies that let you increase them without lots of paperwork.

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Hazardous occupations and activities

Hazardous occupations and activities

I'm looking for insurance cover, but I do some interesting things;

By interesting things, I'm assuming this is related to your hobbies, activities and occupation. 

Insurance companies do take an interest in what activities you do because sometimes they are risky. Immediate things which come to mind for most people are bungy jumping and parachuting. The list is much longer.

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I've got 'terms', what does this mean?

I've got 'terms', what does this mean?

 If you hear this, your adviser may not have explained things as clearly as they could have. 

'Terms' is industry slang or jargon for special terms, which means a client's policy has been modified, by the insurer, from the original standard policy contract your cover was proposed on. 

The offer of terms or special terms offer generally happens at application time, but can be applied during the policy or at claim time. If the insurer becomes aware of a material fact, that will change the terms of the contract the insurer would have offered at application time. Avoid the later two examples as they can have unintended and surprising outcomes. 

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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.

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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.

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Business networking

Business networking

 

Often said in business 'You need to get out there and network!' The problem with this statement is it is not that helpful for those who haven't done it before. 

Yes, you may have been to a conference or two but if you haven't been in a sales or relationship role previously, networking can be a daunting thing, especially when you're trying to get your new venture off the ground. 

Great idea, product or service, you're busy getting going, so adding more to the load isn't that easy to contemplate. Even if you've been in business for a while, you need new/more contacts but you're not sure how or where to spend your time.

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