You may recall that in March this year, I spoke about The Greatest Gift of Being a Financial Planner. This seemed to be a straight forward case whereby the policy holder, met the definitions and was going to be paid his insured amount.
Well, let me fill you in. This policy was owned in a “High Flying” Superannuation Fund and the insurance company was a major Australian insurer. Upon receipt of the paperwork it became clear that the insurer was reticent to pay. As all good insurers do, they referred us to the fine print. There was some interesting text that actually excluded the insured for pre-existing conditions.
So to put it all into context, this was an employer sponsored superannuation fund with a default amount of insurance coverage provided in what is called a “Group Policy.” So, instead of being personally underwritten by an underwriter, with medical, lifestyle and financial questions completed BEFORE the policy is implemented, these Group policies provide easy cover from the outset, but stringent obstacles to claim.
My personal way of explaining the difference between insurance policies that we advise on and those in Group cover is: Underwritten policies are harder to get, but easier to claim, whilst group cover is easy to get but harder to claim.
Upon being advised that the policy would not be paid, I sought out a lawyer who could assist my client with this claim. Facts show that almost 75% of claims are now processed via Solicitors and after this experience, I can see why. Don’t forget, all this paperwork was completed in March 2015.
I got a voicemail from my client today who I had not heard from in a few months. He called and gave me the short story that the insurer had in fact made payment after much deliberation with his solicitor. I quickly called him back and we had a great chat about this outcome and what it meant for him.
My client's prognosis is still not great but the amount paid does make a difference to his options and choices for his lifestyle and health but having to endure a drawn out legal battle which cost him 10’s of thousands of dollars is not what having a fully funded financial protection package should mean.
By getting advice, we are able to overcome any obstacles or specified terms upfront when policies are being implemented. By uncovering existing illnesses or lifestyle pursuits such as bungee jumping, playing football or netball we can then decide together whether you will accept the terms offered. From the beginning, you will have clarity, certainty and confidence at claim time. We have already cleared the decks of possible obstructions and we can be proactive in the claims process because we know we have completed the underwriting process.
Not all claims are certain, but if you are considering financially protecting your business and family, I would suggest you utilise the services of an experienced, qualified professional who can assist you through this process. The cost of undertaking this advice, is far-outweighed by the value that is received if a claim is made.
So, I still have faith in the future. Justice prevails and please make sure you get good advice. If you’re concerned about the advice you receive, then feel free to contact us and we will complete an obligation-free online meeting to put you at ease or to consider alternative options.